Back-to-School Guidance FAQ
The following questions and answers are intended to help address some of the questions parents and students may have about the school year. The Department of Education and Lifelong Learning, Public School Branch and French Language School Board encourage parents and caregivers to share their questions with us.
Vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19 and its variants. Everyone eligible is encouraged to get vaccinated with a complete series, including booster doses, of Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccines.
Health Screening and Testing
Will there be testing requirements for staff and students?
Screening with rapid antigen tests is currently not required for students and staff in K-12 schools. Schools will have a supply of rapid antigen tests available for students and staff for home use.
What happens if a student or staff member has positive rapid antigen screening test result?
The student or staff person should consider themselves positive for COVID-19 and isolate immediately. Individuals may be tested at a testing clinic to confirm a positive antigen test if they wish to do so. Individuals who develop symptoms should get tested at a drop-in testing clinic at the earliest opportunity.
Testing guidance may evolve over time, refer to the most up to date information on the testing webpage.
If a student or staff person has known allergies which mimic COVID-19 symptoms, should they stay home?
No. If symptoms worsen or if new ones appear, stay home and get tested at a testing clinic.
How long should someone stay home when experiencing symptoms?
Until they are symptom-free.
Will ventilation systems be updated?
Yes, portable HEPA filters have been installed in schools lacking mechanical ventilation. Ventilation systems will be maintained to appropriate industry standards.
Will staff and students have to wear masks?
Masks provide an important layer of protection against COVID-19 and its variants. Masks continue to be recommended in indoor public spaces. In addition, masks are recommended for staff who work with students who are at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19, whenever physical distancing is not possible.
It is currently the choice of the student, staff, or visitor to wear a mask if they choose. Anyone who chooses to wear a mask is supported in doing so.
Masks are not legally required for students or staff while in school or on school buses at this time.
What type of mask is required?
A good quality 3-layer mask is recommended.
Are masks required outdoors?
Masks are not required outdoors.
Cohorting and Physical Distancing
Will students be required to cohort?
Cohorting is no longer required in schools.
Is physical distancing required?
Physical distancing is no longer required in schools.
Events and Extracurricular Activities
Will students be able to participate in extracurricular activities?
All school sport games and competitions and extracurricular activities may occur in accordance with current public health measures.
Will students be able to attend in school gatherings and events?
In school gatherings and events are now permitted without capacity limits or physical distancing requirements.
Self-Isolation and Travel
Can I request proof of completion of self-isolation from staff or students before they return to the school?
No. Staff, parent/caregivers, and/or students will advise when they have completed self-isolation based on what public health advised.
A student is self-isolating with their parent/caregiver who has tested positive or a staff person is self-isolating with their child. When can the student/staff return to school?
Students or staff who are unable to isolate away from the positive case in the home must isolate with a family member and would be required to isolate for the full isolation period of the COVID-19 positive individual (7 days if the case is fully vaccinated, 10 days if they are immunocompromised)
The student or staff may return to school after the isolation period is complete if they are NOT experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
If the student or staff person lives, works, or accesses services in a vulnerable setting they must be tested at a testing clinic on the last day of isolation for the positive case. They may exit isolation on the last day of the positive case’s isolation if they have a negative test (from a testing clinic) and are NOT experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
If you DO NOT live, work, or access services in a vulnerable setting and you are NOT experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you are not required to be tested on the last day of the positive case’s isolation.
You must continue to monitor for symptoms for 10 days since your last contact with the positive case.
For more information: