Welcoming Our Students Back: Restoring Safe Schools

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This discussion has concluded.

This engagement was opened on July 30, 2020 and closed on October 10, 2020.

In total, 941 questions were asked and received responses. All questions and responses have been archived and remain accessible on the questions tab below.

The main themes of the questions for Welcoming Our Students Back: What Parents Need to Know include Public Health Measures, Remote Learning, Contingency Planning, Masks and Outbreak Management.

For more information, visit Manitoba Education’s COVID-19 website, including Frequently Asked Questions for Parents, Guardians and Educators.


Restoring Safe Schools: School Settings Practice Guidance and Protocols
Restoring Safe Schools: July 30 - Guidelines for September 2020

The past school year was a challenging time for students, families and educators. Throughout Manitoba, in-classroom learning was suspended from March 23 to May 31, with all students learning remotely. The immediate shift from in-class to at home learning meant that educators, students, parents and caregivers adapted to new ways to ensure learning continued.

The first step in returning to school came into effect on June 1, 2020 when the limited use of school facilities started, with guidelines in place for staff and students to return to schools for specific programming, planning and student assessment purposes. The response to these challenges showed the creativity and resiliency of teachers, principals, school staff and especially students and their families as they worked through remote learning for the remaining 2019/2020 school year.

Manitobans will be living with COVID-19 for the foreseeable future. We must adapt and learn to live and study safety amidst the pandemic. It is in the best interest of children to be in school, and we must mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on students and families to ensure that learning and assessment continues for all.

Manitoba’s plan to resume in-class learning establishes provincial consistency, while allowing for local flexibility where needed. The plan reflects the importance of safety, health and well-being, while ensuring reasonable measures and plans are in place to minimize the risk of transmission and exposure to the virus in schools, if it occurs.

Welcoming Our Students Back: What Parents Need to Know

Please Note: Use the Search bar below the Submit button to see if your question has already been answered.

This information is available in an alternate format upon request, please contact engagemb@gov.mb.ca.

This discussion has concluded.

This engagement was opened on July 30, 2020 and closed on October 10, 2020.

In total, 941 questions were asked and received responses. All questions and responses have been archived and remain accessible on the questions tab below.

The main themes of the questions for Welcoming Our Students Back: What Parents Need to Know include Public Health Measures, Remote Learning, Contingency Planning, Masks and Outbreak Management.

For more information, visit Manitoba Education’s COVID-19 website, including Frequently Asked Questions for Parents, Guardians and Educators.


Restoring Safe Schools: School Settings Practice Guidance and Protocols
Restoring Safe Schools: July 30 - Guidelines for September 2020

The past school year was a challenging time for students, families and educators. Throughout Manitoba, in-classroom learning was suspended from March 23 to May 31, with all students learning remotely. The immediate shift from in-class to at home learning meant that educators, students, parents and caregivers adapted to new ways to ensure learning continued.

The first step in returning to school came into effect on June 1, 2020 when the limited use of school facilities started, with guidelines in place for staff and students to return to schools for specific programming, planning and student assessment purposes. The response to these challenges showed the creativity and resiliency of teachers, principals, school staff and especially students and their families as they worked through remote learning for the remaining 2019/2020 school year.

Manitobans will be living with COVID-19 for the foreseeable future. We must adapt and learn to live and study safety amidst the pandemic. It is in the best interest of children to be in school, and we must mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on students and families to ensure that learning and assessment continues for all.

Manitoba’s plan to resume in-class learning establishes provincial consistency, while allowing for local flexibility where needed. The plan reflects the importance of safety, health and well-being, while ensuring reasonable measures and plans are in place to minimize the risk of transmission and exposure to the virus in schools, if it occurs.

Welcoming Our Students Back: What Parents Need to Know

Please Note: Use the Search bar below the Submit button to see if your question has already been answered.

This information is available in an alternate format upon request, please contact engagemb@gov.mb.ca.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

For more information, visit Manitoba Education’s COVID-19 website, including Frequently Asked Questions for Parents, Guardians and Educators: https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/covid/index.html   

Please Note: Use the Search bar below the Submit button to see if your question has already been answered.

