Education & Child Care

Schools

  • In-person school attendance is optional for the 2020-2021 school year for both elementary and secondary students. This allows you to make decisions that work best for your family. School boards offer remote learning for all students who choose this option.
  • Elementary schools (kindergarten to Grade 8) are reopening 5 days a week with increased health and safety measures. Students will be in cohorts, which means they will be with the same group of children throughout the school day.
  • All secondary schools are reopening with increased health and safety measures. Students’ timetables will limit their direct and indirect contact with people at school. Approximately 70% of secondary students will begin the 2020-2021 school year with a combination of in-school and remote learning days.
    • Secondary schools in school boards designated by the province will open with class cohorts of approximately 15 students.
    • Regarding Remote Learning Days, secondary school students will be given curriculum-linked work on remote learning days and, where possible, will participate in synchronous, real-time learning with their teacher and classmates for a part of each school day. Synchronous learning is when a group of students take part in a learning activity at the same time.
  • Students in Grades 4 to 12 must wear non-medical or cloth masks indoors in school, including in hallways and during classes, as well as on school transportation.
  • Students in kindergarten to Grade 3 are encouraged, but not required, to wear non-medical or cloth masks in indoor spaces, including school transportation.
  • Some school boards may have additional requirements for students in these grades. Check with your school or school board for more information about their requirements.
  • Non-essential visitors, including parents, are not allowed in schools.
  • Schools will also have:
    • signs to reinforce self-screening for symptoms of illness, hand hygiene, physical distancing and one-way foot traffic in hallways and bathrooms
    • hand sanitizer at key locations throughout the school
    • changes to how people enter and exit the school
    • changes to how students use playgrounds and school grounds
  • Click here for more information on what Ontario schools are doing to ensure students and teachers safety.

Recreational Courses and Instruction

  • Examples of recreational courses and instruction include music lessons, language classes, tutoring and art classes.
  • All instructional classes are subject to gathering limits.
  • Physical distancing must be in place for participants, other than when necessary for instruction. Face coverings are recommended in those situations.
  • Equipment must be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
  • Plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier and physical distancing are required for any instruction that involves singing or playing wind or brass instruments.

Playgrounds and Play Structures

  • Outdoor playgrounds and play structures are permitted to reopen in Stage 3.
  • Physical distancing of at least two metres must be in place at all indoor playgrounds and play structures, except between individuals from the same household or social circle

Child Care Centres

  • Licensed child care centres will be permitted to reopen starting June 12, 2020, while operating under enhanced health and safety requirements as part of Ontario’s Stage 2 of reopening.
  • All health and safety and operational requirements, as well as staff training will be in place before centres reopen.
  • To reopen, child care providers must follow a number of health and safety protocols:
    • Limit attendance: Starting July 27, each room in a child care centre can have a maximum of 15 people, including staff and children. Each group (cohort) of 15 people must stay together throughout the day and cannot mix with other groups (cohorts) in the centre.
    • Create a COVID-19 response plan: All child care settings must have a plan in place if a child, parent, staff member or child care provider is exposed to COVID-19.
    • Screen for Symptoms: Everyone must be screened (for example, have their temperature checked) before they enter the child care setting. Anyone feeling unwell must stay home. Home child care providers feeling unwell cannot offer service.
    • Log daily attendance: Child care providers must keep daily records of everyone entering the child care setting. This will help support contact tracing.
    • Clean frequently: Child care providers must thoroughly clean the space, toys and equipment frequently and regularly, according to public health advice.
    • No non-essential visitors: Non-essential visitors are not allowed to enter the child care setting.
    • Create drop-off and pick-up protocols: Child care providers must establish drop-off and pick-up protocols that facilitate physical distancing.

The Ontario Government has released their guide to reopening schools for the 2020-2021 school year. Find out more by clicking here!