Students Gear Up To Go Back To School

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Photo courtesy of the Trillium Lakelands District School Board

Mandatory masking requirement for students in Grades 1-3, and masking requirement for Grades 1-12 outdoors where physical distancing cannot be maintained;
Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced the dates for the return of in-person learning in all remaining Ontario public health units (PHUs). The government’s decision was based on the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, the unanimous recommendation of the Council of Medical Officers of Health, and with the support of local Medical Officers of Health.

Elementary and secondary schools in the following PHUs will return to in-person learning on Monday, February 8, 2021:

  • Brant County Health Unit
  • Chatham-Kent Public Health
  • Durham Region Health Department
  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
  • Halton Region Public Health
  • City of Hamilton Public Health Services
  • Huron Perth Public Health
  • Lambton Public Health
  • Niagara Region Public Health
  • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit

Elementary and secondary schools in the following PHUs will return to in-person learning on Tuesday, February 16, 2021:

  • Peel Public Health
  • Toronto Public Health
  • York Region Public Health

In the PHUs that are permitted to return to in-person learning on February 8, before and after school child care programs are permitted to resume on that day, therefore February 5 will be the last day for emergency child care. In the Peel, Toronto and York Region PHUs, where schools are continuing with remote learning until February 16, before and after school programs will be permitted to reopen on that day and emergency child care will remain available until and including February 12, to support eligible front-line workers.

Provincewide access, in consultation with the local PHU, to targeted asymptomatic testing for students and staff;

Providing 3.5 million high quality cloth masks to schools as back-up supply for Grade 1-12 students;

Enhanced screening for secondary students and staff;

Guidance discouraging students from congregating before and after school; and,

Temporary certification of eligible teacher candidates who are set to graduate in 2021 to stabilize staffing levels, following high levels of absenteeism.

PHUs continue to reserve the authority to close schools to in-person learning based on local circumstances.

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