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COVID-19 Newsletter #3 (Back-to-School Edition)

Montreal - Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Welcome to the third edition of our COVID-19 newsletter, where you will find information regarding the latest Ministry of Education directives and Public Health guidelines, as well as answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from parents and students.

This week, EMSB schools will be communicating the logistics for a successful back-to-school, such as, physical access to the school, lockers, recess, lunch periods, and much more!

Please click here to view PDF Version of EMSB COVID-19 Newsletter No:3

Back-to-School

The EMSB will continue to implement COVID-19 Ministry protocols in preparation for the first day of classes.

For more information on the Ministry of Education Back-to-School Plan, click here.

You have questions, we have answers! We invite you to have a look at our COVID-19/back-to-school FAQ, which is regularly updated. It currently features over 50 questions and answers.

For information on the Back-to-School Plan featured in previous newsletters, click here.

Should you have additional questions, please contact us.

Explaining COVID-19 to Children

Click on the link below for a 5 minute video which helps explain COVID to children.
https://ecoleouverte.ca/en/pages/inquiet

COVID-19 and Back-to-School Videos

Since Montreal has been hit the hardest by COVID-19, concerns and questions about the return to the classroom have been expressed. Réseau réussite Montréal (RRM) has produced a number of short videos in which education and health specialists address various concerns. These videos were produced as part of the special back-to-school edition of Hooked on School Days.

To view the videos:

Special Consideration for Students with Specific Health Conditions

As per the recent Ministry directives, students who have a medical note confirming that they, or a household member, have a health condition that makes them vulnerable to COVID-19 may be entitled to online learning from home. For more information, please click here, and to access the request form, click here.

Going beyond the Guidelines Set by Public Health

The EMSB has received a number of requests from parents wanting to put measures in place that go beyond the guidelines currently set by the Public Health Department.

Please rest assured that the EMSB is carefully following Ministry and Public Health directives to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and stakeholders. All recommended protective equipment such as masks, hand sanitizers and disinfectants have been ordered in large quantities to ensure a clean and safe environment within all of our facilities.

We must ensure that all products and equipment meet specific standards. As such, in order to maintain and control the quality of the PPEs, we cannot accept any donations.

In addition, students will not be permitted to bring equipment such as Plexiglas screens for their individual desks as these can become a health hazard in a classroom for students who are sitting at or in the vicinity of the desk. Furthermore, caretakers must ensure proper sanitization of the washrooms, classrooms, and commonly frequented spaces and will not be able to take on the additional task of cleaning the Plexiglas screens

At Home: Which Symptoms to Look for and What Actions to Take

Public health authorities want students presenting one or more symptoms to stay home and to call 1-877-644-4545 for instructions. When a student stays home, we ask that parents also contact the school.

To find out more, including the list of symptoms to look out for, we invite you to click here.

COVID-19 Procedures to Follow

The Ministry and Public Health authorities have developed a procedure to instruct both parents and school personnel on how to deal with children presenting symptoms. For these details and to learn more about what to do, please click here.

How to Wear a Mask by Health Canada

For information on how to properly wear a non-medical mask, watch this short video from Health Canada by clicking here.

Cleaning and Disinfecting our Schools

EMSB will be following the guidelines prescribed by the CNESST and Santé Publique in regards to hygiene measures in the schools. Cleaning and disinfecting is required in all high touch areas. Our caretaking staff will disinfect all high touch areas (ex: doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, light switches, chairs, desks, counters, washrooms, etc.) at least once a day.

Our caretakers have all attended a workshop on preventive disinfecting procedures and obtained an attestation from an external consulting firm.

How to Apply for Homeschooling

Parents can apply to home school their children at any time during the year.

Homeschooling in Quebec is managed by the Direction de l’enseignement à la maison (DEM) which is part of the Ministry of Education. Parents must apply to home school their children via the government’s website:

http://www.education.gouv.qc.ca/en/school-boards/supportand-assistance/homeschooling/

Transportation Services 2020-2021

As per the EMSB Transportation Policy, services must be provided to students who are eligible for transportation. However, amid the COVID-19 situation, the EMSB has had to modify the functioning of its transportation organization. In lieu of the usual 72 students per vehicle, health and safety guidelines will allow for 2 students per bench for a maximum of 44 students per bus.

In order to ensure the safety of our students and given the limited number of seats on the bus, we ask parents who can drive or walk their children to school, to please do so. This will allow us to provide services to families who require bussing and cannot, due to circumstances beyond their control, drive their children to school.

Parents whose children are eligible for bussing will be receiving their bus passes for the 2020-2021 school year this week. Should you not receive your child’s buss pass by the end of the week,
please contact the Transportation Division by e-mail at: schoolorg@emsb.qc.ca.

In addition to the above, due to the limited number of seats available on our busses, the EMSB will not be able to offer accommodation bussing to all its students, as in previous years. Should spots become available, we will do our best to accommodate as many students as possible. However, please note that requests may not be reviewed before mid-October, or until the EMSB can ensure that all students who are eligible for transportation have received bussing services. We will do our best to address all transportation requests as quickly as possible.

If you are a parent whose child has received accommodation bussing in the past, you should have received an email regarding this. We ask that you kindly fill out and submit the form and a representative from the Transportation Division will contact you. Lastly, we ask that you please refrain from contacting your school as they will be unable to provide any additional information.

For answers to frequently asked questions about transportation, please click here.

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