Yesterday afternoon, Stephen Lecce, Ontario’s Minister of Education, issued the following statement regarding March Break:
In support of our collective efforts to keep schools safe, we are postponing March Break until April 12-16, 2021. This decision was made with the best advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health officials, including consultations with many local Medical Officers of Health
Read the full news release here: Ontario Delays March Break in an Effort to Reduce Community Transmission of COVID-19
During the press conference, Minister Lecce made it clear that the government did not consult private or independent schools, nor does it have the mandate to require such schools to comply. However, private and independent schools have been asked to make the change in support of the public health recommendation. The government’s directive has clearly stated that schools should have no planned extended breaks prior to April 12th.
Legal counsel for our provincial association (CIS Ontario) has also strongly urged all CIS Ontario member schools to comply with this directive for reasons of public health and in consideration of staff and families with children and spouses in the public system. It is also important to remember that local health authorities can provide direction to organizations within their jurisdictions.
In considering the impact on our upcoming two-week March Break, a number of factors has been weighed, the first of which is the interest of public health. While our School has a degree of independence in setting its own calendar, our decisions must also be aligned with the recommendations of public health authorities to avoid any negative impact as a partner in the effort to control the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
You have been working hard to support your children and their teachers and your role in our stability this year is very much appreciated. We understand the personal and professional toll that a changeable calendar has had on families and regret that this decision has become necessary.
As a result of the provincial government’s announcement, Matthews Hall will be adjusting its calendar as follows:
March Break will shift to April 12 – 16, 2021, in line with Ontario’s public schools; and the second regularly-scheduled week of our usual spring break will be taken as additional vacation days creating long weekend breaks throughout the remainder of the school year.
The following days will be vacation days for all Matthews Hall students and teachers:
Friday, March 12, 2021
Thursday, April 1, 2021
Friday, April 30, 2021
Friday, May 21, 2021
Friday, June 18, 2021
**The last day of the school year will be Thursday, June 17, 2021.
Thank you for your adaptability, resilience, and understanding as we continue to move through these challenges together.
Ric Anderson, Head of School