The Department of Education released its back to school plan early this afternoon.
The department developed the plan, supported by public health, the IWK Health Centre and education partners, with feedback from over 28,000 parents, students, educators, and union members .
A release from the province states regional centres for education will have plans supporting cleaning, social distancing and other items specific to schools in the area, reorganized classrooms to increase spacing, treating classes as bubbles to minimize student contact, more cleaning on school buses with all drivers and riders requiring masks, and regular hand-washing and sanitizing by students and staff before entering for classes and throughout the day. The plan also requires high school staff and students to wear masks in spaces where distance is difficult such as hallways and common areas, and any one feeling ill is asked to stay home. There is to be no sharing of supplies and teachers are encouraged to hold classes outside where possible. In-school assemblies and gatherings will not be permitted and students will eat at their desks.
The plan also includes contingences changes are required as mandated by public health. If required, they are prepared to move to a blended model, where students in pre-primary to grade 8 will remain in schools full time and be redistributed throughout schools. In this case classes and teachers will stay together through the day. In this model, students in Grades 9-12 will receive online learning while those in need of additional support or are without internet will be able to continue to come to school and trades will offer a modified schedule.
If a stay at home order comes, students will learn from home. Those without internet will receive assignments via telephone and USB sticks. Students in need of a computer to technology device will receive one. The government invested $ 4 million to secure 14,000 computers to aid learning for those with limited or no access.
Classes are set to resume on September 8.