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Peel District School Board ‘prepared’ to welcome students back to class

September 10, 2020   ·   0 Comments


As students head back to school, whether in person or online, Peel District School Board has prepared a list of details and information for students and parents through these unprecedented times.

“We have developed comprehensive guides to help staff, students, parents and caregivers prepare for the return to school,” said PDSB Senior Communications Officer, Kayla Tishcoff. 

School doors opened this past Tuesday (Sept. 8), where elementary school students from kindergarten to Grade 8 are to return to school in-person, five days a week. Secondary school students have the option to opt for in-person, or online learning in an adapted schedule. 

The school board also created a family guide for the reopening of schools for the 2020-2021 year, which includes health and safety measures information, what the school year will look like for elementary and secondary school students including class schedules, student arrival and departure procedures, how each part of the school day will look like and what students and parents can expect. 

The biggest challenge PDSB has come across when preparing for the new school year during the pandemic, is developing an online learning platform, in a short amount of time. 

“Since the Ministry’s announcement on July 30, we’ve had approximately four weeks to build an online school that is bigger than most school boards in the province. This presents numerous logistically challenges from staffing to administration to appropriate technology to equity of access etc.,” said Tishcoff. “With an average of 30 per cent of students and staff moving to distance learning in the PDSB Online School, in-person school planning has required a significant amount of work in re-doing our classes, teaching assignments, student timetables, supervision schedules etc. all under a very tight timeline.”

So, what is the school board doing to keep students and staff safe upon their return to the classroom?

Enhanced screening is taking place for students arriving and departing school, as well as encouraging parents to screen their children before they leave for school. Students are asked to understand the symptoms and how to properly identify them themselves in the case of developing COVID-19 while at school.

All students from grades one to 12 have been told that mandatory face covering is in place to keep each other and others safe. 

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence C. Loh wrote a letter to parents and students on different guidelines on how to keep safe last Friday (Sept. 4). 

“Peel Public Health is working with our local school board partners to prepare for a safe reopening of schools,” he stated. “School boards have developed school reopening plans to ensure the health and safety of everyone at the school. Reopening plans are based on guidance from the Ontario government and in consultation with Peel Public Health.” 

Two staff members in the PDSB have recently tested positive for COVID-19, one at Briarwood Public School in Mississauga and Ross Drive Public School in Brampton.

“Preparing schools physically for these new realities of operating during a pandemic have required significant problem-solving, cooperative work with Peel Public Health and attention to detail to keep our staff and students safe,” said Tishcoff. 

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