We are very disappointed with the government’s decision today to go against the advice of Public Health Officials and the recommendation of school boards about the importance of reopening our schools.
The Premier publicly asked for consensus from public health and education stakeholders, received consensus he asked for, and then apparently chose further opening of the economy over students.
All experts agree that the pandemic has had impacts on the mental health and well-being of our children, and that attending school in-person is crucial to the optimal development of our students. We continue to share the perspective of many public health experts who had stated that schools should be the last to close, and the first to open.
As we approach the end of the school year, school boards are concerned about the apparent contradiction between the decision to close schools and the directive from the Premier to hold in-person graduations. Our members have already been doing all they can to ensure that we are able to recognize the many students who will be graduating this year and will continue to do their best to support our students and staff through these challenging times.
Finally, the government must ensure school boards are fully supported as we work to provide a safe and normal, or at least near-normal, return to school this fall for all Ontario students.
– OPSBA President Cathy Abraham