(Reuters) - Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, on Friday set out guidelines for elementary and high school students to return to classrooms in the fall.
The majority of Canadian schools closed in March amid the coronavirus pandemic. Most provinces have said in-person classes will not return this school year and are working on screening and social distancing guidelines for next term.
Here’s what Canada’s provinces are doing:
Canada’s most populous province has asked its school boards to prepare for three scenarios based on the state of the pandemic in September, including the ability to adapt to different formats on short notice.
Boards should have a plan prepared by early August, at which point the government will consult with medical experts on the most appropriate course of action.
Many elementary schools in Quebec reopened in May, though schools in the hard-hit Montreal region have remained closed.
The province said on Tuesday that when all elementary and younger high school students return in the fall, they will be divided into “bubbles” and no longer switch classes.
British Columbia partially reopened some schools in late March, offering in-school education for the young children of essential workers. The province on June 1 reopened to all students, with elementary classes limited to 50% capacity, and older students attending one day per week.
Alberta will not resume any in-person learning this school year and the province is working on its plan for reopening schools in the fall, looking at different scenarios.
Saskatchewan said this week that when schools open in September there will be increased sanitation measures, protocols for bringing in items from home, and minimized contact among students and staff.
In Manitoba, schools reopened in a limited capacity on June 1, with individual students and small groups invited back for in-person learning and assessments.
Schools in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador will remain closed until the new school year. Some schools in Prince Edward Island have reopened for students who need additional classroom support.
Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa, Allison Lampert in Montreal and Moira Warburton in Toronto; Editing by Alistair Bell and Jonathan Oatis
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