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    Is it possible to make this a consideration. Please have any student, including asymptomatic ones who have taken a Covid test self isolate until they receive a confirmed negative result. It seems that the cases of Covid in schools is because an asymptomatic individual who has taken a Covid test did not yet receive their result and were instructed to carry on until they were advised any further. A school has had a spread of Covid and we were told it was a low risk to the students. Please seriously consider this to prevent any further outbreaks and spread. There are so many of us that are trying to protect our elders and vulnerable, this is the least you can do to try to help contain this within the school system. This will ease the stress and anxiety of the student who has also had a Covid test so they don't have to worry that they are potentially spreading this while at school. A few days of self isolating at home until they've had a proven negative test is a small inconvenience to the alternative.

    CeejayVee asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your comments. They have been shared with the program area.

    Manitoba Education will continue to work closely with the Chief Provincial Public Health Officer, public health, education stakeholders, schools divisions, independent schools, parents, caregivers and students to further develop plans for the coming year.

    We will continue to monitor and adapt plans as the public health situation evolves. Public health information provided is subject to change as the science and information regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve. Please visit Latest COVID-19 Education News regularly at https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/covid/index.html for the most up-to-date information. More information regarding testing in Manitoba can be found at https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/updates/testing.html

    Currently, if you have COVID-19 symptoms, have been tested and are awaiting test results then you must isolate at home while waiting to get the laboratory results from a health care provider. If your COVID-19 test results are negative, but you have symptoms, or have travelled or been exposed to a case, you will need to continue to self-isolate (quarantine) for the entire 14 days and until you have been symptom free for 24 hours. If your COVID-19 test results are negative, and you have been symptom free for 24 hours, you may return to work or school. If your COVID-19 test results are positive, a public health official will call you.

    The fact sheet Isolation for Symptomatic Individuals Recovering at Home is a helpful resource. https://www.gov.mb.ca/asset_library/en/covid/factsheet-isolation-selfmonitoring-recoveringhome.pdf

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    Hello Now that masks are mandatory, why aren't high school students back in school full-time, and when do we expect to make this transition?

    Mom1975 asked about 2 months ago

    Manitoba’s plan to resume in-class learning establishes provincial consistency, while allowing for local flexibility where needed. Manitoba Education will continue to work closely with the Chief Provincial Public Health Officer, public health, education stakeholders, schools divisions, independent schools, parents, caregivers and students to further develop plans for the coming year.

    Schools will communicate directly and frequently with families to provide them with information about the school year and ongoing plans for instruction and supports. For more detailed information, please refer to your school division plans available at https://manitoba.ca/covid19/restoring/school-divisions.html or contact your school office directly. 

    We will continue to monitor and adapt plans as the public health situation evolves. Public health information provided is subject to change as the science and information regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve. Please visit Latest COVID-19 Education News regularly at https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/covid/index.html for the most up-to-date information.

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    My granddaughter has a runny nose and a cough so went for COVID testing today. Its a 4 day wait for results. Does she need to self isolate and not attend school or day care while waiting? What about her asymptomatic sibling and parents?

    Carol Vandale asked about 2 months ago

    If your child is symptomatic and needs to isolate, the fact sheet Isolation for Symptomatic Individuals Recovering at Home is a helpful resource. https://www.gov.mb.ca/asset_library/en/covid/factsheet-isolation-selfmonitoring-recoveringhome.pdf 

    Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, has been tested and is awaiting test results must isolate at home while waiting to get the laboratory results from a health care provider. If your COVID-19 test results are negative, but you have symptoms, or have travelled or been exposed to a case, you will need to continue to self-isolate (quarantine) for the entire 14 days and until you have been symptom free for 24 hours. If your COVID-19 test results are negative, and you have been symptom free for 24 hours, you may return to work or school 24 hours. If your COVID-19 test results are positive, a public health official will call you.

    Isolation requires staying at home and avoiding contact with other people (including household members) to prevent spreading the disease to others in your home and your community. This means confining your activities to your home and outdoor property. If you live in a condo or multi-dwelling complex, you must stay in your suite. You may use your private balcony as long as it is two metres (six feet) away from your neighbour’s balcony. Until you are finished your isolation, do not leave home to go to work, school or other public places (e.g., don’t go for curbside pickup from stores and restaurants, church), unless you
    require emergency or urgent medical care.

    Asymptomatic siblings and parents who are able to avoid contact with someone is in isolation are not required to self-isolate. 

