After months of uncertainty for parents, children, and educators, the Ontario government has released its plan for the return of students to schools in September. The plan calls for elementary students to return to school full-time, five days a week, up to Grade 8. In secondary schools in most of the province, students will be in class part-time; cohorts of about 15 students will attend in-person classes half the time. Some boards — many of them in rural or northern parts of the province that have largely been spared serious COVID-19 outbreaks — will be allowed to open their high schools full-time.
The plan also calls for the creation of a school health-monitoring system through a partnership between the ministries of health and education, local school boards, and local public-health units. Students and staff will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, and anyone who develops symptoms will be excluded from classes until they either recover or test negative.
It's recommended, but not required, that children from kindergarten to Grade 3 wear masks; children Grade 4 and up will be required to wear masks, with “reasonable exceptions.” Teachers and other staff will be provided with medical-grade masks.
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The government estimates that the measures announced today will cost an additional $309 million above and beyond what it had already committed to education for the 2020-21 year.
Here the full technical briefing for Ontario's school-reopening plan: