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Remote learning available for families for 2021-22 school year

Remote learning available for families for 2021-22 school year

$2 Billion Plan for 2021-22 School Year

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO   ~~~~~~   May 4, 2021  (LSN)  Tuesday, Lecce announced funding for the upcoming 2021-22 school year that includes more than $2 billion for COVID-19 resources, to support learning recovery and renewal amid the pandemic and an increase in grants for student needs.

Remote learning will be available for families as an option for their children, if they choose, for the 2021-22 school year across all boards, the government also confirmed Tuesday.

“We are committed to providing schools with the resources they need for a safe and successful 2021-22 school year, because we know all families in Ontario expect their children to be safe in the classroom. This includes a continued emphasis on increased supports for student mental health and other health and safety priorities," said Robin Martin, MPP for Eglinton-Lawrence.

“Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has said that schools have been safe, and with this record investment and continued implementation of the best medical advice, we will keep schools safe as we look ahead to September,” said Minister Lecce. “Our investments can help hire more than 1,000 mental health workers and allow children to have direct access to teacher-led math tutoring.”

The Ministry of Education will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Health and the Chief Medical Officer of Health, in addition to consultations with The Hospital for Sick Children and other pediatric institutes, to confirm this summer the final health and safety strategies required for the upcoming school year. This will include updated guidance on requirements such as masking, hand hygiene and screening, as well as other public health protocols to ensure schools remain safe. The intention is to deliver a learning experience as safe and normal as possible, including planning for physical education and extracurriculars.

Healthy people are essential for a healthy economy. With vaccines being distributed, hope is on the horizon. Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy provides the resources necessary to support the battle against COVID-19, building on the government’s record investments to protect health and jobs during the global pandemic.

Quick Facts

  • COVID-19 resources will provide school boards with $1.6 billion for a wide range of supports, such as additional staffing to support remote learning and social distancing through smaller class sizes and support for remote learning technology, including improvements to connectivity within school buildings.
  • School boards have been instructed to not require parental decision on in-person or remote learning before June 1, 2021, at the earliest.
  • Resources will also be available to support health and safety measures, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies for school boards; enhanced cleaning protocols of schools and school busses; and additional staffing to support cleaning.
  • The 2021-22 COVID-19 supports do not include any federal government investments.
  • The Ministry of Education provides operating funding to Ontario’s 72 district school boards and 10 school authorities through the annual GSN education funding model. Funding to school boards is provided on a combination of per-student, per-school, and per-board basis.
  • In addition to Ontario’s annual investment of approximately $1.4 billion to support the repair and renewal of schools and $550 million for new schools, additions and major renovations, school boards will have access to $656 million in combined federal-provincial funding. This funding is being provided to school boards under the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
  • The government also allocated $100 million to school boards during the 2020-21 school year to support immediate measures to optimize air quality and ventilation in schools, which helped ensure over 95 per cent of school boards reported improvements this school year.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Ontario government has stepped up to provide Ontario families with $1.8 billion in direct financial support. The latest round is $980 million in direct support as part of the Ontario COVID-19 Child Benefit, where payments will be doubled to $400 per child and $500 for a child with special needs to help offset additional learning costs. Applications are now being accepted until May 17, 2021.

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