Ontario’s publicly funded schools will remain closed until at least Sunday, May 31st, the Ontario government announced on Sunday (April 26).
Education minister Stephen Lecce said the extension of the closure is based on the advice of Ontario’s chief medical officer of health and other public health officials to extend school closures for an additional period of time to permit updated modelling and data to inform next steps.
“We will do whatever it takes to keep our students safe,” Lecce said. “The government is taking a careful approach which provides our medical experts the time to review the modelling and make the best decision for the safety of our students and the future of learning.”
On March 12th, the government initially announced schools would be closed until April 5th. On March 31st, the government then extended the closure until May 4th.
The additional extension announced on Sunday was expected, based on remarks made by Premier Doug Ford on April 14th that schools would not reopen on May 4th.
Lecce says the closure may be extended to later than May 31st if necessary to protect the health and safety of Ontario’s school communities.
Despite students losing more than two months of traditional classroom education, Lecce says students will be able to finish the school year even if the closure is extended beyond May 31st.
“Regardless of what transpires over the coming weeks, Ontario’s students will be able to complete their school year with confidence,” Lecce said. “In particular, for students in their final year, we are removing all impediments to ensure students graduate and pursue post-secondary education.”