Province says local students to return to in-person learning on Monday

Grant Boone
January 22, 2021

Ontario's Minister of Education Stephen Lecce made the announcement on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, stating that students in the region served by the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Health Unit would be among those permitted to go back to school on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021.

The Ministry of Education said it will continue to closely monitor public health trends in regions where schools remain closed in favour of remote learning.

The provincial government announced in late December that all schools would be closed and Ontario students would learn remotely for the opening week of the winter term.

That closure was later extended to January 25 for all schools in southern Ontario while students in northern Ontario returned to physical classrooms on January 11.

Describing Ireland as an outlier when it comes to students with special educational needs not attending classes in-person, Minister Foley said opposition assertions that the plan was not thought through are wrong.

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That means, for instance, that South Edwardsburg Public School in Johnstown is open Monday, while 18 kilometres further along the Saint Lawrence River, Iroquois Public School will be closed.

"We hope to have a clear picture later this week", APH spokesperson Leo Vecchio, told SooToday via email Wednesday.

On Wednesday evening, the board said that based on feedback from parents and students there would be more social time introduced at schools starting on February 4, the beginning of quarter three.

"On the advice from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the government is allowing seven public health units and over 100,000 students to return to class on Monday", the release said. "This is why we have called for the creation of an advisory table that involves the entire education community".

The Province is not providing a date for when the next in person school announcement will be. Instead, they have been lurching from last-minute decision to last-minute decision and hoping for the best, while relying on the federal government to put up the majority of any new education funding.

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