Minister of Higher Education Danielle McCann announced on Thursday that as of February 8, every student in a Quebec CEGEP or university living in a red zone, "regardless of his or her program of study, will gradually be able to benefit from teaching or group activities."
Here's everything you need to know about the province's plan to reopen post-secondary schools.
McCann said that, ideally, all students will be able to attend classes once a week.
Colleges and universities can offer face-to-face activities along with physically distanced learning. Student services will also be offered in-person and online.
The decision was prompted by concern about the "psychological health and isolation experienced by the student population."
McCann praised the efforts of post-secondary students these past few months, adding that the new "adjustments ... will hopefully allow you to break out of isolation, get a breath of fresh air and have the energy you need to continue or complete your studies."
What are the rules when I'm in school?
In classrooms, the maximum occupancy rate for "academic courses" will be 50%. For labs, assessments, and other "practical teaching activities," there will be no occupancy limit.
Wearing a face mask will be mandatory "at all times, with some exceptions, for all students" in all institutions in both the red and orange zones.
These exceptions include "when eating or during certain teaching activities, which involve singing, the use of certain musical instruments, drama or physical activity," according to the government.
The ministry will be supplying free masks to CEGEPS and universities.
"A distance of 1.5 metres between seated students in class and 2 metres in all other situations" will be enforced on campus, as well.
Be aware that "each institution will have to put in place traffic control measures in its buildings in order to avoid the creation of bottlenecks," so keep an eye on where you're walking.
Will I be able to study with my friends?
Groups of up to six socially-distanced students will be allowed to "come together on campus to carry out pedagogical activities complementary to teaching activities, such as group work or study groups," the government says.
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By evaluating six metrics — "transparency in government," "transparency in society," "transparency in economy," "civic honesty," "perception of theft" and "car dealer reviews" — the company put our fine city in 54th place out of 350 cities included in the study.
The government plans to deploy a vaccine passport system only "once the possibility of having access to two doses of a vaccine has been offered to the entire Quebec population aged 12 and over," according to a Thursday press release.
The target date for that benchmark is September 1.
Moreover, it would only be used if there's a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in the province — or, as the Ministry of Health puts it, "only if there is a deterioration or change in the epidemiological situation in a given territory that would justify its use."
The idea is that the vaccine passport would give Quebec an option other than simply locking down non-essential sectors again.
What activities could require a vaccine passport in Quebec?
In its press release, the Ministry of Health listed a number of non-essential services for which a vaccine passport could be required.
These include activities it identified as "high risk" ("gyms, team sports, bars, restaurants, etc."), as well as "moderate or low-risk activities involving a larger number of people," like festivals and sports games.
The vaccine passport would not be required for essential services.
In a statement, Dubé called the current state of infections in the province "encouraging," but said officials are "closely monitoring the emergence and spread of variants."
The passport, he added, would enable fully vaccinated Quebecers to maintain some level of normalcy.
"In the event of a further increase in cases, with the deployment of a vaccine passport, adequately protected individuals will be able to continue with their daily activities, and the economy and public sectors will be able to remain open," Dubé said.
The ministry encouraged Quebecers aged 12 and over to get their second vaccine doses this summer.
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on the vaccines and can answer any questions you may have. Click here for more information.
The 100,000 square-foot residence is designed specifically for 300 students, built with custom storage and a workstation in each room, along with two shared study rooms, colour schemes tailored to students' preferences and custom furniture by Werkliv.
Le Mildoré will be the tallest residential building in Montreal to be built of steel instead of concrete, and will only have bicycle parking. The temperature in each apartment will be controlled by a heating and cooling system that uses the building's water supply.
Rent will start at approximately $885 monthly per student, minus expenses.
Gender and sexuality identified as areas of difficulty
The school board passed a resolution at the end of March, banning the use of the n-word in its schools.
Testimony solicited from the public included accounts from both students and parents that shared their challenges and difficulties in LBPSB schools.
Through the accounts, the task force identified four major "recurring themes":
Gender stereotypes that dictate what is "appropriate" for boys and girls
Gender stereotypes that produce a "narrow understanding" of masculinity
Gender-based double standards
Bullying linked to gender and sexuality
The report found that schools' dress codes singled out girls by forbidding them from wearing spaghetti-strap tank tops, short shorts and crop tops, explicitly banning "clothing that is unnecessarily sexualised" and "skimpy or revealing clothing."
Parents offer accounts of sexism, racism, transphobia and homophobia
One parent said they raised their seven-year-old daughter without gendering her toys, but after attending first grade at an LBPSB school, she began to tell her parents that some toys were only for boys.
Another parent said, "My son loves the colors pink and purple, but he constantly tells me he doesn’t want to wear t-shirts in those colors to school because people have told him (other students) that those are girl colors."
Mothers of Black sons that attended LBPSB schools — which have a predominantly white student body, according to the report — said they felt their sons were being subjected to racism by teaching staff.
"One boy told his mother that his teacher just doesn’t like him because he’s Black [...] On one occasion in particular, the young man was suspended because the teacher said that she felt 'threatened' by him, however, the young man said that he didn’t do anything but ask why she was sending him down to the office," the report read.
The full report, including the Task Force's recommendations, is available here.