Ontario Education Minister impressed with Niagara's back-to-school plans so far

Stephen Lecce CTV

Ontario's Education Minister is very impressed with school boards in Niagara when it comes to their back-to-school plans so far.

Minister Stephen Lecce joining CKTB's Tom McConnell saying Niagara's boards have gone above and beyond to make students safe by reducing class sizes.

Both the DSBN and Niagara Catholic have decided to cut class sizes below the provincial cap by hiring more teachers, or increasing the size of on-line classrooms.

The DSBN is spending $4.5M in surplus funding to hire 60-70 teachers while the Catholic Board has increased on-line class sizes, and plans to hire more teachers as well.

Lecce says parents and educators are reporting an organized, orderly, and safe environment for students returning to the classroom.

He is concerned that Ontario's case numbers have increased lately, but gives Niagara credit for low numbers.

Niagara reported 3 new cases today, Ontario reported 170 new cases along with one new death.

Niagara students with the DSBN in grades 7 and 8 will return to school for the first time on Friday, while Catholic students with last names M to Z will return Friday for a second day.

All students return to school on Monday if they have decided to go back physically.