Ontario English Catholic Teachers

OECTA Statement on Extended School Closures and Plans for Re-opening

“Our Association agrees with the need to take a cautious approach to re-opening schools, while continuing to do what we can to foster students’ development and well-being. To this end, Catholic teachers will continue giving our best efforts to support students and families through the emergency distance learning program.

At the same time, we are concerned about the lack of engagement from the government thus far regarding the many details that will have to be considered when schools eventually re-open. To date, teachers have had minimal ability to offer input on the school closures and the emergency distance learning program, and no opportunity to voice our professional opinions about re-opening.

Discussions should be happening now about the safety precautions, learning conditions, and mental health supports that will be needed to help students and teachers transition to the new school environment successfully. It is imperative that the government immediately engage in genuine dialogue with teachers and other education workers, to allow sufficient time to develop a comprehensive plan for re-opening that includes all necessary perspectives. This is especially urgent if the government is planning for a possible in-class element to the summer learning program.”

Liz Stuart, President of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association