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All schools to reopen in September

All schools to reopen in September
/ Jim Craigmyle / Stone / Getty Images

Quebec plans to reopen all preschool, elementary and secondary schools for undergraduate students in September, confirms Minister of Education Jean-François Roberge.

Quebec Minister of Education Jean-François Roberge presented "the Legault government's plan" to ensure the safe return of students to all schools in the province next September. His ministry is focusing on organizing classes into subgroups of six students or less to limit the risk of an outbreak in COVID-19.

The government had already promised back to school in September, but many managers of the school system still have a lot of questions. The educational content for the next school year, the reception of students, the distribution of groups and the preparation of lessons were notably identified as important issues.

Quebec today presents its answer regarding the management of groups of students . Quebec had put on the table two scenarios: a full-time return and a part-time return.

Returning to class full-time, however, was identified as Minister Roberge's Plan A. We know the government is satisfied with the situation in schools outside of Greater Montreal where classes had resumed. Public Health officials announced yesterday easing of social distancing directives, including in classrooms.

The Ministry of Education is preparing also for a Plan B in the event of a second wave of COVID-19 to avoid interrupting schooling this time.

Students and teachers will return to "near normal" in schools next fall

Here are the details in the schools for this coming September:

  • All students, from preschool to secondary five, will return to class according to normal ratios by class and by teacher, confirmed Minister Roberge. The timetables and the management of trips between classes will however be adjusted.
  • It is now the teachers who will move from class to class between lessons, so each group of students will have their own room.

  • For kids from secondary 1-3, the timetables for courses and special projects will be rearranged to ensure compliance with the principle of closed group-classes.

  • The school service centers, and school boards, will have two options with regard to Secondary 4 and 5 classes. They can either manage these groups in the same way as other secondary groups, or host them alternately, every other day, while respecting the physical distance measures in force in the rest of society.

In the case of a second wave (Plan B), the students would continue part of their distance training through online learning and work at make at home.

Finally, for general adult education and vocational training, return to class is also planned in order to allow practical learning and exams. Distancing measures should be respected when possible. If these measures cannot be applied in a program or in a course, students and teachers will need to wear personal protective equipment.

The government still wants to limit the risk of outbreaks in schools. To do this, it orders school service centers to have contingency plans to resume distance education quickly if the health situation becomes complicated.

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