Green education critic Karla Bernard is calling for the release of pilot operational plans for up to six schools by Aug. 1, so parents know how schools will reopen in the fall.
Public schools on P.E.I. were closed as part of public health measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
After promising a “detailed plan” for schools, Education Minister Brad Trivers released a six-page document last week detailing school plans for September.
But details related to physical distancing for kids, including how teachers will keep what the report called “cohorts” of students apart and how staggered drop-off times will work, will not be released until mid-August.
On Wednesday, Bernard tabled a document in the legislature, titled Return to School Framework, that called for the development and release of operational plans for six schools by Aug. 1.
“Those detailed plans could then be used by other schools to develop their own detailed return to school plans,” the document states.
The document contained 47 questions about back-to-school plans but few other detailed proposals.
The Green document also urges government to prioritize mental health in its return-to-school plans.
In an interview, Bernard said more guidance counsellors should be hired and that these counsellors help students learn emotional coping skills.
"If we do find ourselves in a position again where we're having to shut down fully, these are skills that hopefully can be shared with families," Bernard said.
Education Minister Brad Trivers defended the province’s education plans.
“As much as the Opposition thinks we haven't provided details, we actually have provided a very, very solid framework," Trivers said in an interview.
Trivers did not commit to hiring more guidance counsellors but said mental health has been incorporated in the home learning curriculum since the beginning of the pandemic.
He also noted Bernard is a former school guidance counsellor.
“This is one of her pet areas. And so, it's no surprise to me that that's what she's recommending," Trivers said.
During question period, Trivers said schools will likely be able to accommodate all students within their own buildings, even with physical distancing measures in place.