Physical Distancing

As much distancing as possible between all individuals will be promoted at all times. Physical distancing measures will be supplemented with other public health measures supported by health and safety strategies, such as screening, adapted school environments, cohorting, hand hygiene, enhanced cleaning and masking.

Distancing should be maintained between and within cohorts in both indoor and outdoor learning and play spaces when possible. The school will have plans in place that are site-based to monitor/enforce physical distancing.

Physical distancing strategies that will be incorporated in school include:

  • Increased physical distance of chairs and tables/desks in all rooms (including cafeteria, library, staff areas)
  • Markings on floors and walls to promote physical distancing. (e.g., guides for creating “one-way routes” in hallways).
  • Classes will be held outside as much as possible, when weather permits.
  • Student desks will be arranged with as much distancing as possible and facing in the same direction.
  • Staggered student/staff lunch/break times, recess times and use of communal spaces (e.g., library, gym, cafeteria, staff room).

Resources:


Cohorting

Cohorting is the practice of keeping students together in a class or small group throughout their school day, with limited exposure to multiple teachers or a wide variety of classrooms. This practice limits the number of other students that a single student is in contact with. This practice will also facilitate contact tracing when/if a positive case of COVID-19 occurs in our schools. 

For the 2021-2022 school year, school boards have been asked to implement instructional delivery models and timetables that support cohorting of students as much as possible. 

Elementary Schools 

In our elementary schools, students from Kindergarten through Grade 8 will remain in one cohort for the full day, including recess and lunch. 

  • Cohorted classes will stay together with one teacher, where possible. Students may leave their classrooms to receive additional support. 
  • Specialized education staff, teachers, such as FSL, PTMs, Teacher of Arts will go into classrooms.   
  • Where possible, students will be grouped with students from the same cohort/class to work with support staff.
  • As much physical distancing as possible should always be promoted within cohorts, with 2m distancing between cohorts.
  • Students will be in rows facing forwards to minimize droplet spread.
  • Student desks should be labeled with their names on the front of the desk (as opposed to the top)
  • Teachers will keep an up-to-date seating plan that they can reference for contact tracing.
  • Students are to remain seated at their own desks throughout the lunch period,  including during indoor recess.
  • We will ensure as much distancing between students as possible when choosing books in our classroom libraries. Students must not congregate. 

Click here for more information about the school day for elementary students. 

Resources: 

COVID-19 Health, Safety and Operational Guidance for Schools 2021-2022 – Elementary Schools


Secondary Schools 

In our secondary schools, students learning in-person will be cohorted by classes they are assigned to, with each student being assigned to a maximum of 2 classes each day.

  • Students learning remotely will be assigned to classes – consideration to be given as to how many of these students are assigned to each class.
  • As much physical distancing as possible should always be promoted within cohorts, with 2m distancing between cohorts.
  • Students will be in rows facing forward to minimize droplet spread.
  • Teachers will keep an up-to-date seating plan that they can reference in the event contact tracing is required.
  • Staff, teachers, and support staff (e.g., Educational Assistants) are permitted to go into multiple classrooms, and multiple schools to provide the full breadth of programming for students.

Click here for more information about the school day for secondary students. 

Resources: 

COVID-19 Health, Safety and Operational Guidance for Schools 2021-2022 – Secondary Schools

Congregating

To help minimize the spread of COVID-19, 

  • School staff will monitor to ensure that students are not gathering in groups before school starts and after school.
  • Periods of student movement around the school will be staggered to limit congregating in the hallways.
  • Students not participating in extra-curricular should return directly home after school.

In our elementary schools: 

  • we will stagger entry into the school so that fewer students are in the hallway at a time. 
  • we will create designated routes for students to get to and from classrooms. 
  • we will use all possible entrances to have students enter through entry doors closest to their classrooms.
  • students will maintain physical distancing in their lines as much as possible, and 2 metres between cohorts
  • parents and guardians are asked to review with their children about the need to follow physical distancing guidelines and remind your older children to refrain from congregating in groups before and after school.
  • parents, guardians and caregivers are encouraged to remain in their cars and not gather during drop off and pick up times.  Only one designated parent/guardian should drop-off/pick-up to minimize congregating. 

Click here for more information about the school day for elementary students. 


In our secondary schools: 

  • we will create student entry and supervision plan for the start of the school day.
  • we will establish designated zones to avoid congestion and provide closest route to classrooms. 
    • students will enter by the door closest to their room and head straight to their classroom.
  • we will create designated routes for students to get to and from classrooms.

Click here for more information about the school day for secondary students. 

Resources: 

COVID-19 Health, Safety and Operational Guidance for Schools 2021-2022 – Distancing and Congregating