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Elementary school students at their desks behind barriers for COVID-19

Remote learning doesn’t work for all children. Students sit behind screened-in cubicles at St. Barnabas Catholic School in Scarborough, Ont., on Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

The Conversation: Students with disabilities should have the option of in-person learning during COVID-19 school closures

As communities cope with the second wave of COVID-19 across Canada, calls for front-line support pile up as provinces are in various stages of lockdown.

In many places across the country, teachers and families have a close eye on potential school closures in anticipation of another round of remote learning.

In Québec, the premier announced the province will extend the upcoming school holidays and temporarily move some students into virtual learning to accommodate holidays and a potential viral spike. In Manitoba, officials are considering extending holidays, while in Ontario the education minister says that’s not on the table for now.

Some parents in Manitoba have expressed confusion that schools are still open despite the fact that the entire province is under red-level restrictions.

Last spring, when schools closed due to COVID-19, many students with disabilities experienced a drastic lack of support and inappropriate educational programming. Across Canada and North America, there have been increasing reports of students with disabilities being left behind during this period of remote learning.

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