Nova Scotia’s plan for students to return to school coming in late July: Centres for Education

Click to play video: 'One-on-one with Nova Scotia Education Minister Zach Churchill' One-on-one with Nova Scotia Education Minister Zach Churchill
WATCH: Nova Scotia Education Minister Zach Churchill joins Global News to discuss daycares reopening, working from home and how systemic racism can be addressed in classrooms. – Jun 16, 2020

Nova Scotia students are scheduled to return to school in September, but it won’t be until late July that the province will provide details, two centres of education have told parents.

“Please know we are working collaboratively with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD), teachers, principals, educational leaders and unions to develop a reopening plan,” said Elwin LeRoux, the regional executive director of the Halifax Regional Centre for Education (HRCE), in a note distributed to families in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

The Tri-County Regional Centre for Education (TCRCE) has notified parents of a similar timeline in a note posted on its website.

Read more: Nova Scotia students, parents left wondering what September will bring

In the note, Chris Boulter, regional executive director of TRCE, said that the province has “tentatively scheduled” Sept. 8 as the day students will return to class but it’s “dependent on the larger reopening plan.”

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In a director’s report released alongside his letter to parents, LeRoux said the HRCE learning plan will include input from families and students.

He also says further updates should be provided starting in August as the centre prepares for a reopening.

In a normal year, a calendar for the following school year would have already been posted.

But COVID-19 has changed everything about education in Canada.

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A Montreal-area teacher pleads with the education ministry to re-evaluate it’s back to school plan – Jun 25, 2020

The biggest complication for the province’s centres for education is not knowing what the spread of the disease will look like.

The HRCE report stated the province is currently working on a learning plan to be approved by Public Health.

Global News has requested comments from the province’s education department but it was not immediately returned.

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Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency on March 22 in the wake of the appearance of COVID-19 in Canada.

Students that left for March break soon thereafter have yet to return to class.

The school year came to an end on June 5 with at-home learning services being delivered by mail.

Read more: New Brunswick announces details on day-to-day structure of upcoming school year

The neighbouring province of New Brunswick released its plan for students to return to class earlier in June, possibly providing a road map for Nova Scotia’s plan.

In New Brunswick, students from kindergarten up to Grade 8 will attend school full time.

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They will be in groups throughout the day, and those groups will start at staggered intervals, eat lunch together and enter schools through specific entrances.

Students in kindergarten to Grade 2 will be in groups of 15.

Groupings for each grade will remain as close to 15 as possible until grades 6 to 8, which will have groups that match up with regular class sizes.

Grades 9 to 12 will not be grouped as a result of different class schedules and will be expected to attend school at a minimum of every other day.

When in school, high school students will follow physical-distancing rules.

High school students who are not physically in school will be engaged through guided projects and online learning.

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