Publicly-funded schools in Ontario to remain closed until May 31

Education Minister said students will be able to complete their school year with confidence

The Ford government has extended closures of publicly-funded schools in Ontario until May 31.

In a news released issued by Education Minister Stephen Lecce on Sunday afternoon, he said the decision to extend the closure through the end of May was based on “expert advice” from public health officials.

Ontario schools were closed for two weeks after the March Break to try and curb the spread of COVID-19. The province extended the closure until May 4.

“We will do whatever it takes to keep our students safe,” said Lecce. “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.” 

The government said it is taking steps to ensure learning can continue. In March the province unveiled its Learn at Home portal. The second phase of the program was introduced at the end of March.

Lecce said the extended closure will not impact the completion of the school year or graduation for students.

“Regardless of what transpires over the coming weeks, Ontario’s students will be able to complete their school year with confidence,” Lecce said in the release.

The Education Ministry is going to replace the remainder of Professional Activity days and examination days with instructional time, as well as the introduction of an expanded summer learning program that will focus on credit recovery, supports for vulnerable students, and course upgrading.

Private schools, First Nation schools, licensed child care centres and EarlyON programs will remain closed until May 6.