Here Are The Hygiene Measures Quebec Schools Must Respect Once Reopened
- During his press conference on April 27, Premier François Legault announced that certain Quebec schools could reopen again as soon as May 11, if the situation permits.
- This includes elementary schools and daycares in the province.
- Read the hygiene measures that these schools will need to follow below.
On Monday, April 27, the provincial government announced the gradual reopening of certain schools in Quebec. If the number of COVID-19 cases in Quebec remains steady during the upcoming days, some elementary and preschool students in the province will be able to return to school in May. But, high school, cégep, and university students won't be returning until September. Certain hygiene measures have been announced to ensure everyone's safety once the schools reopen.
As of May 11, preschool and elementary schools outside the Montreal Metropolitan Area may be reopening their doors. For schools within the metropolitan, the return will take place on May 19. This is, of course, if the situation permits.
"Life must go on," Premier Legault noted when talking about the need to reopen schools for the sake of children's well-being.
The Minister of Education and Higher Education of Quebec, Jean-François Roberge, unveiled more specific details about the measures that will have to be taken in these schools at a press briefing held late this afternoon, Monday.
We have listed the main points to remember.
Roberge made a tweet regarding the subject of Quebec schools reopening.
La réouverture de nos écoles se fera de manière progressive, prudente, et non-obligatoire. Notre plan, avalisé par… https://t.co/WAgD3Vk5uM— Jean-F. Roberge (@Jean-F. Roberge) 1588020124.0
Translation: "The reopening of our schools will be gradual, cautious and non-compulsory. Our plan, endorsed by Public Health, will allow our students, especially the most vulnerable, to complete their learning while minimizing the risks."
The distancing measures recommended by public health authorities will have to be respected.
The total number of students that may be in the same class should be kept to a maximum of 15.
The distance between the students should also be at least two metres.
New standards will also be applied in school buses, including barriers to protect drivers.
The Minister also recalled that the return to classes will be "on a voluntary basis" and that those who consider it more appropriate to continue education at home will be able to do so.
The latter will have access to distance learning assistance.
Roberge invited students with learning difficulties to try to return to school in order for them to receive optimal assistance that will enable them to succeed.
Those who are more vulnerable and those with symptoms of the disease will also have to comply with certain rules.
"For health and safety reasons, any person, student or staff member, who has a health vulnerability should not return to school until further notice," says the news release issued by the Office of the Minister of Education and Higher Education.
In addition, students or staff members "with symptoms of COVID-19 [will be] banned from school for a period of 14 days."
If these situations involve a student, the ministry states that "educational and vocational support will be provided."
"Elementary schools and child care services are being reopened for social reasons and because the situation is under control. We will continue to analyze the situation every day and adjust if necessary," Legault wrote in a tweet.
Educational child care services will also be reopened.
"The educational child care network will be gradually reopened, first on the list of priority jobs, then according to the timetable for reopening sectors of the Quebec economy," the Minister's office says.
Support for those who must pursue their courses at a distance will also be improved.
Digital equipment will be lent to those who need it.
15,000 iPad LTEs have even been reserved with Apple for school boards that want to obtain them.
Suppliers will make equipment with a cellular connection available and Telus will provide it free of charge until June 30 for these devices.
Finally, the Ministry has reached an agreement with TELUQ University, which offers distance learning.
Teachers who wish to have access to it will be able to educate themselves free of charge about technology education and distance learning.
This article was originally published in French on Narcity Québec.