Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Extracurricular Activities Suspended in Sask. Rivers to Start School Year

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Extracurricular Activities Suspended in Sask. Rivers to Start School Year

Article excerpt

Extracurricular activities including sports have been suspended in the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division. During numerous updates at the board of education's regular meeting on Monday, August 31, the notion that extracurricular activities would be suspended in the division to start the year was a topic of note.

“We are not cancelling. We have made the decision to suspend for the time being until we get some more information. The SHSAA (Saskatchewan High School Athletic Association) doesn't have authority over school divisions — they are just a governing body,” director of education Robert Bratvold said.

Board chair Barry Hollick said that the province’s Education Response Planning Team has discussed extracurriculars. They said that while schools should be open, there shouldn’t be any extracurriculars hosted before Sept. 8. Transportation won’t be provided for any extracurriculars.

Hollick explained that the restart of school-based sports should happen after consultation with local medical health officials and that local areas have different rates of infection. Bratvold is consulting with local medical health officials and will provide guidance.

The board is also thinking about how best to get together for their own meetings. There are guidelines, but discussions with local medical health officials have offered no further direction. According to Bratvold, they will continue to meet in the Seminar Room at the Education Centre but have to make some changes.

“We want to be deliberate about it so we have decided that this is how we are going to meet. We are physically distant, we have got hand sanitizing practices and those sorts of things. But if something should happen that trustees are required to self-isolate we need something in place. You don't want to exclude somebody, it might work out that will still be able to come to a meeting because the self-isolation period doesn't overlap,” Bratvold explained.

One suggestion from trustee Michelle Vickers was adding an option to have trustees phone in if they are in isolation or the addition of improved speakers to make the meeting more accessible.

“We have done that before, not frequently but on occasions and done exactly that but we would have to have different technology because our speaker system is designed for the board room which is a space the third of this size. …

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