After nearly six months away from the classroom, Ontario staff and students are heading back and Sudbury's French public school board, Conseil scolaire public du Grand Nord de l'Ontario (CSPGNO), says it is ready.

The CSPGNO is assuring parents and students that everyone will be safe while in the classroom.

"It’s been creating that virtual school for the elementary panel and assigning students for high school. Ensuring we have the staff, the equipment in place, the protective equipment, the masks the PPE (personal protective equipment). Assuring that we have everything in place so we can start school," said Marc Gauthier, CSGNO Director of Education.

Sudbury’s local health unit and directors of education from across the region said in a news release Tuesday: "we want to share our united committee and determination to create COVID-safe schools for all."

Staff and students can expect to see a lot of changes in the classrooms and hallways according to Ecole secondaire Macdonald-Cartier’s Principal Brian Philipow.

"The school has almost completely changed since March, let's say. We’re looking at new ways of functioning, new ways of placing the kids in the classroom, it’s quite different," said Philipow.

Gauthier said 88 per cent of students enrolled in the CSGPNO will return to school, while the other 12 per cent will learn remotely. 

"We have to rethink, regroup, and it has been a lot of work," said Gauthier.

Each classroom has Plexiglas and ventilators installed and there are new safety protocols in place.

"There is no such thing as a 'safe school,' but we are doing our darndest to do everything we can to make it the 'safest school' possible for our students and our families," said Philipow.

Public health officials are recommending each student make COVID-19 symptom checking part of their daily routine.

Check your symptoms here.