Upper Grand, Wellington Catholic school boards working on plans for back-to-school
KITCHENER -- Two school boards that operate in Guelph and Wellington County have released their plans for back-to-school in September.
The Upper Grand District School Board and the Wellington Catholic District School Board say their staff members are working hard to make sure schools are safe when school begins on Sept. 8.
On Thursday, the Ontario government revealed more detailed plans about a return-to-school, including mandated masks for students Grade 4 and over, recommended masks for younger kids, and modifications to high schools in certain school boards.
The UGDSB and the WCDSB are not included in the list of school boards, meaning that their students will return to class full-time in September with regular class sizes.
One local family is on the fence about the full-time return, since their kids attend the biggest high school in the city -- John F Ross Collegiate.
"There are 2,000 kids that go to my school and with that comes high risk of attracting the coronavirus," Grade 11 student Nicole Cooper said.
"I want them to attend school, however I'm not too sure if it's going to be a safe environment for them to attend in September," Tanya Cooper said. "The classrooms are all full, kids travel from all over and bus in."
The plan is in contrast to Waterloo Region's English-speaking school boards, where high school students will attend 50 per cent of school days and in class sizes of about 15.
Boards and public health units must come up with ways to keep interaction amongst students to a minimum.
"There's other models, such as study hall models, and trying to look at ways to limit the number of times they are changing," said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Medical Officer of Health. "It is going to be a scheduling problem for high schools."
The UGDSB said parents and students will have a choice and surveys will be sent out soon.
Nicole Cooper said she's already come up with her own plan.
"My plan is, for my first week of school, I'm going to go," she said. "If I'm comfortable, I'm going to stay. If I'm not, I'm going to go home and do online school."
Students in Grades 4 to 12 will need to wear masks while attending classes in any school board.
The Wellington County school boards say they're working on more detailed implementation plans and hope to share them in early August.