PEI

School officials pondering masks, other details as return to class approaches

School officials on P.E.I. say they continue to work on plans for a safe return to class and hope to provide parents with details in plenty of time before the bell rings on Sept. 8.

'All things are on the table right now to ensure our students and our staff are safe and well'

Erin Johnston, assistant director with the Public Schools Branch, says there may be times where students and staff have to wear masks. (Halfpoint/Shutterstock)

School officials on P.E.I. say they continue to work on plans for a safe return to class and hope to provide parents with details in plenty of time before the bell rings on Sept. 8.

Erin Johnston, assistant director with the Public Schools Branch (PSB), said principals and staff are developing guidelines around classroom configuration, staggering arrival and departure times and even whether students and teachers will be required to wear masks at certain times.

"There may be times where students and staff have to wear masks — certainly not written in stone at this point," she said.

"We're deep into collaboration with the Chief Public Health Office and partners to work through those details, but I guess all things are on the table right now to ensure our students and our staff are safe and well coming back in September."

Goal to have all kids in school

Johnston said the goal is to have all the kids from kindergarten to Grade 12 returning to school in the fall.

"We know that teaching and learning happens best when students are in front of their teachers and staff."

Johnston says school buses are expected to be available, though parents are encouraged to drive their children if possible. (CBC)

Johnston said transportation is another area that is being worked out. She said buses are expected to be available, but the PSB is encouraging parents to drive their children if possible. 

She said details will be made public as soon as possible.

"I can certainly appreciate that parents want and need that information and we're going to do our best to get that to them in a timely fashion."

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Kerry Campbell

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