School Business Affairs June 2020

30 JUNE 2020 | SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS Moving School Business Forward During COVID-19 Executive directors of Canadian ASBO affiliates share their province’s experiences and strategies. ASBO SPECIAL A s we look to the coming school year, the question of when schools will reopen continues to be a primary focus. Executive directors of Canada’s ASBO affiliates met via Zoom in late April—and will con- tinue to meet regularly throughout the summer—to discuss how each province is addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Executive reports from Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan offer insight into how each province is responding to the pandemic and moving forward. Here is a snap- shot of their efforts and projections as of May 1. Continuity of Education To guide education sector opera- tions in Saskatchewan , a response and planning committee was estab- lished consisting of a corporate services team to address school business issues and an instructional services team to oversee instruc- tion. The group is fielding questions through a designated email address and developing guiding principles for moving forward. The decision to reopen schools will be made by Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer. In British Columbia , classroom- based instruction will be phased in for children of “tier one” essential service workers—those who work in healthcare and emergency ser- vices. Most school districts have this service in place already, which is generally provided in one building within a zone or family of schools and aligned with childcare services. Some districts are starting to include children of tier two workers— those who work in essential retail positions. New Brunswick students who were on track to graduate will receive their diplomas; graduation ceremonies are pending direction from public health authorities. The government is partnering with local universities to encourage graduat- ing seniors to enroll in interces- sion programs. Association Support ASBO of Alberta holds virtual “What’s Up Wednesday” meetings in which members can ask questions of a weekly special guest with knowl- edge in a specific area. The associa- tion also intends to turn information sessions and “lightning talks” into a webinar series, covering such topics as insurance, education sector labor relations, digitization of student records, and privacy training. Saskatchewan’s school boards association has been issuing updates that address legal questions asked by school business officials. In British Columbia, the school trustees associ- ation’s in-house counsel is available to respond to questions from school districts. Stay current by bookmarking ASBO International’s COVID-19 webpage: . KPG IVARY/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM