No microwaves, assigned bus seats, fewer toys: A look inside Saskatoon Public Schools’ COVID-19 plan
A chalk board is pictured in this stock photo.
SASKATOON -- Younger students in the Saskatoon Public Schools division will likely have fewer toys to play with this fall and older students won't be stopping at their lockers between classes.
Schools must consider reducing the number of toys available and remove toys that are hard to sanitize or clean, including soft toys - just a few of the dozens of changes included in the division’s 20-page reopening plan released on Tuesday.
While the Saskatchewan government tasked the province's school divisions with developing their own return-to-school plans, it provided a series of mandatory guidelines.
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Under the SPS plan, many materials and games can remain in use if children are instructed to wash their hands before and after use - though they must be Instructed to avoid putting toys and materials in their mouths.
Students are also "encouraged" to wear their own masks when physical distancing isn’t possible.
When it comes to getting to and from school, parents will be asked to transport their own children where possible.
For contact tracing purposes, students will be assigned seats on buses and a record of the seating plan will be kept. Students who live in the same household should be seated together.
Buses must be sanitized between each run.
The way students eat is also changing. Students aren’t allowed to share food - and in fact are encouraged to go home for lunch when possible.
Students staying at school over the lunch break must eat in their classrooms at their desk or in a designated area. No microwaves will be available for student use.
The division said it will focus on keeping student groups "consistent" in elementary schools to limit the number of daily student interactions.
The use of lockers will be minimized, with students instead being asked to bring what they need for school each day in backpacks.
Collegiates will adopt a "block" schedule for 2020-2021 where students will take fewer classes while still earning 10 credits during the academic year.
The school division says the details of how block scheduling will work should be "determined shortly."
The full plan is available on the public school division's website.