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Shelburne students to continue remote learning under lockdown

·2 min read

Students in the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph region won’t be returning to the classroom anytime soon, as the local health unit aligns its remote learning order with the province.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) announced the decision to allow the local Section 22 Order to expire, and continue with the provincial order on Thursday (April 15).

“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 will not be extended (and will expire on Sunday, April 18),” said Danny Williamson, communications specialist with WDG Public Health. “This will ensure there is no confusion between local and provincial guidance on schools.”

Dr. Mercer originally issued the Section 22 Order on April 5, requiring local school boards to revert back to online learning effective April 7. All five school boards in the region including the Upper Grand District School Board, Wellington Catholic District School Board, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, Conseil scolaire Viamonde, and Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir, were required to cease in-person learning under the order.

At the time that Mercer issued the Section 22 Order, only two other school boards in Ontario had required the move to virtual learning.

On April 12, the Ontario government announced following the April Break that all schools would be closed indefinitely for in-person learning as cases of COVID-19 continued to soar.

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

According to the UGDSB, school principals were to contact parents/guardians on April 19 to determine which students could be accommodated in remote learning. Students in specialized DD placements are scheduled to return to in-person instruction on April 22. Secondary schools began quadmester four on April 21.

The UGDSB also notes that child care programs serving infants, toddlers, and pre-school aged children will remain open.

Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press