The Ottawa Catholic School Board is hoping to welcome students back to class full-time in September, but it’s preparing for a possible hybrid-model with students in class five days over a two week period.
Following a special meeting Thursday night, the board said, “the preference of the Ottawa Catholic School Board is for all students to return to regular instruction, five days a week, with enhanced cleaning and hygiene.”
However, if the Ministry of Education does not give the green light to full-time classes in the fall, the Catholic school board is looking at a format that has students in class three days one week, followed by two days the next week.
In a statement on its website, the Catholic school board said “in this adapted model, half of each class attends school every Monday and Tuesday and alternate Wednesdays while the other half of the class attends school every Thursday and Friday and alternate Wednesdays.”
“The adapted model is not our preferred model given the negative impact on families and on children not having the route of regular school,” said the Catholic school board.
The Ottawa Catholic School Board says the decision about whether to return to regular five-day in-person instruction will be made by the Ministry of Education in consultation with the provincial Ministry of Health.
On Thursday, Ottawa’s medical officer of health told the Ottawa Carleton District School Board that kids should be in school full-time in the fall.
“What Ottawa Public Health has taken a position on is to recommend that we start school in September with five days of in-person school,” said Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health.
“This would balance the risk of COVID infection, putting other infection prevention controls in place, with the observed harms to children and youth and families that we’re seeing.”
The Ministry of Education will announce a decision on whether school will resume full-time in August.