Today, the Government of Ontario announced a comprehensive plan to re-open schools. The plan is based off of the detailed advice from leading medical and public health experts.
All publicly-funded elementary schools will be reopening province wide, five days a week. Secondary schools with smaller populations will reopen with a normal daily schedule, five days a week, while most secondary schools will start the school year in an adapted model of part-time attendance with class cohorts of up to 15 students alternating between attending in-person and online. The opening of schools will be supported by a $309 million investment in PPE, staff and cleaning supplies, as well as mandating masks for staff and children in grades 4 and above (with medical exceptions).
All families may choose to opt out of in-person education, if they wish. Based on public health advice, medical masks will be mandatory for all staff in a school setting. Medical masks will be provided for all teachers and other school board staff. Robust outbreak protocols will ensure that both the education system and the public health system have effective plans in place to respond quickly and effectively when outbreaks happen in schools. The government also released details on its child care plans.
EarlyON Child and Family Centres will also be permitted to reopen with in-person programming along with before- and after-school programs for school aged children which will be permitted to operate with standard ratios and maximum group size requirements. All of these programs will be subject to health and safety protocols in order to keep kids safe.Parents and guardians have until August 31, 2020 to apply for Support for Families. Under this program, parents or guardians of children between 0-12 years old, or up to 21 years old for children and youth with special needs, are eligible for a one-time payment, per child, to purchase educational materials to support learning at home.
Toronto and Peel are moving to Stage 3!
Additional businesses and public spaces will be reopening as Toronto and Peel Region move into Stage 3 of reopening the province on Friday, July 31 at 12:01 a.m. For questions on restrictions that will remain in place during Stage 3, review the Stage 3 Emergency Order on the emergency information portal or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1 888 444-3659.