Toronto hospital, doctors support east-end schools as classes resume

Principal Jeff Crane standing outside Thorncliffe Park Public School

As a new school year begins, teachers and staff members at Canada’s largest elementary school will be doing everything they can to ensure the return to class goes as smoothly and as safely as possible.

Today, a portion of the 850 students who will be doing in-class studies at Thorncliffe Park Public School reported for duty. Under normal circumstances, Thorncliffe Park P.S., which is located in one of Toronto’s densest and most diverse neighbourhoods, is home to 1,400 pupils.

For weeks, Principal Jeff Crane and his team of educators and support staff have worked tirelessly to figure out what a new school year will look like there amid a global pandemic.

“Everything will be completely different this year. … Because of COVID-19, we’ll have to implement some major changes,” he shared during a recent interview and tour of the school yard.

Some of those changes include reimagining how students will enter the building, rearranging classrooms to ensure physical distancing, installing decals through the school and yard to keep pupils apart, and increasing sanitation and cleaning practices among other things.

Crane said much time and effort has also been devoted to answering questions from anxious teachers, parents, students, and even community members.

Fortunately, Thorncliffe Park P.S. isn’t alone in its journey.