Start of the 2020 school year in Quebec: the network will have to be ready to teach at a distance quickly if necessary

The Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, specifies his plan for the start of the school year, in the context of a pandemic.

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The Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, announces at a press conference the details and the update of the plan for the start of the school year.

We learn in particular that wearing a mask will be required for young people in cycle 3 and up, as well as adults of course, in common areas and when traveling, but not in classrooms.

Physical distancing inside the classroom will no longer be appropriate, so we drop the idea of islands of 6 students. On the other hand, the pupils of the same class will always stay in their room rather than move according to their specialties.

It is also announced that if a case arises in a school, "transparency will be required", that is to say that parents will know if the case is in their child's class or elsewhere in the school.

Students with specific physical conditions related to COVID-19 or living with adults who present can be monitored remotely by the school service center.

Should the need to close the schools again, the minister ensures that the network will be able to restart remotely within 24 hours.

In addition, Dr Arruda believes that the strict sanitary measures put in place in schools should also reduce the usual health discomforts such as seasonal colds.

You can see the details of the plan on the page The ABCs of a safe return to school.

To view or replay the full press conference:

Official press release from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education

The Quebec government updates the back-to-school plan

QUEBEC, Aug. 10, 2020 / CNW Telbec / - Following new recommendations from public health authorities, the Quebec government is making adjustments to its game plan for the start of the school year in order to guarantee optimal learning conditions Quebec students in a safe environment for them and for school staff. The Minister of Education, Mr. Jean-François Roberge, made the announcement today, along with the Minister of Health and Social Services and Minister responsible for the Montérégie region, Mr. Christian Dubé, and the national director of public health, Dr Horacio Arruda.

Wearing a face covering in schools

Thus, wearing a face cover will be compulsory for all students from 5e year of primary school, including those of secondary school, vocational training and general adult education as well as for all school staff members when they travel within the school and in school or public transport . However, the face covering will not be compulsory inside the classroom, nor in a room used for catering purposes during the consumption of food or drinks. Although it is recommended, wearing a face cover will not be compulsory for preschool and first two cycles of elementary school.

As for visitors, they must wear a face covering at all times, except when they are seated in a room where performing arts are presented, such as an auditorium for example, but a distance of 1.5 meters between people must be kept in this space at all times.

Stable class-groups to minimize any potential propagation

Also, in view of recent scientific literature, the General Directorate of Public Health no longer requires the division of classes into sub-groups of a maximum of six students. The concept of the bubble is thus broadened to encompass the whole class, which must remain stable in order to minimize any potential transmission. While students in the same class group will not have to observe a physical distance between themselves, the 2-meter distance between students and staff members is maintained. It is maintained as much as possible, but not prescribed in preschool. In preschool and elementary school, the distance of 1 meter between students from different classes who circulate in common areas, including corridors, is also maintained.

It is important to remember that the guidelines on wearing a face cover in no way replace or reduce the need to continue to observe the other instructions from the public health authorities aimed at reducing the transmission of COVID-19. In fact, in addition to the measures already mentioned, other strict health instructions, such as regular hand washing and frequent disinfection of the premises, must be observed.

Expansion of the distance education offer

In accordance with the game plan unveiled last June, all students will return to class next fall, with the exception of those with a particular medical condition, for whom distance education will be offered by school service centers. In order to reassure parents, students with a loved one with a particular medical condition may also be eligible for this service offer.

In addition, in order to guarantee a quality of service in distance education for all students in the event of a second wave or occasional class closures, minimum service thresholds have been introduced. These will ensure equity between educational distance learning services, in addition to laying the foundations for the work to be provided to students and ensuring the availability of teachers and professionals to meet the various special needs of students. The minimum number of hours of distance learning courses varies depending on the grade level.

A clear procedure to follow in the event of an outbreak

To allow rapid reaction in the event of an outbreak, an update of the Guide for managing COVID-19 cases and contacts in schools of the INSPQ will be sent to school organizations on August 17. This guide includes, among other things, a clear procedure aimed at informing parents of the main actions that will be implemented if a student exhibits symptoms, if a student tests positive for a COVID-19 test, or if several cases are detected within the same class or several classes. General information on this subject is also available on Qué / re-entry.

In all cases, the parents of the school in question will be notified of the situation in the event of an outbreak and of the measures deployed as soon as possible by their school service center.

