Several GTA school boards close schools for second day after massive snowstorm

Click to play video: 'Ontario snow storm delays return to classrooms' Ontario snow storm delays return to classrooms
WATCH: Ontario snowstorm delays return to classrooms – Jan 17, 2022

Several school boards in the Greater Toronto Area said the doors at their schools would be closed again on Tuesday after a historic snowstorm rocked Ontario on Monday.

In a statement issued Monday evening, the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) said schools would be closed, and school buses would be cancelled again on Tuesday.

The TCDSB cited safety concerns and “limitations on available buses [and] drivers and navigating unplowed streets” on Tuesday.

“We have made the decision to cancel school buses and close schools for in-person learning tomorrow,” the statement reads.

Read more: List of Greater Toronto Area school closures for Tuesday, Jan. 18

The board said students can learn asynchronously at home “if they choose to do so.”

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“This means that students can log into their Google Classroom or Brightspace to review assignments or to catch up on previously assigned work.”

The board said school staff have been asked to make school work available for students.

“Childcare facilities may be open, but we ask families to confirm directly with their childcare provider,” the statement reads. “Before and after school programs will be cancelled.”

The Toronto District School Board also announced schools would be closed to in-person learning on Tuesday, though it said students will not participate in live remote or virtual learning.

Where possible, teachers will provide voluntary class work through established online platforms for students who wish to continue their learning,” a statement from Director of Education Colleen Russell-Rawlins reads.

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She said students may also work on previously-assigned work or spend time “reviewing material previously covered.”

The board said childcare programs can remain open to families.

“However families are encouraged to connect directly with the operator to confirm they are open,” the statement reads.

The board said before and after school programs and extended day programs will be closed.

EarlyON programs will be closed to in-person programming, the board said, but families can still participate in virtual programming.

The Peel District School Board (PDSB) said all buses and in-school instruction at its board would be cancelled on Tuesday too.

“All PDSB schools and office buildings will be closed,” a tweet Monday evening reads. “Parents, please do not send your child(ren) to school. All students will switch to remote learning for the day.”

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Similarly, in a tweet Monday, the York Region District School Board said its schools and board locations would be closed to students on Tuesday.

“Students will learn remotely,” the tweet reads.

Meanwhile, schools in the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board (DPCDSB) will also be closed again on Tuesday.

In a community bulletin issued Monday evening, the board said all DPCDSB schools and board facilities will “remain closed to students [and] staff for tomorrow, Jan. 18.”

The board said students will switch to remote learning for the day.

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The DPCDSB cited the “significant amount of snowfall” on Monday, adding that there was “uncertainty” regarding if there would be adequate snow clearing on side streets for buses.

The board also said there was “uncertainty” whether its parking lots and pedestrian walkways would be cleared of snow and safe for use on Tuesday.

“Tomorrow will be a full day of remote learning,” the bulletin reads. “Students should log on to their Learning Management System and follow their regular daily schedule from bell time to bell time, including lunch and/or recess.”

In a tweet just after 9:30 p.m., the Durham District School Board (DDSB) said it is monitoring “potential snow impacts on school and bus operations” for Tuesday.

“No decision has been made at this time,” the tweet reads.

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The DDSB said any decisions to close in-person schools or shift to other modes of learning would be posted on the board’s social media pages and website.

As well, Halton District School Board and Halton Catholic District School Board are closed to both in-person and live instruction learning. Asynchronous tasks/learning is available, the boards said.

Read more: Toronto declares major snowstorm condition, to begin snow removal operations: Tory

Students and teachers in Ontario had been scheduled to head back to the classroom on Monday, after remote learning for weeks in a bid to stem the spread of COVID-19.

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However, the intense snowstorm on Monday forced several school boards to shutter their schools and pivot back to online learning for the day.

Click to play video: 'City crews working tirelessly to clear roads' City crews working tirelessly to clear roads
City crews working tirelessly to clear roads – Jan 17, 2022

By late Monday afternoon, Global News Meteorologist Ross Hull said Toronto was “out of the heaviest snow” from the storm.

However, Hull said with temperatures dropping Monday night and gusty winds, the snow “will take on more of a powdery form and blow around easier bringing a blowing snow threat — especially in exposed areas.”

He said the dropping temperature could also cause slushy snow to turn to ice and “make it more difficult for any vehicles stuck in the snow to get out.”

By 2 p.m., downtown Toronto had seen a total of 36 cm of snow.


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