Coronavirus: Quebec presents school reopening scenarios for the fall

COVID-19: Education ministry floating possible back to school scenarios for September
WATCH: Education ministry floating possible back to school scenarios for September

The Quebec government released a working plan of two scenarios to safely bring students back to school in September.

The document released Friday, drafted by the province’s ministry of education, presented two possible versions of events. In the first scenario, classes would resume full-time for 100 per cent of elementary and high school students, and regular class ratios would be in place.

Officials say the school day would however be adapted to control the number of students in hallways and in school yards and rigorous disinfecting guidelines will be in place communal surfaces.

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In the second scenario presented, elementary school students would go back to class 50 per cent of the time and high school students would only attend class in person between a third and half of the time.

READ MORE: Quebec announces gradual reopening of museums, drive-in cinemas, libraries

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According to the education ministry’s document, physical distancing measures would be easier to abide by with fewer students physically present, but there will be challenges with technology and childcare on the days students learn form home.

The English Montreal School Board (EMSB), however, says it’s much too early to plan for the fall, when we don’t yet know if there will be a second wave of COVID-19.

EMSB spokesperson Michael Cohen said this is all new territory for education workers.

“We have already learned a lot in the last two months [about COVID-19],” Cohen said. “It’s not like we can go back in time to the last time we had a pandemic [and review] the playbook.”

Quebec’s public health director, Dr. Horacio Arruda, confirmed that there have been a few small outbreaks in schools that have aready reopened in the province, but said the question is how to best mitigate that risk while making sure students continue their education.

–With files from Global News’ Raquel Fletcher

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