Monday, January 18

Schools

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Local, people with disabilities, Schools, TDSB

Students with disabilities face more obstacles returning to class: advocates – The Canadian News

TORONTO - Advocacy groups in Ontario say students with disabilities will face additional obstacles to returning to school after the pandemic, leaving parents unsure whether their children will be fully and safely included in school reopening plans. . The Ontario Autism Coalition and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance held a public meeting online Friday to discuss what they say is the provincial government's "failure" to reassure parents about the upcoming school year. OAC President Laura Kirby-McIntosh said that when it comes to welcoming children with disabilities to school, the province is doing the bare minimum at best. "The Ministry of Education's guide to reopening Ontario schools is not really a plan," he said in an interview. "What we get a...
Coronavirus, COVID-19, Doug Ford, Local, Ontario, Schools

Prime Minister Doug Ford accuses Ontario teachers unions of ‘playing politics’ – The Canadian News

Prime Minister Doug Ford says Ontario's teacher unions are "playing politics" by opposing his government's back-to-school plan. Ford says the plan to reopen schools next month was designed with input from health experts. His comments come as Toronto District School Board officials meet to re-design its reopening plan after the province rejected his proposal to reduce class sizes by shortening the school day. Along with teachers' unions, some parents and school boards have expressed concern about the government's plan, which does not reduce the size of primary school classes. In response to those concerns, the province said boards can access $ 500 million of their own savings to achieve physical distancing in classrooms. Meanwhile, Ontario reports 125 new COVID-19 cases and fo...
Coronavirus, COVID-19, Local, Ontario, Schools

Teachers union alleges back-to-school plan violates provincial law – The Canadian News

Ontario's four main teacher unions allege that the province's back-to-school plan violates their own occupational health and safety legislation. The unions have requested a meeting with the Labor Minister and representatives to discuss the issue next Friday. They argue that there is a lack of scientific consensus on important aspects of COVID-19 and, as such, the province is required to implement all reasonable measures to reduce the risks posed by the virus under the Ontario Occupational Safety and Health Act. . They allege that the provincial plan does not provide adequate health and safety protections, such as smaller class sizes, measurable minimum standards for ventilation in schools, and mandatory masking for younger children. The unions, the Association des enseignante...
Coronavirus, Local, Schools, TDSB, Toronto District School Board

TDSB board to detail its school reopening plan Thursday – The Canadian News

Families of children from the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) will learn more about the board's “Safe Reopening of Schools” plan Thursday night as calls continue to delay returns to school amid of the COVID-19 pandemic. A webinar will take place from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm The TDSB board staff are expected to discuss the safety measures being taken, including the mandatory use of face covers for students in grades 4-12. This comes when parents across the city receive automated phone calls asking if they will send their children to school in the fall. The Ontario government is faced with increasing calls from various groups, including teachers' unions, for the start of school to be phased in or perhaps delayed altogether. Meanwhile, Toronto Public Health is asking the board t...
Coronavirus, COVID-19, Local, Schools, TDSB

TDSB Reveals New Plan to Reopen Schools – The Canadian News

The Toronto District School Board unveiled its plan to reopen schools safely, less than a week after the Ontario government announced its strategy. During Tuesday's Special Committee of the Whole meeting, the school board released what it is calling, "Back to School: A Guide to the Safe Reopening of the TDSB." When it comes to class size for its elementary and middle schools, TDSB says it will work to ensure you don't have classes too large to minimize risk. The Ontario government requires that the most densely populated school boards have class cohorts of approximately 15 students for high schools with alternate days or alternate schedules. The TDSB plan for high school students includes class cohorts of approximately 15 students with physical distance in class and in home l...
Coronavirus, Education, Local, queen's park, Rally, Schools

Parents call on province to resume full-time classes in September – The Canadian News

A group of parents and educators who want to see classes come back full time in the fall will take their message to Queen’s Park on Wednesday. A rally is set to take place at 10 a.m. in front of the legislature. The group says they are calling on the province and the Ministry of Education “to commit to funding plans for a safe reopening of full-time school this September.” Last month the province announced it was looking at three possible scenarios for the return to class in September, which will likely see a mix of in-class and remote learning. Classes would contain no more than 15 students each, attending on alternating days or weeks. The group say they rejected the hybrid model, stating it will force working parents to choose between educating their children and their own ...
Coronavirus, Local, Schools, tcdsb, Toronto Catholic District School Board

Toronto Catholic school board seeks parents’ input on school reopening plan – CityNews Toronto

The Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) is asking parents to weigh in on one of the province’s three scenarios for the reopening of schools in the fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter to parents on Monday, the board said it is looking at the Ministry of Education’s three scenarios:“(a) full daily return with enhanced safety measures (b) adaptive model – partial daily return with distance learning (c) full-time distance learning”  Last month, Premier Doug Ford said that with different areas of the province at different stages of reopening, the same should apply to school boards, so there won’t be a one-size-fits-all approach in schools. Education Minister Stephen Lecce said boards are being asked to prepare plans for three scenarios: regular in-class ins...
Coronavirus, Education, Public health, Schools, teachers

Child therapist explains how schools reopenings could actually harm kids’ emotional health

As the U.S. grapples with record-setting daily counts of coronavirus cases, people are debating the wisdom of sending kids back to school for the upcoming school year. The Trump administration has made it clear that they want schools fully open and running in person, even threatening to withhold federal funding from schools that refuse. Teachers, parents, and school administrators are grappling with what that might look like and whether the idea of putting dozens of kids and adults together in an indoor space for six or seven hours a day during a pandemic is as asinine on its face as it sounds. One of the many arguments in favor of kids going back to school is that kids need the normalcy of school and peer interaction in order to stay mentally and emotionally healthy. But not everyone i...