Students and teachers have started to prepare to face a very different school year come September as Canada deals with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Depending on where you live, the return to the classroom and the precautions in place will vary. Look at the information below to know how the back-to-school season will differ by province.
The B.C. government announced n July 29 that many students would go back to school for full-time in-person classes on Sept.
8. Students will be separated into “learning groups” of 60 students for elementary-aged children and groups of 120 for high school students as part of the upcoming school year. Preferably, the size of the groups of students can interact with are not the class sizes. This can decrease the risk of transmission among learners. About $45.6 million will be spent to assist schools in preparing for the upcoming school year.
Full-time learning will be mandatory in New Brunswick but will look different depending on a student’s grade level. Those who will attend school full-time in groups of up to 15 are the students from kindergarten to Grade 8. They will attend classes, socialize, and enter the school together. With reduced class sizes, high school students will be required to attend class a minimum of every other day. Financial support is being provided to students to purchase their own laptops to bring to class.
With increased health and safety protocols in Nova Scotia, all students will return to school in September. Classes will be treated as a bubble, and classrooms will also be reorganized to increase spacing to minimize contact with other students.
No school assembly or any other large gathering will be permitted. Also, students will eat lunch at their desks as cafeterias, and school food programs will deliver food to students.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Since staff will receive training on how to maintain health and safety protocols within classrooms to mitigate infections, full-time classes will also resume in P.E.I. In reducing the number of passengers on school buses, parents are being encouraged to drive their kids to and from school. Lunch breaks and recess and Drop-off and pickup times will also be staggered to avoid crowding.
With several new health measures in place, including staggering start times for classes, grouping students in cohorts to limit contact, recesses, and lunches, and daily COVID-19 screening questionnaires, students in Alberta will head back to the classroom with full-time schedules in September. Class sizes, however, will not be limited. Should an outbreak of COVID-19 occur, affected schools could move to partial in-class learning or at-home learning. According to Adriana LaGrange, Education Minister, if parents don’t feel it’s safe, they will not be forced to send their kids to school.
Ontario school boards have also been asked to prepare three separate plans for the resumption of classes, while the provincial government is “finalizing the health protocols” for the resumption of school in September. The models include a hybrid model with children attending classes in-person on alternating days or weeks, online learning only, and the full-time resumption of in-person instruction. Premier Doug Ford has also proposed parents be open to more unorthodox ideas to keep kids safe, such as holding class outdoors, and he wants students to return to school full-time in September as long as it is safe to do so.
Quebec plans to divide classes up to Grade 9 into “bubble groups” of up to six students who will not have to physically distant from each other, with full-time classes set to resume in September. Students will stay in the same classrooms while teachers will move between classrooms based on the subject being taught. Students in Grades 10 and 11 can choose to either attend school full-time or use an alternating schedule. If somebody in the family of one of the students is sick, it’s not yet clear whether the entire “bubbles” of students would be sent home if one becomes sick.
Saskatchewan declared in June that learning in-classroom would continue in the fall, but the bulk of the planning will fall to school divisions and school boards. Before the end of July, the ministry is expected to give the divisions with feedback on their submitted plans. Staff, parents, and students are asked to reduce physical contact. Students and staff are encouraged to have their own hand sanitizer on hand, although the province says general use containers need to be available. Regina Public Schools noted that the distribution of these items would be tied to school enrolment and staff numbers. It said for the upcoming school year, and it’s looking at protective screens, water bottle fillers, and even air purifying systems.
In Manitoba, learners from kindergarten to Grade 12 are set to resume learning on Sept. 8. Still, depending on the COVID-19 situation in fall, the province has three possible return-to-school scenarios in place. Those scenarios include returning to in-class learning under near-normal conditions, remote learning from home with limited use of school facilities, and returning to in-class learning while considering additional public health measures. The final decision will be made by Aug.
1. Based on provincial recommendations that children stay home if they feel sick or have underlying health conditions, educational officials noted that there might be a greater shift to at-home learning.