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Ontario school boards warn of possible last-minute cancellations amid rising COVID

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Some school boards in Ontario are warning parents that classrooms could be canceled with little notice when personal tutoring resumes Monday as they prepare for Omicron-related staff shortages that have plagued other industries in recent weeks.

The highly contagious variant of COVID-19, which caused the province to shift its schools to online learning after the winter break, could send many teachers and other education workers into isolation.

“Similar to other sectors in our community, schools can be affected by staff shortages,” the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board wrote in a letter to parents.

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Ontario school boards call on government to report and track COVID once again

“We will make every effort to keep classrooms and schools open, but if we can not function safely, a class or school may have to switch to distance learning until we arrange proper coverage. “If that happens, we will make every effort to advise the parents the night before.”

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Meanwhile, the Rainbow District School Board of Northern Ontario told parents they may have to cancel daylight hours if there are not enough teachers.

The Toronto District School Board – the state’s largest – said there were some unforeseen occasions to avoid closures, such as adding more supply teachers to the list and redeploying “central staff” to help schools .

“As a last resort, it may be necessary to consider operational closures of classrooms and / or schools due to staff shortages depending on local circumstances,” the TDSB said in a letter to parents.

“In the future, it may become necessary to use the strategy supported by the Ministry of one day a week distance learning, where students will not attend school in person. This would allow the total number of casual teachers to cover a smaller number of schools. ”

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The province is also working to reduce the shortage, shortening the required isolation time for those with COVID-19 from 10 days to five for people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, as long as their symptoms have disappeared. It also allows retired teachers to work up to 95 days a year without financial penalty – from 50.

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