Back to school plan released for Brandon School Division

By | August 14, 2020

WINNIPEG — The Brandon School Division released its back to school plan on Friday.

It features everything from mask requirements to students learning from home.

Marion Conley’s daughter is going into Grade 11 and Conley is nervous about her daughter heading back to school.

“I’m apprehensive, just like everybody else. Especially with the spike in cases in Brandon,” said Conley.

As part of the new plan, Conley’s daughter will only be at school every second day.

The plan said high school students will alternate going to school and studying at home based on a two-day schedule.

“We feel comfortable that if we reduce the number of people in terms of students in the building to half of the student population that we have, then we can better manage that,” said Marc Casavant, who is the superintendent and CEO of the Brandon School Division.

Due to the new schedule, electives like shop, home economics, band, and choir are suspended.

“We value these other programs, that’s not the reason we are shutting them down. It’s just that our ability to meet the needs of the programs and their health requirements, we just feel we want to pause them,” he said.

In line with the provincial guidelines set on Thursday, the plan also states students in Grades 5 and up are strongly recommended to wear masks.

Manitoba’s NDP Leader thinks the masks should be a requirement.

“If we have an area like Brandon where we are seeing an increase in cases and the school boards want to mandate them, then they should be able to,” said Wab Kinew.

Casavant doesn’t think they need to mandate masks and students will wear them after being told.

“I think from a senior leadership perspective, role modelling what the expectations are is certainly going to be high on my list to be visible in the schools early in the school year,” said Casavant.

Conley said she has already told her daughter that if she goes to school she has to wear a mask at all times.

The Brandon School Division said the success will be determined by how well the entire community follows the plan.

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