Teachers urge “cautious approach” to school re-opening

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Ontario’s elementary teachers are urging a “cautious approach” to students’ return to school in September.

The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) said the province must take “necessary safety measures to prevent possible outbreaks (of COVID-19) in the fall.”

“With the Delta variant becoming the dominant variant in Ontario, and students under 12 not able to be vaccinated, measures need to be taken to avoid schools becoming sources of transmission in the coming months,” ETFO said in a statement released last week.

The teachers union was responding to the release of a back to school report by Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table.

The report said in-person learning for school children is essential, and schools should only be closed again in the case of a “catastrophic” COVID scenario.

“Stop using school closures or deviation from in-person learning as a tool for pandemic control,” said Dr. Peter Juni, the scientific director of the advisory table.

“This was and continues to be associated with considerable harm for the mental health of children and for learning progress. We really need to get back to normal with our schools…..”

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