    For more information can also be found at:

    https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/covid/index.html and 

    http://www.manitoba.ca/covid19/ 


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    My granddaughter has a cough and runny nose and just went for COVID Testing. Results will be 4 days. During that time are her siblings and parents supposed to stay home? Is she supposed to stay home from school and daycare?

    Carol Vandale asked about 2 months ago

    If your child is symptomatic and needs to isolate, the fact sheet Isolation for Symptomatic Individuals Recovering at Home(External link) is a helpful resource. https://www.gov.mb.ca/asset_library/en/covid/factsheet-isolation-selfmonitoring-recoveringhome.pdf(External link) 

    Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, has been tested and is awaiting test results must isolate at home while waiting to get the laboratory results from a health care provider. If your COVID-19 test results are negative, but you have symptoms, or have travelled or been exposed to a case, you will need to continue to self-isolate (quarantine) for the entire 14 days and until you have been symptom free for 24 hours. If your COVID-19 test results are negative, and you have been symptom free for 24 hours, you may return to work or school 24 hours. If your COVID-19 test results are positive, a public health official will call you.

    Isolation requires staying at home and avoiding contact with other people (including household members) to prevent spreading the disease to others in your home and your community. This means confining your activities to your home and outdoor property. If you live in a condo or multi-dwelling complex, you must stay in your suite. You may use your private balcony as long as it is two metres (six feet) away from your neighbour’s balcony. Until you are finished your isolation, do not leave home to go to work, school or other public places (e.g., don’t go for curbside pickup from stores and restaurants, church), unless you
    require emergency or urgent medical care.

    Asymptomatic siblings and parents who are able to avoid contact with someone is in isolation are not required to self-isolate. 

    For more information can also be found at:

    https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/covid/index.html(External link) and 

    http://www.manitoba.ca/covid19/(External link)

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    As from September 21st, "The minister said of the $52 million made available, $12 million is estimated for masks and personal protective equipment, $32 million for school divisions and independent schools to access up to a per-pupil maximum, and $8 million to address serious and urgent health and safety measures over and above the school division allocation".Therefore, schools will start provide masks for students? or they just made a promise, and parents will continue to buy masks for their children? What kind of the other protective equipment is available?

    shul2020 asked 2 months ago

    The province has created a $100 million Safe Schools fund to ensure safe and healthy learning environments in the fall. All school divisions will be able to access the Safe Schools funding, which consists of $48 million in preparedness savings already set aside for this purpose, plus an additional $52 million. The province will provide masks, as well as other personal protective equipment, to school divisions for distribution to students and staff as needed.

    Schools will also have a supply of non-medical and medical masks on hand and will provide masks to students and staff who need them.

    Schools will communicate directly and frequently with families to provide them with information about the school year and ongoing plans. For more information, please refer to your school division plans available at https://manitoba.ca/covid19/restoring/school-divisions.html or contact your school office directly. 

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    form the document on September 21, 2020. The minister said of the $52 million made available......In addition to PPE and masks, the focused funding will be used to directly support schools, teachers and students across the province with enhanced cleaning and sanitization including more supplies and custodial staffing, increased bus transportation capacity, technology related costs, and ensuring substitute teachers and educational staff are available to keep schools open and children learning." So, can the high school children have the access to the school buses transportation? Because you mentioned that they have to use city buses, that is mean, nobody worried that will be too many children in one bus, no social distancing? who is responsible for checking that part?

    shul2020 asked 2 months ago

    Manitoba’s plan to resume in-class learning establishes provincial consistency, while allowing for local flexibility where needed. The plan reflects the importance of safety, health and well-being, while ensuring reasonable measures and plans are in place to minimize the risk of transmission and exposure to the virus in schools, if it occurs.

    Manitoba Education will continue to work closely with public health, education stakeholders, schools divisions, independent schools, parents, caregivers and students to further develop plans for the coming year. The Chief Provincial Public Health Officer of Manitoba has approved these policy and public health directions. 

    The province has created a $100 million Safe Schools fund to ensure safe and healthy learning environments in the fall. All school divisions will be able to access the Safe Schools funding, which consists of $48 million in preparedness savings already set aside for this purpose, plus an additional $52 million. The province will provide masks, as well as other personal protective equipment, to school divisions for distribution to students and staff as needed.

