“We’re going to do whatever it takes to keep students safe,” Lecce told reporters at Queen’s Park. “Schools will remain closed until the end of June.”
Premier Doug Ford said that the government’s announcement gives parents certainty that children can continue to learn at home safely while the province slowly reopens.
“Nothing is more important than protecting our kids in this province,” Ford said.
Unlike provinces like British Columbia, which began limited in-class instruction on a part-time basis May 18th, Ford said a phased approach or part-time was not going to happen in Ontario.
“I’m not going to chance it,” Ford said. “Some areas don’t have any COVID-19 cases, but why chance it?”
The province plans to continue at-home learning for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. Students on track to graduate secondary school in June 2020 will do so and all students will receive end-of-year report cards.
The province also announced an expanded summer learning program will be launched to help students prepare for the 2020-21 school year.
Special needs students, like those on the Autism Spectrum, will have access over the summer to a two-week program to help reintegrate into in-person classroom learning.
Lecce said that the government’s plan for in-class learning in September 2020 will be announced before the end of June.