Amid a rise in COVID-19 cases in the province, some Ontario school boards are asking students to bring their personal belongings home in case they can transition to remote learning after the winter break.
The Toronto School Board said in a memo that it is recommending the move “out of an abundance of caution” and has not received any indication from the Toronto Department of Education or Public Health that schools will close.
Students will also be sent home with a rapid antigen test kit, with five tests, between December 20 and January 3.
Waterloo Region Catholic and Public Schools Board officials say they are preparing for a possible transition to distance learning next year.
The Waterloo Area School Board and the Waterloo Catholic School Board have asked students to bring home any necessary items before the winter break, which is scheduled for December 17 to January 2. .
The York Area School Board said in a winter break notice to families that it is working on a plan to reopen schools in January, but is prepared to switch to virtual learning if the province issues further notice. newspaper, The Canadian Press reported.
And in London, Ont., the Thames Valley School Board sent a letter to families also advising children to clear out their lockers and bring their belongings home by Friday in case schools move on from school. away in January.
Meanwhile, all four Atlantic provinces have identified cases of Omicron, with some adjusting their winter break and looking at possible changes to back-to-school plans. their.
In Nova Scotia, the province’s education department announced Wednesday that public school students will begin their holiday break early, with classes ending on Friday.
Officials had previously announced that the holiday would be extended by two days to January 6.
The department said a small number of schools have had to switch to homeschooling, with others likely to do so by Friday.
Many schools have reported COVID-19 exposure in recent weeks, but so far, seven have adopted enhanced public health measures, two of which were repealed on Wednesday. However, public health measures went into effect on Tuesday, including not holding meetings or concerts on holidays and limiting school sports to team skills training only. .
The province has linked hundreds of recent COVID-19 cases to an outbreak at St. Francis Xavier of Antigonish, NS, although the provincial government says the symptoms are relatively mild, most involve young people who have been fully vaccinated. Several tightened public health restrictions will go into effect in the province on Friday, including new limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings.
The New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island cases are linked to the outbreak at St. Francis Xavier, according to The Canadian Press.
New Brunswick Health Minister Dorothy Shephard said on Wednesday that children will be given rapid-testing kits at home as part of a “holiday flash test”.
Students in Kindergarten through Grade 6 will receive two kits, each with five tests, while students in grades 7 through 12 will receive one kit, allowing children and young people to work on tasks. quick test every two to three days during breaks, Shephard says.
Meanwhile, the province’s Education Minister Dominic Cardy said a more rigorous rapid testing program would be in place for the rest of the school year.
Public health officials in Prince Edward Island are expected to make recommendations in early January on whether to reopen schools.
With files from the Canadian Press