As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Saskatchewan students will not be returning to classrooms for the 2019-20 school year.
“On the advice of Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer, the Response Planning Team has informed Saskatchewan’s school divisions that in-class learning will not resume for the remainder of the school year,” said the Ministry of Education Thursday, in a statement.
“As students continue to learn remotely, we encourage students and families to continue to take advantage of the supplemental learning opportunities being provided by teachers.”
Students ended the school year with the marks they had when in-school classes were suspended.
Supplementary learning is being provided to students who wanted to improve their marks. These learning opportunities will remain available until the end of June.
An earlier order by Premier Scott Moe saw schools shuttered as of March 20 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. When the province released its Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan on April 24 the mention of schools was left out.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Saskatchewan, it impacted everyone in the education sector,” said Gordon Wyant, deputy premier and education minister.
On Thursday, Wyant said he hopes schools can reopen in September, but that will be under the advisement of the province’s chief medical health officer.
“In the event school can’t commence in September, we’ll have a robust plan for the delivery of public education,” Wyant said. “Certainly it’s not ideal, but under the circumstances, we’re doing our best and I have great confidence in the Response Planning Team to develop and deliver to us their best case in terms of delivery of education if that happens.”
It’s unknown at this time what the plan would look like, whether it involves students attending school in shifts or if testing for COVID-19 will be required.
“The team is working on all different kinds of scenarios,” said Wyant, “and they’re collaborating with our education partners in other provinces to see what they’re doing.”