What the return to school looks like in Quebec

Thousands returned to class Monday across the province - except in the Montreal area, where the reopening has been pushed back. Here's a look at the new reality.

Photos show the new reality in parts of the province where classrooms have opened up again

Teacher Janick Mille welcomes students at École Marie Rose as elementary schools outside the greater Montreal area reopened on Monday. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

Thousands of elementary school students returned to class across the province on Monday — except in the Montreal area, where the reopening has been pushed back.

Here's a look at what awaited teachers and students as they tried to conform to new physical distancing rules.

Students were greeted by teachers, often in protective equipment. Masks are not compulsory for teachers.

Teacher Benoit Galerneau uses his measuring tape on Olivier Robin, to show what two meters is on Monday at the Primerose School in Quebec City. (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press)

Students were instructed to wash their hands regularly, including before entering class.

A student has her hands sanitized in the schoolyard, as schools outside the greater Montreal begin to reopen their doors. (Christinne Muschi/Reuters)

Many schools have separate entrances for each class. Markings on the sidewalks and floors showed students where they should stand. In line, students are instructed to keep two metres apart. 

Students in Saint-Gabriel-de-Brandon line up for class this morning, while keeping their distance. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada)

On school buses, only one child is allowed per bench. Bus drivers are protected by a plastic shield. 

A school bus driver in Saint-Gabriel-de-Brandon, Que., greets children through a plastic shield. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada)

The return to school is optional. Roughly 60 per cent of eligible elementary students outside Montreal are expected to return to class this week. There is a limit of 15 children per classroom.

The library in a school in Lévis was transformed into a classroom. (Julia Page/CBC)

The province is the first in Canada to reopen its schools to a wide cross-section of students. They were closed on March 16. 

At the school in Lévis, a box of books was left for each student, which they will not be allowed to share. (Julia Page/CBC)

The opening date in the Montreal area, where there are more cases, has been pushed back to May 25. Schools in the Eastern Townships aren't reopening until May 13.

Brigitte Bouchard, a primary school teacher, mimics a big hug as she greets her students at Marie-Derome School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

Students will have to take turns going outside for recess to minimize contact with their fellow students.

While elementary schools are open, play structures are still off limits in school yards. (Victoria Emanuelle Forest Briand/CBC)

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