All Ontario public schools to remain closed until end of May

 

All of Ontario’s publicly-funded schools will remain closed until at least May 31 to keep students, staff and families safe, Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced today.

The decision was based on advice from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and health officials.

“We will do whatever it takes to keep our students safe,” said Lecce, who assured that students will still be able to complete the school year.

“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.”

There's no word at this time on the possibility of schools remaining closed beyond May 31.

The Ministry of Education is moving forward on an expanded summer learning program that will focus on credit recovery, support for vulnerable students, and course upgrading.

Private schools, First Nation schools, licensed child care centres and EarlyON programs will remain closed until at least May 6, with certain exceptions for licenced care.

While schools remain closed, the province is continuing with its Learn at Home online program to ensure students can continue their learning at home.

The program’s elementary resources focus on entertaining and interactive activities that encourage participation, while its high school content is focused on STEM courses and reinforcing core skills.

The government has also partnered with Rogers and Apple in an attempt to meet educational needs during the outbreak.

“iPads are being purchased and distributed by Ontario school boards, pre-equipped with free Rogers LTE wireless data. Apple is providing on-going support in French and English to teachers, parents and students, with a collection of resources to support learning and working from home,” the government reports.

To date, over 20,000 iPads have been sent to families in need, and the free Rogers wireless data will be available until the end of June, the government says.

Should schools be permitted to reopen, school employees will have access as of May 29, 2020.

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