School Safety Plan for the 2020-2021 School YearPublished on June 22, 2020
The government has released our plan for the resumption of class for the 2020-21 school year, outlining how students can safely return to classrooms and continue their learning in September. The plan was was created following extensive consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, health experts on the COVID-19 Command Table, medical experts at The Hospital for Sick Children, front-line workers, parents, students, and our education sector partners – including teacher and education worker unions.
While this plan reflects the best medical and scientific advice and recommendations, parents who do not feel comfortable having their children physically return to school will have a choice to pursue online remote learning.
The government is taking every precaution, investing more, and listening to the best medical advice in the country to keep students, staff, and families safe. Parents should be assured that safety is the government's guiding principle and the right supports are being put in place to ensure our students are set up for success.
The Province has also announced net new funding for cleaning, cleaning protocols, and financial support to hire additional custodial staff in September, to ensure schools are safe.
Students, parents, teachers and the community can be assured that the advice of public health authorities will be followed for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak, and that our government is committed to ensuring academic success for students, and that the health and well-being of students, staff, and their families is protected.
The government has asked school boards to prepare for three scenarios:
- Normal school day routine with enhanced public health protocols – Students going to school every day, in classes that reflect standard class size regulations.
- Modified school day routine– Based on public health advice, an adapted delivery model has been designed to allow for physical distancing and cohorting. Under this model, school boards are asked to maintain a limit of 15 students in a typical classroom at one time and adopt timetabling that would allow for students to remain in contact only with their classmates and a single teacher for as much of the school day as possible. This model would require alternate day or alternate week delivery to a segment of the class at one time.
- At home learning – Should the school closure be extended, or some parents choose not to send their child back to school, school boards need to be prepared to offer remote education. Remote education should be delivered online to the greatest extent possible, including the establishment of minimum expectations for students to have direct synchronous contact with their teacher on a regular basis. Synchronous learning can be used as part of whole class instruction, in smaller groups of students, and/or in a one-on-one context.
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