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How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the ATA and its operations?

Alberta teachers cope with COVID 19 pandemic

April 7, 2020


The ATA’s buildings in Edmonton and Calgary are closed to the public, but employees are continuing to work from home to provide ongoing services to members.

Although ATA offices have been closed to the public as of March 23, staff remain working and serving members. Here is a rundown of how we’re operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Are Barnett House and SARO open?
Both offices are closed to the public. 

What’s happening with all the employees?
Employees are working from their homes, in most cases. Some employees remain at each office location (Barnett House in Edmonton and SARO in Calgary) to provide essential on-site services such as caretaking and mail receipt. 

What services are still available?
All ATA services are still available, except for food services, meeting room bookings and other services that require in-person attendance. 

What’s happening with meetings and conferences?
Except for meetings that are legislated or regulatory (such as Provincial Executive Council and discipline hearings), the ATA has cancelled most of the meetings and conferences that were planned for the near future. So far, we know that these events are cancelled: 

  • Professional Development Area Conference (PDAC)
  • Teacher Welfare Area Conference (TWAC)
  • Diversity, Equity and Human Rights (DEHR) Conference
  • Conference on the Well-being of Children and Youth 
  • Spring meetings of Local Communications and Local Political Engagement Officers
  • Spring specialist council conferences, including uLEAD

What about ARA?
Provincial Executive Council held a virtual meeting on April 2 and decided to postpone the Annual Representative Assembly. Traditionally held over the May long weekend, this event includes debate on ATA policy and the annual budget.

Council would still like to hold ARA prior to the start of the new school year, but a decision on that can’t be made until later. Holding ARA in conjunction with Summer Conference is being considered. ❚

Analyst Glenn Orfino keeps the ATA’s IT help desk running from his home office.

From the library

The ATA library has more than 100 web guides for teachers, which library staff have been sharing daily via social media. Some of the posts have gone viral.

So far, the most popular resource is the K–3 math guide, which has been accessed almost 9,000 times within a nine-day period. For junior high teachers, math is also the most popular topic, and the grades 7–9 guide has been accessed more than 1,500 times. The most popular high school guide is the grades 10–12 science guide, which has been accessed more than 1,000 times. 

Library staff are working very hard to build robust guides for French teachers, having collected more than 400 new links so far. We can’t wait to get the new guides out to teachers!

If a teacher has an idea about a new resource or a new guide topic, they can always reach us at We are also still answering research questions for teachers, so feel free to email us any time.

Find web resources

The ATA library web resources can be accessed via this website.


If I have a question or concern, who do I call (i.e. is the main switchboard operating)?

The main switchboard is still in operation. You can call the Association in Edmonton at 780-447-9400 or toll free at 1-800-232-7208, in Calgary at 403-265-2672 or toll free at 1-800-332-1280. 

Below is a list of the keypad options for connecting to the program area that can help you. Scroll down further for email addresses. 

Press #
if you know the extension you are trying to reach.

Press 1 to reach Teacher Welfare with your question about salary, benefits, leaves, pension or other collective bargaining matters.

Press 2 to reach Member Services with your question about employment contracts, the Code of Conduct, teacher suspensions, terminations or legal issues.

Press 3 to reach the Teacher Qualifications’ Service.

Press 4 to reach Professional Development with your question about teacher professional development, workshops, specialist councils, teacher education or certification.

Press 5
for the Government program area with your question about ATA communications, governance, leadership and research, or calls about teacher exchanges.

Press 6 for calls related to ATA operations, including building, cafeteria, distribution or finance.

Press 7  to reach the ATA library.

Press 9  to reach ATA web support.

Do you have another inquiry? You can leave a voicemail, or email


By email general inquiries about the ATA and its services report technical problems with the website general questions concerning the website staff in the Government Program Area staff in the Professional Development Program Area staff in the Member Services Program Area (Edmonton Office) staff in the Member Services Program Area (Calgary Office) staff in the Teacher Welfare Program Area the ATA Library the Teacher Qualifications Service Educator Exchange Programs for Teachers


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