A letter from Toronto District School Board is setting off alarm bells for some parents and guardians who fear remote learning is on the horizon…again.
The letter states that they are asking students to take everything home with them in the event schools resume online learning in light of a surge in COVID-19 cases.
“As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Toronto, so too does the possibility of individual classes or schools moving to remote learning for a period of time,” the letter reads.
The letter emphasizes that there is no indication from the government or public health officials that schools will close.
“Out of an abundance of caution and to ensure your family is prepared for any shift to remote learning, be sure your child brings home all of their personal belongings,” the letter continues.
- You might also like:
- Ontario needs a "circuit breaker" to slow the spread of Omicron: Science Table
- Here's how to book a COVID-19 vaccine booster appointment in Ontario
- East-end Toronto school closes due to COVID-19 outbreak
The board continued to emphasize that this is not a guarantee and that there is not yet any indication that schools will close. They are hoping to set students and parents up for a smoother transition in the event of a worst-case scenario.
The letter finishes with: “We look forward to seeing everyone in 2022.”
Reports suggest that other school boards in Ontario have sent out similar letters asking parents and guardians to prepare for the possibility. While government and public health officials have given no indication that board-wide or province-wide school closures will take place, parents and guardians are worried about what January will bring.
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, told reporters this week that schools will be the last to close in the event of a surge. So far, the province has reintroduced capacity limits in large public settings where the usual capacity would exceed 1,000 people. There are a number of other measures the province can take to slow the spread before school closures come into play if they do indeed close last.
Currently, one TDSB school is closed due to an outbreak of COVID-19. Across the province, 60 schools have closed as a result of outbreaks. There is some hope that the winter break will act as a circuit breaker for outbreaks in schools.
Update on #COVID19 in TO child care & school settings: as of Dec 15 at 2:45 p.m. there are:
🔎43 active investigations in child care & 162 in schools
🏫1 school dismissal & 1 in child care
🧪7 confirmed outbreaks in child care & 50 in schools
➡More info: https://t.co/SkOS47FERR pic.twitter.com/dGY5Zv5lQk
— Toronto Public Health (@TOPublicHealth) December 16, 2021
All students at publicly funded schools in Ontario are being sent home with five rapid antigen tests to use over the holidays. The idea is that the tests will weed out infections before they return to the classroom. Schools will begin their winter break this Friday.