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Quebec: Back to School 2020

Last Updated Sep 16, 2020 at 7:14 pm EST


MONTREAL (CityNews) – As schools plan to reopen across the country over the next few weeks and cities and governments announce plans for student and staff safety, CityNews is here to help navigate the new rules and practices as you send your kids to class in the middle of a pandemic.

Here’s everything you to know regarding Back to School 2020.


‘It’s not worth it:’ Rabbi warns Jewish community of dangers of COVID-19

A Montreal rabbi is imploring the city’s Jewish community take health recommendations seriously after a COVID-19 outbreak was traced back to a bar mitzvah. Eleven high-school students and one staff member from Montreal’s Herzliah High School have tested positive for COVID-19 this week after some students attended a bar mitzvah the week before.



Schools must stay open during pandemic to protect future female leaders: Canadian teachers

Schools need to stay open despite some declaring isolated cases of COVID-19 or working mothers will suffer, suggests the head of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation.



Using Artificial Intelligence to fight COVID-19

A Montreal AI company is hoping to help in the fight against COVID-19 by making sure the air in schools and classrooms is as clean as possible.

Here’s a look at Back to School across the country.

Back to School Alberta (Calgary)

Winnipeg: Back to School 2020

Edmonton: Back to School 2020


Children’s book breaks down COVID-19 for kids

“They need to know that life goes on and things will continue and will get better,” says Jennifer Nozzolillo, the illustrator behind Stay Safe Little One – a picture book breaking down today’s health measures for little eyes and ears.



‘He just shrugged it off:’ Student wants Montreal transit to enforce mandatory mask rule

A Montreal high-school student says she felt “uncomfortable and not safe” in a city bus surrounded by people not wearing masks – and the driver did nothing about it.



Education Minister Roberge

Education Minister Jean-François Roberge provides an update on renovations for Quebec City area schools.

Education Minister to speak

Education Minister Jean-François Roberge is expected to provide an update on renovations for Quebec City area schools.

Posted by CityNews Montreal on Tuesday, September 8, 2020


Thousands of students return to schools as new COVID-19 cases emerge

Thousands more students returned to class amid myriad pandemic precautions touching nearly every aspect of school from the lunch room to the playground, with officials stressing Tuesday the need for vigilance as school-linked cases of COVID-19 continued to emerge.



Dad: Many schools not tallied on Quebec’s list

A Montreal father who started a website meant to track school COVID-19 cases in Quebec claims the government’s list may not be accurate enough.



Sisters sew face masks for classmates to keep COVID-19 at bay

Back-to-school has been a little different this year for kids across the country. For Odessa and Thea Schulz, it meant hitting the sewing machine. The sisters have been making face masks for their family, friends and classmates to ensure everyone stays safe as schools reopened this week.



Quebec government reveals nearly 50 educational institutions struck by COVID-19

The Quebec government has unveiled a list of nearly 50 educational institutions that have had at least one COVID-19 case in the past week. The schools listed include preschool, elementary, secondary, as well as adult career centres reporting one or more infections between Aug. 26 and Sept. 3.



Parents in court demanding Quebec offer remote learning option for all who want it

A lawyer representing a group of Quebec parents is in court today trying to compel the province’s Education Department to provide an online learning option for all families who want it.



Anxiety running high as teachers navigate new COVID-19 protocols in the classroom

Only a few days into the school year in Quebec and some teachers say they’re having a hard time coping with all of the new COVID-19 protocols.



Parents concerned with COVID reporting as children go back to school

Students across Quebec are back in school and some parents are taking to a parent-run COVID-19 website to find out how safe their children really are.



Concerns rise over mental health of children amid COVID-19 pandemic

A report is highlighting the mental load students are carrying into the new school year. The Raising Canada 2020 report shows children are struggling across the board.



Handling back-to-school anxiety

For many students and parents, the pandemic has only exacerbated back-to-school anxiety. Sharon Yonan-Renold has more on how to care for our mental health as kids head back to the classroom.



Back-to-school for Quebec’s English schools

Monday marked back-to-school for most English schools across Quebec. While some say they’re worried about COVID-19 outbreaks that have already been seen in French schools, which opened last week, others say they’re excited to be back.



Families should expect COVID-19 cases in schools, says Canada’s top doctor

Families should expect to see cases of COVID-19 in schools, warns Canada’s chief public health officer. Dr. Theresa Tam said Friday that such cases would be a reflection of what is happening in the community surrounding them.



Quebec school sends hundreds of students home due to COVID-19

A high school in Deux-Montagnes was forced to send all grade 10 & 11 students home just one day after opening. Two teachers contracted COVID-19 and 20 others were asked to self-isolate.


School activities to return September 14

Quebec Premier announces that arts and sports activities in schools outside the classrooms will resume on September 14 if COVID-19 cases stay stable.