A suitable version of the Self-care guide for coronavirus disease was also developed to enable parents to make the best possible decisions during the pandemic. This guide allows you to know the symptoms of COVID-19 and the basic care to be given to your child, and to know when to contact the coronavirus info line. It will be sent to parents before the start of the school year and will be available in French and English on the Qué / coronavirus web page.

In addition to the health instructions that should guide the actions of schools, the school service centers are currently finalizing their emergency protocols, which will allow them to quickly offer quality distance education and compulsory in the event of partial closure. or total of educational establishments.

“Our plan, tabled in June, was well conceived and it allowed network players to prepare adequately for the start of the school year. With the clarifications made today, all schools will soon be ready to welcome our students and school staff in the safest environments possible. Our children and our health are our most precious things. Our government does not intend to compromise on these issues. I would like to thank all the educational organizations, our partners and the staff, who, like us, will continue to work very hard in the coming weeks. The efforts we are making together will make this operation a success, for the benefit of the students. "

Jean-François Roberge, Minister of Education

“When the plan was unveiled last June, we said we would monitor the pandemic situation closely and make adjustments to this plan, if necessary. The knowledge we have about the virus today has evolved from what we had in June. This is why we have come up with an updated plan in anticipation of the approaching start of the school year. With the return to work and the return to school, fall will be a crucial time. We must remain cautious and continue our efforts! "

Christian Dubé, Minister of Health and Social Services and Minister responsible for the Montérégie region 

"The progression of the COVID-19 pandemic may lead us to believe that the situation is improving and stabilizing, but this is a fragile balance that could well be upset with the coming fall season," and in particular with the imminent return to school. This is why updating the back-to-school plan was necessary, in response to the concerns of parents, teachers and the population. Faced with a situation that could worsen at the slightest collective misstep, I invite Quebeckers to remain extremely vigilant and to guide young people properly during the school year, in the midst of this health crisis of 'an exceptional scale. "

Horacio Arruda, National Director of Public Health

Related links:

  • Everything you need to know about the fall start: Qué / re-entry.
  • To find out more about the coronavirus, the public is invited to visit the site

SOURCE Office of the Minister of Education and Higher Education

Reactions from associations and partners

Here are the press releases issued following these announcements and received by École branchée.

Update of the plan for the start of the 2020 school year - "Everything is in place for a successful start to the school year"

MONTREAL, Aug. 10, 2020 / CNW Telbec / - Carl Ouellet, President of the Quebec Association of School Management Staff (AQPDE), Hélène Bourdages, President of the Montreal Association of School Directors (AMDES) and Nicolas Prévost, president of the Quebec Federation of Educational Institutions (FQDE) welcomes the measures to update the game plan for the start of the school year announced by the Minister of Education in accordance with public health instructions.

"On the strength of the measures already in place in our establishments and the experience of the months of May and June outside CMM, we are confident that these last measures will allow a safe and positive return to school as much for the students as for the staff in the schools and training centers, ”they said.

Compulsory schooling

Maintaining compulsory education for students in the youth sector, vocational training and general adult education is excellent news for alleviating dropping out and avoiding widening gaps in student learning.

“When we know that absenteeism is the first factor in dropping out of school, we can only be happy about the return to compulsory attendance for all students. We must not neglect either the aspect of security that the school brings to certain psychosocial students more vulnerable, ”indicated Nicolas Prévost, president of the FQDE.

Face cover required

As explained by Carl Ouellet, president of the AQPDE: “Wearing a face covering is compulsory for students of 3e cycle of primary and secondary will facilitate movement within the establishment. Inside the classes, the pupils will be able to remove the masks as soon as the distance is respected. This is consistent with other measures applying in society, which will facilitate understanding and adoption. "

The bubbles become the complete class group

“In Montreal, where there was no return to school last May, this return to school is a real first. Our directions are ready and we are delighted that the class group has replaced the difficult concept of applying bubbles within the same group. We do not yet know if there will be multiple students who will have to stay home due to outbreaks, but we welcome the fact that a minimum number of hours of distance education is planned depending on the levels. which will ensure equity in the educational offer, ”said AMDES President Hélène Bourdages.

“In conclusion, we had already had the outline of the back-to-school plan in June. We expected adjustments over the summer. The new directives given today will allow us to secure the environment, staff and parents and to organize a good return to school for all, ”concluded the presidents of the three associations.

