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COVID-19 Update 3: Director General Announcement for Staff and Schools

Photo by CDC on Unsplash
Montreal - Friday, March 13, 2020

Updated: March 15, 2020 - 9:00 p.m.

Click here to download the PDF version of this message

To all EMSB stakeholders: Students, Staff, Parents and Community Members

I write to provide you with yet another update on the situation pertaining to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Today, Premier François Legault announced that all schools – elementary, daycares, high school, adult education, vocational education, CEGEPs and Universities in Quebec will be closed for the next two weeks.

Accompanied by the Minister of Health and Social Services, the Director of Public Health in Quebec, the Minister of Education and the Minister of the Family, Mr. Legault highlighted yet again, that the situation in Quebec is still under control; but that in order to avoid any spreading of the COVID-19 virus, additional precautions, like closing schools, is being proactively undertaken.

So in practical terms, what does this mean for the EMSB?

At the Board:

  • The school board administrative offices will be open over the next two weeks. Requests from employees to work from home will be considered on a case by case basis by the department Director.

In Schools:

  • All schools, daycares and centres will be closed for the next two weeks. The expected return to school date is Monday, March 30th.
  • For the next two weeks all students and teachers will remain at home.
  • On Monday and Tuesday (March 16th and 17th  – from 8 AM to 2 PM) only the following staff members will report to their school / centre: 
  • Principals, VPs, Office staff, SOTs, Guidance Counsellors in high schools, Cafeteria staff, Caretakers, Daycare Technician.

These members of staff will, under the guidance of the Principal, ensure that the essential duties required to close the school for the duration of the two weeks are completed.

  • On Monday and Tuesday (March 16th and 17th – from 8 AM to 2 PM), teachers, parents, high school and adult students may drop-by their school to pick up any essential items (laptops, forgotten snow-pants, etc.) left behind.

NOTE: Teachers will not be able to stay at school to work in their class.  Only a quick pick-up of essential items will be possible. 

Parents and students will not be able to have meetings with staff.  Again, only a quick pick-up of essential items will be possible.

  • Teachers, as per the Minister of Education’s statements today, will not be providing work to students over the two week school closure period. As he stated, teachers will work with their students to catch-up when schools re-open.
  • After next Monday and Tuesday, school employees will be asked to work from home but must remain available if needed.
  • Caretakers will likely be required to be present in the school and centre buildings during the two week period to ensure that contractors and repair people have access to the building. More information will follow early next week.
  • As of Monday, and unless otherwise instructed by their immediate superior, all professionals below are asked to work from home:
  • Student Services professionals who usually work in schools (Psychologists, Speech and Language Pathologists, Special Education Consultants, etc.)
  • AEVS professionals who usually work in centres (Counsellors, Academic Advisor, etc.)
  • Educational Services professionals: Pedagogical / Educational Consultants, etc.)

OTHER IMPORTANT NOTES

  • Staff are reminded NOT to enter the schools outside of the times indicated on Monday and Tuesday as the alarm may be set.
  • All school employees who are at home can be called upon, if need be, by Management during the work day.
  • In-school administrators are asked to remain available by cell phone and email at all times during the closure.
  • All employees are expected to check their EMSB email account regularly during the two week closure.
  • Employees in the education sector are no longer permitted to travel outside of Canada within the context of their job. This also applies during work time in this two week period.  Personal travel outside of the country is also very strongly discouraged for staff and students.
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