Quebec students head back to school

After months of virtual learning, Quebec students are back in the classroom. Sharon Yonan-Renold spoke to children and parents at Montreal’s École Philippe-Labarre about the new COVID-19 measures.



No plans to close daycares during second wave

The Quebec government announced they would not be closing the daycare network, should a second wave of COVID-19 settle into the province.



Planning for a second wave in Quebec

Health Minister Christian Dube presents Quebec’s contingency plan for daycares in the event of a second COVID-19 wave.

Health Minister Christian Dube presents Quebec’s contingency plan for daycares in the event of a second COVID-19 wave.

Posted by CityNews Montreal on Thursday, August 27, 2020


How do you feel about going to school?

With back-to-school coming up soon, we asked Montreal students how they feel about returning to class amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


University frosh week moves online amid COVID-19 pandemic

Thousands of first-year university students sign up to frosh-week orientation events en masse as a fun way to meet people, get to know their campus and break the ice as they cross a new educational threshold. But like many events that require large gatherings, frosh week at universities across Canada are going virtual this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



Skytag arcade to provide homeschool service

Arcade games and trampolines, isn’t a place normally associated with school. But that’s exactly what Skytag is offering to help with. With many parents nervous about sending children back to school but unable to stay home, businesses like Skytag are hoping to provide an alternative.


Doctors deny, government demands: At-risk children denied doctor’s exemption

Under the Quebec government’s back-to-school plan, only children with a doctor’s note, because they or someone at home are at a higher risk of developing symptoms of COVID-19 will be allowed to access remote learning.



Homeschooling numbers surge in Quebec

With many parents about to send their children back-to-school, Canadians are turning to homeschooling in surging numbers. In Quebec about 23.5 percent more students will be homeschooled this year compared to last year.



Opponents of Quebec’s back-to-school plan urge province to reconsider

A group of Quebec educators rallied against the provincial government’s back-to-school plan Sunday, saying more needs to be done to ensure the safety of students and staff ahead of an unprecedented school year.



Keeping your kids safe as they head back to school

There are a lot of concerns surrounding children’s health as they head back to school. We chat with Dr. Leighanne Parkes, infectious disease specialist and microbiologist at the Jewish General Hospital, for tips and tricks to help kids stay safe.



Parents file lawsuit against back-to-school plan

A group of parents has filed a lawsuit against the Quebec government over its back-to-school plan. Their lawyer, Julius Grey, says the plan violates their parents’ rights to make decisions that affect their health and safety.



Thousands of CEGEP students prep for online learning

Thousands of students are starting their post-secondary education at General and Vocational Colleges or Collèges d’Enseignement Général et Professionnel (CEGEPs) in French, like John Abbott College, but it’s a little different this year.

With most classes going online, many students will be spending the semester learning from home.



Parents concerned about poor ventilation in schools

“We’re not hysterical parents. These are real concerns based on data,” says Olga Maria Ruiz, a parent concerned that her daughter could be at risk for COVID-19 due to the poor ventilation in schools. Sharon Yonan-Renold has more.



Is the internet going to fall down when the kids go back to school?

A school year relying heavily on kids being connected may see some left behind if they can’t get online.

As parents and school boards try to get kids connected there’s also a chance the internet may not be able to keep up.



Quebec Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge announces infrastructure investment for the new school year


First Nations COVID-19 back-to-school innovation

As schools across the country struggle with how to keep students safe, a First Nation school near Regina has come up with a unique solution which combines traditional knowledge and cutting edge technology. Nigel Newlove reports.



Back-to-school at the EMSB

There are a lot of questions surrounding the logistics of back-to-school. We sat down with Mike Cohen, spokesperson for the English Montreal School Board, to get some answers. Check out our Facebook and YouTube page for the full interview.



Pandemic uncertainty leads to surge in online tutoring

With students in Quebec preparing to return to school for the first time since March, several parents are turning to online tutoring to help bridge the learning gap.

That’s resulted in a surge in business for online tutors this summer – and that trend may be sticking around for many months to come.



Books, computers and face masks! Safety top of mind for back-to-school shoppers

It’s the back-to-school shopping season and a new survey shows where parents’ priorities are and what they’re willing to pay to keep their kids safe.

This year’s back-to-school shopping will look different as face masks become the new must-have fashion accessory with parents stocking up on safety supplies in addition to books and bags.



Donations of school supplies and uniforms

The LaSalle Multicultural Resource Centre started distributing donations of school supplies and uniforms to vulnerable families. The organization says many families in need have struggled more financially because of Covid-19.



Drivers say school buses will be COVID-19 carriers

School bus drivers say the Quebec government isn’t taking into account their health and they’re calling for mandatory plastic barriers to protect themselves from Covid-19. Tina Tenneriello reports on how bus transportation will work for students heading back to class.



How COVID-19 is changing back-to-school shopping and budgets

Vonny Sweetland has yet to decide if he will be sending his 12-year-old sister Josephine back to class in September, but just in case he does, he’s been stocking up on supplies for months.

