Provincial Guidelines for K-12 Education Update Feb. 23, 2021

There have been some additions this week to the guidelines for schools around masks and ventilation.  Please see below for updated information.

MIDDLE AND SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS:

All middle and secondary school students are required to wear a mask or a face shield (in which case a nonmedical mask should be worn in addition to the face shield) in schools – both within and outside of their learning group except when:

▪ sitting in (or standing at) their seat or desk/workstation (including shared tables) in a classroom/learning environment (while this exception applies regardless of the physical distance between students or their specific seating configuration, schools should configure classrooms and learning environments to maximize distance between students and avoid face-to-face seating arrangements where possible).

▪ there is a barrier in place;

▪ eating and drinking; or

▪ outdoors

All middle and secondary school students are required to wear a mask or a face shield (in which case a mask should be worn in addition to the face shield) on school buses. Exceptions will also be made for students who cannot tolerate masks for health or behavioural reasons.

Additional guidance for mask use during specific activities in middle and secondary schools is detailed in the Music Programs, Physical and Health Education (PHE)/Outdoor Programs, School Sports and Theatre, Film and Dance Programs sections.

Mask use outdoors is a personal choice.

VENTILATION:

In the case when a power outage happens or the ventilation system shuts down for unexpected reasons.

In order to enhance school ventilation, schools should consider:

▪ moving activities outdoors when possible (for example, lunch, classes, physical activity) and consider moving classrooms outside when space and weather permit

▪ ensuring that the ventilation system operates properly

School district and site-based safety plans should include provisions for when a ventilation break down).  This could include:

▪ increasing air exchanges by adjusting the HVAC system

▪ where possible, opening windows if weather permits and HVAC system function will not be           negatively impacted.

▪ moving to room with better ventilation or moving to the outdoors if weather permits