The last day of school is here, but what will the first day of school look like? That’s still up in the air

Education Ministry expecting to hand down guidance in the coming weeks

For many kids across Ontario, Tuesday marks the final day of school. And what a school year it has been. Whether it was outbreaks in classes or flip-flopping between in-person and remote learning, it was a school year for the history books.

But what will going to school look like come the fall? As of Tuesday, even the Minister of Education isn’t sure.

“We have provided early guidance to school boards, but we are firmly committed to delivering, in the coming weeks, a detailed plan that is aligned with and blessed by Ontario’s new Chief Medical Officer of Health, who has just begun his tenure,” said Education Minister Stephen Lecce during a Tuesday media conference.

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“We have provided early guidance and school boards but we are firmly committed to delivering in the coming weeks a detailed plan that is aligned with and blessed by Ontario’s new Chief Medical Officer of Health, who has just begun his tenure,” said Education Minister Stephen Lecce during a Tuesday media conference. “We’ve been working with Dr. Moore, spoke with him as recently as yesterday, as we get to land our plan, with a focus on returning with a new normal.”

While Lecce couldn’t specify what that “new normal” will be like, he did indicate kids would have familiar experiences in September. “Like extracurriculars, and clubs, and sports, which we think are incredibly consequential to their life, to their mental health, into the more holistic learning experience we want children to benefit from,” he said.

Ultimately, he says decisions on what the future holds for students this fall lies with the province’s new Medical Officer of Health. “We look forward to receiving that final advice from the Chief Medical Officer of health shortly. We’ll be releasing it, providing that guidance, and obviously, with the intention of getting all kids back. We know how important it is, and we are on the side of parents that want to see that happening.”