Parents share health and safety concerns about a fall return to schools
REGINA -- A recent survey suggests that parents in Saskatchewan Manitoba have some concerns about the return to classrooms for students.
The report from Leger, shows 47 per cent of people polled in the two provinces are concerned about kids returning to school in fall. The majority of people in the regions also feel class sizes should be cut in half when school returns.
Dorian Whitehawk, a young Regina mother, says her oldest child will be starting Kindergarten in September. Whitehawk says she would feel more comfortable if masks were mandatory in Saskatchewan schools, but doesn’t know how that would be enforced.
“They get sick a lot and everything goes into their mouth and with this COVID happening I am very, very worried because like I said I don’t know if she will get sick or another student in her class will get sick,” Whitehawk said. “They’re not keen on hand washing, they’re still learning everything.”
The province says it is taking some precautions when it comes to returning to school and will likely instruct schools to avoid large assemblies and treat the classrooms as a cohort.
“On a positive note we have seen that daycares have remained open without any significant concerns, so that gives a lot of confidence for the elementary schools,” Chief Medical Health Officer for the Ministry of Health Dr. Saqib Shahab said.
“Give young children as normal a school experience as possible because there has been some concerns as well with the fact that schools have been closed for the last three months.”
Premier Scott Moe says a committee is working with school divisions to implement a plan, which should be available soon, so everyone can prepare for the next school year to begin.
The NDP opposition feels a partial masking policy should be considered for the fall.
“I’m hearing that in a lot of classrooms teachers are saying ‘I’ve done the math, I’ve looked at how may students I have in my classroom, it’s not possible right now with the status quo,” NDP Education Critic Carla Beck said.
“Some masking, especially where it’s crowded, that’s something that can’t be taken off the table, or face shields.”