TDSB releases official back to school plan for Toronto and here are the details
The TDSB back-to-school plan is now out so we finally have some details on how Toronto schools will look when students head back to classes in September.
At the end of last month, the province revealed the guidelines for Ontario schools, which included measures like face masks for students Grade 4 and older, the deployment of 500 new public health nurses and 900 custodians to help with new sanitization measures, and targeted testing and screening for the virus.
Though the model was based on advice from provincial health officials and experts at Sick Kids Hospital, some schools and bodies like Toronto Public Health decried many aspects of it, particularly the fact that class sizes weren't being reduced — save for cohorting of students at at-risk high schools — and that physical distancing of only one metre (as opposed to two) was all that was being implemented.
Premier Doug Ford assured the public that Ontario will continue to have the smallest class sizes in the country and that other provinces were touting our back-to-school plan as among the best.
But, the TDSB wanted to add a few of its own amendments, and after a bit of back and forth between it and Queen's Park, a plan of action was finalized Thursday evening, with the following major changes.
New in #onted: The back-to-school plan recommended by TDSB staff would see kindergarten class sizes capped at 15 students and all other elementary grades capped at 20 students in high-risk schools. pic.twitter.com/wYgZ5IHstj— Nick Boisvert (@nickjboisvert) August 20, 2020
Surveys by third parties have suggested that only somewhere around 63 per cent of parents intend to send their kids back to school in-person — while a TDSB survey estimated this number to be closer to 71 per cent — with the remainder electing for the virtual-only option that the province is still providing.
The board has stated that it will have space shortages in dozens of institutions if all students return for in-person learning, but would be able to accommodate about 80 per cent of students with physical distancing in place, with only four schools having classroom shortages that could be partially offset by using city space.
Parents will have five days next week to register students for either in-person or the remote learning option.
Comprehensive details for high school students have not yet been released.
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