Back to School Update for Quebec: The EMSB Announces Major Changes

Things are changing due to the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, and schools are not untouched by it. The English Montreal School Board has outlined a back-to-school plan for January and shared that schools will be closed for a few days more.

It was also highlighted that emergency daycares for elementary students would be open, and priority will be given to parents working in any essential service sectors like healthcare if they provide proof.

Sending a memo to parents, the EMSB stated that the elementary, high school, and adult sector students should take part in online schooling from Jan 6th to Jan 14th, 2022. The only exceptions are Mackay Centre and Philip E. Layton special education schools. Those institutions will resume in-person teaching on Jan 6th, 2022.

The students are expected to return to in-person classes on Jan 17th, 2022, unless the government announces new plans.

All students will return to in-person classes on Jan 17th unless the government announces otherwise.

The letter said, “Parents are asked to keep their children at home, and in very exceptional circumstances, they can reach out to the school principal. Schools with private daycares will provide the specifics concerning the service offered to their families.”

This move is smart given the fact that the COVID-19 cases are rising rapidly. Over 17,000 new cases were reported in Quebec on New Year’s Day, and it was the fifth straight day that a record number of new infections were reported in the province. Around twelve more deaths linked to COVID-19 were also reported.

Quebec residents also had to ring in the new year according to the guidelines of a provincewide curfew. The rules took effect from Friday and required everyone to be home by 10 PM and stay at home till 5 AM. There were only a few exceptions, like essential workers traveling to and from work.

Police officers have been enforcing the curfew and charging fines ranging from $1000 to $6000. Even teenagers over the age of fourteen are liable to pay a fine of $500 if they break the curfew. Exemptions include homeless people, those who are visiting a sick patient, and those visiting a pharmacy to get medications, among others.

Gatherings are banned, and people who live alone are allowed to visit another family bubble with their children. As per new rules, people can also visit a loved one to provide care.

All the restaurants are instructed to close the dining rooms, but they can go on with takeout and delivery. All cinemas, bars, cinemas, taverns, and casinos are closed. Stores are allowed to operate at 50% capacity.

In addition to high school and elementary school students, universities and colleges will also need to continue with distanced learning until Jan 17th. The only exceptions are a few classes that require students to be in person.

These new measures look like a wise move as the number of cases is on the rise. Click here for more.

To know what else the government is doing to prevent the rapid spread of COVID, click here


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