Ontario’s Education Minister, Stephen Lecce announced that all publicly-funded schools will continue to remain closed until at least May 31.
The decision to extend school closures was made based upon the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams. Education Minister Stephen Lecce says that the announcement will help provide students, parents, and teachers with “greater certainty” during the ongoing pandemic.
Stephen Lecce has also said that the extension will give the provincial government more time to review data on the deadly COVID-19 pandemic before any decision about the possibility of returning to schools can be made.
“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” said the Education Minister in a news release this past Sunday.
The Education Minister has also said that the next time he announces the school year, he will be providing a final update on what the remaining school year will look like.
Students to be able to complete the school year despite school closures
Although schools remain closed, the Education Minister and the Province of Ontario feels that the school year does not need to be extended at this time. With the province’s online learning platform, the Education Minister believes that students should be able to complete the remaining school year.
“Regardless of what transpires over the coming weeks, Ontario’s students will be able to complete their school year with confidence” said the Education Minister.
In addition to the online learning program, the Province has announced changes to the graduation requirements, such as removing the need to take the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test, to help ensure graduating students will continue to graduate by the end of the school year without delays.
The Education Minister has also said that more than 20,000 iPads have been distributed to students whose families don’t have means to access the internet. He also mentioned that school boards have been given a new $75 million a year funding for technology.
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