Continued COVID-19 restrictions have caused the Ontario government to keep publicly-funded schools in Ontario closed until at least May 31.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce made the announcement Sunday afternoon, saying that the extension of the closure was based on advice from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other officials at the COVID-19 command table.
“Right now we don’t see a need at this moment to extend the school year,” said Lecce. “We are looking at enhancing summer educational programming for parents and of course, we are looking at additional measures that can be taken for next year to make sure that the educational integrity of a student is sound.”
- Should schools be permitted to reopen, school employees will have access as of May 29, 2020.
- The Ministry of Education will move forward to replace the remainder of Professional Activity (PA) days and examination days with instructional time, as well as the introduction of an expanded summer learning program that will focus on credit recovery, supports for vulnerable students, and course upgrading. Boards are to find solutions at the local level in keeping with this direction while upholding collective agreement obligations.
- Private schools, First Nation schools, licensed child care centres, and EarlyON programs will remain closed until May 6, 2020, with certain exceptions for licensed care, under an emergency order made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, which only allows closures to be extended for 14 days at a time.
- Through the Ontario Together web site, the province received more than 300 proposals from businesses, organizations and everyday Ontarians to provide solutions to remote learning while schools are closed during the COVID-19 global pandemic. The next steps will be shared soon.
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- “School Closures Extended to Keep Students, Staff and Families Safe.” News.ontario.ca, Government of Ontario, 26 Apr. 2020, news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2020/04/school-closures-extended-to-keep-students-staff-and-families-safe.html