Yesterday the CBC News published the article below.

Worries of more school disruptions are rising alongside COVID-19 cases

With restrictions easing in Canada, ‘there’s a lot of denial going on,’ a parent tells CBC News

As the spring weather improves, Montrealer Doug Bentley understands people feeling a pent-up desire to return to pre-pandemic normalcy. Still, as a parent with two kids attending elementary school, he remains “ill at ease” about classrooms amid COVID-19.

“I don’t feel particularly comfortable about the situation in the schools,” he said. “There’s a lot of denial going on about the sixth wave that has started.”

With capacity limits, mask mandates and other restrictions lingering in some areas but gone in others, Canadian regions remain in varying stages of easing pandemic mitigation measures. Yet as health experts warn again of rising new COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates in parts of the country, parents and school officials are bracing for what a sixth wave may bring to classrooms.

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The article tends to focus on the lifting of various restrictions – particularly mask mandates, contact tracing, testing, and notification – and the impact that it might have on education.  Later in the article, the author writes:

“He’s more worried that a major spike in new COVID-related absences could lead to further disruptions to their schooling, fresh rounds of classroom shutdowns or even a sudden return to emergency remote learning.”

“Learning from home is no substitute for in-person learning.”

“And then are we looking at, weeks down the road, potentially shutdowns of individual schools and classes because there’s … not enough people available to be able to work?”

While it is disappointing to continue to read that people believe that online learning is inherently inferior to in person learning, it should be noted that this particular quote came from the province of Quebec (see what our lead researcher has written about this topic in this jurisdiction in the past at Report – The FPEP-CSQ launches a media offensive against distance education).

The other quotes seem to underscore a reality that provincial governments seem to have been denying since the beginning of the 2020-21 school year – as long as COVID continues to circulate in our communities it will also circulate in our schools.  While we can turn a blind eye to this and pretend that it isn’t happening, the reality is that is IS and WILL CONTINUE to happen – and this will eventually impact the ability to deliver in person learning.

CBC News – Worries of more school disruptions are rising alongside COVID-19 cases

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