Ontario’s Education Minister says next week he will announce a new plan to reopen the province’s schools in September.
Stephen Lecce said he is finalizing plans with provincial health officials including Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer. He said the plan will include additional resources and training for staff, adding there is more the government can do.
Mr. Lecce said the province could not have announced the plan sooner because COVID-19 case numbers have changed over the past month.
Premier Doug Ford has said his preference is to see students return to school full-time, five days a week, in the fall.
School boards and teachers’ unions have said they need additional resources to adapt to the pandemic.
With just six weeks left until Ontario students are set to return to class, parents, teachers and school boards are growing increasingly frustrated with what they say is a lack of details and funding for the safe reopening of schools.
The head of a school board west of Toronto said the province needs to provide more funding to do the job right.
Andrea Grebenc said the Halton District School Board is currently only expecting less than $1 million in extra funding this year, which wouldn’t even cover a month’s worth of masks for staff.
With current levels, Ms. Grebenc said, schools would only be able to open for three hours a day for five days per week.
She said the only way to improve that plan while keeping students from mixing too much would require more money.
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