Schools Remain Closed to Students Until the End of the School Year

All publicly funded schools will be closed until the end of the school year in Ontario. Day cares are scheduled to open with Phase 2 and the Premier offered news surrounding summer camps as well.

ONTARIO - All publicly funded schools in the Province of Ontario will remain closed until the end of the school year. 

Premier Ford says they are not going to take any risks with our children.

"That's why after careful consideration, after consulting with the health experts, it is clear, that we can not open schools at this time. I'm just not going to risk it. This wasn't an easy decision to make but it is the right decision. We have made the decision to put our kids safety first and at the same time, we have a plan to ensure that our children's education can continue outside the classroom. Online learning will continue, every student from Kindergarten to Grade 12 will get a report card and we are doing everything possible to ensure our students have an opportunity to graduate this year." 

Premier Ford says they are also working hard to ensure that child care centres can open when we get to stage 2 of reopening the economy. 

When it comes to summer camps, the Province is not going to allow overnight camps to open this summer. Ford says we can't have camps with 500 kids living together right now.

"I know this will be tough for many kids who look forward to their overnight camps, but there is some good news, based on the best advice from our health experts. As long as trends continue to improve, summer day camps will be allowed to open in July and August with strict and I repeat strict public health measures in place."

Ford says they hope this gives parents and kids something to look forward to this summer. 

"To our amazing parents, you are true champions, you are going above and beyond, you are putting on a brave face to support and comfort our children during these uncertain times and I want you to know that your sacrifice, your care does not go unnoticed or unappreciated."

Later this summer, the government will announce a plan to strengthen learning and safety protocols to enable students and staff to return to in-class instruction for the 2020-21 school year. That plan will be bolstered by an enhanced province-wide virtual learning program that will allow all students to learn, regardless of the challenges that may transpire in the coming months.

Private schools, licensed child care centres and EarlyON programs will also remain closed for the safety and protection of children, families and staff through Stage 1 of the Framework for Reopening the ProvinceEmergency child care will continue to operate and provide support for health care and other frontline workers. A gradual reopening of child care is expected to begin when the province is ready to transition to Stage 2 based on public health criteria, which will include robust safety protocols for the safety of Ontario's youngest learners and their staff.

The province also unveiled an expanded seven-point summer learning plan to ensure Ontario students have every opportunity to continue their learning through the summer months. Summer learning programs are being expanded to reach the most students in Ontario history, to ensure they remain on track to start the 2020-21 school year with the confidence and knowledge required to succeed.

To support at-home learning, the government is leveraging all tools, resources, technologies and services to assist school boards deliver equitable and effective learning through access to technology and Internet connectivity, especially for students in rural and remote parts of Ontario. To help improve access to remote learning, Ontario is partnering with 34 organizations and private businesses, along with school boards, to address key needs among educators, students and their families during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ford says parents will be kept informed every step of the way. You can listen to Premier Ford's comments from today below. 

 

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