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Schools in Ontario will remain open – despite a looming provincial lockdown – because they are “critical to the mental health and learning of students,” says Secretary of Education Stephen Lecce

“We believe that students deserve to be in class. On the advice of the Chief Health Officer, schools in this province will remain open. The April break will continue,” Lecce said on Thursday

“For students’ mental health and development and for their learning, students will be in class right where they belong, “he also said.” We put in place a comprehensive plan fully supported by the (Chief Medical Officer of Health), cohorts, better quality masks and improved cleaning, screening and testing that have helped That around 99 percent of schools meanwhile we are dealing with the third wave and these worrying variants are open today. Almost three out of four schools have no active cases at all ”

Earlier this week, Lecce had emphasized that it was planned to keep the schools running and the late spring break from 12 until 16 However, Prime Minister Doug Ford said he, Lecce and health experts are keeping an eye on rising COVID numbers in the community and that parents would receive an update by the end of this week should things change

However, at least two bodies – Superior Greenstone and Superior North Catholic in Northern Ontario – have already decided to move to online learning next week after the long Easter weekend

“The Easter holidays are a time when families gather and often travel to congregate, which increases the risk to people and can affect the health and safety of staff and students. It will also affect our ability To occupy schools safely, “said Superior Greenstone in a letter to parents

Families were also reminded that students traveling outside the area – from the White River to the Manitoba border – will not be able to return to school for 14 days after their return

The Superior North Catholic Board noted that “between Thunder Bay to the west of us, where school boards have been since Jan. March are distance learning, and the Sudbury bodies to the east of us who are distance learning location Both counties are still in the middle of distance learning ”

The letter from director Maria Vasanelli and chairman Judy Wawia stated that students should be back for four days after the Easter weekend, followed by the spring break

“The concern is that if we breach security protocols at Easter, we will have a chance of spreading the virus in our schools We hope to get through the last three months of this school year safely and start a new New Year without the COVID worries we had last year

Meanwhile, the newly hired York Catholic director Robert Hofstatter issued a letter of apology after a nightly letter to parents on Wednesday saying schools would be closed for four weeks / p>

The board “apologizes for any ambiguity regarding possible school closings,” he wrote on Thursday

However, the Boards have asked staff and students to take materials home with them in the event a class, school, or system migrates to online learning

Sam Hammond, president of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, said the province continues to herald “their inadequate protective layers in schools – layers that do not mitigate the risks to our youngest citizens, educators and other education workers”

New Democratic MP Marit Stiles said school staff, students and their families “need guidance and security, instead they are getting dwindling support”

The Department is expected to provide the Boards with some information about additional safety measures in schools shortly, including mandatory confirmation of COVID screening for all students – similar to what teenagers in Toronto do on their way to high in the morning School do are on-site – as well as a new awareness campaign and reminders to educate parents about safety during the spring break

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Ontario Schools

World News – CA – Schools in Ontario remain open, says Secretary of Education Stephen Lecce