Reopening of elementary schools

27 April 2020

Here is some of the information on the reopening of schools we obtained along with some clarifications made during the press conference.

Establishments open for staff on May 4

Staff will have access to establishments as of May 4.  All education personnel will benefit from emergency daycare services as of May 4, including personnel of private schools.

Schools reopening on May 11 or 19

Schools in most regions will reopen on May 11.  We are looking at May 19 for the Montreal region, but the situation will be reassessed.  School attendance remains voluntary.  Secondary school staff will be called upon to work in elementary schools, as secondary schools will not reopen before September 1.  There will be a maximum of 15 students per class, but we do not yet have a ratio for the daycares.

Parents will have to notify the school that their child will be attending one week in advance in order to anticipate needs.

General adult education will continue at a distance.  Half-groups will be organized for vocational training, in order to allow students to carry out practical activities while respecting distancing.

Where premises are inadequate to accommodate students, other primary schools may be used.  Secondary schools may also be used, especially for 5th and 6th grade students.

Protective gear

Masks will be available, but wearing them will not be mandatory.  For personnel who are unable to respect distancing, such as handicapped students attendants, protective gear will be made available.

School transportation

School buses will operate at half the usual capacity with one student per every second bench.  Plexiglass barriers will be installed to protect the bus drivers.

Teaching materials

Schools can lend technological equipment to vulnerable students who do not have access.  Support staff will help with inventories and distribution.  Purchases will be made.  Students with no access to the Internet will be given a computer or tablet which will connect via the LTE cellular network.

Cleaning and disinfection

With regard to cleaning and disinfection, the health sector practices will be adapted to the education sector.  Guides will be available soon.

Health risks

There will be guidelines for the withdrawal of immunosuppressed people and those at risk.  The Ministry is recommending flexibility in the rules, but they should be discussed with the CNESST. People over 60 will not have to present themselves at work but will be able to work from home.  If a person is infected, the public health department will determine the containment rules for one or more people.  Closure of the establishment will not be automatic but will have to be assessed.

Still a lot of questions

We still have a lot of questions that will require clarification.