Thames Valley developing plans to re-open in Fall

Posted On Friday June 19, 2020

Thames Valley will use two London schools as pilot sites during the summer to test an array of public health measures that will be needed in all schools to ensure the health and safety of students and staff when schools reopen in September.

Planning has also begun on class scheduling to meet social distancing guidelines with modified classroom seating, using alternate learning spaces such as gyms, and the possible blend of online learning and alternate days at school.

The efforts are part of Thames Valley’s preparations to reopen schools as outlined by the Ministry of Education’s announcement today, Friday, June 19. 

The Ministry has asked school board to draft plans for three scenarios including: a full return to in-school learning, remote learning, and a blend of online learning and in-class instruction on alternate days allowing maximum groups of 15 students. 

The plans must be approved by local public health units and submitted to the Ministry for approval. More information on the Ministry’s announcement can be found at this link: Ontario Prepares for the Safe Reopening of Schools

“We will be working closely with public health officials and using these test schools to develop our plans to submit to the Ministry,” said Education Director Mark Fisher. “We will also be taking photos and videos to share with families to help everyone understand what school may look like in the fall, as well as the process for entering and leaving school buildings.” 

Saunders Secondary School and Eagle Heights Public School – among the largest of the Board’s 161 secondary and elementary schools – have been chosen to pilot physical distancing measures, including the use of protective barriers, directional signage and floor markers, enhanced cleaning procedures, and classroom configurations.

Thames Valley is also working with local child care operators who were allowed to reopen earlier this month, using lessons learned in the development of child care sector protocols to meet public health requirements. 

“Thames Valley staff will be working hard throughout this summer to make sure that we have everything in place to keep students and staff safe and healthy when schools reopen in the fall,” said Director Fisher.

Thames Valley is committed to providing students and families with more information about school re-opening plans as they are released.