Return to school plan should be revisited for rural schools says reader

To the Editor:

Like many parents I am wading through the provincial guidelines for the return to school in September. Again, like many, I wrestled with terms such as quadmesters, single and double cohorts, adaptive returns, and conventional returns to class.

Shame on me, but in my initial readings I thought that all high school classes in the province would be limited to 15 students. When social distancing is clearly recommended for all of us, this makes total sense. However, when I began to read more carefully it became clear that this cap size would apply to only those boards of education who were under the adaptive umbrella. That is, the larger, more urban boards.
Bluewater District School Board, along with many other smaller boards, is grouped under the conventional umbrella. This means that class sizes will return to approximately what they were prior to the Pandemic. This could be 15 or 20 or 30 students per class….at this time we simply don’t know. Yet, at this time we as parents are asked to make a decision on whether we want to send our kids back to school. Of course, a hard number of 15 per class would enable more social distancing and make my decision as a parent much easier.
Our high school students and local educators deserve the same health protections as those in major urban centers. Let’s hope that the decision makers at Queen’s Park feel the same way, and revise this plan.
Eric Combe.