After a tease from the Education Minister last week, the province's school boards will be allowed to stagger their start dates by up to two weeks, in another change to the current Ontario back-to-school plan.
Stephen Lecce announced the news in a memo to school boards on Tuesday, August 18.
"Given that the ministry's foremost priority is the health and safety of students and staff in the reopening process, we are pleased to announce that boards can stagger their reopening over the first two weeks of school," wrote Lecce.
#BREAKING - In a memo to school boards Education Minister Lecce says “We are pleased to announce that boards can st… https://t.co/wQRNZZogYy— Richard Southern (@Richard Southern) 1597787449.0
Just last week, the education minister alluded to allowing staggered starts, but the official confirmation didn't come until Tuesday, just three weeks before the government's original target return date.
Lecce has seen considerable pushback on his back-to-school plan. There is currently a petition circling with over 200,000 signatures urging him to reduce class sizes for September — something the province has not done.
The news comes on the heels of an earlier announcement made on the same day revealing that the City of Toronto would offer 24 facilities to school boards for social distancing purposes.