B.C. students will be back in school on September 10

Elias Hubbard
August 14, 2020

"By working collaboratively with leaders in our education system, we are making sure students and staff are safe, ready and welcome when they return to school in September", Fleming said.

He said outdoor education will play a large role in the first two months of classes and emphasized the importance of students returning to schools to continue their education.

School board members questioned administrators about safety measures and protocols to protect students and staff members from Covid-19.

The unions - the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens, the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation - represent more than 190,000 teachers and education workers.

The district has outlined a number of procedures should students eventually return to school buildings in the 2020-21 year, including reduced-capacity busing and socially distanced pick-up and drop-off.

"Our number one priority is the health and safety of all students and staff. Our team has worked diligently to provide a plan that allows for the safe return of our students and staff", he said.

While ALCDSB students will still receive 300 minutes of instruction daily and follow the same start and end times, daily schedules, particularly those of secondary students, will have a much different look.

"Remember that this is a complex issue where the ministry is setting policies and direction, the boards are required to implement them, and our lens on this is really sort of how to mitigate the risk of the choices that they make in terms of running schools".

Traditionally, there would be two longer semesters with four classes of around 45 minutes each.

Staff will now meet on September 8, while students will be welcomed in classrooms by September 10.

Online students will have a similar schedule as those returning to in-class, according to the board.

The province noted it won't be necessary for students in a learning group to all be in the same class, "but they will be able to interact and connect with each other as a consistent group during breaks, in common areas like the gym, library, or at the playground". On Tuesday, Sept. 8, Grades 9-12 will all be in the classroom.

Safety precautions include the wearing of masks upon entry to school, restricting locker access, having one-way hall traffic, eating lunch in the classroom, and increased sanitation measures.

The Limestone District School Board has released its plan to return to class in a few short weeks and are asking parents to pre-register their children. Families are being asked to complete an online survey to confirm their child's/children's attendance in September.

More details are available in the board's "Reopening Our Schools" document, released Thursday.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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