On September 3, Government House Leader Paul Calandra issued a statement to the media about the decision to prorogue the legislature until October 4, 2021. Prorogation is the act of completely ending a session of Parliament, and has the effect of terminating all outstanding business before the House. All business on the Order Paper has lapsed and no committees may meet until the next Session of Parliament is commenced. Any bill that did not go through the full legislative process (i.e. receive Royal Assent) is dismissed and would have to be re-introduced in the next session. In addition, the Minister of Education has shared a letter with parents about return to school.
COVID-19 Update / Return to School Fall 2021
As of the morning of September 3, zero cases of COVID-19 had been reported in publicly funded schools in the past 14 days as schools have been nearly universally closed for the summer. It is expected that the provincial tracking website will be updated soon. Beginning September 22, 2021, Ontario will require proof of vaccination for specific indoor public settings. As of that date, Ontarians will need to be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14 days) and provide their proof of vaccination, as well as proof of identity (such a driver’s licence or health card), to access certain public settings and facilities. An enhanced vaccine certificate, as well as a verification app to allow businesses to read the QR code, will be available beginning October 22.
Currently, vaccine receipts are available in PDF form to be downloaded or printed to a computer, phone or tablet. Ontarians who received their first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine out of province should contact their local public health unit to record their information and receive proper documentation. Both proof of identity, along with proof of vaccination, will be required. Individuals can provide proof of immunization by downloading or printing their vaccine receipt from the provincial booking portal, or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900.
On September 1, the Ministry of Education shared a resource to help boards operationalize their COVID-19 immunization disclosure policy. The document includes, “more specificity on attestation and data collection requirements and timing, a sample school board disclosure policy template, and frequently asked questions (FAQs).” OPSBA will continue to work with member boards via their senior staff on this issue.
Deputy Minister Nancy Naylor also issued a memo indicating that the COVID-19: Health, Safety and Operational Guidance for Schools 2021-22 document is being updates to reflect masking requirements for staff when outdoors and unable to maintain two metres of distance.
Ophea’s COVID-19 Considerations for Physical Activity
Ophea has released COVID-19 Considerations for Physical Activity as a supplement to the Ontario Physical Activity Safety Standards for Education (OPASSE). Of note, Ophea’s Executive Director will be participating in the OPSBA Policy Development and Education Program joint work team meeting.
Other News Releases and Information
- September 1, 2021: Memo B17, 2021–22 Grants for Student Needs (GSN) and Related Regulations
- September 1, 2021 News Release: Development of Mandatory Sexual Abuse Prevention Program for Ontario Certified Teachers and updated Ontario Regulation 176/10: Teachers’ Qualifications
- August 2021 Ontario Ombudsman Newsletter