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Final decision on Ontario school year coming soon: Ford
TORONTO -- Premier Doug Ford says that an announcement will be made next week on whether or not Ontario students will be able to return to the classroom this school year.
Ontario schools were initially ordered to close for two weeks following March Break in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 but that order has since been extended multiple times and is now slated to last until at least May 31.
Speaking during a news conference at Queen’s Park on Saturday, Ford said that parents will find out next week whether in-person classes will resume this school year.
"We just want to look at the numbers again,” he said. “I had an in-depth conversation late last night with the minister of education and he will be making an announcement next week on that.”
While a number of other provinces have announced the cancellation of in-person classes for the rest of the year, Ontario has so far refused to do the same though it has ramped up its online learning program in the event that students won't be able to return until the fall.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce has also said that students will receive final reports cards regardless of what happens.
“We want to make sure that we get this right and I know that parents, educators and staff would like some predictability today as to what June will look like and all I can say is what I have said before,” Lecce said during an unrelated press conference on Saturday morning. “We are working very closely with the chief medical officer of health and with the COVID-19 command table with one focus. How do we get students back into schools when it is safe? We are building up protocols as to what that would look like and how are going to have to potentially reimagine education in some respects.”