Schools Closed Until At Least May 31st

Sunday April 26th, 2020

Posted at 12:21pm

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The Ontario government has announced that publicly-funded schools will remain closed until May 31st.

Schools were initially closed for two weeks following March Break in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. That closure was then extended until May 4th.

Officials say the extension was based on expert advice from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and health officials on the province’s COVID-19 Command Table. They say the advice was to extend school closures for an additional period of time to permit updated modelling and data to inform next steps.

“We will do whatever it takes to keep our students safe,” said Education Minister Stephen Lecce. “The government is taking a careful approach which provides our medical experts the time to review the modelling and make the best decision for the safety of our students and the future of learning.”

The government says students will still be able to complete their school year with the province’s Learn at Home portal and the partnership with Rogers Communications and Apple. They say iPads are being purchased and will be distributed by Ontario’s school boards. They say to date over 20,000 iPads have been sent to targeted families in need.

“Regardless of what transpires over the coming weeks, Ontario’s students will be able to complete their school year with confidence,” added Minister Lecce. “In particular, for students in their final year, we are removing all impediments to ensure students graduate and pursue post-secondary education.”

They government also announced should schools be permitted to reopen, school employees will have access as of May 29th, 2020, and the Ministry of Education will move forward to replace students’ remaining 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.

They say private schools, First Nation schools, licensed child care centres and EarlyON programs will remain closed until May 6th, 2020, with certain exceptions for licenced 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.

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