The Ontario Student Trustees Association would like to acknowledge the recent release of the Ministry of Education’s return-to-school plan.
The Ministry has done an exceptional job in prioritizing the return for many pre-COVID-19 aspects of school, but a greater emphasis should be placed on the safety of students through their physical health and mental well-being. While extracurriculars, clubs, sports, performances, and many other aspects of school greatly contribute to the well-being and mental health of students, we must also focus on what we can do to ensure students can learn safely.
Cohorts greatly contradict the return of the in-person activities schools would usually offer. If we are hoping to get students back into a learning environment that promotes their success and well-being the semester model must be re-implemented.
The promise of a “normal” September can not be achieved while maintaining the safety measures that need to be taken to protect students. The government must continue to make a concerted effort to consult all relevant educational parties, such as teachers, administration, and students.
The focus of education should always be on students’ well-being. The return to learning plan for the 2021-2022 academic year must take into consideration the effects that COVID-19 has had on students and work to move forward in a safe and well-advised approach.
We look forward to safely seeing students and staff back in an educational setting this fall.
For additional information, contact: