Legislative Update – August 4, 2020

2020 8/4 | Connects Page, Education Finance, Education Partner News, Ontario Newsroom, Provincial Updates

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is adjourned until September 14, 2020. The following is an update on recent information.

September Return to School Plans

On July 30, 2020, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce released Ontario’s Guide to Reopening Ontario’s Schools that provides details for school boards with direction for their September plans. This is also being called the “Guidance Document.” All elementary schools will reopen with all students returning to schools and their classrooms, five days a week, Monday to Friday. The ministry has categorized secondary schools by their school board as either “non-designated” or “designated.” All non-designated school boards are able to reopen with a regular schedule that involves all students attending class Monday to Friday. Those school boards that have been identified as “designated” will begin the school year “in an adapted model of part-time attendance with class cohorts of up to 15 students alternating between attending in-person and online.”  There are 20 OPSBA member boards that are “Non-Designated” and 11 that are “Designated.” OPSBA will be following up with the Ministry of Education to find out more details about how boards will be given notice that allows them to, “move to conventional delivery when it is determined that it is safe to do so.”

The announcement also included a number of areas of increased funding for additional staff, cleaning supplies, mental health PD/training, mental health supports and special education support. Up to 500 public health nurses will be hired to assist schools and boards in local health protocols. In mid-June, OPSBA sent a submission to the government regarding the return to school and also conducted polling research with Nanos about Ontarians’ comfort in returning to school and funding concerns.

Minister Lecce has confirmed that the weekly Monday teleconferences with school board chairs will continue but that the next week’s call will most likely be rescheduled for Tuesday due to the holiday. The Deputy Minister indicated that a B memo that provides funding details and board by board financial allotments would be issued and released soon.

Ministry of Education news release

OPSBA statement

Ministry of Education letter to parents

COVID-19 Update

On July 31, the City of Toronto and Peel Region joined much of the rest of the province in moving to Stage 3 of reopening, leaving only Windsor-Essex in Stage 2. Two recent regulations were filed that support Bill 195, Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.

Other information