Support Our Students Alberta (SOS) is announcing the conclusion of their COVID-19 School Tracker on June 30, 2021, coinciding with the end of the 2020/21 school year. The SOS COVID-19 School Tracker was started in September 2020 to provide parents, students and members of the public with trustworthy, detailed, and timely information on the COVID-19 situation in Alberta K-12 schools. SOS relied on crowdsourced submissions of COVID notification letters from thousands of parents.
Some facts on the SOS COVID-19 School Tracker:
- Wing Li, SOS COVID-19 School Tracker Coordinator & Communications Director
“I never expected back in September of last year that there would be as many cases in schools, or as frequently, as what we've seen over the past 10 months. The hundreds of hours I've spent volunteering to assist SOS in cataloging cases in schools pales in comparison to the millions of hours lost by students and teachers having to isolate themselves away from their classrooms this year. I hope in retrospect the SOS COVID-19 case tracking project will serve as a reminder in the future of why putting greater emphasis on student safety and evolving safety protocols throughout the school year would have helped to avoid the terrible burden COVID-19 has been on all Albertans."
- Aryn Toombs, SOS COVID-19 School Tracker Volunteer
“I really would like to extend my utmost appreciation to the SOS volunteers who contributed a herculean effort to process the often overwhelming rate of case reports, and the thousands of parents who forwarded the notifications to us. It was hard work, but we really believed that Albertans deserved to know the truth of what was going on in their schools. Our goal was to be a trusted, accurate source, and we are very proud that we achieved that and Albertans turned to us.”
- Medeana Moussa, SOS Executive Director
The data from the School Tracker will be archived and made available for use by researchers.
Moving forward, SOS calls on the Alberta government to prioritize school data transparency and enhance safety in schools as these are their obligations to the public.