ONTARIO – The Ontario Government announced on Thursday, July 30 that starting in September all publicly funded schools and daycares would be re-opened five days a week.
For secondary schools, based on their risk profile, they will either be allowed to re-open fully, five days a week, or on an adapted model.
“Most secondary schools will re-open on an adapted model that limits the size and interaction of cohorts,” said Education Minister Stephen Lecce. “As we have previously laid out, groups of 15 students will alternate between attending classes in person and online. Secondary schools with lower risk profiles will be able to re-open full-time and in person five days a week.”
Non-designated school boards, including the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) fall under this second category.
Lecce explained that there would also be investment of $300 million for PPE for teachers and cloth masks for all students, and school cleaning. Students from Grades 4 to 12 will be required to wear masks with masks being optional for students in Grade 3 and below.
The province will also be providing $50 million to hire nurses to be embedded in schools.
“The fact is that we know more about this virus than we did when we first closed our schools and we know what to do to stop the spread,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Parents, we want you to know that on September the 8th you can drop your child off at school knowing that every possible measure is being taken to keep our children safe.”
The province is placing the following restrictions on childcare facilities:
- Requiring all child care staff to wear masks at all times, effective September 1;
- Ensuring frequent cleaning of child care centres;
- Screening of children and staff before entering a childcare facility;
- Maintaining attendance records for rigorous contact tracing and coordination with local public health authorities;
- Ensuring frequent hand washing and proper hand hygiene for children and staff; and
- Establishing clear and rigid case management protocols in the event a staff member or child becomes ill, or tests positive for COVID-19.