While schools are expected to return to full-time in-person learning for the 2021-22 school year, all school boards in the province are offering remote learning for all students who choose this option.

School boards may require students to pre-register for in-person or vistual attendance by a certain date. Check your local school board website to find out how to pre-register and to find out about online options. If you missed a deadline to sign-up for either option, we recommend contacting your school principal to discuss your situation and determing next steps.

The Ministry has indicated that students will be graded in the same way and evaluated on the basis of the same criteria, regardless of whether they attend school in-person or online.

The expectations for students attending school remotely will be no different for the 2021-2022 school year than they were during the school closures during 2020-2021 school year. Students will be expected to complete and submit their work and will be graded accordingly.

The consequences of students not submitting assignments or attending virtual school will depend, as always, on the circumstances, student’s grade, school board policy and any other factors unique to the individual student.

Possibly, if the school principal concludes that allowing your child to attend school would in the principal’s judgement be detrimental to the physical or mental well-being of the pupils. Whether the principal’s power to refuse admission to the school on this basis can be used in relation to COVID-19 has yet to be determined.

School boards and schools will be working closely with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, and Public Health to monitor and respond to reports of COVID-19 symptoms.

If your child is being refused entry to school and you wish to discuss your options with a lawyer, please consider contacting Pro Bono Ontario’s Education Law Program

It is important to determine why the school is telling you your child must learn from home. Until the situation is resolved, we do no recommend sending your child to school and putting them in the middle of a difficult and possibly contentious situation with school officials.

If you opted for virtual learning but would like to switch over to in-person, you must first wait until you hear from the school principal confirming in-person class placement.

If you believe your child is being told to stay home due to a special need accomodation, please contact Pro Bono Ontario’s Education Law Program for assistance.

If your child is suspended, expelled or excluded from school, do not send them to school. School discipline measures can be appealed. Please review PBO’s overview on school discipline available here.

If your child has been exposed to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is showing symptoms of the virus, they may be required to stay home and follow local public health unit instructions regardfing testing and self-isolation.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Education Law Program whould you have any questions regarding your child’s specific situation.