By The Canadian Press
Tue Sep 08 2020, 08:30:08
Ontario students will be back in class September, but their schedules and class sizes may vary depending on where they live.
Back to class: Elementary students and many high schoolers will be in school five days a week in standard class sizes. However, secondary students at two dozen boards that are higher risk will only attend class half the time, and will spend the rest of the week working on “curriculum-linked independent work.” Parents will also have the option to keep their kids out of class, and boards must provide options for remote learning.
Groups: For high schoolers in high-risk districts, class sizes will be capped at 15. Meanwhile, elementary students won’t be broken up into smaller groups, but will be grouped into cohorts and their exposure to different teachers will be limited.
Physical distancing: While Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the aim is to keep students one metre apart from each other, a guidance document says only that schools should promote “as much distancing as possible” rather than being strictly enforced.
Masks: Masks will be mandatory for students in Grades 4 through 12, and will be strongly encouraged for younger kids when they’re in indoor common areas. Staff will be expected to wear masks.
Transportation: Some school boards may have more than one student assigned to a seat. When physical distancing isn’t possible, masks will be mandatory for students in Grades 4 to 12, and younger students will be encouraged but not required to do the same.
New routines: Students in some districts will have to pre-register for in-person schooling. Some schools may limit or even ban visitors, including parents. Breaks will be scheduled to allow students to wash their hands.