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3 eastern Ontario school boards expect majority in-class attendance come fall

Three English school boards in eastern Ontario are expecting the majority of their students to study in class come the fall.
Three English school boards in eastern Ontario are expecting the majority of their students to study in class come the fall. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Three English-speaking school boards in eastern Ontario are expecting the majority of their students to return to in-class learning come the fall during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The government of Ontario has given the option to all parents to choose between online and in-class learning, and with classes set to begin in just over a week for some, school boards have been racing to get concrete numbers in order to plan for the upcoming school year.

Read more: Limestone District School Board sets out COVID-19 plans for back to school

The Limestone District School Board (LDSB), Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (ALCDSB) and Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) have received preliminary results from surveys sent out to parents over the last few weeks asking whether students will be choosing online on in-class learning.

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The LDSB says after receiving preliminary results for a parent survey, under 10 per cent, or around 2,000 students, will be staying at home and opting for remote learning.

According to the LDSB, 1,454 elementary students and 545 secondary school students have chosen to learn at home rather than return to school

The board said these numbers are subject to change, and that families with elementary school children will have another opportunity to choose between remote and in-class learning in several weeks.

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The ALCDSB received over 9,600 responses to its survey, with just under 1,000 opting for remote learning. With about 11,5000 students in the board, that represents 10 per cent of the student population.

The board said it would be individually reaching out to families who did not complete the survey.

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The UCDSB says about 80 per cent of its students will be returning to class, after receiving about responses to its survey from about 85 per cent of parents.

The school board says 3,184 elementary students and 1,268 secondary students are choosing remote learning for the start of the new school year.

The UCDSB says for families who did not complete the survey, those children will automatically be enrolled in in-person classes.