Today, the Government of Saskatchewan released the Primary and Secondary Educational Institution Guidelines for the return to classroom learning in the fall.
The guidelines have been developed to support Saskatchewan’s education sector in planning for student and staff safety as the delivery of in-classroom learning resumes this September. The school year is set to start as early as September 1, based on local school division calendars.
“As we return to normal activities within our daily lives, we want to ensure that our school communities have time to prepare for new health and safety requirements,” Deputy Premier and Education Minister Gordon Wyant said. “These guidelines reinforce minimizing physical contact while maintaining a school atmosphere that’s as normal and comfortable as possible.”
The Educational Institution Guidelines were developed under the direction of Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer, and with the help of the Response Planning Team. These guidelines will ensure that operators of provincial Prekindergarten to Grade 12 schools can plan for school to resume as previously scheduled this fall.
Parents and caregivers have been asked to monitor their children for any signs or symptoms of illness. COVID-19 infections in children tend to be mild and similar to other viral respiratory infections. If any symptoms are present, both students and school staff remain home.
Schools have been asked to increase sanitation measures and continue to promote proper hygiene practices. This includes the availability of hand sanitizer wherever possible, establishing clear protocols for bringing supplementary school materials such as backpacks and school supplies in and out of schools, and planning for minimized contact among students and staff as much as possible.
As this is a highly evolving situation, the guidelines may be updated and adjusted depending on the impact of COVID-19 and the feedback of education partners in our province prior to the beginning of the school year.