The MPP for Parry Sound-Muskoka Norm Miller is happy that students in Muskoka will be returning to the classroom Monday morning.

“I know it’s been very challenging and stressful for families,” he tells the newsroom.

Students in Muskoka have been learning from home since returning from the Christmas break. Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced earlier this week all schools outside of the GTA will return on February 8th, while schools in Toronto, Peel and York regions will return on the 16th.

“There’s been a lot of improvements made since (the fall) to keep kids safe as they go back to school,” Miller says. That includes asymptomatic testing for students and staff, mandatory masks for students in grades one to three and for all students when outside and unable to stay at least six feet apart.

“A lot more support has been brought in to help with the number one priority which is to keep schools safe,” Miller says. 

He says that everything the government is doing is being vetted through health officials including Ontario’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams. “(Their advice) has been good to this point,” he says. Miller adds that he’s spoken with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Garnder who is in favour of sending kids back to class.