Robert Naylor confirmed that ‘blended learning’, between school and home, will formally begin in Falkirk on Wednesday, August 12.
All families will be contacted by June 23 with their individual arrangements.To start with at least, schools are expected to have staggered start and finish times as well as lunch and play breaks.
One-way systems and outdoor ‘zones’ will be created while classrooms and other spaces will adapted to keep pupils two metres apart, without any physical barriers.
Teachers and pupils will not be asked to wear masks and pupils will continue to wear their uniforms.
Mr Naylor said: “There is a balance to strike between safety and wellbeing – it is important our schools continue to feel natural and normal for pupils.
“We will be working with unions to ensure staff are comfortable with the measures put in place to protect them.”
He told parents: “We do understand how difficult it is for parents to support their children at home, and I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made so far.
“The Scottish Government is ensuring that employers are aware that the reopening of schools in August will not mean that pupils will attend full-time and asking employers to be flexible with employees who need to stay at home with their children.”
From August, all children will be expected to attend but parents should talk to the headteacher if they are worried or have concerns about someone who is at high risk.
Parents will not be able to change the days allocated to their child to attend school, due to the complexity of the arrangements.
The education team is still working on arrangements for transport and after-school care and are awaiting national guidance for early years arrangements.
Primary schools Children will return part-time on either Mondays and Tuesdays or Thursdays and Fridays and will be provided with work to do at home for the other days. However, the first week back they will attend just one day.
The council says it will try to ensure families with siblings are in school at the same time, as much as this is possible.
Fewer children will be in class at any time and they will work, eat and play within smaller groups to avoid the spread of infection.
Secondary schoolsEvery secondary school is creating its own blended learning model for S1-S6, which will be adjusted according to government guidance.
The plan for August is that S1 & S2 pupils will almost always remain in one teaching space with subject staff delivering lessons throughout the school day.
Pupils in S3 to S6 will follow their current timetabled classes as much as possible with measures in place to carefully manage transitions.
Pupils will be asked to remain in school at lunch time to minimise the risk of uncontrolled social distancing and to protect their local communities from large numbers of pupils gathering.
Specialist ProvisionSpecialist provisions, including Carrongrange High School, will offer two days in school (Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday).
Inclusion and Wellbeing Service and Windsor Park will have a variation of this model but each child will be in school for a minimum of two days per week.
Covid-19Staff and children who develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 must stay at home, self-isolate, and contact the NHS for advice on testing.
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