WINDSOR, ONT. -- The Greater Essex County District School Board is planning for a return to in-person learning for all students in September, but a remote option will also be offered.

GECDSB says in-person learning is considered the best learning model for students – academically, emotionally and physically.

“We are hopeful, as solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to develop and vaccinations become more available, that we will be able to welcome them back in school for the upcoming school year,” said a GECDSB news release.

An opportunity will be offered to students and families to opt-out of in-person learning. They will be able to confirm a preference for remote learning between July 28 and August 6, 2021.

Students across the province have been remote learning since mid-April due to a third wave of COVID-19.

Elementary students who choose a remote learning option will participate in the elementary virtual school.

Secondary students opting out of in-person learning will attend classes through their home schools through webcams.

The Greater Essex branch of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation is urging parents, students, and stakeholders to contact school board trustees and demand that other options be explored before students make decisions about the learning model for September.

“This is, yet again, a new learning model that secondary teachers will have to master without training or direction, and a new challenge to students who have had to regularly pivot learning models. There are mountains of evidence that suggest that this is the worst learning model, as it limits access to the professionals and supports students need for success,” said a statement from Greater Essex OSSTF.

The board says detailed information will be provided and regularly updated on their website throughout the coming months.