Virtual learning numbers vary across province as boards prepare for back-to-school

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TORONTO — Ontario’s largest school board says 14 per cent of its students have opted to learn remotely come September, as the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic takes hold.

The Toronto District School Board’s numbers are roughly in line with its neighbour to the west, the Peel District School Board, where about 18 per cent of elementary students and 20 per cent of high schoolers have opted for virtual learning.

But some other boards are reporting vastly different numbers.

The Limestone District School Board based out of Kingston, Ont., says only two per cent of students will learn remotely when school resumes.

The Halton District School Board — headquartered in Burlington, Ont. — and the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board both say roughly six per cent of their students have chosen the virtual learning option.

Ontario’s Ministry of Education mandated that boards offer both in-person and virtual learning options for the coming academic year.