COURTNEY McCLURE, for The Standard
NORTH DURHAM: As many people have known, or assumed for quite some time, students will return to their public school classrooms this September. However, this year the experience will be altogether different for students, parents and school faculty members. The Durham Region Health Department has released a toolkit explaining what kids, parents and staff should know when preparing to go back to school. Students and their teachers will attend classes via in-person sessions while also having some classes offered remotely. According to Durham Public Health, parents will have the option to enrol their child or children in exclusively online classes. If parents do not choose this route, students will be taking some classes online and physically attending other classes. A full list of school boards is available on the Durham Region Health Department’s website. Each specific school board’s precaution plan for the reopening of public, elementary and high schools across Ontario can be found there. The Durham Region Health Department said they will equip schools with enhanced health and safety protocols, which are guided by the Ministry of Education along with the Ministry of Health. The typical schooling environment will adapt in a number of ways. They will train students and staff on hand hygiene, like proper hand washing to prevent the spread of Covid-19. All staff and students will be expected to self-screen for the virus before coming to school each day. They will require students from Grades 4 to 12 to wear non-medical or cloth masks when inside the school, including hallways and classrooms. They encourage any families with questions or concerns to contact Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241. They are open from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They can also be contacted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. A full list of resources offered by the toolkit is available on the Durham Region Health Department’s website.