UCDSB back-to-school COVID-19 plan released

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

BROCKVILLE – The Upper Canada District School Board has released its plan for operating classrooms with pandemic measures in place.

The 17-page operating guide was released by the board Friday afternoon and follows many of the high-level provincial guidelines, such as mandatory masking for Grades 4 and up.

For classrooms, kindergarten to Grade 8 will be grouped in classes and teachers will move from room to room for instruction. Any blending of French Immersion and Core programming will not take place in order to limit the number of contacts.

As previously reported, secondary students will be on the quadmester system with full-day instruction but the schedule will be staggered to allow for cohorting and limiting contacts.

Students will be able to bring a backpack, water bottle, sunscreen, their lunch (lunch will be eaten in the classroom, there will be no elementary school hot lunches) and a change of clothes for kindergartners. The items will be stored at the student’s desk as lockers will not be used. Hooks and cubbies will also not be used, but this will be reviewed once winter arrives.

Outdoor recess will be staggered with “designated spaces on the yard for cohorts to play.” In other words, students will only be allowed to play with their own classroom group. Handwashing and sanitizing will happen before and after recess.

Water fountains are shut off and water bottle filling stations will be available instead. Students should come to school with a full water bottle with their name on it.

In general, visitors and volunteers, including parents of students, will not be allowed in schools. Any parent-teacher meetings will be done virtually.

As for students who want to transition from at-home learning back into the classroom during the school year, for elementary students it will be allowed at “predetermined intervals” while high school students will be allowed to at the beginning of each quadmester.

Upper Canada District School Board schools reopen Friday, Sept. 4.

A similar plan for the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario has not been released as of today.