A pair of Mississauga high schools will be teaching classes virtually on Sept. 20, while the buildings are used as polling stations for the federal election.
In a statement to CityNews, the Peel District School Board confirmed that Stephen Lewis Secondary School and John Fraser Secondary School will be used as polling stations and classes will be taught virtually for the day.
“To reduce the number of people onsite at each school and to help keep students and staff safe, all classes at Stephen Lewis and John Fraser Secondary Schools will be moved to online learning, within the Community Learning Model, for the entire school day on Monday, September 20, 2021”
The Ontario Parent Action Network took to twitter to voice their displeasure with the decision.
We learned last night that @PeelSchools has forced students & staff at 2 of their high schools to go remote on election day — online — while they give over those schools to adults voting.
ONschools have been closed to in-person learning for 26 wks. Kids have been back a week ????
— Ontario Parent Action Network (@parentaction4ed) September 15, 2021
The Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board says their trustees approved a change to the school schedule, moving a PA day from Friday, Sept. 17 to Monday, Sept. 20 to accommodate the use of a number of their elementary schools as polling stations.
A spokesperson for the board added that “By doing so, we are not required to put additional measures in place at elementary schools on election day. We will, however, ensure that there is physical separation between onsite school staff and voters”.
In Toronto, the TDSB says approximately 120 of their schools will be used as polling stations, however in-person classes will not be impacted.
“We have reviewed a request submitted by Elections Canada, and based on guidance from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and a full review of all school floor plans, will only be proceeding with schools (primarily middle and high schools) that have either direct access to the gymnasium or an exterior door immediately adjacent to the gymnasium. All health and safety precautions will be followed. To assist with directing voters and ensure that they remain in the designated polling area, security has been requested at each location.”
The Toronto Catholic District School Board voted against the use of their schools for federal polling during a special meeting in August.