Statement from Family & Children’s Services of Renfrew County, Phoenix Centre for Children and Families and Columbus House 

As social services organizations in Renfrew County that support children and families, we are greatly disappointed in the decision to not reopen schools for in-class learning this school year. There has been no shortage of research and advocacy by children’s care providers, health practitioners, mental health supports, families, and others requesting that schools be opened. As direct service providers to many children, youth and families in our County, we have seen and continue to see first-hand the impact of the pandemic, lockdowns, and school closures on vulnerable children and families. 

We will continue to advocate on behalf of the children and families in our community for the safe reopening of schools. We see very clearly the need for immediate and decisive action in addressing the risks of COVID-19 while supporting children in are turn to the classroom, to connection, and in some cases, to safety. We would also ask that even now, the Ontario government bring more focus towards prioritizing the plan for students and teachers to safely return to their classrooms in the fall.