Pembina Trails: Do Not Go Through With The "Alternating Days" Schedule

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To the Pembina Trails School Division and it's leaders:

I am writing to you today because COVID-19 cases is Manitoba are soaring. On the day of writing this (October 7, 2020), there are more than 800 active cases in Manitoba, with the majority of them being in Winnipeg.

Schools are becoming breeding grounds for this virus. The majority of outbreaks are occurring at long-term care homes and schools. 

The Pembina Trails School Division had originally created a plan in which high school students would attend their respective schools for 2 days out of the 6 day cycle. Many students and staff were very hesitant about how this was going to happen, but in the month of September, it was proven that this plan was quite effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our high schools as compared to other school divisions that had implemented an "every other day" schedule. 

Now, students and staff have adjusted to their daily routines. However, Pembina Trails has decided to switch their high schools students' schedules to 3 days in the 6 day cycle, starting next Tuesday, October 13. This is very unsettling seeing that other schools have seen large outbreaks and have been forced to shut down.

High schools in the Pembina Trails School Division have about 1000-2000 students in total each. Even with half of that amount at a time, it will be very difficult to maintain proper social distancing measures at all times. It is fair to say that with COVID-19 rising, it is simply illogical to increase class sizes at the moment.

It says on the Pembina Trails website that "As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, Pembina Trails is ready to adapt and be flexible." If you are truly willing to adapt to the pandemic, then you must accept the fact that now is not the time to increase class/group sizes.

As a student, I urge you to reconsider your decision and not change the current schedule. Think about what you, the teachers, EAs, other staff, and students have to lose.

Our health is not a game in which you can roll the dice and hope for the best.