Kitchener-Waterloo

Remote learning continues through Feb. 10 in Waterloo region

Waterloo Region District School Board and Waterloo Catholic District School Board say remote learning will continue until at least Feb. 10.

WRDSB schools continue to offer in-person instruction for students with complex special education needs

Kristy Denette, back left, tries to work from home as her two children Maverick, five, and Peyton, seven, do online schooling at the kitchen table in their home during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga. Schools in Waterloo region are not expected to return to in-person learning until Feb. 11 at the earliest. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Waterloo Region District School Board and Waterloo Catholic District School Board say remote learning will continue until at least Feb. 10.

"This decision is based on current directions from the Ministry of Education and the advice of public health experts with the intention of slowing the spread of COVID-19," WRDSB officials said in a news release issued by the district on Friday. 

The ministry will decide on any further extensions to the remote learning period closer to the current return-to-in-person-learning date of Feb. 11, the board said.

Meanwhile, schools continue to offer in-person instruction for students with complex special education needs.

Child care centres will continue to provide programming for children up to age four and emergency child care for school-aged children during the extended closure period, they said.

Starting Monday, there will be an additional process in place to confirm that staff working in schools have completed a daily self-screening for COVID-19, WRDSB said.

Secondary students participating in in-person learning will also go through that process when they return to school on Feb. 11.

While the province has announced new masking requirements for school children, those measures were already in place in WRDSB schools, officials said.

Loretta Notten, director of education for the WCDSB, said the board expects to hear approximately a week before Feb. 11 about which regions will be permitted to return to face-to-face learning.

"We know our schools are safe and there is a desire to ensure they remain safe," Notten said in a letter on the board's website.

"Closing the schools to in person learning for the remainder January and early February will help us contain the cases that come into schools and ensure that when we return to our buildings, we are doing so in the safest manner possible."

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