Back to school in Tyndall Park
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 08/09/2020 (881 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
With the school year starting up, a lot of parents, teachers and students have been feeling a wide range of emotions, specifically in relation to COVID-19.
I want to use this opportunity to share some information I gathered from a meeting I had a couple of weeks ago with the minister and deputy minister of education.
During this meeting I asked a total of 36 questions that were submitted to me from constituents. The Q-and-A is posted on my social media, but for the sake of this column, I am going to condense the answers.
Children with underlying conditions or allergies: If a child has an underlying health condition and a note from their physician advising they not return to school, schools are able to use discretion for distance learning if the school has the resources. Parents and teachers can work to ensure children can do their schooling from home. If a student has allergy symptoms, it will be at the teacher’s discretion to send that child home.
Online/alternative learning: At this point in time, public school, private school and home schooling are the only options for students. Online classes may become an option for high school students if cases continue to rise.
Preventative measures: Schools are working hard to ensure cohorts are kept together and physical distancing is being practised. Masks are required for students grades 4 to 12 and all students riding the bus. All teachers are also required to wear a mask. Younger students are being encouraged to wear masks and schools will provide masks to all students and staff who need them throughout the school year.
In addition to masks and physical distancing, handwashing and sanitizing stations are going to be set up at all entrances and exits of the school and parents are being reminded to regularly monitor any symptoms their children may be showing and keep them home if they are feeling ill or exhibiting symptoms.
No changes will be made to ventilation systems. Teachers are encouraged to only use air conditioners when absolutely necessary, keep fans pointed away from people, and open windows when in a safe position to do so.
Objects that are frequently touched will be sanitized frequently and play structures will be sanitized at the end of every day.
Children in need of additional help: Children who may need additional resources or may not fully comprehend the idea of physical distancing and hand washing are to return to school as usual. If this becomes too difficult, schools have the option of having one or two central classes for those specifically in need of additional supports.
Children with additional supports will also be prioritized for seats on the school bus. Parents are encouraged to talk to teachers and EAs assigned to students prior to the first day of school to sort out any further logistics.
I will continue to push for more alternative learning options, smaller classrooms and more precautions for the safety and comfort of the children and all parents and teachers. If you are a parent, trust your own decisions. So long as they are registered, parents will not be in trouble for keeping their children home for the first couple of weeks of school if they are uncomfortable having them attend. Schools will likely be the ones to reach out to parents.
For further details on the subjects I have mentioned do not hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at 204-615-9961.
Tyndall Park constituency report
Cindy Lamoureux is the Liberal MLA for Tyndall Park.