“Earlier this afternoon, Premier Doug Ford and Minister Stephen Lecce announced that schools across Ontario would remain closed for the rest of this school year.
Student, staff, and school community safety continues to be the top priority for all those involved in operating our education system during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. School boards appreciate the direction and advice being provided by our provincial and local public health officials. Along with the Ministry of Education and our education partners, we continue to deliver and improve upon remote learning for all of our students.
We appreciate the government taking a measured and cautious approach to the return to in-class instruction that is guided by the advice of health officials, with input from school boards, educators, and staff. OPSBA, trustees, and our member boards are committed to continuing to work with the government and our school communities to ensure that we are able to provide the safest and most effective possible circumstances for the 2020-21 school year.
Following the March Break, we’re now entering our ninth week of school closures. Trustees, educators, and school and board administration have been working long hours to implement and create successful online remote learning for students from junior kindergarten through to Grade 12. School boards have gone above and beyond to reconnect educators with their students, source and donate their own stockpiles of PPE to local health authorities, and continue critical nutrition programs for students in need. Some teachers and schools have even used available 3D printers to create face shields for frontline workers. I have been so proud to see school board trustees, staff and school communities across Ontario rising to the challenge.
As we move through June and into the summer, we will continue to work with the government to facilitate a return to school in September. In all likelihood, the school experience will be different from what we are used to, and I know that school board staff will endeavour to make the return as safe and positive as possible. I look forward to our school re-opening conversations and we will do our very best to keep school boards and their communities informed of developments in the coming weeks.”
Cathy Abraham, OPSBA President