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Extracurricular on pause again at Living Sky School Division

Pause to extracurricular activities such as sports tournaments is part of an update to the Safe Schools Plan effective Jan. 19
Living Sky board Jan. 19
Director of Education Brenda Vickers (below left) addresses the Living Sky School Division board meeting Wednesday afternoon.

NORTH BATTLEFORD - Rising cases of COVID-19 in the northwest have forced Living Sky School Division to make some tough decisions on extracurricular activities.

At Living Sky’s board meeting Wednesday evening, Director of Education Brenda Vickers reported that extracurricular activities would be going on pause throughout the division, impacting competitions between the schools. Activities will be limited to within schools.

“We’re going to take a little bit of a pause from tournaments and travel, and focus on practices and staying within the school for a little bit,” said Vickers.

Vickers reported they had met with principals Tuesday and added the new provisions to their Safe Schools Plan. The update came into effect earlier that day.

According to the update. effective Jan. 19 extracurricular sports will involve just practices and games within the school. Tournaments and travel are on pause. Masks will be required during practices/games. Schools may cancel practices/games as they see fit. The division will revisit this decision Jan. 31.

Extracurricular activities were curtailed for an extended period of several months during the 2020-21 school year due to COVID-19, when tournaments were cancelled and extracurricular sports limited to practises and games within the school. The indication this time is that this latest pause will only be for a brief period.

The decision comes in the wake of rising case numbers due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant in the province According to Living Sky’s latest update,. between Jan. 17 to 19, there were 108 reported cases impacting 19 schools.

Schools and locations impacted with cases are Bready (four cases), Battleford Central (seven), Connaught (one), Cut Knife (one), Hafford (two), Kerrobert (four), Lawrence (three), Living Sky central office (two), Luseland (six), Macklin (11), Maymont (seven), McKitrick (four), McLurg (10), Medstead (four), Norman Carter (four), North Battleford Comprehensive High School (26), Spiritwood (three), Unity Composite High School (five) and Unity Public School (four).