Students could get an extended Christmas holiday

SCHOOL

Ontario students could get an extended winter break or start classes remotely in the new year as the province considers ways to reduce COVID-19 transmission after the holidays.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says he's talking to health officials and ``looking at solutions that may include some period out of class'' at the beginning of January, but has not yet made a decision.

Lecce says he will announce a plan in the next week or two to allow parents to prepare.

Last Friday, a spokeswoman for the minister said the province was not considering any change to the school year calendar.

That's after the Council of Ontario Directors of Education said it had proposed starting the new semester with virtual schooling to allow students and staff to self-isolate after any potential holiday celebrations.

Ontario is reporting 1,249 new cases of COVID-19 today, and 12 new deaths due to the virus.