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Saskatchewan updates level two guidelines of safe schools plan

UPDATE: LPSD announced they will be moving to level two of the safe school plans on August 12th. All staff and students will be required to wear masks.

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The Government of Saskatchewan is updating some of their safety guidelines for when schools reopen in September.

The province and Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, have provided additional guidance for school divisions wishing to move to level two of precautionary measures, which would require students to wear masks.

Students in Grades 4 through 12 are required to wear a mask in high traffic areas, such as in hallways and on buses. For those students in Grades 9 through 12, masks may be required in classrooms where it is not possible to maintain physical distancing or where students are outside of their classroom cohort.

The province will also be discussing updating the level three precautions with all 27 divisions for high schools that have a high density population. Currently, level three would see the capacity within the school reduced and implement hybrid learning models and establishing cohorts. School divisions may consider options such as alternating days for high school students.

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Dr. Shahab has also directed the following additional measures to be included in all division plans:

•       teacher and class cohorting, with a focus on cohorting teachers to a limited number of students and keeping students in one cohort as much as possible;
•       in elementary school settings, students’ cohorts will be the classroom;
•       in high school settings where cohorting is more complex, school divisions will be encouraged to find creative solutions to move students in cohorts where possible;
•       front-facing instruction for students, any exceptions will be identified for approval by public health;
•       staggered start times, breaks and end times, where possible.

Students are encouraged to bring their own non-medical cloth masks and mask guidelines can be found on the government’s website. The province has also invested $2.3 million in procuring six million disposable masks for schools which will be available for students, teachers and staff at the beginning of the school year.

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