More Ontario schools reopen for in-person learning after snowstorm

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More schools across Ontario are set to reopen for in-person classes today.

Boards in some parts of the province including Windsor and Thunder Bay saw schools open on Monday after a two-week period of remote learning.

But the plan was set back for students and teachers in other areas of the province, including the Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa areas, because heavy snow halted school bus services on Monday.

Several boards in the Toronto area, like the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, the Toronto Catholic District School Board and the York Region District School Board, said classes will go ahead remotely through online learning today.

The Durham District School Board cancelled all in-person classes with secondary students shifting to remote learning. Elementary students in the district will have a snow day.

But the Toronto District School Board said there would be no online classes, either, noting in a post that 36 of its schools still need to have snow removed from their roofs -- a task it said couldn't be completed Monday due to poor weather and road conditions.

The Ottawa Carleton and Ottawa Catholic school boards tweeted early this morning that all schools will be open today. However, the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority has cancelled all bus service because many residential roads have yet to be plowed.

Parents are being told they are welcome to drop their children off at school, but must pick them at the regular end of the school day.

Class are resuming with limited information about COVID-19 cases in schools.

The province has stopped sharing that case counts because PCR tests for the virus is now limited to those considered most high-risk for an infection, so most teachers and students can't access them.

Teachers' unions have warned families to brace for disruptions from anticipated staff shortages caused by the highly infectious Omicron variant.

Meanwhile, child care and daycare centres remain closed in Niagara Region today as crews continue to clear snow from the roads.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2021.