Ontario Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, announced yesterday that students in seven public health units could return to class on Monday, Jan. 25. Simcoe Muskoka is not among them.
Students in Muskoka will continue learning remotely until Feb. 10, 2021.
Students in northern public health units, including North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, which is immediately to the north of Muskoka, were permitted to return to in-person learning on Jan. 11, 2021.
One of the school boards in Muskoka, Trillium Lakelands District School Board, spans more than one health unit and will see its students within the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit return to class on January 25.
To support families during this period, child care will remain open and available for non-school aged children across the province, notes a media release from the ministry. Before and after school programs at schools still remaining in online learning continue to be closed and are prohibited from charging parent fees. Emergency child care will be extended to support those workers that require it during this period.
“To support students facing mental health difficulties, the Government announced an additional and immediate $10 million from its phase 2 federal funding allocation to support student mental health and expand access to services in both rural and urban communities,” adds the media release. “This funding builds on the Government’s investment of more than $32.5 million in student mental health since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This investment supports up to 475 additional staff to support student mental health and compliments the addition of 625 school-based public health nurses and expanded mental health education.”
Financial supports through the Ontario’s Support for Learners program remains open until February 8, 2021.
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