Schools closed until at least early May

Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce announces that schools will remain closed to students until at least Monday, May 4, 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. (YouTube/Premier of Ontario via Newswatch Group)

SD&G – Schools are still closed to children in SD&G until early May at the earliest during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced Tuesday that all publicly-funded schools are closed to teachers until May 1 and students until May 4.

“The decision to extend school closures was not made lightly. We know from the medical experts that the next two weeks will be critical in the fight against COVID-19 and that’s why we’re taking further action to keep our kids safe and healthy by having them stay home,” Ford said.

In the meantime, students from kindergarten to Grade 12 will be hitting the books virtually through the second phase of the province’s online learning program, Learn at Home.

It will see pupils take part in five hours of learning per week for kindergarten to Grade 6 and 10 hours per week for Grades 7-8. For Grades 9-12, it will be three hours per week for semestered students and 1.5 hours for non-semestered students.

As for private schools, licenced day care centers and EarlyON programs, they remain closed under the provincial emergency declaration until at least April 14. That will be reevaluated closer to the date based on advice from health professionals.

Also on the child care front, the City of Cornwall says its starting to take applications for a “select number of licenced child care centers,” exclusively for essential and critical service workers.