Classroom learning will resume on September 8 for all students in kindergarten through Grade 12 at schools across Manitoba following last spring’s suspension caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Welcoming Our Students Back: Restoring Safe Schools guidelines have been developed in collaboration with the province’s kindergarten to Grade 12 COVID-19 response planning team, as well as with school divisions and public health officials. Manitoba school divisions and schools will follow these provincial guidelines to finalize and post division plans by mid-August. Accessible and transparent information is important as students, staff and families will have questions about COVID-19 and returning to in-class learning.
Learning in classrooms will be full-time for students in kindergarten through Grade 8 and for special-needs students in all grades, with five days of instruction per week. Some remote learning may be required for students in grades 9 to 12, based on the ability of high schools to implement necessary public health measures including physical distancing and the use of cohorts (designated groups of students) to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and to support contact tracing.
Three response levels have been developed to ensure that school divisions and schools are prepared to roll back from in-class learning based on public health advice. Divisions must ensure that all students learning remotely have access to technology.
Welcoming Our Students Back: Restoring Safe Schools is based on feedback provided by parents, caregivers, students and education stakeholders through an EngageMB survey that began in June. The minister noted tens of thousands of Manitobans have completed the survey, and the government will continue to collect and use this information in adapting plans while the public health situation evolves.
For up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit www.manitoba.ca/COVID19.
A comprehensive list of Manitoba government COVID-19 measures can be found at: https://manitoba.ca/bg/2020/04/covid19.html.