Montreal-area schoolboards scrambling to get ready for re-opening May 19

SCHOOL CLASSROOM

Montreal-area schools are expected to be up and running in two weeks - while boards say they are preparing, there could be a showdown with the Quebec government if some don't feel it's safe to re-open.

Trustee for the EMSB Marlene Jennings tells the EliasMakosShow if conditions to reopen schools safely aren't met,

"I will have absolutely no problem and the minister knows this - if the conditions that they themselves have established and the conditions that public health have established cannot be met in our schools, that our schools cannot reopen," said Jennings.

Jennings said some schools won't be able to reopen because it would be complicated to put in safety measures for those serving severely disabled students.

Jennings said they're trying to get ready at their other schools but also field concerns from the community at the same time.

"And if we're unable to find solutions for particular areas or particular schools, we're making sure the government is very aware of that and discussing with the government how to deal with it," said Jennings.

The Lester B. Pearson board said in a statement that cleaning is underway and some schools may have a gradual reopening spread over a few days, possibly by grade level, for example. They'll be polling parents at the end of the week on whether their children will return to school. The EMSB is also waiting on results of a survey.

The Riverside School Board told CJAD 800 that so far, "Harold Sheppard school in Sorel is opening on May 11 and the opening date for St. John's School in St-Jean will be confirmed next week."

They are still aiming to reopen their other schools May 19. The board said hygiene supplies are "being distributed, replenished, or purchased." About 35% of their students will be back in class with the numbers varying per school. 

For now, neither the Lester B. Pearson board nor the Riverside board can say what they will do if public health conditions are not met at a school.
 

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