The Manitoba government released a planning framework for the resumption of in-class learning, with teachers and staff returning to classrooms on September 2 and students on September 8.
The framework provides guidance for school divisions to develop detailed reopening plans to be submitted to Manitoba Education for three public health scenarios including:
- in-class learning with near-normal conditions;
- in-class learning, taking additional public health measures into consideration; and
- remote learning from home, with limited use of school facilities.
Significant consultation with students, parents, teachers and education stakeholders occurred over the past month to gauge their comfort, with tens of thousands of Manitobans providing feedback.
Divisions will ensure all schools have plans that are accessible to parents and students. Funded independent schools will also be asked to submit plans and post them publicly.
The framework also outlines key considerations that should be addressed in the school and division plans including:
- ensuring schools can respond and adapt to changing public health orders and guidance;
- making sure any necessary physical distancing requirements can be met;
- considering the use of cohorts in classrooms, on buses and during activities to limit exposure to COVID-19;
- planning with a focus on in-class learning and establishing priorities;
- looking at ways to accommodate specialty programming and extracurricular activities;
- considering how school transportation can be safely offered;
- looking at blended learning options that can be implemented quickly;
- making arrangements for students, teachers and staff who may be at higher risk of COVID-19; and
- considering learning and assessment needs, as well as any educational gaps for students as a result of the pandemic.
The report can be viewed at www.manitoba.ca/covid19/restoring/safeschools.html.
For up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit www.manitoba.ca/COVID19.