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Schools Out – Return to Online Learning for Ontario Schools

As we move into the third wave of COVID, case numbers are soaring with the province reporting over 4,000 new cases bringing the total to 391,009 with record hospitalizations. The Ontario government’s “emergency brake” was pulled on April 3. Then on April 8 the emergency stay at home order was enacted. But through all of this most schools remained open (medical officers in Toronto, Peel and Guelph regions closed their schools). The government often cited the mental health and well being of students.

But today the Ford government announced that school will once again shift to an online learning platform following Spring Break. This comes just a day after Lecce issued a letter to parents stating that schools would remain open while the province is under a stay-at-home order.

“The problem is not in our schools; it is in our community” Ford announced. "I want nothing more than to be able to open the schools up again as soon as possible. But we all need to work together right now to get the community spread under control."

NDP leader Andrea Horvath criticized Ford saying, "People feel like the province is dissolving into chaos."

According to “Child care for non-school aged children will remain open, before and after school programs will be closed and free emergency child care for the school-aged children of eligible health care and frontline workers will be provided. To protect the most vulnerable, boards will make provisions for continued in-person support for students with special education needs who require additional support that cannot be accommodated through remote learning.”

Ford promised that his government “will keep a constant eye on the data to determine when kids can get back into the classroom” but no timeline was provided on when students might be able to return to the classroom.

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