Ontario schools to stay closed to in-class learning after April break

James Marshall
April 13, 2021

At District School Board Ontario North East (DSB1), there has been one recent staff case at the Distance Learning Public School, and one student case at R. Ross Beattie Senior Public School.

Daycares for children too young to go to school will remain open, but before and after school programs for school-age children will be cancelled.

Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Education Stephen Lecce made the announcement Monday afternoon. "Bringing our kids back to a congregate setting in school after a week off in the community is a risk that I won't take", said Ford, "We know that the more COVID spreads in the community, the more likely it is to get into the schools, which will create massive problems for all of us down the road". Data will be assessed on an ongoing basis and health officials will be consulted to determine when it will be safe to resume in-person learning.

Sources told CTV News Toronto the decision was made this weekend after the province posted a record-breaking number of COVID-19 and intensive care admissions.

Lecce's letter says Dr. David Williams, Ontario's Medical Officer of Health, says Ontario schools are safe with proper public health and safety measures in place.

The announcement came days after a provincewide shutdown took effect in light of the rapid growth of new infections and hospitalization numbers.

The province reported a test positivity rate of 9.5 percent, up from 7.7 percent a day ago and 7.8 percent last week.

Mississauga and Brampton students will be learning from home for the foreseeable future
Ontario schools to close, students and teachers move to remote learning by next week

There was a rate of 9.7 percent on December 29 and January 4 during the peak of the second wave. "We understand they are anxious about the safety protocols and what is happening across the province, but whenever we are able to go back, I think that is the best place for the kids to be". More outdoor learning where it is possible this Spring and Summer.

Meanwhile, the Liberals are calling for Lecce to be fired over his handling of the situation.

"We will communicate to parents based on the advice we receive from the chief medical officer of health to reopen our schools", Lecce said.

Unions have called for all teachers to be vaccinated before in-person learning resumes.

There is now no return date for students.

With students moving to remote learning, vaccine prioritization of education workers who provide direct support to students with special education needs across the province, and all education workers in select hot spot areas, starting with Peel and Toronto, will continue.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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