SOURCE Montreal Association of School Managers (AMDES)

AQCS satisfied with the update of the back-to-school plan

QUEBEC, Aug. 10, 2020 / CNW Telbec / - The Quebec Association of School Executives (AQCS) is satisfied with the update of the back-to-school plan presented by Minister Jean-François Roberge, and reiterates its full collaboration so that this strategy evolves during the fall, according to the needs of the students and the network.

“Schools will have to deal with the unpredictable context of COVID-19 for an indefinite period. The strategy to be adopted for the success of Quebec students must be based on scientific knowledge and best preventive practices collected on a large scale. School executives are committed to contributing to the Minister's watch and reflections during this very special return to school, but also throughout the coming months, ”said Jean-François Parent, President and CEO of AQCS.

Profile of the AQCS

The Quebec Association of School Executives (AQCS) represents more than 2,400 executives working in the 72 school service centers in Quebec. They are the essential cog in the Quebec school network. They occupy advisory and supervisory positions in administrative centers, schools as well as in adult education and vocational training centers in French-speaking and English-speaking school service centers.

SOURCE Quebec Association of School Executives (AQCS)

Private schools confident for the start of the 2020 school year

MONTREAL, Aug. 10, 2020 / CNW Telbec / - The Federation of Private Educational Institutions welcomes the measures presented today by the Minister of Education, the Minister of Health and Social Services and the National Director of public health for the start of the 2020 school year. For the member schools of the Federation, clear guidelines, flexibility and the collaboration of students and parents are the keys to ensuring the success of the start of the school year.

“We asked for clear guidelines for all schools in order to ensure the health and safety of students and staff, while leaving the necessary leeway for each school to adapt to its reality. This is what we have now. The most important thing for us is that a clear message be sent to students, parents and the entire community, insisting that school is compulsory for all young Quebecers despite the pandemic. The academic success of all students must remain a priority for schools and all of Quebec, ”says David Bowles, President of the Federation.

A call to parents  

The Federation calls for the cooperation of parents to ensure that students strictly follow health measures and that those who must wear the mask when traveling in the school do so rigorously.

Private schools are developing emergency plans to respond quickly and effectively to cases of COVID-19 in the school. Although schools are ready to put in place the health measures required by Public Health and the CNESST, they have little control over what young people do outside of school and must be ready to face any situation. contingency. Everything is done for fast and efficient communications. If students are infected, parental collaboration will be a key factor in protecting everyone.

In addition, the experience acquired last spring by private schools for homeschooling allows them to be well prepared if students have to stay at home for a few weeks.

A major educational challenge

The biggest challenge for schools, especially secondary schools, remains welcoming and integrating new students who received varied support last spring.

“This year, we will have to redouble our efforts to ensure a good integration of new students in high school, when there could be significant disparities in the academic support received last spring. Our teachers are preparing for this challenge and will work throughout the year to ensure that every young person has the basic knowledge necessary to continue their learning and succeed, ”explains David Bowles.

About the Federation of Private Educational Institutions

The Federation is a non-profit organization that brings together 135 secondary schools, 110 preschool-primary schools and 12 schools specializing in special education. These independent schools are attended by some 116,000 students spread across Quebec. The Federation offers a wide choice of training for staff of member schools, consulting services and group purchasing services.

More about the magazine

The different faces of private education 

SOURCE Federation of Private Educational Institutions

Back to School Plan - Working Together for a Peaceful and Safe Back to School

MONTREAL, Aug. 10, 2020 / CNW Telbec / - The Federation of Quebec Parents 'Committees (FCPQ) and the Association of Anglophone Parents' Committees (EPCA) welcome the details and adjustments to the back-to-school plan announced today by the Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge.

The most important elements for parents of students are:

  • Clear, precise and consistent communications between schools and families.
  • The support and tools needed to help parents support their children, especially if they can't be in class.
  • Adequate, adapted and accessible educational services for all students.

As the situation can change rapidly, further changes in guidelines may be necessary to ensure the health and well-being of students and school staff. Parents must be involved in decisions within the transitional committees of school service centers, future boards of directors and governing boards.

“We have had the time to get it right and we ask the Minister to ensure that students and parents remain at the heart of the discussions,” said Katherine Korakakis, President of EPCA.

“We all learned from our distance school experience last spring. We don't want to repeat the same mistakes, ”says Kévin Roy, president of the FCPQ.

The FCPQ is available to work with the Minister, the Ministry and the partners of Education to ensure a serene and safe return to school for our children. It is essential that decisions are made above all in the best interests of the students, it is the priority of the parents. 

