On July 29, 2020 ETFO President Sam Hammond wrote to the Chairs of Ontario Public School Boards asking every board to prioritize the health and safety of students and educators as they finalize their plans for reopening schools in September.
Find a copy of the letter here.
Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO)
Fédération des enseignantes et des enseignants de l'élémentaire de l'Ontario (FEEO)
136 Isabella StToronto, ON M4Y 0B5
July 29, 2020
TO: Chairs of Ontario Public School Boards
RE: Safe Reopening of Schools
On behalf of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and our 83,000 members, I want to thank you for all your work during this unprecedented public health crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has created incredible challenges, many of which we have been able to confront together.
The health and safety of students, educators, school staff and their families must be the overriding principle that underpins our collective efforts as we prepare to reopen public schools this September. ETFO has been working over the past few months to help ensure that school boards across the province have the necessary funding and resources to ensure a safe reopening of schools.
Despite the best efforts of many stakeholders, including ETFO and other education unions, school boards, public health units and parent organizations, the provincial government has not committed to providing the funding required to ensure a safe return. It is critical that the government allocate this funding to ensure the health and safety of students, educators and other school staff; and to provide sufficient support for students when they need it most.
Ontario cannot afford to get this wrong. If we do not make the necessary investments now to ensure that schools reopen safely, we will all pay the price later.
The lack of a clear and fully-funded plan that guarantees the health and safety of students and educators has left many school boards with impossible choices to make. We ask that as you finalize your plans to reopen schools in September you ensure that they include the following:
Copy: Directors of Education