The Ontario government announced the release of a safety plan for the 2020-21 school year.
According to the government press release, school boards will be asked to plan for the following three scenarios:
1. “Normal school day routine with enhanced public health protocols – Students going to school every day, in classes that reflect standard class size regulations.
2. Modified school day routine – Based on public health advice, an adapted delivery model has been designed to allow for physical distancing and cohorts of students. Under this model, school boards are asked to maintain a limit of 15 students in a typical classroom at one time and adopt timetabling that would allow for students to remain in contact only with their classmates and a single teacher for as much of the school day as possible. This model would require alternate day or alternate week delivery to a segment of the class at one time.
3. At home learning – Should the school closure be extended, or some parents choose not to send their child back to school, school boards need to be prepared to offer remote education. Remote education should be delivered online to the greatest extent possible, including the establishment of minimum expectations for students to have direct contact with their teacher at the same time on a regular basis, also known as synchronous learning. Synchronous learning can be used as part of whole class instruction, in smaller groups of students, and/or in a one-on-one context.”
The government also:
announced $4 million in funding for school cleaning, cleaning protocols and the hiring of additional custodial staff in September 2020; and
announced $736 million of additional funding in public education for the 2020-21 school year.