In defiance of a directive from the provincial government, all students will not be returning to full-time in-person classes at Chateauguay Valley Regional High School on Monday.
On March 23, Premier François Legault announced that Secondary 3, 4 and 5 students would be back in class as of March 29, even in red zones. After careful consideration, the New Frontiers School Board has decided on a staggered start for students at CVR and Howard S. Billings High School, starting with those in Secondary 3.
“We have to put health and safety first,” says NFSB Director General Rob Buttars, who maintains he is not comfortable with what he feels was a rushed decision on the part of the government. “We have to gradually bring them back and support them along the way,” he says, noting that students have adapted to the hybrid learning system.
In a letter addressed to parents of CVR students, principal Brigitte Barrette outlined the logistical aspects of ensuring the safe return of students, which includes busing organization, cafeteria service offerings, lunch hour groupings, sanitization between lunches, adaptation and use of common areas, and the adaptation of classrooms layouts.
To ease the strain on the system, as well as teachers, staff and students, a progressive return was deemed the only option. As such, Secondary 3 students will return on Monday, while Secondary 4 students will continue with the hybrid model until April 6. Secondary 5 students will then return on April 12.
“This staggered return will allow the school team time to plan and prepare for the full-time integration of all our students in a safe and secure manner,” writes Barrette. “Our collective efforts as a school community are remarkable,” she adds, while thanking students and their families for their “diligence in respecting the health guidelines and contributing to everyone’s safety.”