- When students return to school, the Manitoba government will implement a phased-in approach.
- Cliff Cullen said that year-round child-care facilities will remain open and that children of critical service workers will be prioritized.
The Manitoba government will implement a phased-in approach when kids return to school.
Children were supposed to return to school on January 10. Still, the province announced Tuesday that it would begin with a one-week remote learning period to allow schools to implement enhanced COVID-19 measures.
If no other care options are available, students of critical service workers in Kindergarten to Grade 6 and high-risk students and students with special learning needs in Kindergarten to Grade 12 can attend school.
According to the province, this extra week will give school divisions more time to implement new measures and prepare for a potential staffing shortage.
Cliff Cullen, the Minister of Education, said that year-round child-care facilities will remain open and that children of critical service workers will be prioritized.
Children of critical service workers who require before and after school care will be served by other facilities that follow the school calendar.
“This extra week of remote learning will allow us to distribute more masks and rapid tests to schools across the province,” Cullen said, adding that over five million masks for children and adults will be sent to schools.
“This phased-in approach will ensure that students can continue to learn in person in the long run.”
According to Dr. Jazz Atwal, deputy chief provincial public health officer, in-person learning is best for students. However, officials are still learning about the Omicron variant and how it affects everyone, including children.
In a statement, he said, “This change will give us more time to study the data we have and provide any additional advice the education sector and families may require as we move forward.”
Premier Heather Stefanson wanted to clarify to Manitobans that the province is not closing schools because of the delay in returning to class.
“We’re hoping to be as proactive as we can, but there are a lot of things that happen and a lot of things that we have to deal with to mitigate issues and keep pushing forward our ability to keep Manitobans safe while also adjusting to how the virus is adjusting to our measures,” says the spokesperson.
According to the current plan, students will return to school on January 17.
Source: CTV News
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