EXCLUSIVE: Two-thirds of Ontario parents want slow, eased-in start to school year

File photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

We're continuing our exclusive back to school coverage with the latest on what Ontario parents want to see for the start of the school year.

A new poll conducted by Maru/BLUE for NEWSTALK1010 shows 66 per cent of parents in the province believe easing into classroom reopenings over a span of two months is better than a hard start date.

Essentially it would look like some children going back in September and, based on the success of that, start adding more in October until we get it right.

Elementary student parents in particular are in favour of this approach.

Pollster John Wright tells NEWSTALK1010 that parents are sending a clear message to school boards and the education ministry.

"Even with the Toronto school board indicating that they're going to have a staggered start because of resources being put in place, you're going to get a majority of parents, not only in the GTA but right across the province, agreeing with that approach," Wright says. "I think it's really important that each board take its time to make sure that whatever resources are necessary to make this right is done, and parents believe that if it takes a couple of months to do so, go ahead do it."

Wright says if he were in the shoes of a school board or the Education Minister, he would listen to what parents want — which is for schools to take their time.