Coronavirus: What we know about Quebec’s plan to reopen elementary schools, daycares

The Quebec government has unveiled its long-awaited education plan after all establishments were closed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The progressive reopening comes after the province ordered all academic institutions to close in the middle of March.

Here is what we know about how that will work.

Who is going back to school and when?

Students in elementary schools and children in daycares will be able to progressively return beginning next month. Elementary schools and daycares in zones less affected by the COVID-19 outbreak will open on May 11. This does not include any schools in the greater Montreal region, which remains the epicentre of the outbreak.

Then, if hospitalizations from COVID-19 remain stable or decrease, elementary schools in the greater Montreal region will gradually open starting on May 19.

High schools, CEGEPs and universities will remain physically closed until the next academic year begins in late August and September. CEGEPs and universities will finish their semesters online and high schools will continue with the year’s academic curriculum online.

Do students have to go back to school?

No. Attendance is not mandatory and parents may keep their children home if they choose. The provincial government stressed that neither parents nor students will be penalized if families choose to keep their young children at home.

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Are students with health conditions supposed to return to school and daycares?

The government is asking all students with health conditions to remain at home. If a student lives with a person who has a health condition that puts them at risk, students should not return to class. This also applies to students who live with seniors.

Why are high schools staying closed?

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