OTTAWA -- Ottawa's public school board expects to eliminate 167 teaching positions for the 2021-22 school year.

A report for the Ottawa Carleton District School Board says the reduction is attributable to a combination of lower enrolment projections and the removal of temporary positions added for the 2020-21 school year through additional provincial funding.

Of the 167 teaching positions, 119 will be eliminated in elementary school classrooms. The board expects 1,500 fewer students enrolled in elementary schools in September.

Fifty fewer teachers will be in secondary schools next fall.

A number of additional teaching positions were added and existing resources re-allocated last fall, as part of the measures put in place in response to the pandemic.  The Ottawa Carleton District School Board says the Ministry of Education has so far indicated that school board plans for next year should not assume that the same level of additional funding will be continuing next year.

"As a result, the academic staffing plan being proposed will reflect a return to pre-COVID staffing levels, that is, the staffing approved in March 2020, and planning for the delivery of remote learning will proceed with resources being allocated accordingly," said the OCDSB.

"It is difficult to predict with certainty what the fall will look like but staff will be continuing to work closely with public health to ensure that available resources are allocated to support their advice and recommendations."

Staff say the 167 fewer staffing positions can be absorbed through a combination of attrition, retirements and teachers on leave.