Ontario to end three-day breaks at secondary schools

The Ontario Liberal government says the transition back to a normal high school semester next week will be simpler than in years past.

Schools that operate on more than one day a week will begin teaching Thursday and remain on a full school day on Dec. 13, up to a week after the annual short break usually in late December.

The move was announced Tuesday as part of a promised plan to improve student success and reduce costs.

The plan also promised to boost early childhood education and support learning opportunities for young people.

The government announced that school boards will be repaid for extra staffing costs — up to $1.5 million per school board — that come with shorter weeks. It also said the provincial auditor will analyze the disruption done to student and staff schedules.

The Liberal government imposed a new, condensed calendar on Ontario’s school boards last year in order to eliminate full-day kindergarten across Ontario by 2020, but unions and other critics say the plan failed to include any money for additional educational materials and services for those who couldn’t attend full-day kindergarten.

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