Teachers and administrators in Lambton are getting ready for the second back to school this year.
The provincial government announced Wednesday students in Lambton will head back to class Monday. Students across the province have been learning at home through January as the number of COVID-19 cases climbed higher than ever before. Students in norther Ontario were back in class in mid-January and in the last two weeks, several more boards returned to the class.
But now, after a month of lockdown and staying at home to learn in Lambton, the number of new cases of COVID-19 have dropped dramatically. Enough to go back to school, says Education Minister Stephen Lecce.
There are some new rules for kids going back to class including:
- Mandatory masking requirement for students in Grades 1-3, and masking requirement for Grades 1-12 outdoors where physical distancing cannot be maintained;
- Enhanced screening for secondary students and staff;
- Access to targeted asymptomatic testing for students and staff at the direction of the public health units;
The province is also reminding school boards to make sure parents don’t stand around and talk in groups
The Lambton-Kent District School Board says its pleased to have kids back in the classroom. Some people will still learn at home. The Virtual Learn at Home schools continue to operate on their regular schedule.
“To help students prepare to return to school, parents/guardians are encouraged to review the health and safety protocols in place to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19, such as reminders about masking, physical distancing and proper hand hygiene,” says John Howitt, director of education at the Lambton board in a letter to parents.
At the Catholic board in Lambton, the director of education is also pleased to see the return to school. “That is welcome news and we look forward to seeing our students back in class for the first time since last December,” said Deb Crawford in a letter to parents.
“We are excited that our students are returning to class and we know that they are looking forward to seeing their teachers and classmates again. As always, we will continue to follow the advice and direction of the Ministry of Education and our public health partners, as together we work to keep our students and staff safe and healthy.”
That leaves only students in Toronto, York and Peel still learning at home. They’re scheduled to return Feb. 16.