Public schools remain closed in June
As many suspected, public schools will not be opening in June, but day camps will be allowed to operate if the number of COVID-19 cases remain on the decline.
Premier Doug Ford made the announcement Tuesday, saying he wasn’t willing to risk the health of students by sending them back to the classroom.
“Nothing is more important than protecting our kids in this province, bar none over anything,” said Ford. “Today’s announcement gives parents certainty, knowing that their children can continue to learn safely at home and that we have a plan for child care as we work to gradually reopen more of our economy, when it is safe to do so.”
The decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, health experts on the COVID-19 Command Table, and medical experts at The Hospital for Sick Children.
All students who were on track to graduate from secondary school before the initial school closure order was made in March will be able to graduate, and all students will receive report cards.
The government is planning for the reopening of schools in the fall, and will announce a plan to strengthen learning and safety protocols to enable students and staff to return to in-class instruction for the 2020-21 school year.
The province also unveiled an expanded seven-point summer learning plan to ensure Ontario students have every opportunity to continue their learning through the summer months.
To support at-home learning, the government says it is leveraging all tools, resources, technologies and services to assist school boards deliver equitable and effective learning through access to technology and Internet connectivity, especially for students in rural and remote parts of Ontario.
Private schools, licensed child care centres and EarlyON programs will remain closed. Emergency child care will continue to operate and provide support for health care and other frontline workers.
Assuming trends in key public health indicators continue to improve, summer day camps, both indoor and outdoor, may be permitted in July and August of this year with strict health and safety guidelines to be developed in partnership with local public health, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and municipalities. Overnight camps will not be permitted to operate in the summer of 2020.
A gradual reopening of child care is expected to begin when the province is ready to transition to Stage 2 of the Framework for Reopening the Province, based on public health criteria.