In accordance with Thursday’s provincial announcement, Grand Erie elementary and secondary students will be taking part in full-time, in-class learning, Monday through Friday, when the 2020-21 school year begins on Tuesday, September 8.

Grand Erie’s enhanced cleaning protocols will include an emphasis on touch points, common areas and common objects. Health and safety protocols will focus on making time for regular handwashing. Where handwashing is not available, hand sanitizer will be used.

Directional signage will be placed to assist with physical distancing requirements, and schools will consider staggering nutrition, lunch and recess breaks.

The Province is mandating non-medical cloth masks for all students in Grades 4-12, while encouraging the use of non-medical cloth masks for students in Kindergarten through Grade 3. The Province will be providing medical masks for teachers and school staff.

Grand Erie families will be required to keep students at home when sick, or when exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. School visitors will also be extremely limited. The board is working on a protocol with both the Brant County Health Unit and the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit should there be a COVID-19 outbreak in any school or board site.

“The safety and well-being of students and staff remains our highest priority,” said Director of Education Brenda Blancher.

“Recognizing that it’s now been nearly six months since we’ve been in the classroom together, Grand Erie will have social and emotional supports available for students in the fall as we know this will be a challenging time for all.”

Families new to Grand Erie are asked to register students no later than August 13. Parents who wish to keep their children at home in September are required to contact the board at no later than August 23.

Grand Erie District School Board represents more than 26,000 students in 58 elementary and 14 secondary schools within the City of Brantford and the counties of Brant, Haldimand, and Norfolk, as well as secondary students from Six Nations of the Grand River and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.