Ford government wants a safe and "new conventional" five-day return to school

Jul 23 2020, 10:52 am

It looks as though parents and teachers will be getting some clarity on the return to school plans for September at some point next week.

On Thursday, Education Minister Stephen Lecce said that Premier Doug Ford and the Ontario government want a “safe and new conventional day-to-day where kids can go to school five days a week.”

“We will be offering clarity on what school will look like in September,” Lecce said.

“We are planning for the safe resumption to class and are finalizing plans with the chief medical officer of health which will be released next week.”

Lecce said that additional supports and resources for schools will be made in the announcement, like improving ventilation and water fountains to ensure that schools are safe for the restart.

“We have some of the best pediatric minds informing us on best practices.”

During the daily briefing, Ford announced that the Ontario government is investing over $500 million to build 30 new schools and make permanent additions to 15 existing facilities, which supports over 25,000 student spaces across the province.

This investment will also generate nearly 900 new licensed childcare spaces to ensure families across the province are able to access childcare in their communities.

“Our government is making a significant capital investment in our school system,” said Ford.

“By making these smart investments today, we will ensure our students and teachers have access to modern facilities to learn with features like high-speed internet, accessible ramps and elevators, and air conditioning, while providing parents with access to more licensed childcare spaces.”

The government is also investing over $12 billion in capital grants over 10 years, which includes the $500 million invested this year to build new school capital projects and permanent additions.

Lecce said part of this investment is going towards schools for restart this September, as public schools have called for additional funding to hire more staff and have proper personal protective equipment.

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