Teachers Not Confident Plans Ensure a Safe Return to School in the Fall

July 13, 2020
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Results from a national survey conducted by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation show Saskatchewan teachers are not confident adequate precautions are in place to ensure a safe return to school in the fall.

“Our teachers want to return to the classroom, but are very worried about the health risks and impact on student learning,” said Patrick Maze, President, Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation. “It is difficult to understand why precautions are necessary everywhere else – such as physical distancing and personal protective equipment – but not in our schools. Adults work in schools, and the students who are deemed low-risk go home to their families.”

The top three concerns are the mental health and well-being of students and staff, equity supports for teaching and learning and access to technology.

To address these concerns and risks, four clear priorities emerge to ensure the health, safety and mental well-being of teachers, students and staff are protected:

  1. Clear, consistent, specific guidelines and communication about the resumption of classes and safety protocols from both the provincial government and school divisions.
  2. Adequate supports for students with intensive needs.
  3. Physical, mental and emotional supports for all students.
  4. Confidence that schools are safe places for teaching and learning and that appropriate cleaning and social distancing protocols are in place.

“There are serious concerns about what seems to be two sets of standards for preventing transmission of COVID-19,” said Maze. “Teachers, students and parents are anticipating the release of the plans in order to be assured their health and safety has been considered and properly addressed.”

Additional results from the survey are available in the Education Today section of the Federation website.