Following consultation between the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District (NLESD), the Department of Education, the Chief Medical Officer of Health and Public Health officials, NLESD is moving forward with plans that maximize in-class instruction for high school students while adhering to updated public health guidance.
Following updated public health guidance for K-12 Education, high school students who are currently attending online classes will move into a blended learning model. Under this modified Scenario 2 approach, high school classes will be split into two groups and students will alternate between in-class instruction and online attendance, with access five days each week. On days when students are not physically in class, they will be able to access the classroom remotely with their peers via Google Classroom.
These changes will take effect throughout the province starting on Wednesday, April 14. Educators will be provided two days for transition time and professional learning on Monday, April 12 and Tuesday, April 13, during which time the Easter Break will be extended for high school students currently learning under Scenario 3.
Under this new guidance, classes that are not able to maintain cohorts in a school setting, including high school classes, are required to divide students into two separate groups who will attend in-person on alternating days. This, combined with the requirement for students to wear masks in school, should maximize distancing while minimizing the risk of transmission in a school setting.
More information can be found in the backgrounder of the Provincial Government news release.
It is important to note that all classes for the Francophone School District are operating at full capacity under Scenario 1.
The Honourable Tom Osborne, Minister of Education and Mr. Tony Stack, CEO and Director of Education of the NLESD were available to speak with the media on Wednesday, April 7. Video is available here.
Our number one priority has always been to keep students in school when it is safe to do so. In recent weeks we have worked closely with Dr. Fitzgerald and her team and with the NL English School District to find a solution that supports this priority while reducing the risk of a further outbreak. We recognize the value of in-person instruction, and it is my hope that if we all remain mindful of public health guidelines we can maintain this approach for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.
Honourable Tom Osborne
Minister of Education
The Board is pleased to see high school students who have been studying exclusively online have the opportunity to access in-class instruction with their teachers and peers. Our trustees have advocated for ways to maximize in-class learning for students, recognizing it is the optimal environment to address students’ learning needs, as well as their social-emotional and mental well-being.
Board Chair, NL English School District