On February 11, Stephen Lecce, Ontario's Minister of Education, issued the following statement regarding March break:
"In support of our collective efforts to keep schools safe, we are postponing March break until April 12-16, 2021. This decision was made with the best advice of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health officials, including consultations with many local Medical Officers of Health.
Many students have been learning remotely since the start of 2021. It is critical we follow public health advice to protect schools and avoid a repeat of the concerning spike in youth-related cases over the winter break, when students and staff were out of schools for a prolonged period of time. We are taking this precaution based on advice from health experts, including the province's Science Table and the Chief Medical Officer of Health, to help protect against the emerging COVID-19 variants of concern.
We appreciate the hard work of students and staff in the education sector and I want to be clear: March break is being postponed, not cancelled. To keep schools open, we must keep them free of COVID-19. The actions announced today serve to limit opportunities for congregation - while reaffirming the evidence that schools are safe for students. By continuing to follow public health advice, and by introducing additional safety measures and more testing, we are supporting our collective efforts to keep COVID-19 from entering our schools.
With respect to travel, our government's position on this is unchanged. Ontarians should refrain from travelling, particularly given the increase in new variants that pose a direct risk to our country. Please stay at home as much as possible and continue following the direction of public health officials so that we can keep schools open and protect our seniors, frontline health workers and all families.
These decisions - based on the advice of medical experts - are never easy, but they are necessary to keep Ontario families safe."
In Bluewater District School Board, March Break was originally scheduled to occur from March 15 to 19, 2021. Due to the provincial decision, school will continue as usual during this period. This also extends to student transportation services, as well as before and after school programs, which will continue uninterrupted.
Lori Wilder, Bluewater District School Board Director of Education said, "We recognize that this has been a very unusual school year with many of our students looking forward to a well-deserved break, whether they have been learning in-person or remotely. While we will need to wait a bit longer, we are pleased to hear that another opportunity will be made available in the not-too-distant future for students to have their break." She added, "I have every confidence that our ongoing commitment to following the advice of our public health officials will pay off. Our schools remain safe and healthy environments for our students and staff. Let us continue to work together and stay the course. Thank you again for your continued patience and support. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher or principal."
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