Covid-19 Information

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Executive Director Randy Schmaltz is participating on an education sector Response Planning team along with representatives from the Saskatchewan School Boards Association, the Saskatchewan League of Educational Administrators, Directors and Superintendents, the Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials and the Ministry of Education.

As the situation is continually evolving, the Federation will do our best to keep members informed and share messaging from the education sector Response Planning team. Our top priority is ensuring the safety and health of members, staff and the public.

Education Sector Response Team Updates

  • As of March 20, 2020, all PreK-12 schools were suspended indefinitely.
  • Following this date, all 27 school boards have paused educational operations for one week.
  • Long- term planning is currently underway.
  • All school staff are to stay home until end of day March 27, and return to school on Monday, March 30.
  • During this time staff will be paid in full and there will be no loss of benefits.
  • The Ministry of Education will continue to provide all funds to school divisions to ensure they can make decisions and honour all contracts.
  • Students in G rades K to 9 will be advanced into the next grade in the following year.
  • For high school, all actively enrolled students will receive a final mark record of 50 percent or greater.
  • Following the one-week pause, d istance l earning will continue as normal for all students currently enrolled in distance learning programs.
  • Teachers are asked to follow the direction provided by the province related to final mark assessments.
  • As per the 2019-20 Registrar’s Handbook for School Administrators,
    • Final mark records for the 2019-20 school year are to be submitted to the Student Data System within 30 days of the course end date.
  • Credit will not be granted for courses for which students have not yet been enrolled.

Federation Updates

  • For the safety of everyone, as of March 19, 2020, the Federation is prohibiting member and public access to any STF buildings.
  • All visits or consults are being done remotely – by phone, video or appointment only.
  • The following meetings and events are postponed until at least May 15:
    • Local association meetings.
    • Local association conventions and teacher education programs.
    • Meetings with Ministry officials or sector partners.
  • All events and meetings (including those from STF Professional Learning) scheduled prior to May 15 are postponed.
    • Decisions regarding upcoming Federation meetings and events will be communicated to relevant participants and registrants within 10 days of the scheduled activity.
  • In the interest of public health and safety, the Annual Meeting of Council has been postponed. It has been rescheduled for the fall of 2020 and will be held from October 21 to 24. This means we will not be hosting the 2020 Councillor Conference previously scheduled to take place at that time.
  • Emma Stewart Resources Centre is now closed to the public and members until May 15. Re-opening will be reassessed at that time.
    • Materials can still be ordered online, by telephone and through the mail. 

General COVID 19 Updates

  • The best source of information, including best practices to prevent infection and guidelines for self-isolation and social distancing, is the Government of Saskatchewan website.

The Federation wants members to take care of themselves, so remember to access benefits as needed through the STF Health Plan, including the Member and Family Assistance Program through ComPsych.

In an effort to provide the most up- to- date and important information, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Please see the Related Documents on this page for full updates from the education sector Response Planning Team and updates from the Federation below.

Updates

Due to the State of Emergency declaration in the Province of Saskatchewan and recent increase in the number of presumptive cases of COVID-19 in the province, the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation has closed all of its buildings to the general public effective March 19, 2020.

The health, safety and well-being of our employees and members are the Federation’s top priorities and we are following the lead of Canadian public health authorities at this important time. We are committed to providing comfortable and safe work environments.

A number of other measures will take place immediately as well. These measures will be posted here in the coming days so please visit this page as frequently as possible.

In the meantime please visit the Government of Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 information page to find out how you can help flatten the curve.

As you are aware, the current suspension of classes is in response to the unprecedented challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation supports the action of the Government of Saskatchewan to suspend classes as a means of slowing the rate of infection and protecting students and families across the province.

The communication from the Government of Saskatchewan announcing the suspension of classes created significant uncertainty and prompted many questions from STF members. STF Executive Director Randy Schmaltz is participating on an education sector Response Planning team, along with representatives from the SSBA, LEADS, SASBO and the Ministry of Education. 

This afternoon, an email was provided to all board chairs on behalf of the Response Planning team. It confirms:

  • Starting Friday, March 20 all 27 school boards should pause educational operations for a one-week period to allow longer-term planning to take place.
  • Divisions will direct all school staff to stay home from Friday, March 20 until end of day March, 27, 2020. For most of you, this would mean returning to school on Monday, March 30.
  • This time will be paid in full and there will be no loss of benefits.
  • The Ministry of Education will continue to provide all funds to school divisions to ensure they can make decisions and honour all contracts.

The email sent to all board chairs reads as follows:

On behalf of the education sector Response Planning team and in conjunction with advice from the Chief Medical Officer of Saskatchewan, starting Friday, March 20, all 27 Saskatchewan school boards should pause educational operations for a one-week period. This one week away will allow the Response Planning team and individual school divisions to put in longer term plans to supports students, staff and families moving forward to ensure that no student’s education is negatively impacted by the closing of schools indefinitely. 

To achieve this, divisions will need to direct all school staff to stay home until end of day Friday, March 27.  This includes teachers, support and professional staff. It is important to ensure that staff understands that this time served at home will be paid in full and there will be no loss of benefits. Layoff notices will not occur during this time.

Each school division will be enacting their business continuity plans to ensure that core functions such as payroll and building security continue to function while ensuring all staff safety. This plan should include having availability for parents, families and staff to call or email your school divisions if they have questions during this time. 

The Ministry of Education will continue to provide all funds to school divisions. This will allow divisions to make decisions going forward to meet the local needs as well as honour all contracts. 

We thank you for your continued work and support in ensuring the needs of students, staff and families are met. 

The uncertainty during these challenging times can place enormous stress on members and families. The Federation wants members to take care of themselves, so remember to access benefits as needed that the Members’ Health Plan provides, including a Member and Family Assistance Plan (MFAP) through ComPsych. Refer to the following link for more information.

Government of Saskatchewan has announced that all pre K-12 Schools will be suspended indefinitely, effective March 20. Read the news release here.

As of Sunday, March 15, 2020, Saskatchewan now has six presumed cases of COVID-19. The Government of Saskatchewan states there is no reason to close schools at this time, as all cases are travel-related and there is no evidence of rapidly increasing transmission within the community.

We know our members continue to have many questions and concerns about COVID-19. The situation is changing rapidly and we are working to provide you the most up-to-date information and informed guidelines on how to handle suspected illness and self-isolation.

The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation is scheduled to join a conference call with education sector leaders later today. We will be seeking clarity on a number of issues to ensure the safety and protection of students and teachers, and will provide members with an update.

The best source of information on COVID-19, including best practices to prevent infection and guidelines for self-isolation and social distancing, is the Government of Saskatchewan website. We encourage you to refer to this site often, as information is changing quickly.

The emergence of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan is causing concern and raising many questions among our members. The situation is fluid, and we understand that at times it may seem unclear what actions you should take.

The best source of information on COVID-19, including best practices to prevent infection and guidelines for self-isolation and social distancing, is the Government of Saskatchewan website. We encourage you to refer to this site often, as information is changing quickly.

On March 13, 2020 the Government of Saskatchewan implemented additional measures to limit the spread of Covid-19. In light of this, you can anticipate more information from your divisions. We will continue to work closely with Ministry of Education officials and provide updates as the situation evolves.

Public Health Canada also has a number of awareness resources available that you may find useful.