Cross-country roundup

Alberta teachers cope with COVID 19 pandemic

April 7, 2020




Students in the Yukon won’t be returning to the classroom until at least April 15.

School staff will return to work as scheduled on March 30, the end of March break, to begin the work of providing “essential learning” for the rest of the year, Education Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee said in a March 26 interview.

Teachers will be identifying where students are in their education and looking at ways to deliver learning for the remainder of the year. That preparation will take into account possibilities of a longer school cancellation, or students returning to the classroom on April 15. 

Yukon News, Stephanie Waddell, March 31



Northwest Territories

The government announced on March 25 that schools would be closed for the remainder of the 2019/20 school year.

A plan is in development to support continued learning for all students as well as providing meal programs, counselling, and other health and wellness programming.

My Yellowknife Now, Mo Fahim, March 25



British Columbia

In-class learning at B.C. schools was suspended indefinitely by the province on March 17. The majority of students in the province were already at home for March break at the time and many left school unprepared for a prolonged time away from the classroom.

The province has launched Keep Learning B.C., a new at-home education resource website for parents and caregivers who will likely be helping with their child’s education for the remainder of the school year.

–, March 30




Nunavut’s schools and daycares will stay closed at least until April 20 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The government originally planned to leave schools shut until April 7. 

The department of education has also launched a learn-at-home website that offers free access to some of the same educational resources used in schools. The website offers e-books, audio-books and videos. 

Links to the department’s Inuktut-language learning apps will also be available on the website. New resources will be regularly added. 

Nunatsiaq News, Emma Tranter, March 31 




The recent COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the ongoing labour dispute between the Saskatchewan Teacher’s Federation and the province. Both sides agree that negotiations will need to take a back seat considering the current health crisis.

Since the schools were mandated to close last week, teachers and students have been confined to their homes waiting for direction from the school divisions. 

Negotiations are currently on hold for both sides, and the STF assumes that the bargaining teams will get back together soon to continue its discussions with the province. 

– Discover, Carleen Wallington, March 30 




The Manitoba government is closing elementary, junior high and high schools indefinitely due to COVID-19.

The province originally planned a three-week shutdown that was to end April 13, but schools will now stay closed for the remainder of the academic year unless health officials say they can be reopened.

Assignments and learning are to continue as teachers work remotely, and students won’t see their marks drop from where they were on the last day of class in March.

There may be job losses because of the school closures, the government admitted, but some workers such as educational assistants will be redirected to help Grade 12 students finish their year.

The Chronicle Journal, The Canadian Press, March 31




Ontario schools are closed due to the COVID-19 crisis until at least May 4, but students will keep studying with teachers and take exams, all online. 

Teacher-led learning will be re-established, with K to Grade 6 students completing five hours of work per student/week; grades 7–8 will complete 10 hours of work per student/week; and grades 9–12 will include three hours of work per course per week for semestered students (1.5 hours of work per course per week for non-semestered students). 

NOW Magazine, Glenn Sumi, March 31




The Quebec government launched its online remote learning hub on March 30.

Open School is a free, grade-specific, bilingual website com piling educational resources to keep kids busy and stimulated over the long weeks of school shutdowns ahead.

The material on Open School is arranged according to age, from preschool to adult education. 

All Open School activities are optional. No one is required to cover any of the material, let alone all of it. There won’t be any tests when  school finally does resume. This differs from the private system where some schools are going live this week with online courses and mandatory schoolwork following the curriculum.

Montreal Gazette, Allison Hanes, March 31



Prince Edward Island

It was announced last week that schools across Prince Edward Island will remain closed until at least May 11. 

Starting April 6, teachers will be taking the lead on home-learning activities for their students. A variety of online and printed home learning materials will be provided so that regardless of access to the internet, families and students can still practice skills and continue learning. 

The province’s government will also be establishing a fund of up to $2 million to support early learning centres and their staff, maintain child care spaces and ensure parents don’t pay fees during the period of closures. 

The province is working to create a school lunch program to assist families dealing with food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CTV News, Allan April, March 31



New Brunswick

A plan to continue providing education to housebound New Brunswick students is on the way, stakeholders say.

However, how learning material will be provided and when it will be available to students remains unknown two weeks after schools were shut down in an effort to protect students and limit the spread of COVID-19.

Fredericton Daily Gleaner, Aidan Cox, March 31



Nova Scotia

Schools in Nova Scotia will stay closed until at least May 1, with the situation reviewed again as that time draws near. But although public schools remain closed, the learning continues.

Over the next month, students will continue their learning through a plan that involves online learning and at-home packages, along with various supports available to students and families.

Supports for special needs students are also part of the plan. The province says it is modifying existing policies and agreements to allow teaching assistants and child and youth care support workers to provide paid respite care in the community.

Tri-County Vanguard, Tina Comeau, March 30



Newfoundland and Labrador 

Effective March 16, all in-school classes for K–12 students across Newfoundland and Labrador were suspended indefinitely.

The government will ensure that daycare workers will continue to be paid and operating grants in place for early education will continue for compensation.

Contingency planning is underway and will intensify to maintain the integrity of the academic year, which was already affected by time off in January due to a major snowstorm.

The Telegram, Rosie Mullaley, March 16

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