Families of children in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) will learn more about the board’s “Safe Reopening of Schools” plan on Thursday night, as calls continue to delay the return to classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A webinar will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Board staff are expected to speak about what safety steps are being taken, including the mandatory use of face coverings for students in grades 4 to 12.
This comes as automated phone calls continue to go out to parents across the city asking if they’ll be sending their children to school in the fall.
The Ontario government is facing growing calls from several groups including teachers’ unions to phase in the start of school or maybe delay it altogether.
Meanwhile, Toronto Public Health is calling on the board to reduce class sizes in September.
In a letter to the board last week, associate medical officer of health Dr. Vinita Dubey said the health agency is worried about the risk of COVID-19 spreading if class sizes remain the same.
Dubey said teachers will also be able to better control classes and prevent crowding in hallways if class sizes are reduced. She also said reducing class sizes will make physical distancing easier.
Ontario’s school reopening plan does not mandate the reduction of class sizes for students from kindergarten to Grade 8. High school class sizes in all but two dozen school boards are to remain the same as well.
In those 24 boards — the TDSB among them — high schoolers will attend class only half the time in cohorts of 15. The rest of the time, they’ll do school work remotely.
Parents can also choose to keep their kids out of school and have them learn at home.