Nova Scotia has released its plan for public school students for a 100 per cent return to classes in September. Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health says children need to be in school, not only for their academic learning but also for their further development and their emotional and psychological health.
Zach Churchill, minister of education and childhood development announced the plan which was developed with the IWK Health Centre, public health and educational partners.
Dr. Strang says the epidemiology shows that virus activity in the province remains very low and the plan will not be quite back to normal but will bring a sense of normalcy back into the lives of Nova Scotian learners and teachers.
“The virus is still present, and we are still at risk of it returning back to Nova Scotia and we must continue to be vigilant,” says Strang. “I fully believe that we have very reasonable and practical health and safety measures to find that necessary balance of allowing kids to be in school learning with an appropriate level of safety.”
Government says they are aware that not all students will be able to attend school in September and accommodations will be made for any students who are immunocompromised and not able to attend. Some of the measures that staff and students going back to school in September can expect include enhanced cleaning, physical distancing, class bubbles and high school students, bus riders and drivers wearing masks. The full plan is on the government coronavirus website.
“We want to retain the experience that makes school a special place for our students and our teachers,” says Churchill. “We know that most children will be able to go to school, and medical and health experts tell us that children need school for their emotional, social, physical and mental well-being.”
The Canadian Mental Health Association, Nova Scotia Division is continuing to offer non-clinical mental health psycho-social wellness support and navigation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit our COVID-19 wellness hub for support.