A north-east education chief has asked for parents’ “understanding” ahead of the “rapid” return to classrooms.
This week First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said all pupils will be given at least some in-person teaching between March 15 and their Easter break.
And, in addition to the S4-6 students being allowed to use school resources, attention will also be given to some S1-S3s.
It is hoped that full-time classroom learning will return in April.
Laurence Findlay, the director of education and children’s services for Aberdeenshire Council, has now written to parents and carers, outlining the challenges they may face in the weeks ahead.
As each school in the area has different pupil numbers, capacities and staffing levels, each is now developing its own plan for the way ahead.
He said the requirement for two-metre physical distancing in secondary schools will have a “significant impact” on resources.
Mr Findlay wrote: “Each school will have flexibility to deliver what is best for their learners based on the requirement.
“It should be noted, however, that only one-third of the overall school roll is likely to be able to be accommodated in the school building at any given time.
“For example, a 900 student school will be able to accommodate no more than 300 young people at any given time.
“Furthermore, some schools will have an imbalance in numbers across different year groups which will exacerbate the timetabling challenges they face.”
Because of the need for distancing, Mr Findlay said it is likely in-person teaching will be “minimal,” with remote learning remaining a large part of the school day.
Secondary schools are to give priority to senior students working towards qualifications, and other groups of learners who may benefit most from additional classroom time.
He added: “Further guidance about remote learning delivery will be forthcoming in the new guidance as clearly more staff will now be needed in school settings and as such will not necessarily be available to support the remote learning.
“Schools will do what they can to continue supporting remote learning, including signposting to nationally developed materials, but the availability to support remote learning will be greatly constrained by the requirement for more staff to physically be in school.”
A final “checkpoint” for the return to schools will be held on March 11, ensuring all necessary measures are in place ahead of pupils’ partial return on March 15.
Further guidance is expected to be released by the Scottish Government over the coming days to help education leaders better prepare.
Mr Findlay wrote: “It should be noted that there is a huge amount of planning required between now and March 15 and this will need to be done at a rapid pace.
“As ever, I would ask for the support and forbearance of parents and carers and would ask you to show understanding to your schools who are again dealing with more changes at pace which will result in more changes to the experiences your child(ren) have.”