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Toronto District School Board delays start of classes in many high schools

TORONTO — The Toronto District School Board is again delaying the start of classes in many high schools in the city.

The board says due to the complexities of staffing and timetables most students will return to school on Thursday, Sept. 17.

It says students who attend special education schools and intensive support programs in secondary schools will return on Tuesday.

The board says if there are further changes to start dates schools will contact families directly.

The Toronto District School Board says it is the largest in Canada serving 247,000 students in 583 schools.

Earlier this week students began heading back to classrooms across Ontario for the first time since March when the province closed all schools in response to rising COVID-19 cases.

Ontario is offering a mix of in-person classes and online learning for students who opt to stay home.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce has said Ontario’s back-to-school plan puts safety first and the government would move quickly to address any outbreaks.

The province recently released new guidelines on how to deal with potential COVID-19 outbreaks in schools.

They include prevention and at-home screening, while teachers and principals will be asked to isolate any child that develops symptoms at school.

Public health officials will have discretion to send entire cohorts of students home from class, or potentially close schools, if they feel that is the best way to manage an outbreak.

School boards, teachers’ unions and some parents have called on the government to mandate smaller class sizes to ensure physical distancing — and provide funding to make it happen.

Ontario’s four major teachers’ unions have appealed to the province’s labour board, alleging the school reopening plan violates workplace safety laws.

This article by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2020.

 

The Canadian Press

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