Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced that all publicly-funded schools in Ontario will remain closed until at least May 31, 2020.
According to the news release, if the schools are permitted to open after May, school employees will have access as of May 29, 2020.
If schools reopen after May 31, the Ministry of Education will replace the remainder of Professional Activity (PA) days and examination days with instructional time, as well as the introduction of an expanded summer learning program that will focus on credit recovery, supports for vulnerable students, and course upgrading.
Private schools, First Nation schools, licensed child care centres and EarlyON programs will remain closed until May 6, 2020, with certain exceptions for licenced care, under an emergency order made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, which only allows closures to be extended for 14 days at a time.
The extension was based on expert advice from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and health officials on the COVID-19 Command Table. The advice was to extend school closures for an additional period of time to permit updated modelling and data to inform the next steps to prevent spread of COVID-19.
“We will do whatever it takes to keep our students safe,” said Minister Lecce. “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.”
“Regardless of what transpires over the coming weeks, Ontario’s students will be able to complete their school year with confidence,” added Minister Lecce. “In particular, for students in their final year, we are removing all impediments to ensure students graduate and pursue post-secondary education.”
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