September 2020 promises to be a fall like no other. With changes to plans for school openings almost occurring on a daily basis, parents, teachers, board administrative staff and board officials from the local public and separate school boards are trying to ensure that the return to school can be done as successfully and safely as possible with the very limited funding available.
While the discussion has been dominated by class sizes and mask-wearing, the Advocate has chosen five back-to-school priorities that aren’t necessarily top of mind when people think of schools reopening on September 8.
These include COVID protocols for school buses, cleaning of school sites, the status of extracurricular activities, staff morale, and what might be required of parents.
It has been more than a century since local school and health officials have had to confront a public health pandemic, and much of what will be implemented today will reflect the best science available, the financial circumstances of bus companies and the local boards of education that depend on provincial largesse to operate — and the harsh reality that likely a vaccine against COVID-19 is months or even years away.