We all know how challenging most of the last year has been since COVID-19 arrived in Ontario. Pickering Christian School has made the health and safety of students our top priority, but this has meant absorbing many additional costs of safely operating in a pandemic: PPE, masks, regular deep cleaning, and health and safety training – all without government support.
This isn’t a public school issue; this is a public health issue. The pandemic doesn’t discriminate. Neither should the government’s response. This is why a coalition of independent schools in Ontario is launching the Supporting Students campaign: to address the inequities of the Ontario government’s response to COVID-19.
Currently, COVID-related funding for schools is delivered through existing grant programs, such as Grants for Student Needs and direct to School Boards. Independent schools such as ours cannot access these funds.
The Supporting Students campaign makes it easy for everyone to contact your local MPP and ask that every school have access to COVID funding. All you need to do is signup at the website and send a message to your local MPP and Premier Ford in a few easy steps.
But to be effective, we need as many supporters to speak out as possible. Please reach out to your family, friends and colleagues and ask them to join the campaign. The Ontario government needs to understand how many families are impacted by this inequity. Click here to sign up.
We all want schools to be safe from COVID. Government distribution systems must recognize and support the health and wellbeing of all students in the province, regardless of which school they attend. But nothing will change unless they hear from all of us. Now is the time for our voices to be heard.
We’re hoping as many supporters as possible can send messages to their MPP during the month of November. This timing is crucial, as the provincial government is making decisions now about how the next round of federal funding will be distributed.
Please take a moment to join the campaign and ask others to join you. Thank you for your ongoing support.
P.D. Ogborne Ed. D.