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Students at Ontario colleges could spend December break in the classroom

Striking college members outside George Brown College in Toronto. Global News

Some Ontario college students could be spending their holiday break in a classroom this December.

Schools have begun to announce changes to academic calendars for some 500,000 students in the province, in order to make up for lost time caused by striking faculty members.

READ MORE: Students experiencing financial hardship due to college strike will receive funding: Province

About 12,000 professors, librarians and counsellors at Ontario’s 24 public colleges have been on the picket lines since Oct. 16. Earlier this week, Ontario’s Labour Relations Board set dates for a vote on the College Employer Council’s final offer to striking faculty, with balloting to take place online from Nov. 14 to 16.

WATCH: (Nov. 6) Ontario college bargaining team calling on union to suspend strike, allow vote on deal

Click to play video: 'Ontario college bargaining team calling on union to suspend strike, allow vote on deal' Ontario college bargaining team calling on union to suspend strike, allow vote on deal
Ontario college bargaining team calling on union to suspend strike, allow vote on deal – Nov 6, 2017

It’s a double whammy for students at George Brown College in Toronto, who will not only spend an extended fall semester in the classroom, but will also have their spring break cancelled from Feb. 26 to March 2. Students are asked to delay making plans until an update is provided.

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“Our main goal is to preserve the academic year and ensure students receive the full education experience they paid for, and that means we’ve had to make difficult decisions,” stated the college on their website.

READ MORE: Ontario college strike won’t hurt international students’ immigration status: officials

Updates have also been posted to the websites of other Toronto-area colleges, including Sheridan College, which said the week of Dec. 18 to 22 will be needed to make up for lost instruction time.

Centennial College which already announced classes extended into January, but will close over the Christmas break as planned. Students are asked to schedule any travel for after Dec. 23.

WATCH: A history of college strikes in Canada

READ MORE: Striking college faculty hold rally in Toronto calling on province to take action

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Both Seneca College and Humber College have not yet made announcements for changing the academic calendars, however, Seneca did note that the semester could be extended into late December.

Students are advised to monitor their college’s website and social media feeds for any updates to the strike.

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