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With TDSB schools closed to in-person learning and classes shifted online, we've launched our Parent Update e-newsletter to keep YOU informed as you support your children's education in these difficult times.

Learn More About the Elementary Teachers of Toronto

In This Issue:

  • A Review of the Ford Government's Failed Response to COVID-19 in Our Schools
  • The Ontario Government Must Ensure a Safe Return to In-Person Learning
  • Keeping Students and Educators in Special Education Programs Safe

A Review of the Ford Government's Failed Response to COVID-19 in Our Schools

Underfunded, Ill-Conceived School Reopening Plan
In 2020, the Ford government refused to work collaboratively with educators on a comprehensive plan to reopen schools. Instead, they imposed a plan with inadequate resources, while leaving nearly $1 billion in Federal funds provided to reopen schools unspent. These failures have seen COVID-19 spread in schools and now another province-wide school closure.

Growing Class Sizes
While the Ford government mandated physical distancing restrictions in grocery stores and LCBOs, similar measures were not implemented in schools by hiring more teachers, opening more classrooms, and looking into vacant community spaces. Instead, students were forced to return to ballooning classes with 20-plus students, driving the spread of COVID-19.

Inadequate Resources For Virtual Schools
In September, thousands of families fearing COVID-19 decided not to send their children to school in-person. Instead, they opted for virtual school programming. Unfortunately, the government failed to provide the necessary resources, leaving virtual schools understaffed, teachers unassigned to classes for weeks, a lack of online resources, no administrative support, and no classroom budgets. And now, again, because of this government's failures, schools are closed and students are trying to learn through a screen with no contact with their friends and peers.

Insufficient Ventilation in Schools
Despite the advice of public health officials, the Ford government refused to provide funding for adequate ventilation and air purifiers in every classroom. In September, many students returned to classrooms where windows were the only source of (limited) air circulation.

The Ontario Government Must Ensure a Safe Return to In-Person Learning

Tell Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce to make our schools safe to reopen by:
  1. funding and implementing an asymptomatic testing program in every school;
  2. reducing class sizes to practice social distancing;
  3. spending the necessary money to repair our schools;
  4. providing teachers with the necessary online digital resources; and
  5. giving all workers in Ontario 10 paid sick days so that they can shelter at home.

Take Action

Contact Education Minister Stephen Lecce, (416) 325-2600
Contact Premier Doug Ford, (416) 325-1941

Contact your local Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP)
1) Enter your postal code on the Elections Ontario website to find your electoral district and your MPP.

2) Go to the Legislative Assembly website and use your MPP’s name to find their contact information.

Send an Email to Doug Ford Demanding the Government Act.

Keeping Students and Educators in Special Education Programs Safe

As in-person learning resumes in Special Education classes, to protect our most vulnerable students (those that cannot wear masks or physically distance) and the frontline educators that teach and support them, it is vital that:
  1. ventilation is tested and upgraded in every classroom where students and staff have returned, including the provision of medical air purifiers;
  2. staff and students are provided with additional PPE, so that each time a student or staff member leaves and re-enters the room they can use new PPE;
  3. a comprehensive and rapid asymptomatic testing program is implemented to limit spread between educators and students;
  4. a Toronto Public Health nurse is assigned to all sites to determine ongoing issues, needs, and health and safety; and
  5. additional staff are hired to carry out enhanced daily cleaning protocols, as well as daily electrostatic cleaning in every area of the school, especially high traffic areas.
We stand with our students in Special Education programs and demand that the Ministry of Education dedicate sufficient resources to ensure a safe educational environment for all workers.

About Us

The Elementary Teachers of Toronto (ETT) is the Toronto local of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

We're dedicated to advocating on behalf of public education, our members (the K-8 elementary teachers in the TDSB), and the students in their care.

Copyright © 2021 Elementary Teachers of Toronto, All rights reserved.

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