Physical distancing, class bubbles highlight Kahnawake's back-to-school plan that goes further than Quebec

·2 min read
Kahnawake Survival School is one of three schools in the Mohawk community located south of Montreal that will have stricter public health rules than the ones outlined by the Quebec government. (Gabrielle Paul/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Kahnawake Survival School is one of three schools in the Mohawk community located south of Montreal that will have stricter public health rules than the ones outlined by the Quebec government. (Gabrielle Paul/Radio-Canada - image credit)

School administrators in Kahnawake have unveiled their back-to-school plan, which includes public health rules that go further than the ones outlined by the Quebec government.

When students head back to school on Sept. 1, they will need to practice physical distancing while in class and remain in small class bubbles.

All staff, including teachers, will be required to wear masks.

As it stands, the rest of the province is doing away with classroom bubbles.

Children won't need to be physically distanced in the classroom, and teachers can remove their masks as long they are two-metres away from their students.

The Kahnawake Education Center (KEC) oversees three schools in Kahnawake — a Mohawk community located just south of Montreal.

The stricter public health rules will be applied at Kateri School, Karonhianónhnha Tsi Ionterihwaienstáhkhwa and Kahnawake Survival School.

According to Robin Delaronde, the KEC's Education Director, Kahnawake being a small community is a big reason why their guidelines went beyond those from Quebec's Education Ministry.

"We have many families that live together or are in close proximity and we are a very tight-knit community," Delaronde said.

"If anything happened to our young children, to our staff, to our teachers, there's a high probability because of this closeness that we have, there would be an outbreak."

Other rules for the schools in Kahnawake include:

  • Daily "health checks" for students and staff.

  • Using separate entrances and exits.

  • Contact tracing logs for students and staff.

  • Encouraging parents to pick up and drop off their children.

The KEC's masking rules for students are similar to the ones from the province, with students being able to remove them once they are seated in class.

Earlier this week, Education Minister Jean-François Roberge said he was open to tightening the province's rules, but added that ideally he would prefer to stick to the current plan.

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