School bus drivers are worried about how the novel coronavirus is being dealt with by school boards, and many are considering not coming back when school starts up again this fall.
Legault’s government announced a new plan for primary and secondary schools this fall back on Aug. 10. According to this new plan, 100 per cent of students will be returning to class for all students from Grade 1 through 9. A release detailing the plan says some time in class might be cut for those in Grades 10 and 11 to reduce the amount of time they have to spend at school.
The plan also details a new group method of controlling excessive contact with other kids; a system that mirrors the minister of health’s suggestions to stick to a single social group when leaving the house. Students will be assigned to a single homeroom group and will stay in that group whenever at school. Health officials hope this will curb the chance that an outbreak will be able to spread through an entire school and will stop inside a social group instead.
This is in stark contrast to the way classes were slowly ramped back up again in May. There were no social groups back then, but only a half to two thirds of students actually chose to return to school.
Chris Drew, school bus driver with the Eastern Townships School Board for over two decades, says that this is a disaster waiting to happen. While teachers can keep students separated in a classroom, buses make social distancing an impossibility.