Ontario has decided that elementary students can return to school five days a week and high schoolers can attend class either full or part-time, depending on where they live. But parents still face a difficult choice.
Should they send their kids back to school in September?
It’s not mandatory. Parents can opt to have their children learn online at home. But they will have to decide soon so administrators can organize schools that are being transformed because of the pandemic.
The province’s back-to-school plan includes a “bundle” of measures the government says will help keep two million Ontario children safe from COVID-19.
All staff and students in Grade 4 to 12 will wear masks. Desks will be spread apart — as much as possible — and students grouped into “cohort” bubbles. Frequently touched surfaces will be disinfected at least twice a day, hand washing will become an obsession and public health nurses will help both with screening to keep the virus out of schools and rapid testing, and tracing of contacts, if someone contracts COVID-19.