Back to homeschool: Students to begin first week of remote learning

Ontario's Education Minister Stephen Lecce

Both students and parents are getting ready for the return of school on Monday, as classrooms in Ontario will remain empty for a little bit longer.

It's all part of the province-wide shutdown that took effect Boxing Day.

Stephen Lecce's message, sent January 2nd, highlighted new restrictions added before Christmas with elementary and secondary school students across the province learning remotely for the first week of January.

High school students in southern Ontario won't resume in-person learning until at least January 25.

"I'm excited to stay home, but kind of disappointed because I don't get to see my friends", one student tells CTV News. At least 1,095 additional cases of the novel coronavirus were logged in "individuals not identified", which could include parents or family members of school-related cases. Students will instead participate in remote, virtual learning during the first week of the month.

Ontario's education minister has confirmed the start dates for in-person learning at schools will not change amid a rising number of COVID-19 cases over the holidays.

Other parents also agree that, with the current state of COVID-19 cases in the province, the virtual learning will be extended for students.

Harvey Bischof, the president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, said that while education workers provide remote learning to students, they have not been included in the list of essential workers who are allowed to use emergency child-care programs. There have now been a total of 190-thousand-962 cases of COVID-19 across the province, with 46-hundred-50 deaths.

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