Manitoba’s education minister says the plan is for all students to return to in-class learning by the fall, as the 2020-21 school year comes to an end.
Schools in Winnipeg, Brandon and some rural areas have remained under remote learning since closing last month due to rising COVID-19 numbers.
In a statement Thursday, Cliff Cullen thanked families students, teachers, school staff, and parents for their efforts at navigating the pandemic, in what he called “a year full of challenges”, especially for graduates who weren’t able to celebrate the accomplishment together.
“I would like to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of parents and the entire school community in their attempts to make graduation memorable in the absence of formal celebrations this year,” he said.
“To the graduating class of 2021, congratulations on this achievement, you have persevered through a school year like no other and your hard work has paid off. ”
Cullen said a priority for the next school year starting in September will continue to be on the health and safety of students and staff, amid a hoped-for return to normalcy.
“We are planning for all kindergarten to Grade 12 students to return to in-class learning when the school year resumes on Sept. 7.”
“Our focus continues to be on the classroom and determining ways to provide the best education in any circumstances for the benefit of our students through the excellent work of teachers, educational assistants and education officials,” he said.
Late last month Cullen said the province would be earmarking $58 million to both protect against COVID-19 in the classroom and support the mental health and well-being of students and staff during the 2021-22 school year.
The province has said it anticipates “there will be some level of public health measures” in effect when students are scheduled to return to the classroom in the fall.