TORONTO – Ontario’s largest school board is weighing the costs of a full return to school come September, saying one model would come with a $250 million pricetag for elementary schools alone.
The Ministry of Education has given boards until Aug. 4 to provide back-to-school plans that take the COVID-19 pandemic into account, and the Toronto District School Board says some options come at a significant cost.
In a planning document, the board says if elementary students are divided into cohorts of 15 and there aren’t any schedule changes, it will need to hire nearly 2,500 more teachers at a cost of $248.9 million.
The TDSB says if it cuts the school day by 48 minutes, it will only need to hire 988 teachers and the cost will be cut to $98.5 million.
Another option, which would see the youngest students in cohorts of 15 and older elementary students in groups of 20, would require just 200 additional teachers at a price of $20 million.
The board says that model would also see it cut French classes, because there wouldn’t be enough staff to support them.View link »