School’s out for spring! In an announcement on Sunday, the provincial government confirmed that schools in Ontario will not be reopening at the beginning of May, as initially predicted by officials. Instead, the return date has been postponed once again, and now students can expect to stay at home until at least May 29.
Unfortunately for students hoping to return to school next month, it’s not going to happen until closer to June.
According to a statement released on Sunday afternoon, publicly-funded schools in the province will remain closed until at least the end of May, in accordance with advice from health officials.
“We will do whatever it takes to keep our students safe,” Education Minister Stephen Lecce said in the notice, which was shared on social media.
“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.”
The statement added that the decision to postpone reopening was based on advice from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, as well as other officials at “the COVID-19 command table.”
School closures have been extended to May 29. We will continue to take a student – first approach ensuring student… https://t.co/cgE4D0u3kI— Stephen Lecce (@Stephen Lecce)1587919427.0
Most of the province's students have not been in classrooms since before March break, due to concerns about COVID-19.
The return date for schools in Ontario has already been pushed back several times. The original date was scheduled to be April 6, this was then postponed until May 4.
In a tweet on Sunday, the Education Minister explained, “We will continue to take a student – first approach ensuring students remain safe while being able to access the resources to #LearnAtHome.”
For now, the provincial government has committed to "taking steps to ensure learning can continue."
This latest announcement comes just weeks after Doug Ford extended the state of emergency in Ontario, for an additional 28 days.
Until at least May 12, non-essential businesses will continue to stay closed, and current physical distancing protocol will remain in place.
However, it's already looking like this could be extended even further. When asked if Ontario will start to reopen by the end of May, the Premier responded, "That is absolutely not going to happen."
“Students will not be going back on May 4. That does not mean the year is cancelled,” said Ontario Premier Doug For… https://t.co/K1VRfgQZpS— Power & Politics (@Power & Politics)1586890323.0
Despite speculation, both Doug Ford and Stephen Lecce have previously stressed that the school year has not yet been cancelled indefinitely.