The World Forum - May18th, 2024

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Deja vu? Thames Valley students told to bring belongings home


Southwestern Ontario’s largest school board is urging students to take home all their belongings before the Easter long weekend in preparation for a potential provincewide lockdown that would force a switch back to online learning.

Mark Fisher, education director of the Thames Valley District school board, said he doesn’t have “any advance knowledge” of possible school closings but is trying to be “proactive and preventative.”

Premier Doug Ford told Ontarians Wednesday to prepare themselves for an announcement Thursday as the number of COVID-19 patients in the province’s intensive care units hit a new high.

The premier did not specify what new measures his government was contemplating but said he will consult the province’s top doctor before making a decision.

Fisher said the school board “learned our lesson” from this time last year and “we want to make sure everyone is prepared.”

About a year ago, he said, students went home for March break and ended up not coming back to school for the rest of the academic year because to the pandemic.

The province decided earlier this year to delay the March break until April in an effort to curb COVID-19 cases, saying it wanted to discourage group gatherings and travel over that time. The break, now known as spring break, was postponed until April 12-16.