For immediate release – December 2, 2021
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools continues to provide safe work and learning environments for both students and staff within our Division. We have been thoughtful and thorough in our approach to gathering information when considering multiple pathways to mitigate risk throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our continued focus is:
- Ensuring that a safe work and learning environment is a shared responsibility. Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools is committed to, and has a statutory responsibility to, take all reasonable steps to provide safe and healthy working and learning environments;
- Supporting and enhancing the ongoing safety measures the Division has implemented and our continued commitment to ensuring all of our schools and workplaces remain as safe as possible in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic; and
- Making our school communities safer by utilizing strategies recommended by public health authorities.
At the November 30 Regular Board meeting, the Board of Trustees approved a motion directing senior administration to immediately develop and implement an administrative procedure requiring COVID-19 rapid testing or vaccination, subject to the following restrictions:
- The Division will pay for all testing;
- Vaccinations will not be mandated; and
- For those in compliance, job losses will not occur.
Further, The Board of Trustees directed senior administration to review, and revise when necessary, the administrative procedure monthly.
“As a Catholic school community, we approached this decision through the lens of compassion and empathy. The Board of Trustees was guided by a deep desire to honour all staff members who have a diversity of perspectives,” said Board Chair, Kim Pasula at Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools. “Trustees benefitted from the wealth of information and messages that were shared with them from community members and delegations.”
“Throughout the course of the pandemic, our Division has faced many challenges, and we have witnessed many blessings. At Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools, we build strong relationships with one another, embrace the unpredictability of daily life, and find joy in hardship. Our Division has continued to build upon the strong foundation of our Catholic faith, focusing on community. Our Board is grateful for all of the people in our community, and we pray together for caring and unity,” Pasula added.
Our next steps are to develop the administrative procedure ensuring that we follow the guidelines set out by Administrative Procedure No. 121: Administrative Procedure Development.
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools serves over 10,000 students in 21 schools in Red Deer, Blackfalds, Sylvan Lake, Rocky Mountain House, Innisfail, and Olds. It also supports the learning of over 600 students in a Home Education Program. The Division is committed to serving children and parents with a complete offering of learning opportunities delivered within the context of Catholic teachings and within the means of the Division.