The Trillium Lakelands District Board (TLDSB) has written to families about the Ministry of Education’s guide to reopening schools, announced earlier this week.

It said, “staff are reviewing the detailed document, which focuses on health, safety, and operational guidance for schools, to update plans for a safe return to school in September.”

It highlighted some of the information released by the ministry and added that many of the strategies and protocols in place in the past school year will continue in the upcoming school year.

Students will return to in-person learning daily for the full school day. Elementary school students in Kindergarten through Grade 8 will remain in one cohort for the full day and secondary school students will follow the quadmester system, at least for the full first semester of the school year.

All staff and students will be required to self-screen every day before attending school and wear wear masks while indoors and on student transportation. Masks will not be required outdoors.

Students do not need to stay within their cohort during recess and breaks outdoors, but distancing is to be encouraged between cohorts as much as possible. Physical distancing measures are to be layered with other public health measures, such as screening, hand hygiene, cohorting, enhanced cleaning, and masking.

The province said extra-curricular and inter-school sport activities will be permitted with some modifications.

Other measures included that ventilation systems in all schools are to be inspected and in good working order prior to the start of the school year. School boards are to work with local public health units to promote vaccination prior to school starting in September. Shared homerooms, libraries (for group and individual use, for example, drop-in study time, etc.) and computer/ technology labs, are permitted and use of lockers/cubbies is permitted.

Prior to the school year, all TLDSB families will receive a link to an updated Return to School 2021-2022 Plan, providing further details about a healthy and safe return to school for our students in September.

All COVID-19 information and updates can be found at HYPERLINK “https:// www.tldsb.ca/covid19/” tldsb.ca/covid19/.

Get The Highlander in your inbox every Thursday