School might be coming back in September in the city, but it's going to look very different. The Toronto schools reopening plan has been outlined by the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and it paints a picture of what the new normal will look like. It sounds like students and staff should get used to the idea of daily COVID-19 screenings, designated handwashing breaks, and eating lunch in classrooms.
A 73-page long document provided by the TDSB highlights a the possible models for how the new school year will pan out in the fall at the city's secondary schools, as well as survey results from staff, parents/guardians and students.
There are three different options in mind for students which include a full return, partial return for in-class and remote classes, or fully remote learning.
According to the Ministry of Education, Ontario's intention is to follow the mixed model.
And that's going to make the day-to-day experience a lot different in schools, if the proposed considerations are anything to judge by.
For a start, if in-person classes do resume, the new school normal will likely include all staff and students self-screening every single day before they leave home to head to class or get on a school bus.
They will then need to be screened again as they arrive at their respective schools.
Once inside the school, things will look a lot different, too.
There will be a capacity limit in certain tightly-spaced areas like washrooms and elevators.
Meanwhile, school assemblies will be no more and group activities will be a thing of the past, including the closure of cafeterias and kitchenettes.
Students will likely have to eat their lunches in classrooms, and they'll have to take their garbage home with them, too.
And to make sure you're being extra squeaky clean, there will be set times throughout the day for handwashing breaks for all staff and students.
If the province changes its mind and chooses a full return to school and that gets a go-ahead from health officials, then there could even be designated times for students to catch the bus and head to school to ensure limited capacity can be maintained.
A rule requiring mandatory PPE would also be in force wherever physical distancing isn't possible.
The TDSB document notes there'll be a pre-registration survey sent to families next week and final plans will be shared with the Ministry of Education on Aug. 4.