Province suspends schools indefinitely in Manitoba

By | March 31, 2020

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s school suspension has been extended indefinitely as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The province, speaking on Tuesday, said students will still receive a final mark and report card, and assessments will continue.

It said it is taking the step in order to flatten the curve and help stop the spread of the virus.

The province noted students won’t be held back as a result of COVID-19, but have to “actively engage in learning.”

Students who are on track to graduate this year will graduate.

The Manitoba government said teachers will work remotely by assigning work, providing assessments and putting together report cards.

Provincial exams are cancelled for Grade 12 students, but teacher assessments will continue. Provincial assessments are already complete for students in early and middle years, but other assessments will continue.

Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen said in a letter to school divisions, planning is underway to minimize the impact this will have on the next school year and arrange for learning recovery where necessary.

School buildings will close, but schools need to maintain essential staffing so teachers can access resources. Childcare centres in schools will still operate. Schools will need to ensure physical distancing and increase cleaning.

Goertzen said these efforts are aimed towards reopening classrooms, as well as multifaceted ways to teach and learn after COVID-19.

On March 13, the education minister announced that Kindergarten to Grade 12 classes would be closed for a three-week period, beginning on March 23.

“It protects those we value the most our children and their education,” the premier said.

Goertzen said savings generated as a result of these closures need to be put in a separate account and only spent with department approval.

– with files from CTV’s Charles Lefebvre

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