Ottawa School Board releases back to school plans, which will be implemented from September. Schools will not be the same as they were in the pre-COVID situation, and Ottawa parents are quite worried about their child’s health security and safety once they start visiting schools regularly.
Schools Reopening Plans
The Ottawa- Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) is trying to build up its casual teachers’ strength at the school opening and also strengthen its online learning procedures for September. Although how schools would be operating during a pandemic and how far will they succeed in their safety program is still under scrutiny.
OCDSB and the Ottawa Catholic School Board Have Released Some Vital Information about COVID-19 Protocols to Be Followed in the Reopened School:-
- Elementary students will go to school five days a week. In the school, students will remain in one classroom with the same group of students all day, including lunchtime and recess.
- The secondary school students will come back to school in a hybrid model attending school to days a week and three days the next week. The school year will be bifurcated into for quadmesters. Students will take two courses at a time.
- High school students will have only two periods a day, and the dismissal time would be earlier.
- Remote learning will offer a combination of live online instructions and posted learning activities and material.
- Provision for creating virtual classes; if the students from around the district are willing to assign their teachers.
- The class-size will vary with the class level, with maximum not being fixed but should be below 30.
- The official first day of school reopening is September 3, and the start of the school year will be decided later.
- Transportation plans are still in discussion
- Staff is encouraged to take advantage of outdoor sports space wherever feasible but with students required to maintain 2 m social distancing norm.
- Students who are ill must be isolated for 14 days or 48 hours depending upon the intensity of the symptoms until the negative test and 72 hours of symptoms subside. Medical clearance is necessary for students who test positive for COVID-19 before returning to school premises.
- The student or the staff member is tested positive; one or multiple classes will be turned into distance learning.
- With the help of contact tracing, students and staff may be needed to self isolate for 14 days as directed by Ottawa public health.
- Students with chronic health issues will continue distance-learning on home instruction. Only teachers will go to their homes for one hour a day.
- It will be necessary for children to stay in their same seat as much as possible and keeping their belongings in the personal space in each classroom.
- The mask protocol to come in as wearing mask instructions will be coming from the central Ministry of education
Those children opting for learning from school, the board would be preparing a more structured day with real-time instructions and virtual interactions with their peers.
Budget for School Reopening for 2020 And 2021
The budget of over $1 billion is proposed for the school reopening year with an extra $4 million allotted for unusual expenses of reopening schools during COVID-19, including personal protective equipment and overstaffing. Several preventive measures to promote mental health, as well as the safety of kids at school premises, will be part of the budget.
Using the App
Alyssa Bilinski, A Harvard Ph.D. student in health policy and Meagan Fitzpatrick, an infectious disease transmission model, has created the app which uses local variables to estimate the probability that someone infected with COVID-19 in the community would show up at the school.
The app does not estimate the extent of disease spread within a school, but it demonstrates how the amount of COVID-19 transmission happening in the broader communities is likely to enter the school environment.