One challenge lies in the availability of teacher supervisors from school to school.
The chess club will rise again, but the marching bands will have to wait.
Although Toronto Public Health (TPH) gave school boards the go-ahead to restart extracurricular activities for the current school year, both students and parents should not expect a quick return to normalcy.
“While extracurricular activities are allowed in our schools, it is difficult to provide a system-wide update as it really depends on each individual school and what is possible,” said Ryan Bird, spokesman for the District School Board. Toronto
On September 8, TPH issued a recommendation to restart most school-facilitated clubs, activities, high-contact sports, and field trips across all cohorts, but did not release its formal orientation until nearly two weeks later.
That guide gives the go-ahead to schools that restart activities that include clubs, sports, and bands, minus those that include woodwind or brass instruments, beginning with those that involve fully vaccinated students over the age of 12.
While masks will not be required for high-contact sports like soccer, basketball, and field hockey, only outdoor games are allowed for now.
Matches and tournaments that feature participants from other schools in the same way can only take place outdoors.
Low impact sports, activities, bands and clubs can take place indoors, but only with a mask and physical distance.
Schools are also encouraged to set limits on the number of activities in which students can participate.
Bird said a challenge lies in the availability of faculty supervisors from one school to another, explaining that while one school may have a teacher willing to lead a team or club, other schools may not be so fortunate.
The guide also allows for a gradual return from field trips, beginning again with students of vaccination age.
Trips should be done outdoors, TPH advises, and should only be done with volunteers confirmed by vaccination and infection control procedures at the school are well established.
The guide also advises against overnight field trips.