The orientations of the 2021-2022 back-to-school plan were established based on the current health situation and the progress of the vaccination rollout among the general population. They assume that, when school starts again, 75% of the population aged 12 and up will have been vaccinated, with the majority of 12- to 17-year-olds having received two doses. For more information, please consult the COVID-19 vaccination for adolescents from 12 to 17 years of age page.  

The plan is expected to be updated in August. 

School organization

For all levels, a return to school under conditions that are as normal as possible:

  • Normal school organization, without restrictions requiring stable class groups
  • No procedural masks or face coverings required for students or staff
  • Full educational services (including special pedagogical projects and school outings)
  • Additional support measures for vulnerable students or those with academic delays
  • Resumption of extracurricular activities
  • School transportation under normal rules and without physical distancing restrictions
  • Cafeterias and lunch rooms organized as usual

Health measures

The following health measures will be maintained:

  • Continue with cleaning and disinfection measures, particularly with regard to frequently touched surfaces 
  • Continue with hand hygiene routines for students and staff, as per CNESST recommendations 
  • Continue to evaluate children with symptoms and isolate them, if necessary

Air quality

The Ministère and the educational institutions maintain constant vigilance regarding air quality in classrooms, applying measures to correct any problematic situations. An expert in industrial ventilation from the Ministère-network technical committee will guide the Ministère as it implements the following measures: 

  • Develop a new protocol for constant IT monitoring of air quality in classrooms and identify IT solutions
  • Purchase CO2 monitors and other devices to ensure optimal air quality in all classrooms across Québec
  • Install devices during the 2021-2022 school year, beginning with schools that use natural ventilation 
  • Implement a summer program for the maintenance of ventilation equipment and windows in summer 2021
  • Continue the program intended to correct problematic situations

Contingency measures

Based on the level of education, one or more contingency measures could be introduced if required by the health situation. They are intended to keep class, school or centre closures to a minimum in case of outbreaks and to avoid distance education. 

In elementary schools, in case of an outbreak:

  • Restrict the number of groups a student may be part of without having to respect physical distancing measures
  • Add further physical distancing measures among students from different classes (e.g. lunchtime, recess, daycare service)
  • Assign seats on school buses to allow for contact tracing 
  • Go back to wearing procedural masks in certain circumstances (e.g. school transportation, common areas)
  • Should these measures prove to be inadequate, follow the measures set out in the emergency protocol for distance education in the case of class closures

In secondary schools, vocational training centres and adult general education centres, occasionally, if required:

  • Add physical distancing measures 
  • Go back to wearing procedural masks in certain circumstances
  • Should these measures prove to be inadequate, follow the measures set out in the emergency protocol for distance education in the case of class closures:
    • Return to alternating in-person and remote attendance in Secondary III, IV and V
    • Use mainly distance education in adult education and vocational training, except for exams, workshops and laboratories

Emergency protocol

Every school service centre, school board and private educational institution, as well as the special-status Naskapi School, is required to update its emergency plan in accordance with the protocol established by the Ministère de l’Éducation. This plan must outline the procedures to be followed in the event that an institution is required to close one or more classes. 

Even if a class is closed, students must continue to receive the necessary support and guidance allowing them to pursue their learning, while taking into account the technological capabilities of the specific organization.