The Holy Family Roman Catholic Separate School Division has announced that masks will be required for students in Grades 4-9 in its classrooms and elsewhere in the school buildings, buildings, starting Monday.
Holy Family announced the decision Friday afternoon. Gwen Keith, the director of education for the school division, said they would have proceeded with the mask mandate regardless of provincial government decisions.
Keith said they decided to take the step because of growing numbers of COVID-19 diagnosed in Saskatchewan.
The South East Cornerstone Public School Division said Thursday that it would require students in Grades 4-9 to wear masks. Keith said they have been in consultation with South East Cornerstone, and the two divisions want to be as consistent as possible.
“Obviously we’re autonomous boards, but we want to just move through this pandemic as cautiously and carefully with our parents and our staff to create some clear directions, as much as we can, and still maintain our autonomy,” said Keith.
Holy Family does not have a high school, but it does have Grade 9 students at its school in Weyburn, which is why Grade 9 students were included in their mask policy.
The school division has two schools in Estevan: St. Mary’s School and Sacred Heart School/Ecole Sacre Coeur.
Holy Family has yet to have a case in any of its schools, she said, but the division has been practising and preparing for COVID cases since last March.
“We don’t see the pandemic as something’s that going to be gone in the near future,” said Keith.