Ontario's back-to-school plan draws fears, praise from parents

Ontario's back-to-school plan draws fears, praise from parents

All school boards in the province were required to develop three plans to resume class in September; a full-time return to in-person class, a hybrid model of in-person and online learning and an online learning strategy.

Students from Grade 4 up will be required to wear masks while at school, while younger students will be encouraged to do so in common areas.

Students in kindergarten to Grade 8 are to attend school full time, while those in Grades 9 to 12 are to be taught using a combination of online and in-class instruction.

Allowing parents to get back to work is also key to reopening the economy.

"We want you to know that on September 8, you'll be able to drop your child off at school, knowing that every possible measure has been taken to keep your child safe", said Ford.

Cabral's eldest son, who will be in Grade 11, will only be in school half the time because Peel is one of two dozen boards where high schoolers will attend class part-time in cohorts of 15.

"The one thing that I did hear in the announcement which I'm not quite sure how it's workable, is how you're going to be teaching all day but also be providing synchronous learning to the students that are home".

The province had given school boards until next week to outline reopening plans.

Quebec aims to have all elementary and high school students back in classrooms this fall with a backup plan should the number of COVID-19 cases spike.

"If it can be done safely, I think kids going back to school should be OK", she said.

"We've pulled out all the stops for students in this province and they deserve nothing less", he said.

In secondary schools, all boards will adopt timetabling methods to keep students in a single group as much as possible, aiming to limit student-to-student contact as much as possible.

"Restaurants, grocery stores and gyms will have more safety restrictions in place than elementary schools given the insufficient funding allocated in this plan". "We expect to get that guidance later this week and we have meetings with the ministry later this week". "School plays an important role in many people's lives, and our board looks forward to welcoming everyone back", wrote Rose Burton Spohn, H-SCDSB director of education, in an email. "We are not necessarily looking at this for the full duration of the school year". "It's a status quo return, with no additional supports for those littlest ones to ensure they, their families and the staff that work with them are kept safe and healthy". "It's a plan that puts the health and safety of our kids first".

"We will also be supporting public health efforts by continuing to promote our screening protocols so that students and staff do not show up to school if they have any symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild", said Lecce.

Jacinthe Pelletier, Lilia and Avery's grandmother, said "it'll be good for everybody, for the kids to go back to school".

- $10 million for students with special needs.

"We will continue to closely monitor the situation to ensure the safety of students and staff and will be prepared to transition to alternative options should circumstances change". "The premier promised Ontarians that he "will spare no expense" to keep people safe, yet he and Education Minister Stephen Lecce are betraying that promise to students, educators, parents and communities with this ill-prepared plan".

Sliwa said pre-registration will be required for this locally.

"That information will be costed out and, if there is not enough money, we may need to advocate for more", she said.

Training will be provided to all school staff about what to be on the lookout for and what to do if they believe someone within the school is showing signs of COVID-19.

"What we heard is they wanted students to be masked and we did that from Grade 4 and up based on the emerging evidence that that is the most effective way to do it", Lecce said.

He said the school plan is created to "look and feels as much as it used to" with five hours of instruction time as well as breaks and lunches.