In the midst of what was a celebration of the first day of in-class school for students for the first time since mid-March, there was a reminder of why education facilities were shut down in the first place.
Meadow Ridge School postponed its scheduled opening of school on Sept. 1 when a staff member had tested positive for COVID-19.
It shouldn’t come as a major surprise. There have been cases at businesses in Okotoks and surrounding area throughout the past six months.
So schools, especially with thousands of students and staff at both Foothills School Division and Christ the Redeemer Schools, are no different.
However, it’s the fact they are taking care of the Foothills area youth, which causes considerable stress for parents.
School boards have to weigh the difficult decision of having children and young adults at school — a mental health benefit for students in most cases — versus the physical well being of the students.
Safety of the students should be — and is — the top priority of the school boards.
Foothills School Division and Meadow Ridge School administrators acted promptly by working with Alberta Health Services, informing parents and choosing to close the school to students on Sept. 1.
It was a precautionary closure. The division wisely chose to close the school for one day, despite Alberta Health stating the school could remain open.
It was an early test for the school and the division, and so far it has passed.
The reality is, this is early going for all schools in the province — and all of Canada.
There is bound to be more cases in the future.
The one case in Meadow Ridge is a sober reminder of the diligence the Foothills community has to have in following COVID-19 protocols.