School's out for April, it seems. The provincial government announced on Tuesday, March 31, that Ontario schools will not welcome students back into classrooms until May at the earliest. Schoolkids were initially slated to return next week.

This news comes after Premier Doug Ford announced that the April 6 deadline for students to return could not be possible given the current situation in the battle to halt the spread of COVID-19.

In a press briefing on Monday afternoon, Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced the updates.*

In that briefing, Ford said public schools will be closed until May 1 for teachers and May 4 for students. However, he stressed he is willing to push the return date beyond early May if need be.

On March 23, Ford had announced that the original plan for students to return to class on April 6 was no longer feasible.

At the briefing, Lecce also announced a temporary distant-learning plan which would enable students to get report cards as normal and continue their studies in the meantime.

 

Ontario's new dedicated COVID-19 webpage reports 260 new cases on Tuesday morning, taking the province's total number to nearly 2,000.

33 Ontarian deaths have been reported as related to the virus.

There are 4,280 cases under investigation, which is down massively from the peak backlog of around 11,000 cases reported late last week.

According to CP24, both the Toronto District School Board and the Peel District School Board have announced their intentions to restart "teacher-directed instruction" of some kind next Monday, April 6.

“We are kind of calling this distance learning or virtual learning. E-learning is where an entire course is taught online from start to finish and our intent here is not to replicate the school day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.," TDSB Director of Education John Malloy told CP24 on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, while schoolkids are out of school, Ontario's students got some good news on Tuesday as it was announced OSAP repayments are being suspended until the end of September.

*This article has been updated.

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