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Schools to remain closed in New Brunswick, school year not extended

Coronavirus outbreak: New Brunswick in-person classes cancelled for the rest of the year
There will be no more face-to-face classes in New Brunswick this school year unless things “drastically improve,” Education Minister Dominic Cardy said Thursday.

New Brunswick’s education minister says that barring drastic improvement in the COVID-19 situation, schools in the province will remain closed for the rest of the school year because of the pandemic.

Dominic Cardy says the immediate concern remains public health and safety, but his department is committed to helping students continue their education while schools are closed.

“To that end we have developed a plan to provide home-learning options to students here in New Brunswick,” Cardy said Thursday.

Schools to remain closed in New Brunswick
Schools to remain closed in New Brunswick

READ MORE: N.B. education minister clarifies policy outlined in recent travel memo to teachers, students

The 2019-20 school year cancelled in New Brunswick due to coronavirus outbreak
The 2019-20 school year cancelled in New Brunswick due to coronavirus outbreak

He said students will be asked to spend from one to two-and-a-half hours a day on home learning, depending on their grade level. The school year will not be extended.

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“Anglophone and francophone sectors have developed their own delivery plan and supporting materials that reflect their unique approaches,” he said.

Information on home learning will be posted on a new family resources website, and schools will be in contact with parents in the coming days.

“Parents will have a key responsibility to encourage students to complete the provided material and continue learning, but it is important for families to understand we are not asking them to recreate a classroom in their home or to take on the full role of a teacher,” Cardy said.

Coronavirus outbreak: N.B. reports total of 81 COVID-19 cases, 11 new
Coronavirus outbreak: N.B. reports total of 81 COVID-19 cases, 11 new

Students are also encouraged to read for a minimum of 30 minutes and engage in 30 minutes of physical activity every day.

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Cardy said all students who were on track in January to continue to the next grade level or graduate will do so. He said decisions on graduation ceremonies will be made in the coming weeks.

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“We will be working with post-secondary institutions to ensure this crisis does not prevent students from being eligible for admission to post-secondary studies in the upcoming school year, assuming things have returned to normal by that point,” he said.

READ MORE: 11 new coronavirus cases confirmed in New Brunswick, state of emergency extended

Cardy said schools around the world have closed and it is a reality that will require everyone to work together to address.

Earlier this week, Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King announced plans to provide home-based learning for students during the closure of Island schools as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

All schools across the Island will remain closed for in-person classes until, at minimum, May 11.

Education Minister Brad Trivers said, starting April 6, teachers will begin providing a variety of online and printed home learning materials to allow for learning, regardless of access to the internet.

“Regardless of your access to the internet you can continue learning. Most of these will require nothing more than a paper and a pencil at the kitchen table,” Trivers said.

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The home learning activities range from 30 minutes per day for kindergarten students to 90 minutes for students in intermediate schools. High school students will get materials for up to two hours per course, per week.

Both King and Trivers assured Grade 12 students they will have a graduation and a prom, but at a later date.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 2, 2020.