Local Catholic Board Releases Return to School Plan

AM800-NEWS-WECDSB-FILE

Trustees with the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board will hear details of the board's "Return to School Plan" Tuesday night.

The 43 page document is broken down into 23 areas.

It looks at screening, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette along with suspected and positive cases, personal protective equipment, scheduling, transportation, remote learners and mental health for both elementary and secondary students.

"This has certainly been a very challenging issue because it strikes to the heart of the whole educational system," says Trustee Fred Alexander.  "Parents want their kids to go back to school but they want them to go back to school in a very safe manner."

Alexander is expecting a thorough discussion by trustees on the plan.

He says he has heard from some parents and they're a little bit apprehensive about the opening of schools.  

"They realize that their children have to go back to school and they're concern of course is as always that the schools be made safe and welcoming to the students," says Alexander.   

Alexander feels it's important to get students back in schools.

"I think that the ministry has laid out a pretty effective plan," says Alexander.  "I think the board will certainly be taking whatever steps need to be taken to ensure that schools are sanitized and cleaned and that the children are safe."      

He says safety for students and staff is his top priority.

"From my perspective I think it's important to get the kids back in school as I said in an environment that is safe as it absolutely can be," says Alexander.

The plan also asks parents to pre-register their child/children if they will be attending school in-person or if they opt for remote learning.

The plan says there will be no extracurricular activities, field trips or large gatherings such as assemblies.     

Last week, the Ford government announced a $309-million back to school plan.

The government said elementary school students from kindergarten through to grade 8 will attend school five days a week and be kept within a single group of students for the full day.

Meanwhile, secondary school students will return to class on alternate days or schedules in groups of approximately 15 students in an effort to limit the number of student-to-student contacts.