Monday, January 17, 2022

Ontario: Schools to resume classes on January 17

The return to in-person learning was also dependent on public health trends and operational considerations.

TORONTO — Ontario students will return to school on January 17.

A senior government source with knowledge of the decision told The Canadian Press that in-person learning would resume next Monday.

The government had previously said that schools would move to online education “at least” by that date, amid widespread broadcast of the Omron version.

The return to in-person learning was also dependent on public health trends and operational considerations.

Schools were closed last week as the government implemented other public health measures amid rising strain on the province’s health system and pandemic-related staff shortages in the essential workforce.

More is coming.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on January 10, 2022.

Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a revised story. The previous version had a misspelling of the education minister’s first name.

TORONTO – Ontario students will return to school classes on January 17, a senior government source with knowledge of the decision told The Canadian Press on Monday.

The government had previously said that schools would move to online education “at least” by that date, amid widespread broadcast of the Omron version.

The return to in-person learning was also dependent on public health trends and operational considerations.

Schools were closed last week as the government implemented other public health measures amid rising strain on the province’s health system and pandemic-related staff shortages in the essential workforce.

Premier Doug Ford warned of a “tsunami” of virus cases when announcing the policies on January 3. He also noted that with so many people either exposed to the virus or sick, the staff shortage would make it difficult to run schools. ,

Education Minister Stephen Lecce did not speak at a news conference before the province announced the latest school closures, and he had no schedule until late Monday.

The government said shipments of N95 masks to all school boards and school authorities were promised by Monday, while some shipments to child-care centers were still to go out this week.

A written Monday statement from Lecce said the government’s “priority is getting students back in the classroom,” and pointed to recent measures such as ramping up boosters for education workers, the deployment of N95 masks and installing more HEPA air filter units over the past several months.

Lecce released another statement Monday about a recent agreement that would allow retired Ontario teachers to work more days this school year, saying it would help classes run individually. Will do

“We need staff to continue to provide teacher-led distance learning and keep our schools running safely when students return to in-person learning,” Lecce’s statement said. “That’s why we now have an agreement with the Ontario Teachers Federation that will provide access to thousands of teacher-qualified teachers who will help keep schools open and safe.”

The new agreement allowing retired teachers, principals and deputy principals to be re-employed for 95 days instead of 50 will be in effect until the end of June.

The Ontario Teachers Federation addressed the agreement in a written statement on December 31 – more than a week before the government announced the change – noting that it “does not expect many retirees to be interested in working in the current environment.” But the change will allow them to work longer days if they choose to do so.

The professional group representing teachers said in a later statement that “more robust health and safety measures” including social distancing, regular virus testing, smaller class sizes and “appropriate masks” for both staff and students, new graduates and existing Contemporary teachers will also be encouraged. To provide myself.”

“This will reduce the need to fill in any way the requirement of additional retirees (whose average age is 72 years) in view of the current environment,” the statement said.

Group chairman Chris Cowley said in an email Monday that nearly 60 of the 142,000 retired members have “expressed interest in extending the 50-day re-employment rule” from September.

Calls for more transparency about the actions taken to improve school safety continued on Monday.

At a news conference after a meeting of opposition politicians and health sector representatives, critics expressed concern over rising hospitalizations from COVID-19 and a lack of data on virus cases in schools and child care centres. The government stopped publishing that information after case numbers skyrocketed and access to virus tests was reduced.

Ontario reported 438 people in intensive care with COVID-19 as of Monday and a total of 2,467 people hospitalized with the virus, although not all hospitals report those figures from the weekend. The province reported 9,706 new COVID-19 cases, but Public Health Ontario noted that the actual number of cases is likely to be higher.

In addition to closing schools, the province has temporarily canceled scheduled surgeries, closing venues such as restaurants, gyms, theaters and setting capacity limits on retail stores and social gatherings to preserve hospital capacity. has ordered.

The government has said most other restrictions are to remain in place until at least January 26.

Doris Grinspan, CEO of Ontario’s Registered Nurses Association, said Monday that by prioritizing schools, the province should have closed more to curb the spread of Omicron. Since that has not happened, she said reopening schools will “make the situation worse” in hospitals.

“It’s not about the kids. It’s about the system and what the system can cope (with),” she said, noting that schools have to provide mandatory vaccinations for teachers and access to N95 masks to the pandemic. I could have been made safe earlier.

“It’s a problem we’ve created,” she said. “I don’t think we can do it in seven days.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on January 10, 2022.

Holly Mackenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a revised story. The previous version had a misspelling of the education minister’s first name.

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