Ottawa schools to resume in-person learning February 1
The Ottawa is among four public health units (PHUs) scheduled to return to in-person learning this Monday. Eastern Ontario, Middlesex-London and Southwestern Public Health units are the other three being permitted to reopen schools on February 1.
In the PHUs that are permitted to return to in-person learning on February 1, before and after school child care programs may also resume on February 1 and emergency child care will end on January 29.
“On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, with the support of the local Medical Officers of Health, and with the introduction of additional layers of protection, 280,000 students in four public health regions will return to class on Monday, February 1,” Education Minister Stephen Lecce said on Thursday.
“According to leading medical and scientific experts, including Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario schools are safe places for learning,” Lecce said in is statement.
The government has updated masking protocols in schools to include grades 1-3. It has also promised to expand access to targeted asymptomatic testing and implementing stricter screening protocols.
The following school boards will be resuming in-person learning from Monday:
- Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario
- Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario
- Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien
- Conseil scolaire de district catholique du Centre-Est de l’Ontario
- London District Catholic School Board
- Ottawa Catholic District School Board
- Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
- Thames Valley District School Board
- Upper Canada District School Board
Two additional school boards that span across multiple PHUs may have some schools that resume in-person learning on February 1, 2021 while other schools will continue to teach remotely. The local PHU should be contacted on the status of schools in these boards:
- Conseil scolaire catholique Providence
- Conseil scolaire Viamonde
The province has reiterated that local PHUs continue to have the authority to close schools based on their unique circumstances, and parents may choose to permit their children to continue learning remotely.
Schools in the remaining PHUs including Toronto, Peel, Halton, York and Hamilton will continue with remote learning.
In the PHUs where schools are continuing with remote learning, before and after school programs continue to be closed and emergency child care remains available to support children of frontline workers.