Safer Schools in York Region

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It is unconscionable that the Ford Government would tell school boards to plan for a return to school without providing sufficient funding, guidance and leadership. By doing this the Ford government has left thousands of Ontario students without a teacher, has diminished parents' confidence in the safety of their child’s learning environment, has forced school boards into impossible decisions and has created learning environments that are taxing for all. 


Ontario has already seen a resurgence of COVID-19 in our communities. Education workers, teachers, students and parents are happy that schools are open, and staff in schools are working hard to make sure our public education system continues to be safe and provide high-quality learning and teaching. However, unless the Ford government begins to take proper action to keep our schools safe during a global pandemic we could end up with closed schools.


York Communities for Public Education is calling on the government to immediately engage with teachers, education workers and other education and Public Health experts to develop a safe, equitable, and well-funded plan to ensure the safety of our schools.


We ask that plans be revised to include:

  • Smaller student cohorts that allow for two metres of physical distancing for students, teachers and education workers;
  • Mandatory mask wearing for educators and students K-12 and sufficient funding to provide masks and other personal protective equipment to all schools;
  • Improved health and safety protocols that ensure enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of school facilities, proper staffing of custodians, and new HVAC systems;
  • Additional mental health supports for students and education workers;
  • Plans, resources and curriculum that focuses on disrupting anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism;
    Adequate support and resources for students with special learning and needs;
  • Improved safety with transportation (i.e. buses)
    Understanding that learning and teaching during the pandemic cannot resemble teaching and learning prior to COVID-19 

York Communities for Public Education is a coalition of parents, students, educators, education workers, and community allies who share an interest in maintaining the high standard of public education in the York Region.

(Picture credits to the Global News)