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Nova Scotia schools to be closed until May 1

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil makes an announcement in Halifax, Friday, Friday, Dec 20, 2019. Nova Scotia is requiring public sector workers and public school children who travel abroad to isolate themselves for two weeks when they return to Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ted Pritchard.

Students in Nova Scotia won’t return to their schools until at least May 1 as announced by Premier Stephen McNeil Monday.

McNeil was providing a COVID-19 update when he advised of the extension that moves the proposed return date of April 6 back nearly a month.

The decision follows the advice of the province’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang and extends to licensed child care providers as well.

READ MORE: Decision on when to reopen Nova Scotia schools coming soon

McNeil also laid out the measures they’re implementing to support distance learning stating that no student will be penalized because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“These are extraordinary times and that requires innovation and co-operation,” said Premier McNeil.

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“We are focused on math and literacy, we are making sure Grade 12s who were on track to graduate will graduate, but we also want to make sure families have what they need to support learning at home.”

While schools remain closed, all students from Grade Primary to nine will receive bi-weekly at home learning packages while Grade 10 to 12 students will work with their teachers to address their individual needs.

Teachers will support distance learning by connecting directly with students and their families.

Students from Grade 9 to 12 can also receive additional access to the free online resource, The Homework Hub as well as tutoring for math.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Ontario schools won’t reopen on April 6, Premier Doug Ford says

Provincial Assessments, exams and final exams for all courses have been cancelled, as have school trips in May and June.

In a press release, Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Zach Churchill said “Nova Scotia’s Learning Continuity Plan is meant to be flexible and provide the most support possible to students in these challenging times.”

“Co-operation is critical in making this work and I want to thank teachers, principals, unions and administrators for keeping a shared focus on the health and education of our students,” he said.

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A dedicated website aimed at learning for families has been set up and can be found here.