Uncertainty for return to in-person learning in Waterloo Region, Ontario
KITCHENER -- The Ontario government has announced reopening guidelines, but parents and students in Waterloo Region and across the province are still uncertain whether or not in person learning will return before the summer break.
At a Thursday press conference for the reopening plan, Premier Doug Ford stated there was a lack of consensus at the province’s science advisory board, and until the major players get on the same page, students will remain home.
“Not knowing anything when there are just a couple weeks left is really hard,” said Rachel Bolton, a parent and Waterloo Region resident. “It is frustrating because we can’t plan ahead and the whole year has been like that, we haven’t be able to really plan anything.”
The Premier says Ontario’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams is in favour of a return to the classroom in the coming weeks, but others on the board disagree.
He added that he’s concerned about new modelling that shows the possibility of a sharp rise in cases if in-person learning resumes.
“What I am mostly concerned about, what I heard Doctor Brown say, is that it is going to increase cases by 11 per cent,” said Ford. “We can’t afford an increase of 11 per cent right now.”
The Premier says the province is working on a plan to vaccinate eligible students ages 12 and up.
“I keep hoping, if they are going to be able to open up other things, they should be able to get the kids back for a couple weeks so they can finish off [the school year] with their friends, celebrate all those things that are important milestones,” said Bolton.