Montreal, August 11, 2021 – The English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA) welcomes the announcement of a more normal return to school this year. However, questions remain.
School is also a social net for young people; however, we recognize that steps must be taken to make sure that reopening the schools is done in a safe way. Services to students including tutoring and mental health services must be offered to all students in need, with easy access.
Students have had difficulties during the pandemic, not only on an academic level, but also on a social and personal level. That is why the announcement of additional liaison officers to contact dropouts is welcome.
One of the significant concerns of EPCA is the fact that neither parents nor school staff were given directives on what to do if an outbreak or a single case occurs in their school. It is essential for parents to be well informed so that they can act quickly, without having to search for information when they need it.
As well, the implementation of an immunization passport in high schools in order to participate in certain extracurricular activities that are deemed high-risk is worrisome. No details have been provided in regard to what constitutes a “high-risk” activity, nor about considerations for students who will not be able to participate. We know the role that these activities have in motivating young people and we eagerly await additional information on the topic.
“We were hoping to get a solid picture of how the next school year would be run. Today’s announcement does provide some guidance, but not enough to answer all parental concerns and questions,’” said Katherine Korakakis, President of EPCA.
EPCA is looking forward to receiving additional information on the impending return to school.