Premier Doug Ford confirmed that students will not be going back to school next month, as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses.
On Tuesday, Ford made the announcement during his daily press conference, stating that schools will not be going back on May 4.
The premier said he doesn’t mean the school year has been cancelled, and that the Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, will have more information in the coming days.
On March 31, the province had said public schools will remain closed to teachers until Friday, May 1, 2020, and to students until Monday, May 4, 2020.
At the time, the province said as these dates come closer, this decision will be re-evaluated based on public health advice.
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On April 6, Ontario students began their first day of online learning with the education platform called Learn At Home, which recommends elementary students spend between five and 10 hours on learning per week, depending on the age.
And high school students spending three hours per course per week if they’re on a semestered system, or half that if their schedule isn’t split into semesters.
The provincial online program will provide parents and families with educational material in English and French and will offer curriculums for grade K to 12 with lessons for basics like reading, writing, math, and science skills. There will also be certified tutors available through TVO.
The program will also reconnect students with teachers and other school staff, including mental health workers. It will leverage digital resources and identify alternative forms of teacher-student connectivity by phone and mail.
Report cards will also be required for all students and prioritize and support students who intend to graduate this school year.
There is also awareness to provide laptops and other devices from schools as needed, while observing public health direction.
Lecce has also assured students that are graduating this year will not be affected by the closures.