Back to school will indeed take place next fall, with the usual ratios and certain measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Québec government has announced that all preschool, elementary and lower secondary schools will reopen in the fall, while the return formula for students in Secondary 4 and 5 will be determined by the school service centers. .
Students will always keep the same class, according to the usual teacher-student ratios, as explained this morning by the Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, during a press briefing in Montreal.
Minister Roberge also said he was confident of a successful return to school in light of the experience acquired so far.
Preschool, elementary and 1st, 2nd and 3rd secondary
All preschool, elementary and secondary 1, 2 and 3 students will be present in the establishments, according to the usual ratios. Classes will be organized in the form of subgroups of six students or less. The distances of one meter between the subgroups of pupils and two meters with the staff must be respected. The teachers will move according to the subjects to be taught while the students will stay in the same room. For Secondary 1, 2 and 3 students, the lesson schedules and specific projects will be rearranged according to the principle of closed group-classes.
Secondary 4 and 5
For Secondary 4 and 5 students, two options will be available to school service centers, depending on their reality and the needs identified in their respective environments.
The first option is modeled on the model chosen for students in Secondary 1, 2 and 3: all students will be in attendance and a reorganization will be made regarding the schedule of optional courses and specific projects, based on the group principle - closed classes.
The second option consists of an alternation formula with groups formed in compliance with the rules of physical distance attending school at least every other day. Online learning and homework would then complete the educational offer.
General adult education and vocational training
For the general education of adults and vocational training, the return of the pupils in attendance is planned, particularly to allow practical learning and exams. The social distancing in force between students and teachers must be respected at all times, except in programs where it is impossible to do so, in which case students and teachers must equip themselves with personal protective equipment.
In order to be ready for any eventuality, the school service centers will need to have an emergency protocol before the start of the fall. This should allow them to quickly switch to distance learning if the situation should require it. This protocol must in particular provide mechanisms for the rapid distribution of tablets and laptops to students who need them, established processes for the use of digital platforms in order to continue learning and maintain communication, training for staff, students and their parents as to their use, as well as measures of accountability for services rendered to students.
The government is also working on other initiatives as a preventive measure, for example the establishment, in collaboration with Savoir Média, of the Matière à emporter project, which consists of educational capsules for television and the Web that will be broadcast in the event of establishments being closed. The teachers will be in front of the camera, which will make it possible to continue the school at home, in addition to the follow-ups made by the school staff.
Finally, remember that families and teachers will be able to continue using the Open School web platform launched on March 30. This initiative, designed to respond to an urgent need following the school closings, has been very successful.