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Breaking: Majority of students in Ontario to be back in school full-time in September

It will be back to school for a majority of students in Ontario come September.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, along with Education Minister Stephen Lecce, announced Thursday afternoon that students in publicly funded elementary schools will be back in class five days a week as of September 8th.

Students will be with one cohort for the full day and enhanced health and safety protocols will be put in place.

High school students in 24 school boards in Ontario will be part of an adapted model, with class cohorts of approximately 15 students.

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The students in those boards will attend class on alternate days or alternate schedules with the mix coming out to be 50 percent in class and 50 percent online learning at home.

There are 24 schools boards on the designated list, which include Toronto, Toronto Catholic, Peel, Dufferin-Peel Catholic, York, York Catholic, Durham, Durham Catholic, Halton, Halton Catholic, Waterloo, Waterloo Catholic, Thames Valley, London District Catholic, Ottawa-Carleton, Ottawa Catholic, Hamilton-Wentworth, Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic, Niagara, Niagara Catholic, Greater Essex Country, Windsor-Essex Catholic, Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est and Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario.

The rest of the school boards in the province will be allowed to reopen for classes five days per week with full attendance.

Non-medical masks will be mandatory for students in Grade 4 to Grade 12 while students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 will be encouraged, but not required, to wear masks in common spaces.

Teachers and all other school staff will have medical masks provided to them.

Parents are also being asked to self-screen students each day and if a student or staff member is experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, they will be required to stay home.

It’s up to parents to decide if they want their child to return to school in-person with the option of remote learning, which would be delivered by the school board.

The province is supplying $309-million in new funding they say will help assist the safe reopening of schools.

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