OPSBA in the Media – January 2022

2022 1/4 | Connects Page, OPSBA in the Media

When is an absence an absence? New school reporting system needs details, boards say
Toronto Star – January 24, 2022
In the North, two boards reported more than 60 per cent of students and staff away last Friday — but as it turns out, the weather was bad, and buses were cancelled.

Local school boards prepare for return to four-class semesters
Windsor Star – January 20, 2022
The two largest school boards in the region have confirmed a return to a regular four-course semester timetable next month.
The new semester for both the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board and the Greater Essex County District School Board starts Feb. 3.

GTA schools scramble to hire supply teachers, fill absences
Toronto Star – January 19, 2022
School boards are starting to scramble to hire supply teachers and fill absences — turning to principals and centrally assigned staff to pitch in — given the high number of COVID-19 cases and exposures in the community.

Toronto public, Catholic school boards call another snow day for Tuesday
Toronto Star – January 17, 2022
Toronto’s public and Catholic boards will keep schools closed on Tuesday because of snow-clogged city streets and concerns about busing safety — but say students won’t be provided with any live, online lessons.

Ontario students, staff to each get two rapid tests after schools restart in-person
Canadian Press – January 12, 2022
TORONTO — Students and staff in Ontario schools will each eventually get two rapid tests to use if they develop COVID-19 symptoms, but won’t be notified if their peers and colleagues are off sick until a third of the school is absent.

Ontario schools to notify families when 30% of staff and students absent
Globe and Mail – January 12, 2022
Families will be notified by public-health authorities only when their school’s absence rate reaches 30 per cent under new Ontario guidelines.

Millions of COVID-19 rapid tests to be distributed when Ontario reopens schools
Toronto Star – January 12, 2022
The Ontario government is banking on COVID-19 rapid tests, free masks and increased access to vaccinations to get two million schoolchildren back in classrooms and keep them there safely.

Relief — but also concern — for Ontario families as schools set to reopen
Toronto Star – January 12, 2022
Relief — but also skepticism, concerns and questions.
News that Ontario schools will reopen Monday for in-person learning came with a mix of emotions for parents.

Ontario schools brace for staff shortages ahead of Monday reopening as Omicron spreads
Globe and Mail – January 11, 2022
Ontario’s school officials are bracing for staff shortages – and the prospect of individual school closings – caused by the fast-spreading Omicron variant of COVID-19 when they open their doors to the province’s two million students on Monday.

Absent teachers and students is the challenge when school returns, Ontario officials say
Toronto Star – January 11, 2022

Teachers and students calling in sick will be a bigger challenge than any spike in COVID-19 cases after Ontario schools reopen Monday, provincial officials admit.

How do you ensure kids are back in class on Jan. 17?
Toronto Star – January 8, 2022
How do you make sure Ontario’s two million students are back in school Jan. 17?
Try N95s for all teachers and staff. Improve ventilation. Make sure everyone who is eligible has received their COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. Keep testing. And keep tracking cases in schools and report them publicly.

Ontario could reopen high schools before elementary schools, sources say
Toronto Star – January 7, 2022
As the Ontario government determines how to safely get students back in classrooms, high schoolers could return earlier than children in elementary school due to their higher vaccination levels, sources told the Star.

Ontario to fast-track COVID-19 booster shots for education and child-care workers
Globe and Mail – January 6, 2022
Ontario will fast-track booster shots for education and child-care workers – answering calls from doctors and educators to prioritize vaccines for school staff before students return to in-person learning.

Students learning from home after province flip-flops on return to classrooms
Wellington Advertiser – January 6, 2022
WELLINGTON COUNTY – Students were supposed to be back in-class this week following a belated Christmas gift of a delayed return to school on Jan. 5.
The province’s top doctor, Dr. Kieran Moore, said the two extra days would be used to “provide schools additional time to prepare for the public health measures” announced during a Dec. 30 press conference covering changes to isolation requirements and PCR testing eligibility.

‘We want our kids in school’: York Region parents, teachers urge increased effort to make schools safe
newmarkettoday.ca – January 5, 2022
‘This shift to remote learning is frustrating because we know it could have been avoided had the province funded and implemented safety measures at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and not half-measures,’ teachers union president says

Parents in Ontario scramble with online learning after province closes schools
Toronto Star – January 5, 2022
It’s the first day of school for Ontario students, but for many parents, logging back into online learning amid the province’s sudden decision to shut down schools has ended up in chaos.

As online learning looms in Ontario, school boards face device shortages
Globe and Mail – January 4, 2022
An Ontario school board has delayed the start of the winter term and others are rushing to equip their students with laptops and tablets after the province shut schools and moved two million students to virtual learning.

School Board Association has its own recommendations
Owen Sound Hub – January 4, 2022
The Ontario Public School Board Association (OPSBA) issued a media release in response to the announcements about school re-opening. Between the opening and closing paragraphs of thanks and appreciation are four specific recommendations which only the Ontario government can meet:

‘We’re not very hopeful’: Local teacher’s federation wants more safety measures in place before in-person learning returns
CTV News, Kitchener – January 3, 2022
WATERLOO – With public and private schools shifting to remote learning on Jan. 5, the president of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario for Waterloo Region hopes the time will be used to introduce more safety protocols in schools.

Health experts say provinces neglecting key advice to control COVID-19 spreading in schools
Global National News – January 3, 2022
As some provinces take measures to control the spread of Omicron in schools, critics say advice that’s been given throughout the pandemic is being ignored. Jamie Mauracher explains.
Play Segment

Frustrations rise as Ontario schools close, classes move online
Toronto Star – January 3, 2022
Educators and families in Ontario are scrambling after the province’s 11th-hour decision to shut schools to in-person learning and move students online for two weeks, as COVID-19 cases continue to surge.

Prioritize N95 masks, vaccinations for students and staff: Ontario Public School Boards’ Association
City News, Toronto – January 2, 2022
Ontario’s Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) says that while it supports a return to in-person learning next week, precedence must lie in getting students and staff vaccinated and subsequently protected against further transmission.

‘They’re scared of going back to school’: Students, teachers and parents concerned with in-person learning plan
CTV News, Kitchener – January 2, 2022
WATERLOO – Some parents in Waterloo Region don’t feel safe sending their kids back to school once classes resume on Wednesday. Many want more planning and instruction before a return to in-person learning from the holiday break.