Three more PDSB schools report COVID-19 cases as Peel’s numbers continue climbing
The Peel District School Board is now reporting a total of five schools with cases of COVID-19, after three more were added to its list since Friday, following the reopening of schools across the region last week.
John Fraser Secondary School, Louise Arbour Secondary School and Ruth Thompson Middle School have each reported one case of COVID-19 in recent days. Unlike some other boards in the GTA, which chose not to open classes until this week, both of Peel’s resumed classes last week.
There is a total of five schools in the PDSB that have now reported one case of COVID-19, while no cases have been reported by the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, according to both of their websites.
None of the PDSB schools have closed any classes and all schools remain open. Last week, PDSB reported that Ross Drive Public School and Briarwood Public School had each reported one case.
According to The Pointer’s interactive map and data set, Ross Drive Public School is in a Brampton neighbourhood with a high infection rate, Briarwood is in a Mississauga neighbourhood with a low rate, John Fraser is in an area of Mississauga with a low rate of infection, Louise Arbour is in a Brampton neighbourhood with a medium-risk rate of infection and Ruth Thompson is in a part of Mississauga also with a medium rate of infection, according to data since the start of the pandemic.
The Pointer will add every publicly-funded school with any reported COVID-19 cases to our interactive map as soon as the information is made available by each Peel school board.
Readers can go to The Pointer’s interactive map to find any school in Mississauga and Brampton and the COVID-19 picture in the surrounding neighbourhood.
View COVID-19 Map of Peel Schools in a full screen map
As COVID-19 cases surge across Ontario, institutions are bracing for the impacts of a prolonged pandemic.
Case numbers in Brampton, which has accounted for about 20 percent of the province’s new infections over the past three weeks, have alarmed residents, as local leaders and health authorities have failed to keep the viral spread under control.
On Saturday, it was announced that 10,000 Peel District School Board students have made the decision to switch from in-class learning to online instruction, forcing the board to scramble its plans.
Apologizing to families for sending an email on the weekend, the region’s largest board, with some 156,000 students, explained to parents and students that due to the mass decision by so many families recently, opting for virtual learning after originally choosing the in-class option, the message explained what PDSD is doing to accommodate all the extra online students.
On Monday, September 14, elementary students will begin their virtual learning experience essentially on their own. Because the board is now scrambling to adjust online staffing schedules and timetables, elementary students will receive materials on Monday but will work independently. They will not be engaged directly by teachers until Thursday or Friday.
High school students opting for online learning will work on independent projects starting Tuesday and then by September 22, “live” online classes begin.
The pushing back of dates for the start of teacher-led instruction, and the new reported cases in PDSB schools, follows a decision last week by the Toronto District School Board to delay the start of high school for most students, who will now begin on Thursday instead of Tuesday.
The scrambling by boards comes as families make difficult decisions. The Pointer received numerous emails forwarded by parents last week, detailing their correspondences with PDSB.
They voiced frustration with the September 10 deadline to choose online learning, before many students were even able to attend in-class orientation to determine if the set-up and physical distancing in their particular school met expectations for keeping staff and students safe.
The news that 10,000 students chose to switch over to online classes is not surprising, as COVID-19 numbers rise sharply across Ontario. The province saw 445 new cases Friday and Saturday, the largest two-day total since June.
Brampton has been a hot spot for the disease since the third week of August. On September 2 there were 49 cases reported in the city; on September 6 there were 58 cases, which represented 37 percent of all reported infections on each of those days, and over the past three weeks, the city has been responsible for about 20 percent of all cases across Ontario, despite having just 4.5 percent of the province’s population.
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