WINDSOR, ONT. -- Officials with the Greater Essex County District School Board say they’ve been working since early July in all classrooms, in all 70 schools, prepping for September.

“It’s a Herculean effort compared to what we had to do last year,” says Steve LeBel, coordinator of maintenance. “We’re building barriers for all the schools, we’re affixing all the stickers inside the hallways that provide direction and we’re identifying and moving furniture."

GECDSB classrooms

Kindergarten is noticeably different, with all soft items like couches and dolls, plus congregating areas like water tables are all gone.

All bookshelves in the entire school are covered in plastic wrap.

All of those items had to go somewhere, so much of it is piled inside spaces that cannot be used, like the music room inside Herman Academy.


Plus, the board is renting storage bins and parking them on school grounds, for overflow items they can’t use for the time being.

“We are removing items that we can, extra-long tables, our shared tables will be removed too,” says Shantelle Maclean, the boards’ supervisor of operations.

GECDSB alone has 280 custodians and they plan to hire 40 to 60 others.

“The afternoon shift usually starts at 2:30 p.m. we are going to be bringing them up, between 10 and 12 a.m. to help support disinfecting while the students are on-site,” says Maclean

Once the board figures out which students will be in which classroom, custodial crews will go class by class to rearrange desks to keep students apart.

gecdsb classroom