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280,000 more Ontario students to return to classrooms

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280,000 more Ontario students to return to classrooms

Wondering which schools will be going back to in-class learning? Here’s what you need to know.

According to a press release from the government, it was announced that Eastern Ontario Health Unit, Middlesex-London Health Unit, Southwestern Public Health Unit and Ottawa Public Health will be allowing 280,000 students into elementary and secondary schools.

The following school boards that will be resuming in person learning are Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario, Conseil des ecoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario, Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien, Conseil scolaire de district catholique du Centre-Est de l’Ontario, London District Catholic School Board, Ottawa Catholic District School Board, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, Thames Valley District School Board and Upper Canada District School Board.

Two additional school boards that span across multiple public health units (PHUs) may have some schools that resume in-person learning on February 1, 2021 while other schools will continue to teach remotely.

Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, says the government is planning on introducing stronger masking protocols to include grades 1-3, expanding access to targeted asymptomatic testing and implementing stricter screening protocols.

With a few other school boards currently open, these additional public health units will bring the number of students doing in class learning up to 520,000.

“The government agrees with the growing consensus in the medical community that returning students to in-person learning is essential to the wellbeing, development and mental health of children,” Lecce said in an email.

The release also says local PHUs continue to have the authority to close schools based on their unique circumstances, and parents may choose to permit their children to continue learning remotely.

Students in Windsor, Peel, Toronto, York, and Halton’s public health regions, will continue to learn online until further notice.

In the PHUs that are permitted to return to in-person learning on February 1, before and after school child care programs may also resume on February 1 and emergency child care will end on January 29.

In the PHUs where schools are continuing with remote learning, before and after school programs continue to be closed and emergency child care remains available to support children of frontline workers.

Hopefully, our regions will have the opportunity to open up soon.

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