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Li said she felt pressured to sign up for in-person classes with a late August deadline but a lack of clear information about how schools would look or how many students would be in her daughters’ Grade 2 and Grade 6 classrooms.

But just over the past few school days, Li says students at St. Joan of Arc have seen teachers redeployed to other schools and large class sizes for some students, including her daughter’s Grade 6 class now at 28 students.

“And her class is in a portable, so it’s poorly ventilated, it’s very small and the kids are basically cheek by jowl in there. We pray every single day that we won’t be next in a series of dominos falling in Calgary.”

Li added that “teachers, who are really doing their best with everything, are at their wit’s end. Instead of just teaching, they are also COVID cops, always dealing with hand sanitizing, masking, physical distancing, all of it.”

Early this week, the Calgary Board of Education confirmed 1,400 students and more than 90 staff were self-isolating due to positive COVID-19 cases at their schools. The Calgary Catholic School District could only provide data from last Thursday, when 356 students and 22 staff were in self-isolation.

So far, 22 public schools have identified cases of COVID-19, with outbreaks — two cases or more — now at four of those. Up to 15 schools with the CCSD have also confirmed cases, including three with outbreaks and St. Wilfrid School on “watch,” with up to seven cases.

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