Catholic teachers in Waterloo Region preparing for possibility of extended break, union says
KITCHENER -- The union representing Catholic school teachers in Waterloo Region said they're ready to pivot to online learning if classes go on an extended break.
Minister of Education Stephen Lecce said Tuesday that the province is considering school closures ahead of winter break.
Patrick Etmanski, president of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association Waterloo Unit, said the extended break isn't a new idea for teachers. Etmanski added that teachers, students and parents want a clear plan from the province.
Etmanski said he believes schools will stay closed for an extra two weeks after the winter break, but added he's not sure that will be enough time to handle a surge in cases from the holidays.
He also said classrooms are equipped with cameras if they do need to make a switch to distance learning, and teachers and students could make a change if needed.
However, Etmanski said he's not sure if parents are prepared for a longer break.
"What has to happen soon is that someone needs to say that this is happening, so that parents can be ready," he said. "As much as this is an extended Christmas period, people will still have to go back to work and if the kids aren't going back to school, which is where we want them to be. I want to be very clear about that, teachers want them to be in school as well. It's going to be very hard to figure all this out again."
Lecce also hinted that the announcement could involve some changes in January. A comprehensive announcement is expected in the next two weeks.
With files from CTVNewsToronto.ca