Here's what a Hamilton classroom will look like during COVID-19
Reporters visited a kindergarten class, a Grade 1 class, washrooms and a hallway
Spaced out desks, single squares of carpet, bagged up water fountains and checkmarks above bathroom stalls and urinals are just some of the new features schools will have for students as they reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board gave local media a tour of one of its newer schools on the mountain, Shannen Koostachin Elementary, on Tuesday.
Reporters visited a kindergarten class, a Grade 1 class, washrooms and a hallway.
This comes as the board announced a $10.4 million plan yesterday to reduce class sizes in kindergarten and in classes between Grades 4 and 8. The plan also includes a staggered start and mandatory masks for all students.
Here's what the school looked liked:
Grade 1 class
The Grade 1 class had 23 desks and chairs for students, with roughly a metre of room between them.
The desks take up almost the entirety of the room.
There was also a bottle of hand sanitizer in the class.
Manny Figueiredo, director of education, noted space for some of the more social aspects of learning, like a reading table, won't be in class.
"A lot of the extra furniture or other learning spaces have been removed. It's the only way to create distancing. It's not how we've reinforced effective teaching and learning over the years," he said.
Here's more back-to-school coverage:
- Help CBC Hamilton's back-to-school coverage
- HWDSB extends registration deadline to Thursday due to problem-plagued Parent Portal
- HWDSB will spend to reduce class sizes and phase in the start of the school year
- Almost 1 in 5 HWDSB students expected to register for online learning
- Hamilton Catholic school board approves phased school reopening and mandatory masking
The kindergarten class had six tables with 12 chairs.
It also had a touch-free handwashing station and nine individual squares of carpet for students to sit on.
Toys will be scarce in these rooms.
In the washrooms, urinals and stalls are marked so that only every other one is in use.
A green checkmark indicates which stalls and urinals can be used while a red X signifies which should be avoided.
Hallways have various COVID-19 posters about masking and physical distancing.
Water fountains are bagged up, but water bottle filling stations can be used.
The floor also features stickers that help physically distance students.
Attention parents, students and teachers: We want to hear from you!
We hope you'll use this form to tell us about school conditions, how classes are going or whatever other pressing issues are on your mind this September in Hamilton, Niagara, St. Catharines and Burlington.