It looks like kids will be heading back to classrooms in September in some capacity. Ontario schools are reopening at the end of summer, although it won't be business as usual. The provincial government has settled on a plan they like.
In a June 19 press release, the Ontario government offered three possible scenarios for getting kids back to school: a normal school routine with enhanced health and safety protocols, continued remote learning, or an adapted model where class size would be limited and students would attend on a rotating basis.
On June 20, Education Minister, Stephen Lecce told CP24 that the government was going to direct local school boards to start with the third option.
He noted that being out of class for six months could have a significant mental and emotional impact on children.
"But for six months the system has not had a child in a class, so I want to start this off safely and cautiously," he said.
Class size would be maxed at 15 students, and timetables would be created so that their contact would be limited to just their classmates and one teacher.
Lecce said that the main goals for the start of the year are minimizing risk and ensuring safety.
See my Letter to Parents on our plan to safely reopen schools and respect parental choice. https://t.co/egc7oQwvhy— Stephen Lecce (@Stephen Lecce)1592593540.0
The government noted that this type of model would require students to attend school on alternating days or weeks.
The modified model will be the standard through the month of September.
Starting in October, however, school boards will be able to choose how they want to continue based on the number of cases in their area.
Parents will still be allowed to choose whether they want to send their kids back to school at that time, though.
Premier Doug Ford said schools should be prepared to offer remote learning in those cases.
Ontario's schools have been closed since March 14. They were originally shuttered for two weeks following March break.
However, the ongoing pandemic forced schools throughout the province to be closed for the rest of the school year.