To view this press release in English, Click here.

Profile of the Federation of Quebec Parents' Committees (FCPQ)

For more than 45 years, the FCPQ has brought together the parents' committees of Quebec school service centers and supports volunteer parents concerned about parental participation in public elementary and secondary schools in order to ensure the quality of education. education offered to children.

Profile of the Association of Anglophone Parents' Committees (EPCA)

EPCA is a coalition of eight committees of parents from English-language school service centers in Quebec and is the official voice of the community of parents from English-speaking public schools. It represents nearly 100,000 students in the English-speaking youth sector with the Ministry and the Education network.

SOURCE Federation of Parents' Committees of Quebec

The FCSSQ intends to ensure the success of the 2020-2021 school year

QUEBEC, Aug. 10, 2020 / CNW Telbec / - The Federation of Quebec School Service Centers (FCSSQ) welcomes the adjustments announced today by the Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge. It intends to support school service centers to ensure the success of the 2020-2021 school year.

“The return to spring school went well, the school service centers coordinated and organized this return in conditions that were not always easy. Nevertheless, they continued their work diligently. All school service center staff are ready to do anything to make this back to school a success. It will do so while keeping in mind the well-being and safety of students and staff, also the academic success of all. Everyone is very anxious to welcome the students to the schools, ”stated the President and CEO of the FCSSQ, Mr. Jacky Tremblay.

“The details of today's announcement have answered several questions. Our members will be able to better prepare for the start of the school year, which is fast approaching. Work will continue on all the questions that will arise, in particular for the addition of services and distance education. Communication, prevention and reaction in the event of a case in a school or a possible second wave will be ensured in a uniform and rapid manner, to reduce the impact on the students. At the same time, the school service centers have the necessary leeway, particularly with regard to the issue of concentrations in Secondary IV and V and to be able to fulfill their mission, ”concluded Mr. Tremblay.

The Federation of Quebec School Service Centers brings together all of Quebec's French-language school service centers as well as the Littoral School Service Center. The school service centers ensure the academic success of more than one million students by providing educational services in elementary, secondary, vocational training and adult education. The FCSSQ offers its members services in labor relations, material and information resources, financing, school transportation, vocational training, educational services for young people and adults, as well as training. Together with the MEQ, the Federation coordinates and directs the negotiation of national sectoral matters of collective agreements.

SOURCE Federation of Quebec School Service Centers

Update of the back-to-school plan - The CSQ reacts - We are finally being heard; it was time!

QUEBEC, Aug. 10, 2020 / CNW Telbec / - The Centrale des unions du Québec (CSQ) and its federations in the school network, namely the Federation of Teaching Unions (FSE-CSQ), the Federation of School Support Personnel (FPSS-CSQ), the Federation of Professional Education Professionals of Quebec (FPPE-CSQ) and the Federation of Private Education Personnel (FPEP-CSQ), are generally satisfied with the update presented by the Minister of Education for the next school year, despite the fact that it arrives at one minute to midnight.

“Preparing for a new school year is more complicated than it seems! It takes time, a mobilized school team and precise directives. So I think we can say Finally! For months we have been asking the Minister to establish clear and uniform measures for all schools. After today's presentation, we can say that the Minister has listened to us and that he is making an effort to ensure consistency, just as we asked him to do, ”explains Sonia Ethier, President of the CSQ. "But despite the clarifications announced today, it remains to be seen how that will translate on the ground," she adds.

Indeed, several questions remain. How will it be possible to respect the childcare service ratios of 1:20, if we are talking about class bubbles? Or, what will happen to the teachers of specialties who move from one group to another and who do not have to wear a mask in class? Will there be enough staff to ensure compliance with the cleaning and disinfection instructions issued by Public Health? These are all questions that remain unanswered and for which communications with the ministry will continue.

Vulnerable students: still nothing announced

“When we talk about wearing a mask, the famous bubble-classes, compulsory schooling, the intervention protocol and the other measures defined today, we can conclude that the questions relating to the logistical aspect of the start of the school year are now clearer, ”says Ms. Ethier. “However, we still have no details concerning the measures that will be put in place to support students, young people and adults, who will encounter difficulties after many months of absence from school benches. There is an urgent need to address the needs of vulnerable students, time is running out. Back to school is only 17 days away! "

All in all, despite the efforts that will have to be made over the next few weeks, the members of the CSQ's school network are ready to help out. “We have said it from the start, we are ready to work with the government to get through this pandemic, by placing the well-being of students at the heart of concerns. We do not spare our efforts and all school staff are there! », Affirms Sonia Ethier.

