As the return to school approaches, many students and parents are starting to question how learning environments will operate amidst COVID-19. The Quebec government has stated that the procedures will vary depending on the education grade level.

Preschool, elementary school and Secondary I, II and III

“All students in preschool, elementary school and Secondary I, II and III will attend class full-time, in compliance with the standard ratios. Classes will be organized into subgroups of no more than six students. This will allow students to spend time together and work within these subgroups without distancing constraints.”

Students that are not in the same “bubble groups” must maintain a physical distance of one metre from students and two metres from teachers and staff.

  • 100% of students returning to class
  • Standard number of students per group
  • Closed groups of students who stay in their respective classrooms

Secondary IV and V

“School service centres” will be provided with two options for the return of secondary IV and V students.

Option 1: Students will attend school full-time while organized into “bubble groups”. Schedules will be re-organized for optional courses and special projects based on the principle of closed groups.

  • 100% of students returning to class
  • Standard number of students per group
  • Staff move between rooms to teach the various subjects

Option 2: “The second option is an alternating schedule. Under this option, the current rules of physical distancing are maintained and students attend school at least every second day. Online learning and work to be done at home will round out the educational services offered.”

  • Possibility of modifying schedules and reducing time at school to allow optional courses to continue
  • Students present at school as often as possible, but no less than 50% of the regularly scheduled time, based on locally determined arrangements and local conditions
  •  Compliance with the current physical distancing guidelines
  • Use of online learning resources, homework and pedagogical activities outside the regular classroom
It is possible that both options will be used in the same school.

Adult general education and vocational training

“For adult general education and vocational training, the plan is for students and adult learners to return to class in person, especially for practical activities and examinations. Physical distancing between students and teachers must be maintained at all times, except in programs where it is impossible to do so. In that case, students and teachers must use personal protective equipment.”

  • Prioritizing in-class teaching, circumstances permitted
  • Theoretical content taught using distance learning if necessary
  • In-class exams
  • In-class learning for students in specific situations (social integration, francization, etc.)


The following support measures will be offered for students in need:
  • Welcoming procedure for vulnerable students and their families to ensure a personal connection
  •  Paying close attention to the negative effects of the pause due to the pandemic, including accumulated delays, anxiety and loneliness
  • Updated IEPs for students identified as having handicaps, social maladjustments or learning disabilities
  • Continuous support and follow-up

Emergency Situations

The government has established that school service centres must be equipped with an “emergency protocol” before the return to school in the fall. This protocol must allow the possibility for schools to switch rapidly to distance learning should the situation call for it.

Source: Gouvernement du Québec


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