正在阅读:Ontario plan requires mask use for grades 4 and up, GTA high schoolers to attend class on alternating days
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Ontario plan requires mask use for grades 4 and up, GTA high schoolers to attend class on alternating days

PublishedThursday,July30,20205:41AMEDT

LastUpdatedThursday,July30,20202:48PMEDT

TheFordgovernment'sschoolreopeningplanforSeptemberrequiresallstudentsingrades4to12towearmaskswhenindoors,withhighschoolstudentsinOntario'slargercitiesattendingclassonalternatingdays.

Theplan,whichincludes$309millioninadditionalfundsforschoolboards,saysmaskuseforsmallerchildrenwillnotbemandatorybuttheywillbe"encouragedtowearmasksincommonspaces."

Undertheplan,highschoolstudentsin24schoolboardsincludingallboardsintheGTAwillberequiredtoattendclassonalternatingdays,withclasssizeskeptto15inmostcases.

Theaimistohavestudentsattendclassinpersonatleast50percentofthetimetheynormallywould,andforstudentstobekeptinthesame15-pupilcohortforasmanyoftheirdifferentclassesastimetableswillallow.

Meanwhileinelementaryschools,officialsspeakingonbackgroundonThursdaysaidclasssizeswillnotdeviatefromtheaveragesmandatedbeforethepandemicbegan,whichinGrade4forinstanceis24.5students.

Elementaryclasseswillbecohortedthroughtheday,eatinglunchtogetherandgoingoutforstaggeredrecessintheirclassroomgroups.

Desksandtablesinclassroomswillbekeptapartasmuchaspossible,butministryofficialssaytheycannotguaranteetwo,orevenonemetredistancinginallsettings.

TheguidelinesreleasedThursdayinsomewaysexceed,butinotherwaysfallbehindwhatwascalledforWednesdaybyepidemiologistsandpediatriciansacrossOntario.

Inadocumentpublishedby

SickKidsHospital,doctorsrecommendedmaskuseonlyatthehighschoolandmiddleschoollevel,andencourageddistancingbetweendesksinclassroomsofatleastonemetre.

Thursday'sannouncementcomesaweekbeforetheprovince’s72schoolboardswereexpectedtolayouttheirplansfortheacademicschoolyeartotheprovince.

TheFordgovernmenthadpreviouslyaskedschoolboardstopreparefor

threescenariosinthefall:regularin-classinstructionwithphysicaldistancingmeasuresinplace,online-onlylearningandahybridmodelblendingbothapproacheswithclasssizeslimited.

Lecceinitiallyexpressedapreferenceforthehybridmodel,whichwouldseenomorethan15studentsattendingclassonalternatingdaysorweeks.

ButmorerecentlyheandFordexpressedpreferenceforfull-time,in-classlearning.

Governmentoppositioncritics,schoolboardsandunionshavesaidthatifclassesaretoresumefulltime,theprovincewillhavetosignificantlyincreaseeducationfundingsothatstaffandstudentscanbekeptsafeduringthepandemic.

The$309millionprovidedbytheFordgovernmentisinadditiontotheincreaseof$736millioninboardbudgetsfortheyear,andbreaksdowntoinclude$80millionforadditionalteachersandcustodians,$60millionforpersonalprotectiveequipmentforstaff,$50milliontohireasmanyas500publichealthnursestosupporttheschoolsystemand$24milliontoboosttheprovincialnetworkoflabsscreeningforCOVID-19.

Itisnotclearwhether$80millionwillhirethenumberofstaffneededtoadequatelydeliverclassinstructionasdescribedintheplan.

Theplanalsoincludessomeunspecifiedamountoffundingtopurchasemasksforstudents.

Allstudentsortheirparentswillhavetocompleteachecklistontheirhealthatthestartofeachday,andanyonefeelingunwellwillhavetostayhome.

Anyonewhodevelopssymptomswhileatschoolwillbeseparatedfromallothers.

AllsickpupilsmayneedaCOVID-19test.

Iftheytestnegative,theymayreturntoschool24hoursaftersymptomsend.

Iftheytestpositive,theymaynotreturntoschooluntiladvisedtodosobyalocalpublichealthunit.

Anystudentwhowishestocontinuelearningfromhomewillbeallowedtodoso.

Theplanalsocallsfortwicedailycleaningofallschoolbuses,and$40milliontohireadditionaldriversandprovidethemwithpersonalprotectiveequipment.

Therewillbeassignedseatingonallbuses,withstudentsfromthesamehouseholdorstudentsinthesameclasscohortatthesecondarylevelrequiredtosittogether.

THE END
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