As we are now several weeks into the new school year, we can clearly see where and how the government’s return to school plan is lacking. As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, there are several concerns that top the list.
Class sizes are still too large.
We need to keep fighting for smaller classrooms to ensure physical distancing measures can be put into place.
Thousands of Ontario families opted for online education, which should mean in-person class sizes drop, ensuring safe physical distancing. Instead, the Ontario Conservatives are crowding more students into classrooms than we had last year — before COVID. @Sflecce @fordnation 2/4
— Peter Wolchak (@pwolchak) September 18, 2020
This looks no different from precovid- people don’t understand how librarians spec Ed and guidance are counted into these averages. What cohorts?
— LCjo (@jod60) September 11, 2020
There isn’t enough cleaning staff.
According to one CBC article, “schools have 600 to 1,000 kids and there’s one person to do the desktops, the chairs and all the extra cleaning that’s required.”. The concern, of course, is that the custodians are being overworked and are not able to keep up with the sanitizing and disinfecting needed to keep the virus at bay.
OCDSB custodians 'run ragged,' union official says | CBC News https://t.co/Kv3O4CuXnB
— Phil Clementino (@PhilClementino) September 16, 2020
Teachers are having to buy their own cleaning supplies.
Teachers are coming out on social media and sharing stories of how they are purchasing cleaning supplies for their classrooms.
The least the government could do is provide the cleaning supplies. Thank you for being awesome! Your students are lucky to have you. 🙏
— Safe September (@safesept) September 27, 2020
Communication is delayed.
Parents like Paul Thomas are flagging delays in communication with parents. His Twitter thread walks us through his experience with a positive case in his son’s class. We’ve also noticed that the ontario.ca website where COVID-19 cases are published, is sometimes delayed by a few days.
2/ And so over 36 hrs after the test result, no self isolation order has been sent
Getting results to schools is job #1. The school says @ottawahealth is investigating. But @OCDSB must empower schools to use common sense and notify students if parents disclose results directly
— Paul Thomas (@pejthomas) September 24, 2020
Bus drivers don’t feel safe enough to go to work.
NEW | @OttSchoolBus says 2,360 students in Ottawa will have to find their own way to school until the school bus driver shortage is addressed. The issue arose over the Labour Day weekend when many drivers said they wouldn’t be returning to the job. #ottnews
— Charlie Senack (@Charlie_Senack) September 11, 2020
'I don't need this job. Fix it.' School bus drivers question safety
| Ottawa Citizen https://t.co/jgU91LPAhQ
— Jim Bennett (@JSSBennett) September 15, 2020
The testing & results backlog is keeping kids home unnecessarily.
Between the long lineups at local test centres, long wait for test results and long list of symptoms, kids are not able to return to school in a timely fashion. This, of course, leads to parents missing work.
Imagine being a parent that needed a negative result for a child to send them back to school that might have been sent home with a sniffle and no other symptoms. Talked to a mom last week that lost 5 days of work waiting for her daughter's neg result.
— Patti B 😷 (@TVPattiBrant) September 27, 2020
How about we address the list of symptoms so students, parents and employees are not missing school and work unnecessarily? Allergy and cold symptoms are being mistaken for #COVID19 symptoms. Ontario should follow the BC response on this @douglasdowney @fordnation
— Amanda Chapman (@barrielawyer) September 27, 2020