    Schools will communicate directly and frequently with families to provide them with information about the school year and ongoing plans for instruction and supports. For more detailed information, please refer to your school division plans available at https://manitoba.ca/covid19/restoring/school-divisions.html or contact your school office directly.

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    I can't find an appropriate place to ask this, are masks required while working out or just in common areas and when physical distancing is not possible?

    Dino asked 2 months ago

    The most effective measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 include separating people by maintaining physical distance and the use of physical barriers. However, these measures are not always practical in child care and school settings. Therefore, it is most effective to use a layered approach, including physical distancing, physical barriers, masks, hygiene practices, and cleaning, and to develop administrative measures that support individuals to consistently follow personal preventive practices that decrease the number of interactions while increasing the safety of interactions that occur. 

    Wearing a mask is a tool that, in addition to practicing public health fundamentals, may help prevent spreading COVID-19 to others, especially in indoor public spaces if physical distancing cannot be maintained. 

    Physical education will continue outdoors whenever possible and indoors with necessary modifications for physical distancing. There may be times throughout the day that students will have sufficient space to be physically distanced so that masks can be removed, such as during lunch breaks or mask-free play outdoors at recess.

    For the latest guidance for mask use in schools, download the following document: https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/covid/docs/mask_guidance.pdf . For guidance on the use and care of masks, visit https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/prepareandprevent/index.html. For more information on reusable non-medical masks, including how to make one and how to wear one safely, please visit the Health Canada and World Health Organization websites.

    The public health information provided is subject to change as the science and information regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve. Please visit Latest COVID-19 Education News regularly for the most up-to-date information. As the situation changes, please visit the provincial website at www.manitoba.ca/covid19 for the most up-to-date information.

    Schools will communicate directly and frequently with families to provide them with information about the school year and ongoing plans for instruction and supports. For more detailed information, please refer to your school division plans available at https://manitoba.ca/covid19/restoring/school-divisions.html or contact your school office directly.

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    We have a student that is from thunder bay that refuses to wear a mask due to PTSD/ Trauma. States this is an exception in Ontario wants to know if she is exempt in Manitoba and what rules are in place regarding this?

    RandyEllingson asked about 2 months ago

    To reduce the spread of COVID-19, it is most effective to use a layered approach, including physical distancing, physical barriers, masks, hygiene practices, and cleaning, and to develop administrative measures that support individuals to consistently follow personal preventive practices that decrease the number of interactions while increasing the safety of interactions that occur. Wearing non-medical masks is an additional layer of protection that can help to prevent the infectious respiratory droplets of an unknowingly infected person (the wearer) from coming into contact with other people. This follows public health advice that a mask may be a helpful tool to reduce the risk of infection or transmission when an individual cannot be two metres from others.

    At this time, masks are required in schools for students in Grades 4 to 12 as well as for staff and visitors, when physical distancing of two metres is not possible or cannot be consistently maintained. Parents/guardians/caregivers will choose whether students in Grade 3 and under will wear a mask in school. Some students in any grade may, or may not, be wearing a mask at school or on school buses, depending on their personal circumstances. It is important that children understand that no one should be treated differently for wearing a mask or for not wearing a mask. We’re all in this together.

    Children who cannot wear a mask properly should not wear one. However, this can depend on the situation and on how long the mask is worn. For example, a child may be able to properly wear a mask for a five-minute bus ride but not for a two-hour bus ride or a full morning in class. Like any new routine, practicing the proper usage of a non-medical mask at home and slowly increasing the duration of wear will allow children to become more comfortable with it, and they will then be more likely to follow the guidance on proper mask use. In addition, non-medical masks should not be worn by anyone who:

    • is unable to remove the mask without assistance (e.g., due to age, ability, or developmental status)
    • is actively having breathing difficulties
    • is under two years of age

    In general, most people with underlying medical conditions can safely wear a mask. There is no evidence that wearing a mask will worsen an underlying medical condition. For example, in most situations, an individual with an underlying lung condition such as asthma or an underlying heart condition can safely wear a mask. 

    If a parent/guardian/caregiver is concerned about their child’s ability to safely wear a mask, they should speak with their child’s doctor. If the child is either unable to properly wear a mask or has a medical condition that does not allow them to wear a mask, the parent/guardian/caregiver must provide written notification to the child’s school outlining the child’s limitations with wearing a mask. A note from a health-care provider is not required. Some people would like to use a face shield instead of a mask, but a face shield is not a replacement for a non-medical mask.

