Eight of eastern Ontario's 12 school boards are closing schools and moving to remote learning Friday because of a strike by an education union the province has made illegal.
The other four boards say schools will remain open Friday, but their plans vary if it continues next week.
Workers including early childhood educators, educational assistants and custodians represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) walked off the job Friday until further notice.
The Progressive Conservative government enacted a law imposing contracts on these workers and banned them from striking. The law also uses the notwithstanding clause to protect against constitutional challenges.
Here are the most recent plans for eastern Ontario schools.
In-person learning if CUPE strikes Nov. 4
Schools with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) will follow a normal schedule (including the elementary PA day) despite any job action by CUPE. No OCDSB staff are members of the union.
In an email to parents Wednesday, the OCDSB said "a small number of students who are in specialized programs" with the city's English Catholic board may be affected, and that they would be contacted directly.
Open Friday, unclear about next week
French Catholic schools and daycares that are part of the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est remain open Friday.
Schools with CUPE staff may go virtual if the strike continues, according to a Thursday update. That's most elementary schools and some schools in Brockville, Kingston and Pembroke. Administration will decide over the weekend, it said.
Elementary students will be sent home with electronic devices Friday just in case.
Most of its high schools are not affected.
The board said 160 of its janitors and tradespeople are part of the affected union and it warns a strike risks disrupting the cleaning and maintenance of elementary schools.
All open, then all closed
The Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l'Est ontarien (CSDCEO) says schools are open Friday. Monday would be asynchronous learning and it would move to synchronous Tuesday.
Its classes distinctes will continue in schools as long as they can.
Starting next week, extracurriculars and community permits would be cancelled.
All open, then some closed
The Renfrew County Catholic District School Board said that some of its custodians are part of CUPE, along with all tradespeople.
Its schools will be open Friday and then move to remote learning in 12 schools next week if the strike continues. Monday and Tuesday would be asynchronous learning days — or teachers posting work for students to do — and then Wednesday would be synchronous.
Community use is cancelled there Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Eight other schools are not affected at all.
The Ottawa Catholic School Board said Tuesday the job action prevents schools from opening safely. It's moving to online learning starting Friday. The first day would be for students and staff to get set up and do asynchronous learning , and going forward, classes would happen remotely on regular schedules.
Tom D'Amico, director of education with the Ottawa Catholic School Board, said CUPE members represent roughly 2,000 workers at Catholic schools in Ottawa. This includes computer support staff.
"They're often supporting students that have behavioural challenges, some are medically fragile, others have toileting needs. Without EAs, it's just unsafe and it would be unsanitary for those students to be in our schools," D'Amico said
The Conseil des Écoles Publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (CEPEO) is moving to online learning on Friday. That day will have asynchronous learning and if schools are still affected Monday, that online learning would be synchronized.
Chromebooks will be issued to all students who need devices by the end of the day Thursday. Its child-care services would close and extracurriculars would stop.
The Upper Canada District School Board is closing its schools Friday and providing online learning to students. It sent material home with students Thursday so they can work on it at home Friday. If it continues into next week, classes will be synchronous, or real-time, and online.
The Limestone board will start with asynchronous learning, or teachers posting work for students to do, and "will continue to update families with respect to educational programming as circumstances continue to unfold."
That Catholic board hasn't shared plans for if the strike affects next week.
The Renfrew County District School Board said it too is moving online because of the walkout. It's planning asynchronous learning Friday and Monday and then synchronous starting Tuesday.
All of its extracurriculars and community use permits are paused and parents should contact child-care services out of its schools directly.
The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board is making the move to asynchronous learning and said it plans to send its next update Friday.
The board is pausing before- and after-school care and school use permits.
Finally, the Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board is closing schools. It said in its last update Tuesday it would be making every effort to set up emergency online learning Friday and will move to asynchronous online learning if the protest continues Monday.
Its schools wouldn't be able to provide before- or after-school care if it continues, nor extracurriculars on school property. That board isn't distributing technology at this time.