CSQ Profile

The CSQ represents more than 200,000 members, of which approximately 125,000 are education personnel. The CSQ has 11 federations which bring together some 240 affiliated unions; There is also the AREQ (CSQ), the Association of retirees and retirees from education and other public services of Quebec. The CSQ is also present in the health and social services, early childhood educational services, municipal, recreation, culture, community and communications sectors.


Back to school 2020 - The Ordre des orthophonistes et audiologistes du Québec strongly recommends the wearing of a translucent window mask for all staff in the education network

MONTREAL, Aug. 10, 2020 / CNW Telbec / - The Ordre des orthophonistes et des audiologistes du Québec (OOAQ) welcomes the new measures surrounding the wearing of masks announced by the Ministry of Education for the start of the school year, but is remember that the face cover is an obstacle to communication and learning. In this sense, the OOAQ strongly recommends the use of the translucent window mask for all staff in the education network.

“Although health remains a priority, the development of children should not be neglected. This goes through their social life, through their relationships with young people and adults. Communication is an essential need and wearing a mask with a transparent window can make a huge difference for students with communication, language and hearing difficulties, ”says Paul-André Gallant, president of the OOAQ.

Limit barriers to communication

The OOAQ reiterates that wearing a face cover impairs everyone's communication, but more affects people living, for example, with a hearing loss, a language disorder, aphasia or for young children in full development of language. Indeed, this physical barrier deafens the voice, weakens the sound, prevents lip reading and the understanding of emotions, thus interfering with healthy communication that is understood by everyone.

“The mask can be removed inside the classroom, but remember that school life is not just about time spent there. School is a living environment and it is our responsibility, as a society, to limit any impediment to communication there, ”adds Mr. Gallant.

About the OOAQ

The OOAQ is an organization governed by the Professional Code, whose mission is to ensure the protection of the public with regard to the field of practice of its members, namely communication disorders, auditory and vestibular function and swallowing. In particular, it is responsible for controlling access to the professions of speech therapist and audiologist, supporting the maintenance and development of the skills of its members and monitoring their professional practice. The OOAQ also contributes to improving the quality of life of the Quebec population by getting involved in various public issues related to health and education. It has more than 450 audiologists and 2,900 speech-language pathologists.

SOURCE Order of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists of Quebec

Back to school: questions remain for the FEESP-CSN school sector

MONTREAL, Aug. 10, 2020 / CNW Telbec / - The FEESP-CSN school sector welcomes the clarifications provided today by the Minister of Education, while remaining concerned about certain elements that will have to be clarified before the start of the school year. .

“At three weeks before the first day of class, we are still in the dark about school daycare services. How will we do in a context of staff shortage if the directive of one educator per class remains? We also have the management of groups and travel, which was already a problem in June. », Underlines Annie Charland, president of the FEESP-CSN school sector. “The issue of labor shortages also arises in terms of personnel previously assigned to disinfection. When schools reopen, who will help maintenance workers? », She continued.

The unions in the school sector are also concerned about the level of supply of personal protective equipment. “The government must take responsibility and ensure that every staff member in constant contact with other people, such as school secretaries, is protected and safe,” adds Ms. Charland.

The school sector nevertheless welcomes the government's effort to standardize guidelines and improve communications with staff, and hopes that this will make it possible to overcome the pitfalls experienced this spring.


The school sector of the Federation of Public Service Employees (FEESP-CSN) brings together 37 unions affiliated to FEESP-CSN and represents approximately 30,000 support employees in 31 French-language school boards and two English-language school boards. More specifically, it represents the support staff who work in emergency childcare services, in particular the following job classes: childcare technicians, daycare educators, attendants for handicapped students and childcare workers. technicians in special education, janitors and workers.

SOURCE Federation of Public Service Employees (FEESP-CSN)

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About the Author

Audrey Miller
Audrey Miller
General manager of École branchée, Audrey holds a graduate degree in educational technologies and a bachelor's degree in public communication. Member of the Order of Excellence in Education of Quebec, she is particularly interested in the professional development of teachers, information in the digital age and media education, while actively creating bridges between the actors of the educational ecosystem since 1999. She is involved these days in particular in Edteq Association and as a member of the ACELF Communications Committee. When she has free time, she is passionate about her children, his rabbits, horses, good wine and... Web programming!

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