Return to School Plan
The Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Zach Churchill, and Dr. Robert Strang announced Nova Scotia’s plan for the safe return of all children, students, teachers and staff to school on July 22, 2020.
Nova Scotia’s Back to School Plan was developed with input from public health, advice from experts at the IWK Health Centre, feedback from union partners, teachers and most importantly, you, our families and students. More than 28,000 parents and students from across the province made their voices heard in the school experience surveys. Thank you to all who participated.
On August 14, 2020, Dr. Strang and Minister Churchill announced updates to the Back to School Plan, including a mandate for non-medical mask use for students in grades 4 to 12 while in school. All students in grades 4 to 12 will be required to wear a mask inside schools except if they are seated at their desks while two metres apart and facing in the same direction. They must also be worn in hallways and other common areas if a two-metre distance cannot be maintained.
Additional measures and information for families ahead of September include:
- School-by-school ventilation maintenance will take place to ensure equipment is operating properly and in good condition and that windows can be opened for our older buildings.
- Masks and hand sanitizers are starting to arrive at schools. All students and staff will receive two free cloth masks. Disposable masks will also be available if a student forgets or loses their mask during the school day.
- Regional Centres for Education and the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial, will continue to communicate with families. Principals will also reach out to families with specific information about their school closer to September.
- Before and after school programs will be offered in accordance with public health guidelines
- Schools, with the support of public health, will notify families as soon as they become aware of a COVID-19 case in their school, along with what measures will need to be taken.
- A return to school sport schedule and protocols that follow public health guidelines are in the final stage of development with Sports Nova Scotia and will be sent to schools by the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation.
The announcement can be found on the department’s Facebook page and taped online at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwLZ9YtgHtLCpATUVFKVf72xyF103eHaE. Additional resources for families and students available on www.novascotia.ca/backtoschool
CCRCE Back to School Planning
First, we want to thank everyone for your patience as regional staff members and school administration have been working together to determine the best approaches to implement the Province’s Back to School Plan. Much work has occurred over the past three weeks since the release of the Plan.
Looking Back on the Past Few Weeks
- The Province’s Back to School Plan was released three weeks ago on July 22nd, 2020.
- After the plan was released, regional staff members began to finalize CCRCE’s considerations based on the Back to School Plan and have been developing plans and sharing support documents, templates, checklists and regional plans to support departments and schools.
- In a typical year, the summer is a busy time of the year for our Operational Services team. Schools are thoroughly cleaned, construction projects, big and small are undertaken, and student bus routes are created.
- In addition to their “normal” work, our Operations team has been working closely with our schools, Programs, Systems, HR and Finance teams to support the implementation of COVID-19 protocols. This includes ordering signage for CCRCE schools and buildings, installing hand sanitizers stations, posting reminders of the importance of good hygiene, practices like frequent hand washing, and much more.
- Principals will begin to communicate what school will look like for the 2020-21 school year, starting the week of August 24th.
- Exteriors signage will be installed at schools starting the week of August 24.
- We continue to work on the details of the plans for Pre-Primary and Student Services.
We know you may have many questions; our commitment is to keep you informed. We will continue to keep you updated as new provincial and regional information is available. As mentioned above, you will hear from your schools with more school-based updates, starting the week of August 24th.
There is still work to be done to prepare for opening, but we are excited to welcome everyone back safely in September!