Skip to main content
A scary good deal on trusted journalism
Get full digital access to globeandmail.com
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks SAVE OVER $140
OFFER ENDS OCTOBER 31
A scary good deal on trusted journalism
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
SAVE OVER $140
OFFER ENDS OCTOBER 31
// //

Students line up outside a junior public school in Scarborough in September, 2020. Students, parents and teachers are preparing for what they expect to be another disruptive fall.

CARLOS OSORIO/Reuters

Toronto’s public-school students will follow stricter health and safety measures than those released by the province when they return to school in about three weeks.

Toronto District School Board (TDSB) staff shared reopening guidelines with trustees at a meeting on Tuesday, outlining requirements for elementary students to eat lunch in their classrooms and remain in specific cohorts for recess and outdoor breaks. Assemblies will not be allowed, unless they are virtual or outdoors. Singing in indoor music class will be permitted as long as students are masked and in their own classroom cohorts.

However, the TDSB said it was still developing protocols on resuming extracurricular activities and the use of instruments for music class. It also indicated that the guidelines could change into the school year based on continuing advice from Toronto Public Health.

Story continues below advertisement

The provincial government’s guidance to school boards earlier this month allowed for school assemblies, the use of cafeterias with physical distancing between cohorts and the mixing of cohorts during recess or outdoor breaks, with physical distancing encouraged. Singing was also allowed under the provincial guidance, with masks encouraged where distancing cannot be maintained.

“With the first day of school quickly approaching, we continue to confirm more details about what school will look like in September,” TDSB spokesman Ryan Bird said. “While there will be familiar aspects to daily life in the classroom, there will also be some changes, and we’ll keep our families and staff updated as these final pieces are decided in the days and weeks ahead.”

To protect our kids from COVID-19, we have to be grown-ups

One simple principle: No vaccine, no go

Caitlin Clark, a spokeswoman for Education Minister Stephen Lecce, said the government follows the advice of the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, and the “layers of prevention” that include screening protocols, testing, ventilation improvements and distancing “will keep schools as safe as possible.”

Students, parents and teachers are preparing for what they expect to be another disruptive fall. Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination rate is among the highest in the world, but the vaccine is not yet approved for children under 12. Families and school staff are also anxious about the fast-spreading Delta variant.

The TDSB said on Tuesday that preliminary data show 86 per cent of students opted for in-person learning – a larger number than in the previous school year. Last year, about 30 per cent of students chose to learn remotely.

The school board has said that all students, including those in kindergarten, will be required to wear masks indoors.

The TDSB guidance indicated that high-school lunch protocols are still being developed, as are rules for health and physical education classes and the use of musical instruments. The province had said that wind instruments are permitted indoors where a distance of two metres or more can be maintained between students.

Story continues below advertisement

The school board also said it had not finalized how extracurricular activities would run, despite the province saying that clubs and sports could resume.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies