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New TDSB plan cuts class sizes in neighbourhoods at highest risk of COVID-19

TORONTO — The chairman of Canada’s largest school board says a new proposed plan to reduce class sizes will address crowding at elementary schools in Toronto neighbourhoods at the highest risk of COVID-19.

Toronto District School Board chairman Alexander Brown says the new plan will see additional space leased and more teachers hired to limit the number of students in classes in those areas.

Brown says the board will vote on the new plan at a meeting on Thursday and it may still need approval from the province.

The board’s plan to cut all elementary school class sizes was rejected by the Ontario government last week because it also shortened the school day by 48 minutes.

The new TDSB plan will mean students have a 300-minute school day, as requested by the government.

Brown says the board will also use the first two weeks of the academic year to stagger the start of school.

Meanwhile, Ontario reported 102 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the provincial total to 40,972.

That includes 2,792 deaths — down one from the previous day due to a duplicate entry that was removed during a data clean-up, according to the province.

There were also 89 newly resolved cases on Wednesday, bringing that total to 37,215.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said 30 of Ontario’s 34 public health regions reported five or fewer new cases on Wednesday, while 17 reported none.

Elliott said the numbers of hospitalizations, admissions to intensive care and patients on ventilators were all stable.

The province was able to complete 25,642 tests in the previous day.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 19, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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