    For the latest guidance for mask use in schools, download the following document: https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/covid/docs/mask_guidance.pdf or visit

    https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/covid/index.html.

    For guidance on the use and care of masks, visit https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/prepareandprevent/index.html. For more information on reusable non-medical masks, including how to make one and how to wear one safely, please visit the Health Canada and World Health Organization websites.

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    I am asking a question for Childcare and children grades 4-6. Do children need to wear mask outdoors and when excercising and running in the gym?

    Melaniefraser asked 2 months ago

    Activities that involve movement should be held outside, including those for physical health and education. Indoor or outdoor non-contact sports (e.g., tennis and soccer) are permitted, as long as physical distancing can be maintained during the play, except for brief exchanges of close contact. Choose outdoor settings as much as possible, as they are a lower risk for transmission of COVID-19. A more detailed document has been developed to provide guidance on how sports and other activities could be modified/adapted to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. It is available at: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/restoring/sports-guidelines.html 

    This document contains valuable information including the following directions on the wearing of masks for physical activity.

    The wearing of non-medical masks or cloth face coverings is an additional personal practice that may help to prevent the infectious respiratory droplets of an unknowingly infected person (the wearer) from coming into contact with other people and surfaces. 

    • In most circumstances non-medical masks or cloth face coverings are not deemed necessary in indoor or outdoor spaces when physical distancing is possible and can be predictably maintained. However, use of these masks may be considered if physical distancing is not possible or is unpredictable, and local epidemiology and community transmission warrant it.
    • For sports where a face shield can be used (e.g. hockey), a face shield may be considered.
    • In some activities, wearing a non-medical mask may not be practical or tolerable, e.g., in activities that require physical exertion there might be a risk of poor oxygenation, easily soiled/moistened mask due to sweating/heavy breathing, or risk from injury if the mask is caught on equipment.
    • Non-medical masks should not be placed on young children under age two as they may be unable to remove the mask without assistance, which could impair their breathing.
    • Children and youth in the same activity group will have recurrent interactions with one another, much like those of family members or people in a household. For this reason, non-medical masks may not be recommended. It will be important that group sizes are small and that the same children/youth, staff and volunteers are grouped together as much as possible. 
    • The ability of a child/youth to complete tasks and follow direction will be dependent on a variety of factors (e.g. age, maturity, physical ability, comprehension). It will be important for child/youth staff and/or volunteers to assess ability to properly use and care for non-medical masks, based on the individuality of children/youth.
    • It should be expected that some children/youth will wear non-medical masks in settings that have not adopted non-medical masks policies. Staff and volunteers should monitor for, and address, any discrimination or bullying associated with this practice (whether stigmatization is experienced by those who wear masks, and/or those who do not) and monitor for proper use.


    Updated information for schools is posted regularly online at: www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/covid/index.html.

    As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve in Manitoba, please check the provincial website at: www.manitoba.ca/covid19 for the most up-to-date information.

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    What are the Licensed Daycare COVID-19 protocols? I currently have two children at daycare who are both being sent home because one of them has a runny nose (over a week now, with no other symptoms from anyone in our household). When I contact health links, they are stating no reason for concern. I have also been receiving conflicting information from other parents that have shown me their daycares COVID-19 screening tool, which I also found online from the July 8th Manitoba update, that has a two-tier system. That a runny nose would not be a reason to be sent home, unless with another symptom. And nowhere can I find that the sibling must be sent home as well, unless for isolation purposes of awaiting a COVID-19 test. I am just wanting to know my rights as a parent, and the rights of the daycare. Where can I look for help? I understand we are in a pandemic and want to keep all kids safe, but I also have to work, and can not continue to pay for daycare services and emergency babysitting, especially if unwarranted. Thanks!

    Mommy2254 asked 2 months ago

    Manitoba Education and Manitoba Families are working together with school divisions and the child care sector to ensure that families can continue accessing child care within schools. Schools will work cooperatively with school-based child care centres to ensure that they can continue to operate. This includes protection of designated child care centre space for child care centres in schools, and an approach to supporting shared spaces, including cleaning protocols. 

    For information and questions regarding licensed child care services outside of schools during the pandemic, please visit https://manitoba.ca/covid19/protection/childcare.html.