Yesterday the provincial government announced the school reopening plan.

Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced that kindergarten to grade 8 students will be in classroom 5 days per week. He also says remote learning might be required for some high schools depending on their ability to implement public health measures. Those measures being physical distancing and the use of smaller designated groups of students. Schools and school divisions will also have some variation in physical space, equipment availability, and the number of available substitute teachers.

Mountain View School Division superintendent, Dan Ward, is happy for the clarification.

“At the end of June, the province had provided us with three possible scenarios and we spent some time planning for all three and providing some information to the public regarding our planning. So, today essentially firms up some of that planning, we’re able to look back at what we put together for our scenarios, look at the provincial direction, and put together and publish a plan that’s far more concrete than what we’ve had until now.”

School divisions in Manitoba now have until the middle of August to finalize their plans for the school year and share it with students and parents. Ward says the division intends to release some information next week.

“Not only the provincial plan itself but to share some of the work that’s happened in the division. In terms of a divisional plan, that will give parents and students more insight into what September will look like, that is going to be released no later than August the 14th.”

The division will be reviewing the plan with the school board, stakeholders, and key staff members before releasing the plan to the public.

Ward says the government’s guidelines could make things difficult for the DRCSS.

“It’s certainly going to be more challenging for our larger schools and in particular, for our largest school, the DRCSS. Our smaller schools can actually cohort in a much more straight forward fashion. The cohort maximum is 75, our cohorts in our smaller high schools will be smaller than that. But with the D-R, with a student enrollment of more than 600 students, it’s going to present its challenges. I’ve already been in touch with the high school principal at the DRCSS and we’ve communicated.”

Ward and DRCSS Principal Norm Casavant will be meeting early next week to look at the direction from the province and what that means for scheduling and programming at the DRCSS.

If you would like to take a look at the full school reopening plan, click here.