Students across Ontario are on their way back to the classroom on Wednesday after a long break from personal learning. An Omicron-filled increase in COVID-19 cases forced students into online learning for what in some ways turned into a two-week extension of the Christmas holidays.
Schools were due to reopen Monday, but a massive snowstorm that virtually brought the province to its knees delayed the return to education for many boards, including those in Toronto, for two more days.
12:48 Hamilton’s school bus service reports dozens of delays as students return to school on Wednesday.
The Hamilton-Wentworth Student Transportation Service (HWSTS), which buses students from public and Catholic boards, reported 45 delays 8.50, potentially affecting hundreds of students. The Hamilton bus service has 471 routes serving more than 29,000 students at public and Catholic boards.
11:05 Apoorve Jain says he and his seven-year-old son are excited about returning to schools.
Jain says he has received three shots of a COVID-19 vaccine, and his son has received his first shot, so he is “pretty good” at sending his son back.
11 in the morning Natasha Chadenga says she feels “a lot of anxiety” when she sends her six-year-old daughter back.
She says it looks like the provincial government has not put enough security measures in place in the schools and she is worried that the schools will have to close again in a short time due to COVID-19 outbreaks.
9:22 As most children return to personal learning, parents and educators have taken to social media to share their thoughts on returning to classrooms. “I’m pretty divided about not sending my kids to school today,” one parent said tweeted.
“I know I’m hugely privileged to be able to keep them at home, but there are no good opportunities in @fordnations and @ Sflecce’s Ontario. #OntEd”
A teacher who commented on the instructions to open the windows for ventilation in the absence of a HEPA filter posted a Photo of the windows in her classroom that could not open completely due to snow accumulation from Monday’s snowstorm.
The blizzard delayed return to personal learning for most students. For some children, returning to class seems like a welcome change from two weeks of online learning. “12-year-old is in his jacket and standing at the door, about 40 minutes early,” one parent said tweeted. “That’s the first thing!”
A poster under the handle @GregLovesTo shared the emotional experience of dropping his three daughters in school yesterday. He said he “broke down” when he saw his daughters enter the school in their “ill-fitting” KN95 masks, size for adults.
“I feel I’re endangering my children by bringing them to school. I feel it’s not an option to have them at home. We as parents have no choice, and our government, which provides education and health care, has failed us and our children by forcing them back to unsafe schools, “he wrote. – Jenna Moon
9:20 Weston CI has also moved to distance learning on Wednesday.
9:12 Amid the confusion of students returning to school as COVID-19 Cases are rising, Lisa Petsinis said she’s concerned about a suggestion from her daughter’s school about lunchtime: that children briefly remove their masks to take a bite to eat and put them back on to chew.
A newsletter to parents, who also stressed that students will be reminded to keep physical distance, “does not say anything about how this will be monitored, and I’m not sure if it is at all possible to do so,” he said. Petsinis, whose 14-year-old daughter attends a school in Etobicoke under the Toronto District School Board.
8:53 in the morning High schools move to distance learning Wednesday: Dr. Norman Bethune CI. Emery CI, John Polanyi CI, Newtonbrook SS and Yorkdale SS, according to TDSB.
8:22 School buses run on Wednesday. “However, there may be delays as some buses and shipyards are still being cleared. Please check the transport portal in the morning for updates on possible delays, ”TSTG tweeted on Tuesday night.
8:13 Various school boards tweet that students and families must complete confirmation of screening before coming to school each morning.
07:57 (updated) Six high schools in Toronto are switching to distance learning on Wednesday, Jan. 19, after the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) said a private contractor hired to clear the snow failed to complete the work.
TDSB shared the news in a tweet, which was sent to his account at. 7:48. The board has also published a few details on its website.
The schools affected include Scarboroughs Dr. Norman Bethune Collegiate Institute as well as Emery Collegiate Institute, John Polanyi Collegiate Institute, Newtonbrook Secondary School as well as Yorkdale Secondary School in North York and Weston Collegiate Institute in the York area.