Following a viral petition and numerous concerns from parents, teachers and students about the Quebec back-school-plan put in place in June, many have called on the Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge and the Legault government to provide a revised version on these plans.
Today August 10th, the Quebec Government, along with the Education Minister, Health Minister Christian Dube and Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec’s director of public health, have taken part in the news conference denouncing the official back-to-school plan.
Here is what you need to know:
Students will be going back to school in 3 weeks as planned (not after Labour day like some have suggested).
MASKS: Masks will be mandatory for students starting in Grade 5 until end of high-school, CEGEP students, Universities and Vocational trainings. These students must wear masks in all common areas; hallways, school transportation, etc.
However, wearing masks inside the classroom or cafeteria while sitting down is not mandatory, but there will be personal protective equipment (PPE) put in place.
Parents must wear masks if they are visiting inside the school (such as going to a theatre show), but are able to take them off once seated, similar to other public spaces.
Parents will need to supply masks for their children, but teachers will have masks available for them.
BUBBLES: No longer requires to separate into small 6 person sub-group bubbles, instead they will be confined to their classroom bubble, so about the same 20-25 people. Teachers will move around from class to class, and not students. The idea is to keep the classroom as a unit.
RECESS: Masks are not recommended for children to be worn outside. They will however need to play within their class bubble. If they see students other than their class bubble at recess they need to keep a one metre distance. Schedules will be separated; not all children will have recess at the same time.
ONLINE: If they have a doctors note, they can learn from home. If they have a relative or family member vulnerable to COVID-19 or other sickness related concerns, they have the right to have distanced online learning provided by the school.
Sec 4-5 (Grades 10-11) : Continues to allow alternate days, remains what was established in the back-to-school plan from June. “Students attend school at least every second day. Online learning and work to be done at home will round out the educational services offered.”
Uniformity of Communication: To keep the same line of communication together in the province, the government is providing the public with a phone number line to call when parents/teachers/students are feeling worried.
The government notes they want to keep transparency in the education system and assures parents will be advised straight away if there were to be a COVID case inside the school or classroom. If that is the case, they will implement online learning for that school.