Prep begins for school this fall

June 23, 2020, 2:30 am
Rob Paul - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


The Government of Saskatchewan has released guidelines for students to return to the classroom in September.

It’s early on in the process, but McNaughton High School Principal Jeff St. Onge says, this week the school will begin preparing for the return of students.

“Right now we’re kind of in a holding pattern,” he said. “Our senior leadership team is looking at the guidelines to see how that will translate into the South East Cornerstone (School Division). I’d imagine on Monday or Tuesday we’ll know what we need to do in our building. Then, (vice-principal) Sherrie (Meredith) and I will have to figure out how to make it work.

“My thoughts are, the sooner they give us the information, the better an opportunity we have to make a successful return to school plan.”

St. Onge says, the guidelines are broad for all schools to follow throughout the province and they’ll be adjusted to the specifics of school divisions and then schools themselves, to ensure proper health and safety protocol.

“There are a number of different things that will be school specific,” he said. “One of the guidelines I looked at was, students aren’t allowed to make food, and we’re not allowed to serve meals. Well, we have a commercial cooking program so we’ll have to figure out what we’re going to do with that.

“We’re really early on with what we’re doing on our end here. We have to wait until specifics trickle down to us to make adjustments. Senior leadership will give us the South East Cornerstone version of what we’re going to do and then we’ll translate that into our building.”

While McNaughton High School has been closed to students, it’s been used as a Covid-19 testing site in Moosomin. Classroom space as well as the gym and library have been being used for the testing site with the school closed.

“They’ve been shutting down a portion of the area they’re using in our building,” he said. “They’ve been cleaning and will release that back to us very shortly.

“We’ll be back in our building, but there will still be a portion of our building—the gym, the library, the lobby—that we won’t have access to. They had the entire downstairs for testing, but they’re reducing their footprint and we’ll inherit our classrooms back. That will help us do the shut down for the year.”

For now, St. Onge says there’s no word on what will happen with the testing station come September.

“It’s too early to know what that plan is,” he said.

St. Onge says they’ll be meeting with the school board to begin a plan.

“We have a meeting with them today (June 19),” he said. “They’ll touch base with us and they’ll have some scenarios and come Monday or Tuesday we’ll get the definitive info.”