The provincial government says students can choose to learn remotely to start the 2021-2022 school year, even if Ontario's in-person learning returns in September.

And families don't have to make an in-person or remote learning decision before June 1, according to a new statement from the province.

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"Parents want that choice for this September because we're unsure of where this pandemic will take us," Education Minister Stephen Lecce said, speaking at a press conference announcing budget changes for the upcoming school year. "What I can confirm to you is we are ensuring that every [school] board in Ontario will provide that choice [of] a virtual learning experience."

Schools are closed across Ontario right now, and Minister Lecce did not give any indication if they will re-open before the end of the 2021-2022 school year or not.

"But obviously as soon as more information becomes apparent to the province, we'll communicate it so that families know," Lecce said.