TORONTO: The Ontario government is announcing the allocation of $35 million to provide additional immediate school board supports in the communities of Peel, Ottawa, Toronto, and York Region to enhance health measures and protection strategies.
This funding is part of the government’s robust and comprehensive $1.3 billion plan to safely reopen classrooms across the province, including additional resources to help school boards hire more staff, keep class sizes low, and enhance cleaning in schools.
To further enhance the safety of students and staff, this funding will be used for:
• Providing increased distancing between students through the hiring of additional teachers, early childhood educators, and educational assistants; and
• Providing increased remote learning supports, including the hiring of additional teachers, early childhood educators, and educational assistants, as well as devices for students who have chosen to learn remotely. Earlier this summer, Ontario unveiled one of the nation’s most comprehensive plans for the safe reopening of schools in September.
The plan is supported by $1.3 billion in resources to hire more teachers and increase physical distancing, support procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE), enhanced cleaning of schools and buses, improving ventilation, hiring of more custodians, and adding school leadership positions and administrative support for virtual schools.
The province is also providing funding to public health units to support the hiring of 625 school-focused nurses while establishing a mandatory masking policy for grades 4-12, and a surveillance strategy to monitor the virus and detect cases and outbreaks quickly in schools.