Province Extends Closure Of Schools Until January 25th, Online Learning To Continue

Thursday January 7th, 2021

Posted at 3:15pm

0
0
0

Students across Southern Ontario will not be returning to the classroom on Monday, the province announced Thursday afternoon.

In a news release, the province says the online learning model for elementary students will continue until January 25th, which aligns with the planned return of in-person learning for secondary students.

“With the public health trends where they are across the province, our priority remains keeping students, teachers, school staff, and all Ontarians safe,” said Premier Ford. “That’s why we’re extending the remote learning period for students in Southern Ontario and the shutdown period for Northern Ontario, while continuing to provide financial relief for parents through the Support for Learners program as well as electricity rate relief for all time-of-use customers. We have to get the numbers down and today’s measures will help us continue to stop the spread of this deadly virus.”

The province says targeted testing done among students and staff in December confirmed that schools are not a significant source of transmission. However, they say the positivity rate among school aged children has increased sharply due to “concerning behaviour over the holidays” and the fact that students having been at home for several weeks.

Specifically, the province says the positivity rate for children aged 12-13 years old increased from 5.44 per cent in late November / early December to nearly 20 per cent in early January.

“I have and remain firmly committed to getting students back into class as soon as possible – there is nothing more important,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “However, the best medical and scientific experts have been clear: while schools have been safe places for kids, the sharp rise in community transmission puts that progress and Ontario families at risk.”

The province says in the nearly two weeks since Ontario was moved into shutdown, trends in key public health indicators have continued to worsen.

The province has also expanded their Support for Learners program. Starting on January 11th, the program is providing families with $200 for each child or youth up to Grade 12 and $250 for each child or youth up to age 21 with special needs. Applications will be open until February 8th.

Do You Like This Article?