Ontario confirms schools will not reopen on April 6
With March break now behind us, today was meant to be the start of a two-week-long closure period for all Ontario public schools, mandated by the provincial government in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
As announced on March 12, all public elementary and secondary schools have remained closed following the break — but they won't be reopening on April 6 as originally intended.
It's looking more and more, in fact, like schools won't open their doors at all for the remainder of the academic year.
Premier Doug Ford said that kids will not be going back to work on April 6. Education Minister Stephen Lecce is expected to give an update on schools in the next day or so according to the premier. pic.twitter.com/EmbbfjWCaG— CBC Toronto (@CBCToronto) March 23, 2020
"The reality is April 6 is not realistic right now. We're in a state of emergency," said Ontario Premier Doug Ford at Queen's Park on Monday.
"Our priority is making sure our kids are safe, that's our number one priority."
Ford, who earlier today announced a new order for all non-essential businesses in the province to close by Tuesday night, did not say when he expects schools to operate normally again.
He did say the government "will be making sure that we give a proper time frame" for the reopening of schools, but also that "this is changing hour by hour, day by day."
School may be off the table for the time being, but the province did launch a comprehensive online learning tool last week to help kids bridge the gap and keep their minds sharp while social distancing measures are in place.
Learn at Home is going to offer our students online resources that are:— Doug Ford (@fordnation) March 20, 2020
🍎 High quality
🍎 Free of advertising
🍎 K-12 curriculum
Education is important, even in a crisis. Thank you @tvo and @Sflecce for your leadership. pic.twitter.com/K0p1HuNSvv
Called Learn At Home, the portal provides both STEM and literacy activities, in English and in French, for students from kindergarten to Grade 12.
"While these materials do not replace what students have been learning at school, during this unusual time, these at-home activities offer quick and easy access to some of Ontario’s best online kindergarten to grade 12 learning resources," reads the government's new e-learning website, produced in partnership with TVO.
"Free, one-on-one online support provided by Ontario Certified Teachers, is available to help students improve their math skills," reads a portion of the site dedicated to math for Grades 6 - 10.
"Now accessible Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm, and Sunday from 3:30pm to 9pm. Build math understanding and confidence with the help of a math tutor!"
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