EDMONTON, AB – It’s official. All kids, from preschool to grade 12, will return to schools on Tuesday, May 25 following a two week stint at home.

The only exception is students in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo – an area where transmission rates are still quite high.

They’ll be online learning until the end of the month.

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange made the announcement Wednesday afternoon with Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw.

ā€œIā€™m pleased our two-week plan has been successful in nearly all areas of the province. Everyone has worked hard to stop the spike and I am confident all students will finish the remainder of the school year in the classroom. I want to thank all students, parents, teachers and staff for their efforts and flexibility as we work to keep students learning.ā€ – Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education

Hinshaw says schools have never been a “driver” of transmission but a reflection of what’s happening in the broader community.

She says we are seeing some indications the tougher public health measures may be having an effect and schools should have the all-clear to go back to in-person learning.

The province says the expansion of rapid screening testing at schools is also moving ahead as planned in Edmonton, Calgary, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie and Lethbridge, and in other communities where needed, starting next week.