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Photos and visuals: Getting schools ready to welcome students back

September 1, 2020

GUELPH, Ontario – All this week, staff are in schools completing important health and safety training and preparing our schools to welcome back students. Schools will look a little different this year as we put in place protocols around physical distancing, hand hygiene and more. Schools will be communicating directly with families to provide school-specific information on first day procedures, pick-up/drop-off procedures, communication with the school and more.

Take a look at some of the photos and posters below as we continue to get our schools ready for students. *Please keep in mind the pictures below are examples from some of our UGDSB schools – different schools will have different layouts and configurations. 

Screening before coming to school

Parents are responsible for performing a daily screening of their child(ren) for COVID-19 symptoms before leaving for school using a self-assessment checklist. If symptoms are present, children are to stay home from school.

Arrival and drop-off

Only essential visitors are permitted inside the school (e.g., maintenance personnel).  All other parents and visitors will not be permitted inside schools during the pandemic, except in case of emergency.  At entry and dismissal times, parents are to remain outside the school and adhere to physical distancing protocols. Limiting the number of people in our buildings will reduce the number of interactions and contacts within schools, helping to keep our community safe.

Schools will communicate site-specific information regarding bus drop off, kiss and ride, and first day procedures.

Schools will be organizing clear procedures for students entering and exiting the school, including using designated entrances. Students will use hand sanitizer and put on their mask when entering the school. In elementary schools, morning greeters will be there to help with masks, hand sanitizer and physical distancing.

Greeter Hand Sanitizer

Moving through the school

Signs and markings have been placed through the school to help with the flow of movement throughout the building and encourage physical distancing.

Washrooms will limit how many people can be in at once and some stalls and sinks have been bagged off and put out of service to assist with physical distancing.

In the classroom

Staff have moved excess furniture and items out of classrooms to maximize the space for physical distancing. Desks will be spaced apart and everyone will face forward. Students will be provided with explicit instructions on how to use each area of the classroom, how to move through the classroom and on remaining in their area. 


Schools will be utilizing outdoor space for instruction and recess. When outdoors, classrooms will be separated into their own space on the yard and classes are to stay with their own class outdoors.  Schools will use a variety of ideas for keeping students supplies and belongings separate, finding spaced out spots for each student and more. Even when outside, students will continue to sit physically distanced and will stay within their classroom cohort.

These are just some of the measures we’re taking to help keep our students, staff and school communities safe. For more details on health and safety protocols, please visit the board website at and review our Parent Guide at:

We thank everyone in our school communities for working together to stay safe!

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