All Toronto’s schools, including public and Catholic school boards, are temporarily closing and moving to virtual learning starting Wednesday.
The boards announced the decision Tuesday afternoon as COVID-19 cases in the province soar ahead of the planned April spring break.
Additionally, Toronto Public Health confirmed it issued a Section 22 order to move all Toronto schools to remote learning.
“This is a very important update about the status of in-person learning at the TDSB. Toronto Public Health (TPH), has just announced that all schools in Toronto, including those at the TDSB, will be closed to in-person learning as of Wednesday, April 7, 2021, and remain closed up to and including Sunday, April 18, 2021,” reads a statement by the Toronto District School Board.
The school board said that for the remainder of this week, students and staff will move to remote learning and the April break scheduled for next week will continue as normal.
It added that school-aged children will not be permitted to attend daycares located inside TDSB schools during the closure, however, pre-school-aged children will continue to be permitted to attend.
“While we recognize that you may still have a number of questions, please know that we will share additional information once we receive it,” the school board said.
The Toronto Catholic District School Board is also affected by the closure, and it encouraged students to bring materials home with them on Tuesday.
Toronto Public Health has issued a Section 22 order to close all publicly funded schools in Toronto effective tomorrow Wednesday, April 7th. #TCDSB schools will pivot to remote learning this week.
— Toronto Catholic District School Board (@TCDSB) April 6, 2021
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The TDSB already announced the closure of 20 schools due to COVID-19 transmission Tuesday.
Neighbouring Peel Region already closed its schools to slow COVID-19 transmission on Tuesday. Students will not return until April 18 at the earliest.
School disruptions have serious impacts on children. According to Ontario’s latest COVID-19 modelling, students who are already disadvantaged have been disproportionately impacted by virus-related school closures.
Teachers are also pushing to get vaccinated, saying a lack of protection makes in-class learning unsafe. One teachers’ union delivered an ultimatum to the province this week saying that if teachers aren’t vaccinated then classrooms should close.