Grades 6 and 9 students in the Calgary Catholic School District will not be required to take part in provincial achievement tests this year after the province allowed school authorities the discretion to cancel them because of the pandemic.
Chief Superintendent Bryan Szumlas said there is a lot of anxiety among students and guardians because of COVID-19.
"We know that approximately just over 20 students have tested positive with COVID-19 in our schools and so we have many students that are often in self-isolation and are dealing with that," he said. "There's many reasons why I think it's a good decision just to put a hold on these things."
The Calgary Board of Education said it's reviewing options regarding the tests in Grades 6 and 9 and will communicate its decision next week.
Szumlas said the Catholic board surveyed guardians last week about high school diploma exams.
"We did receive feedback from them that they would be supportive of the diploma examination program being an optional program or suspended for at least a year as our students continue to work in a world of COVID-19," he said.
But Szumlas said the final decision about diplomas rests with the province.
"We do have a school board meeting and so that information will be shared with our board of trustees today and then they'll decide the next steps in their advocacy with the provincial government," he said.
Edmonton Public Schools will ask the province to suspend diploma exams for high school students in the 2020-21 academic year, after its board agreed unanimously at a meeting Tuesday.