He picks up hand sanitizer when he sees it in stores, grabbed new masks last month, bought a fresh uniform and has been testing out Josephine’s muscle power with some new lunch containers.



Many parents nervous about return of school, plan to send kids anyway: poll

With only weeks until classes resume, a new survey suggests the majority of Canadian parents plan to send their kids back to school but most would want classes cancelled if there is a new COVID-19 outbreak in their community.

The survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies is the latest to take parents’ temperature as provinces prepare to reopen schools after sending children home this spring when the pandemic arrived.



New funding to help students

Quebec is investing $20 million to help students catch up as they head back to school after staying home for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some say that amount is just a drop in the bucket. Tina Tenneriello speaks to parents & teachers.



Lawsuit to challenge Quebec back to school plan requiring in person attendance

A lawyer representing a group of Quebec parents says he’s moving forward with a legal challenge aimed at forcing the province to offer remote learning for families who don’t want their children returning to classrooms this fall.

Julius Grey said today the motion he’ll file in Quebec Superior Court later this week or next Monday will argue that requiring children to attend classes in person violates their parents’ charter rights to make decisions that affect life and security.



From masks to cohorting, a guide to back-to-school rules across the country

Plans are being made across the country for how to safely send students back to school in the fall as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.



Education Minister Jean-François Roberge speaks about returning to schools in Quebec


Teachers say they’re preparing for online and in-class lessons with little guidance

Rachel Rosen doesn’t even know what classes she’ll be teaching in three weeks, let alone how she’ll juggle preparing in-person and online lessons.

An ever-fluctuating set of back-to-school guidelines from Ontario’s Ministry of Education has left Rosen with little information about how to approach delivering learning materials both in class and online.



Grad students feel ‘overwhelmed:’ study

A new study says university graduate students are feeling overwhelmed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CityNews’ Brandon Rowe has the details.



Montreal teachers voice concerns about province’s back-to-school plan

Some Montreal teachers fear going back to school during the COVID-19 pandemic could ultimately do a disservice to their students, who have been out of school since March.

The teachers feel much of their time will be spent ensuring students are practising social distancing and handwashing, rather than teaching. They are demanding an extra week to prepare for back-to-school.



‘It’s OK to not be OK’: How to help kids cope with COVID-19 school stress

It’s normal for kids to get back-to-school butterflies as the bell ring draws near. But on top of the familiar concerns about fitting in and getting good grades, kids need to deal with a new set of stresses this fall as they head back to class in the thick of a pandemic.

From the social pressures of being sorted into class cohorts to fears about bringing the novel coronavirus back home, experts say returning to school will likely provoke some anxiety for students of all ages.



Quebec parents feel helpless about province’s back-to-school plan

Some Quebec parents say the provincial government has let them down when it comes to limited back-to-school options for their children.

Parents across the province are feeling helpless about the government’s plan to send kids back to school during the COVID-19 pandemic. They say they have no choice but to comply with the province’s decision, even if they feel their children are at risk.



Parents without the luxury of keeping kids home from school

Some Quebec parents have concerns about back to school amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but have no choice to send their kids back because the government isn’t allowing it or their work situation doesn’t permit it. Tina Tenneriello reports.



Quebec creates reserve of 30,000 laptops and tablets as students return to school

Quebec is investing $18.9 million to create a reserve of computer equipment for students as they return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge announced today the government is purchasing about 30,000 laptops and tablets for use by students most in need.



Quebec’s English school boards to remain intact for now

A Quebec Superior court judge has put Bill 40 on hold for the province’s English school boards while they challenge it in court. Bill 40 abolishes the province’s school boards and replaces them with service centres. Sharon Yonan-Renold has the story.



Are plastic shields a school solution?

Ken Franczek knows that parents are worried about sending their children back to school in the fall. That led him to coming up with what he says is a possible safety solution. Darcy Ropchan with more.



Quebec gears up for back to school

The Quebec government has unveiled a revised plan for sending children back to school in September amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

It requires students in Grade 5 and up to wear masks in all common areas, except classrooms.



Quebec education minister to unveil updated COVID-19 back-to-school plan

The Quebec government is set to unveil its COVID-19 strategy for a return to class today as schools prepare to reopen in less than a month.

Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge has been under pressure to provide updated details, as other provinces have done in recent weeks.



Quebec government outlines back-to-school plan


Parents, teachers press Quebec to revise back-to-school plan amid COVID-19

For Politimi Karounis, August is usually spent buying new backpacks, pencils and notebooks for her two elementary school-aged children as they excitedly prepare to reunite with friends and teachers.

But this year, only weeks away from the first day of classes, Karounis said a sense of uncertainty prevails in her household around Quebec’s plan to reopen all schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.



Back-to-school: Why each province’s plan differs

When it comes to back-to-school every province is doing their own thing to send students back to class in the fall. Rachelle Elsiufi has details.