Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health to align remote learning order with Province

·2 min read

As the Province has already stated children will not be returning to in-class learning any time soon, the local health unit has decided to let its own order saying the same thing expire.

In the first week of April, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health said students would be returning to remote learning April 7, a move that came on the heels of a similar announcement in Peel region. The health order was to remain in effect until April 19.

However, that all became moot once the Province announced Monday, April 12 that students would continue learning remotely until further notice.

“With the province’s announcement this week that all schools will move to remote learning, the local Section 22 Order issued by Dr. Nicola Mercer (medical officer of health) will not be extended and will expire on Sunday, April 18,” said Danny Williamson, communications specialist. “This will ensure there is no confusion between local and Provincial guidance on schools."

Section 22 allows Mercer to sign off on rules beyond what the province has in place. This followed a previous announcement when the provincial government announced all schools in the area, including those in Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB), will participate in remote learning following the April Break. The province made this decision in response to the rising cases of COVID-19 in the area.

Educational institutions will remain closed to students when classes resume Monday, April 19. They follow the direction of the province, which has not yet provided a return to in-person learning.

School boards, however, are still expected to provide in-person support for students with special education needs who have complex medical and learning needs and cannot be accommodated through remote learning.

School principals will call parents and guardians of students in specialized DD class placements to determine which students can continue to be accommodated in remote learning and who needs to be learning in person. As it will take time for schools to prepare to welcome these students and arrange staffing and transportation, in-person classes for students in specialized DD class placements will begin Thursday, April 22. These students will participate in remote learning from April 19 to 21.

Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner