BY SURJIT SINGH FLORA
Students in Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon won’t be returning to schools to end the year – but they will have an opportunity to retrieve the personal items still left in them. The provincial government announced on May 19 students will finish out the year from home because of the risk of spreading COVID-19. For students who have left shoes, jackets, your notebooks or other personal belongings behind before March Break, the Peel District School Board will open for a limited period for students to retrieve their belongings.
Representatives from the school board said Monday that only one individual will be permitted to retrieve student belongings, except in ext e n u a t i n g circumstances. “Please do not bring friends or family members with you, and please do not linger and socialize during the process,” the board said earlier this week, indicating that each student will be allocated a maximum 15 minutes to retrieve their items. The retrieval of belongings and textbooks is run through June 19, with schools open from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. during an extended window in order to accommodate all families and personal schedules.
No appointment is needed, and students can arrive during a time that works for their schedule during the day. Items will be organized by class at each school, but in case of inclement weather, items will be placed in the school gymnasium. Students and parents are required to enter the school from a designated entrance, and are reminded to bring their own hand sanitizer and hand-sanitize upon entry. Students/parents will be “signed-in” by a staff member, and asked if they have taken the self-assessment.
Anyone planning to enter the scshool must also take Peel Region’s self-assessment tool, which can be accessed at peelregion.ca/coronavirus/testing, beforehand. All attendees are are strongly encouraged to wear their own non medical mask. Staff will be onsite to supervise, and ensure physical distancing is maintained and there aren’t a large number of students in a given area of the building at any one time.
Each individual will be required to report to a staff member to signout before exiting the building. Students and parents requesting a report can request paper copies when schools reopen in the next school year. Report cards will also be submitted in the Ontario Student Record (OSR). “These are still uncertain times and many questions remain about what the restart will look like,” said Peter Joshua, Director of Education at PDSB, who indicated that in the coming weeks and months, the board will work with the provincial government, Peel Public Health and other health agencies,
Ontario school boards and educational partners to plan reopening for the next school year. “I want to assure you that all precautions and actions will be taken to ensure that we are well placed to reopen schools in order to learn and work in a safe, efficient and equitable way. We take this responsibility seriously and the safety of staff and students remains a key priority, “said Joshua.