Aug. 20, 2020
As we get closer to September, we know there are many questions and lots of information still to be shared before students return to school. This week we have some system updates and reminders in advance of school offices opening next week. We continue our preparations and planning to welcome students for the new school year.
Videos to be Posted Next Week
We are creating a series of videos will that show the different health measures being implemented in elementary, junior and high schools. As well, our partner, Southland Transportation is finalizing a video about what health measures will be in place on yellow school buses. We had hoped to launch these earlier, but given the continuously evolving health measure requirements, the videos will not be ready until next week.
Work Continues on Mask Guidelines
Last week we announced that CBE will require all staff and students who are able (kindergarten to Grade 12) to wear a face mask at school. We recognize that due to medical or other needs, not all students and staff will be able to wear a mask. Next week we will release guidelines for mask use in our schools, including information about the times and locations masks must be worn, when mask breaks will occur and who may be exempted from wearing masks.
The province is providing bulk supplies to all of our schools including face masks for students, face shields for employees and hand sanitizer for all. We are still waiting for details about how and when these will be distributed. Families are encouraged to consider purchasing additional masks for their children.
Update | Yellow School Bus Transportation Update
Earlier this week yellow school bus routes and stops were sent to all families who pre-registered for transportation by the June deadline. Drivers will receive a list of students who will ride their bus and a seating plan will be in place.
While CBE Transportation continues to accept registrations, changes to stops based on these new addresses will take up to six weeks to process. Students registering after the deadline will be unable to ride the bus until they have been notified by CBE Transportation.
In the past, we have provided the flexibility to allow families to choose the stop(s) that work best for them for general transportation. Unfortunately, we have had to change our approach due to COVID-19. We have to control the number of riders per bus to support maintaining a healthy distance and institute seating plans.
Update | Health Measures at Schools
All schools have now received their initial kit of materials to assist with physical distancing, as well as cleaning supplies and masks for staff. Acrylic barriers and hand-sanitizing stations are being installed.
As we mentioned last week, school plans will be posted on school websites by the end of August once principals have confirmed details with their staff.
In the event of increased absence by teachers due to COVID-19, we are increasing the number of teachers on our substitute roster by approximately 33 per cent from 1,200 to 1,600. We are making similar additions to our casual roster for support staff, and have also increased the number of cleaning staff.
Reminder | Hub Online Learning Registration
Families who are interested in the hub online learning option for their children have until 4 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 24 to register. Please note, when you submit your registration you will not immediately receive a confirmation email. Parents will receive an email by Aug. 28 from their school confirming receipt of their registration form.
Families wishing to cancel the registration of their child in hub need to make the decision prior to Sept. 1, 2020. Families need to email their child's school indicating they are moving their child from hub to face-to-face instruction.
Keeping You Informed
We appreciate the questions and comments you have submitted on a variety of topics. We continue to update our website with additional information as details are confirmed.
We will continue to provide you with ongoing updates.. Please visit the COVID-19 page on our website for more information.
Chief Superintendent of Schools