Parents and teachers are bracing for a new-look as the 2020-2021 school year is set to get underway come September.
What will this new school year look like? Both the Algoma District and Huron Superior Catholic District school boards have released their plans for students to either return to the classroom or learn online for the upcoming semester.
Two main points of focus will come with how schools plan to cut down on COVID-19 transmission and how students will be learning.
The cleaning protocols are found on the ADSB website stating that all “points of touch will be cleaned at least two times a day.” The HSCDB is aiming for a minimum two times per day for high volume touch areas to be cleaned and hiring extra custodians.
The ability to switch between face-to-face learning and online learning is available but differs between age and school board. All changes are accompanied by an expected wait period to accommodate for teachers and class sizes. Any changes must come at either a transition period or another specified point in time.
When it comes to masks, the HSCDB said (ADSB will follow these same guidelines set out by the Ministry of Education):
“The Ministry of Education has directed that masks or face coverings are mandatory for students in Grades 4 to 8. In Kindergarten to Grade 3, masks are encouraged.
Within those guidelines, the following persons are exempted from the requirement of wearing a mask or face covering:
- Children under two years of age, or children under the age of five years (either chronologically or developmentally) who refuse to wear a mask or face covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver;
- Persons with medical conditions who cannot safely wear a mask or face covering (e.g., because of breathing difficulties, cognitive difficulties, hearing or communication difficulties);
- Persons who cannot wear or remove a mask or face covering without assistance;
- Employees who are within or behind a physical barrier (e.g., Plexiglas sneeze guard);
- Employees who work in an administrative building (e.g., Central Office), who are able to maintain physical distancing of two metres.”
Students can remove masks when eating, drinking, or during physical activity.
The first day back to class is Tuesday, September 8th.