It turns out you can head back to school soon if you want to, just not for class. After news that Ontario schools will not be welcoming students back for the remainder of the academic year, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce published a letter noting that they are coming up with a way for students and parents to safely pick up their belongings.
So, if someone you know left those pair of sneakers they love or that winter jacket at school a couple of months ago —they're in luck! They can get them back after all.
According to the letter by Lecce, although classes are cancelled for the rest of the school year, families will be able to go back and retrieve students' stuff when the right time comes.
"We are also creating an organized and safe process to allow families to retrieve items in schools, led by local school boards," reads part of Lecce's statement.
The speed with which this memo was sent out will please the students and parents who had taken to social media to ask whether items can be safely retrieved or not.
When schools were first closed back in March, it was only thought to be for a few weeks. Now, classes will not resume in-person until September at the earliest.
An important letter from Minister Lecce. https://t.co/gQiaOM2c17— St.Anne Fr.Immersion (@St.Anne Fr.Immersion) 1589923967.0
The news that plans are in the works for those with possessions to pick up appears to have made at least one school board nervous.
For example, Peel Schools quickly tweeted to warn their students not to jump at the chance and all show up at once, thus defeating the object of distancing measures.
"Re-entry to retrieve personal items will need to be done in a staged manner to ensure physical distancing. Please do not arrive at schools tomorrow asking to pick up your belongings. We know you’d like them, but we need to get these to you safely," reads Peel District School Board's tweet.
For those asking (see Director message), we are working with local public health officials to determine how student… https://t.co/mNOBBSEZgc— Limestone District School Board (@Limestone District School Board) 1589916446.0
Despite the possibility of the province increasing the gathering size from 5 to 10 people being considered this week, social distancing measures are still in place that need to be followed.
"Various plans with various scenarios have been developed. These are under constant revision as the pandemic, and resulting emergency directives evolve," wrote the Limestone District School Board.
Along with the news of school cancellations, the province also extended its emergency order until May 29 despite the fact that the reopening process is now underway for Ontario businesses.
For now, students are urged to wait until the province and its school boards announce more information.
Despite classroom closures, Lecce says that not all hope is lost for students to attend prom or graduation this year.
He says that schools can plan to host events "during the summer or fall, when it is safe to do so."
"Students have worked incredibly hard this school year, and we know that the COVID-19 outbreak has forced some schools to cancel or delay important milestones to recognize student achievements, such as prom and graduation ceremonies," he said.
However, Lecce notes that grad ceremonies may not happen the way we're used to.
"It may still be some time before schools and boards are able to offer the kinds of ceremonies and traditions in the same way they have in previous years," he said.
Even so, it'd be an opportunity for students to enjoy the milestone they've worked so hard for.