Ontario schools will offer online learning option for 2021-22 school year

05 Mai, 2021, 01:07 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Ontario boards must offer virtual learning as option for entire 2021-22 school year, Ford gov't says

The province says it plans to provide school boards with more than $80 million in dedicated funding for student mental health during the 2021-22 school year.

The province says it will allow boards to access their reserves, as it did previous year, to help address pandemic costs.

"Our hospitals face great levels of stress", said Lecce, adding the Premier will "not take a risk with your child".

During a media briefing from Queen's Park on Tuesday, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce said the province will continue to follow the advice of Ontario's top doctor when it comes to permitting students to return to schools.

The province says the option will be available for the entire 2021-22 school year and it will be providing more information to parents in the coming months.

Students across the province have been learning at home since April 12 when the province announced all publically funded and private schools will be closed to in-person learning indefinitely.

Students in Ontario continue to learn online, from home, as part of the province's current stay at home order, slated to expire on May 20th.

Lecce would not confirm or deny whether he thinks children will go back to class, saying medical advice has not changed.

"What was important is that we provided that choice for this upcoming school year, and we provided more time to parents to make that choice".

The government said it will also keep measures, such as cohorting, in place as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

Officials say a "decline in kindergarten enrolment and disruption to learning" will require educators to put an emphasis on early reading and math. Funding will be provided for reading assessment supports, ongoing implementation of the elementary math curriculum, as well as a math intervention pilot for students in Grades 4 to 6 with special education needs.

Ontario boards must offer virtual learning as option for entire 2021-22 school year, Ford gov't says

Investments in PPE, public health nurses in schools, voluntary asymptomatic testing, renewal of devices and transportation will continue into the next school year.

$59 million for special education, mental health and well-being.

The Ministry intends to spend $20M to re-engage students, "including Black students, Indigenous students, and students from low-income households, who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19".

The province notes that boards should budget about half of the aforementioned resources for the first half of the school year, including access to one per cent from reserves.

She said online learning has been "absolutely disgusting", with negative impacts on mental health and kids who lack high speed internet and space at home.

As a result there are a lot students and staff members required to isolate.

Lecce says this specific funding is integral to students and their development as during the pandemic, some have increasingly disengaged from learning or school for a variety of reasons.

As it did for the 2020-21 school year, the government says it will provide boards with "another year of temporary COVID-19 supports", which total about $1.6 billion.

Ontario's $186 billion spending plan, the biggest in the history of the province, contains nearly no new education spending.

Local school boards had already been utilizing online learning since March 1 when the district was seeing a surge of daily COVID-19 cases, including several school outbreaks.

It offers a second round of grants to small businesses to help with pandemic expenses, create a new job training tax credit and provide more benefits to families with children.

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