On Tuesday March 31, Premier Doug Ford and the Minister of Education Stephen Lecce, announced that schools across the province will remain closed until May 4th for students.

With that said, Lecce and the provincial government came up with what they call “Phase 2” which is online learning.

“Our online learning program is about re-connecting students with their teachers, and empowering students to focus on learning during this period of time. We really want to make sure that our kids stimulated in the curriculum, and utilizing the guidance of our educators, we feel that this program is an opportunity to finish courses, help kids graduate, and keep them focused on building the foundation for education.” -said Lecce

The main concern that has been brought up often is high school students… “will my child graduate?” The provincial government has ensured that students that are in grade 12 this year, will receive their diploma’s.

“Our commitment is to ensure that students graduate. It’s why our program is ensuring that we get full course marks submitted, it’s why we’re asking for full report cards to be submitted. We want to ensure that our grade 12 students graduate; I’ve waived a variety of requirements that could have impeded or delayed the graduation of students, I’ve waived those including, the EQUAO requirement, and the 40 hours they’re required. I’ve done a variety of things up front to make sure that every child succeeds and graduates. I can tell parents right now that, with a child in grade 8 especially grade 12, your child will graduate.” Said Lecce

School closures have been extended for the second time and instead of a two-week extension, it was a full month. The provincial government has been following the advice of the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams. If Williams, advises to extend the school closure period one more time, there is a chance that the schools will be closed for the remainder of the year, but learning would continue online.

“If he (Dr. David Williams) does recommend an extension then we will do so again. We will never compromise safety, but I also believe that the reason why I took a staged approach to May fourth is, if we can save some of the year. If it is safe to do so at the back end, then we should. But, if it’s not safe, if it’s not feasible to have the students back in the school in the coming weeks or month, then we won’t.” -added Lecce

To listen to full interview click below:

Stephen Lecce Interview

Filed under: Local News