Ontario Releases Plan for Reopening Schools & Federal Update (July 30)

Ontario Update

Today, Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced the Ontario Government’s plan for reopening schools in September.

Premier Ford was joined by Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott, Education Minister Stephen Lecce, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health and several MPPs.

Ontario’s Plan for Reopening Schools  

Premier Ford announced that on September 8, Ontario schools will reopen. Students will be in school 5 days per week, 5 hours per day. Cloth masks will be mandatory for all staff and students in grades 4-12.

Elementary level students will remain a single cohort, 5 days per week, including for recess and lunch. School boards will be required to provide the full curriculum. Secondary students in 24 designated boards — mainly in urban and suburban areas with relatively high student populations — will attend school on alternating days, in cohorts of about 15. High schools in non-designated boards, which typically have smaller enrolment, will be able to offer full-time learning.

Parents will be permitted to opt their children out of in-person classes.

Minister Lecce announced that the Ontario Government will invest $309 million to support this reopening plan. Funding allocations are as follows:

  • $60 million for masks and PPE
  • $80 million for staffing, including hiring up to 1,200 more custodians
  • $25 million for cleaning supplies
  • $10 million for health and safety training
  • $40 million for cleaning supplies and PPE for the school transportation system
  • $23.7 million for lab testing capacity
  • $50 million for additional public health nurses
  • $10 million for mental health supports
  • $10 million for students with special needs

More details can be found here and in Ontario’s Guide for Reopening Schools.


Reopening Child Care

The government also announced its plan to allow licensed child care centres across Ontario to open at full capacity starting September 1.

The enhanced health and safety procedures that were put in place as part of the Government’s reopening plan will remain in place.

These measures include:

  • Requiring all child care staff to wear masks at all times
  • Ensuring frequent cleaning of child care centres
  • Screening of children and staff before entering a childcare facility
  • Maintaining attendance records for rigorous contact tracing and coordination with local public health authorities
  • Ensuring frequent hand washing and proper hand hygiene for children and staff
  • Establishing clear and rigid case management protocols in the event a staff member or child becomes ill, or tests positive for COVID-19.

More details can be found here.

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