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Sunday, August 1, 2021
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Alberta schools open September 1, Minister LaGrange issues statement

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It doesn’t appear Alberta will be moving the start date for school as some other provinces have done.

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange issued a statement Friday (Aug. 21) in response for calls for the UCP government to push back the first day of school for at least a week in order to give teachers and parents more time to prepare for what will be a very different looking school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister LaGrange’s Statement:

“Earlier this week I met with executives from the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) to discuss school re-entry. One of their requests was that I engage with education partners to get their views on the ATA’s request to delay school re-entry.

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“While our re-entry plan, as written, already provides school boards with the ability to delay or stagger school start dates should they decide that is in their local best interest, I agreed to further engage with education partners and get their views on this ATA request. This was done by having follow-up discussions with the Alberta School Boards Association and the College of Alberta School Superintendents.

“These partners remain confident, as do I, that the school re-entry plan already provides local school authorities with the autonomy and flexibility to ensure local needs are met and to prepare schools for a safe re-entry.

“I have also had the chance to review all the planned re-entry dates for schools across the province, and I see that time is clearly available to allow teachers to prepare for re-entry before their students arrive.

“These plans and timelines were created by school boards who continue to follow the expert medical advice of Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.

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“I would like to reinforce that I continue to support school boards using this flexibility to adjust their plans if necessary in the coming days as they make preparations for a safe return to school.

“I encourage local education partners to continue to collaborate and work together on the decisions related to school calendars.”

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of New Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

On a personal note, Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and funeral assistant since 2016.

Pat is engaged to Tarah and he has two kids and two step-children.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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