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Coronavirus: TDSB provides behind-the-scenes look at COVID-19 school preparations

Click to play video 'TDSB gives sneak peek at COVID-19 classroom prep' TDSB gives sneak peek at COVID-19 classroom prep
WATCH ABOVE: The Toronto District School Board opened the doors to media for a look at what measures are being taken to protect staff and students. Shallima Maharaj shows us.

A day after the Ontario government released guidelines for dealing with COVID-19 cases in schools, the largest board in the province offered a look inside two of its schools.

The Toronto District School Board invited media as well as some students.

It also came the day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made official a cash infusion of $2 billion more to the provinces and territories to bolster safety.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Canada to give provinces $2B to ensure kids can go back to school in fall

Thursday’s tour offered Grade 8 student Kaiya Grant a glimpse at what school life during a pandemic will look like.

“First thing when I came in I felt pretty overwhelmed by everything,” she said.

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“But once you learn what everything is for, it’s just like following the rules.”

Sanitization stations have been assembled at designated entrances. They include non-medical, disposable masks, and hand sanitizer.

Decals on the hallway floors direct students on which way to go.

George Webster Elementary School principal Lisa Medd demonstrated, along with her team, the entrance ritual students will have to go through each time.

“Making sure that our kids are screened before they enter the school by the parents, and then they have a second screening when they get into the school by the people meeting them at the door,” she explained.

READ MORE: Lockdowns and a second wave? What the coronavirus pandemic could look like this fall

While the majority of Ontario schools have been slated to reopen on Sept. 8, TDSB schools will reopen a week later.

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Grade 11 student Vanessa Trotman was able to get a tour of Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts.

“Right now, I’m excited because of seeing everybody here. It’s nostalgic because I get to see all the classrooms and see all the lockers,” she told Global News.

“It makes me miss how it used to be.”

There are two points of entry for students. At each one, sanitization stations are in place. The stations also include a supply of masks and sanitizer along with posters reiterating public health guidelines.

Lockers have been cable-tied shut and the cafeteria has been closed.

Drinking fountains will be undergoing modifications to ensure only the bottle-filling faucets run, and not the ones individuals can drink directly from.

Students enter Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts from one of two designated entrances.
Students enter Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts from one of two designated entrances. Shallima Maharaj, Global News

“Defining where students come into the school, defining how they’ll leave, the flow and movement in the school, is really critical,” explained Principal Tom Lazarou.

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Similar to George Webster Elementary School, Wexford Collegiate students must pause in the entryway to answer a few questions from staff.

While many brace for the potential of a second wave, he expressed optimism.

“Are we prepared? I think we are better prepared today than we were in late March, absolutely, and I think as a board we will be as well,” said Lazarou.