Ontario Government's Approach to Re-Opening Schools for the 2020/21

I have spoken to many anxious mom and dads, and grands the past few weeks. who have lots of questions about their family members returning to school in September. The government has put out the attached page that should answer a lot of your questions. I have copied the first few paragraphs for you as it covers one of the most frequently asked question of whether you are compelled to have your children return to school.

If you have concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to call me and together we can find the right people to answer them.

Robin – 613-273-9195

Introduction:

The health, safety and well-being of students and staff is a top priority as the government plans to reopen schools for the 2020-21 school year.

Clearly, the government would like to have students back in class this September learning through conventional delivery with school every weekday, with class sizes that reflect current regulations, with regular social interaction and extra-curricular activities.

In planning for the resumption of instruction in the fall, it is critical to balance the risk of direct infection and transmission of COVID-19 in children with the impact of school closures on their physical and mental health. Current evidence and experience support the concept that children can return to school in a carefully structured manner that protects children’s health and minimizes risks from a public health perspective.

The government will be requesting guidance from public health or public health units by early August in order to confirm the type of delivery appropriate for the beginning of the school year.

We have asked school boards to be prepared with their plan for the upcoming school year by August 4, should it be needed.

Relationships between schools and local public health units will be crucial to navigate the complex and evolving COVID-19 environment, planning and reopening schools, and addressing other child health issues that emerge.

Specific guidance to support the development of health and safety protocols in the school and student transportation settings is attached in appendices of this document.

Voluntary school attendance:

The return to school in the fall of 2020-21 will be voluntary and based on parent choice. For parents who choose not to send their child back to school, school boards should be prepared to offer remote education. This requirement will be in place for as long as public health circumstances require adapted delivery of education.

Here is the link with additional information:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/approach-reopening-schools-2020-2021-school-year

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