Return to School plans aim to reduce congestion in high schools and support flexible learning27 August 2020
FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Return to School plan for students in Grades 9 to 12 includes blended learning methods, which combine instruction in class and at home, and personalized learning options to help ensure a healthy and safe learning environment.
The schedule for high school students will vary among the roughly 70 schools with students in Grades 9 to 12, depending upon their student population and the available space.
Students at schools that can provide appropriate physical distancing may be scheduled to attend class each day. However, students at other schools may end up attending class, at a minimum, every other day in order to facilitate physical distancing.
However, all students registered in a class will continue learning full time and will collaborate with their teachers and classmates throughout the day, whether at school or at home.
When virtual courses are offered, student attendance will be taken, including a check-in and follow-up for all students in the class.
On the days they are not in class, students may learn remotely via Microsoft Teams, Desire 2 Learn or Clic. This may consist of virtual classrooms and lessons. Some students may participate in group projects virtually. There are also options for independent or experiential learning. Some virtual co-op opportunities may be available for students, depending upon their school and district.
High school students to bring their own electronic device
To support blended learning, high school students will be expected to bring their own electronic devices to class. This approach is intended to promote flexibility for students as they rotate between learning in school and learning from home.
The Laptop Subsidy Program is available to students from low- and middle-income families who require a laptop through the Parent Portal. Eligible families who have yet to purchase a laptop have two options:
- They may purchase their own laptop and be reimbursed, provided the laptop meets the technical specifications.
- They may choose to purchase a laptop through the department’s provider at a reduced rate, after taking into account the amount of subsidy for which their family is eligible. For this option, families will need to register for a special code through the Parent Portal.
Families which are not eligible for a subsidy are also able to receive the department’s special rate by purchasing a device through the program. More information on the program is available by calling 1-833-901-1963 or by emailing EECDRTS-EDPERAE@gnb.ca.
To increase access to virtual learning for students, particularly those in rural communities, alternate learning spaces will be made available, either in a school or in other community facilities. More information will be available through the schools in the coming weeks.
The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has released a detailed parent and public guide supporting the Return to School: September 2020 plan for the public-school system.
The Return to School: Guide for Parents and the Public provides a detailed overview of what students, parents and guardians need to know before returning to school in September. Return to School: Direction for School Districts and Schools outlines the requirements schools and school districts must meet while developing their COVID-19 operational plans, which will be made available to parents. It works in conjunction with Public Health guidance to the department and may be changed based upon the evolution of the pandemic.
The department will continue to work with educators, schools and school districts in the coming months. Schools and districts will make individual school operational plans available to parents on Sept. 3.
Parents with questions about the Return to School plan can email firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about the Laptop Subsidy Program, parents can call 1-833-901-1963 or email EECDRTS-EDPERAE@gnb.ca.