The St. Timothy Jr./Sr. High School is among those slated to shift to at-home learning starting Apr. 19 for a two-week period.

Today, both the public and Catholic schools in Calgary announced the decision. Cochrane's Catholic schools are part of the Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD).

The school jurisdictions say they are facing a chronic substitute teacher shortage, have a significant number of students and staff in quarantine or isolation, substantial COVID-19 cases, and recent requests from the board for short-term shifts for a number of their schools.

"While we recognize that face-to-face learning is always preferred, the safety of our staff and students must always be a priority, and moving temporarily to an online format for our Grades 7-12 students will support their health," states CCSD board chair Mary Martin in a written statement. "Recognizing that, along with the expansion of the rapid testing program, the ability to move to an online format are good strategies to support our schools.”

School boards can continue to request an entire school to move temporarily to at-home learning due to operational reasons. Decisions to move a portion of a school, such as one grade, continue to be at the discretion of school boards.

To date, Alberta Health has not required any school closures for health reasons.