September 3, 2020—Today marks the first day of school for thousands of students in the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board. This day is even more important with the recognition that school buildings have been closed since March 13, 2020. We are excited, prepared and confident that every one of our 40 schools and classrooms are ready to welcome students and staff, safely.
The HPEDSB is in the regrettable position of having to respond to the recent media statement by the local Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation District 29 president. In that public statement, HPEDSB is accused of being in non-compliance with Ministry of Education directives, creating a “negligent policy” that, in fact, doesn’t exist, and not putting in place the “necessary protections” for all students and staff. These claims are baseless and without factual merit.
Over the past several months, school board administration has worked collaboratively with Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour to prepare for a safe re-entry to all schools, in accordance with many requirements and guidelines.
The Board considers its responsibility to its students, staff and their families its highest priority. The care and attention to detail to meet all necessary requirements to ensure safe and healthy learning and working environments has been unprecedented this year in anticipation of this first day of school for students.
Yesterday, September 2, 2020, the Ministry of Labour was part of an investigative conversation with school board officials and the complainant OSSTF District 29 leadership. Ministry of Labour officials determined that HPEDSB is in full compliance with public health and Ministry of Education directives, and that the complaint did not require further investigation.
The HPEDSB regrets the confusion and added anxiety that the OSSTF District 29 leadership unnecessarily created for families and students, as well as its own members, with its misleading and factually inaccurate statements. The HPEDSB will continue to focus on students, their families and staff, through a smooth, calm and measured reentry to schools. The priority of ensuring a “kids first” approach remains the key focus.
For more information, please contact:
- Parent/guardian questions: Please contact your child’s school
- Media: Kerry Donnell, Communications Manager, 613.966.1170 or 1.800.267.4350, extension 62354, [email protected]