Q: What will classes look like?
Students will be in school all day every day. We are using a cohort model, meaning that each class is treated like its own bubble. We will reduce the amount of contact each class has with other classes.
Q: What measures will you take to protect each cohort bubble in the classroom?
Each room has been measured and we have reallocated space to provide as much physical distancing in classrooms as possible. We have also purchased PPE (personal protective equipment) for all of our teachers. Hand sanitizer will be available in all classrooms and, in the lower grades, there is a sink for handwashing. There will be frequent hygiene breaks throughout the day.
Q: How will you protect the cohorts when they are not in the classrooms (i.e. in the hallways, coming into or out of the building)?
We anticipate staggered break times during the day so that not all classes are in the hallway at the same time. Also, students may be staying in the same classroom throughout the day. In the hallways we will have signage to manage the traffic flows and clearly indicate maximum occupancy for various areas. In addition, students from the same cohort will not have their lockers clustered together by grade (and again, there will be staggered opportunities for classes to go to lockers). This will allow students from the same cohort to physically distance even when in the halls. There will be new procedures for school arrival and departure.
Q: Will students be wearing masks?
Non-surgical masks will be mandatory for Grade 4 and up. They will be encouraged for younger grades but parents will make the choice for their children. On this safety measure private schools, including Maranatha, are required to follow the provincial government’s directive.
Q: How will you keep MCA clean during the day?
We are hiring two new part-time day custodians to give us full coverage during the day. This will allow us to comply with protocols for thorough cleaning and disinfection of high touch, high traffic areas every day. We are also decluttering all classrooms and removing all non-essential items to make cleaning easier.
Q: Will hand sanitizer be made available?
We have purchased hand sanitizer and it will be available to staff and students including at “handwashing” stations throughout the school, including at every entry into the school and outside classrooms.
Q: How can students get water throughout the day if they are thirsty?
In place of our water fountains, we have purchased six new hydration stations so that students can refill their water bottles from home.
Q: Are you increasing support for the teachers?
We are hiring two new part-time EAs (educational assistants) – one for elementary and one for high school. These EAs will support for teachers and students as needed.
Q: What if my child needs to stay home because they have contracted COVID-19 or are needing to self-isolate/quarantine because of the possibility they have contracted COVID-19? Also, what happens if my child needs to stay home for a time because they have a serious health condition that could lead to being more susceptible to being seriously affected by COVID-19 and we can’t take the risk of sending them to school?
Our teachers will provide learning support to any students who need to stay home as a result of COVID-19. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis as we have a limited ability to accommodate at-home learning supports.
Q: Some of my questions are not answered here. When will MCA finalize its plans?
Later in August we will have finalized a detailed reopening plan. Included will be our new sick policy, PPE requirements, school day routines, screening protocols etc.