WINNIPEG — Starting next Tuesday, nearly all students in the Hanover School Division from K to 12 will be moving to remote learning, as the region confronts some of the highest COVID-19 infections rates in the country.
“Acting on the advice of the chief provincial public health officer, schools have notified families and staff. This change is being made in light of the widespread community transmission of COVID-19,” reads a letter from Shelley Amos, the Interim Superintendent of the Hanover School Division.
The province said there has not been widespread transmission within schools, however, Steinbach is part of the Hanover School Division. The city’s test positivity rate stands at a staggering 40 per cent.
Nineteen schools in the division are affected by the announcement, along with one in the Division Scholaire Franco-Manitobaine, along with eight independent schools.
The province is making an exception for the children of health care workers and children with special needs, who will still be allowed to go to school in person.
In a statement, the Manitoba government says it will accommodate, “where possible, K-6 children of critical services workers who cannot make alternative care arrangements, so these students may attend school. While at school, these students will participate in and receive support for the same teacher-led remote learning that their classmates learning from home receive.”
Students over the age of 12 whose parents are critical care workers, or children with disabilities will also be accommodated “wherever possible at the school and receive supervision and remote learning support,” reads the statement.
The province says under the ‘critical’ level’ the school division doesn’t have to provide transportation.
However, the Hanover Interim Superintendent said, “We are exploring our options and the possibility of continuing minimal bus transportation.”
Schools will stay open Monday.
“We do understand and agree that this may create hardship for some families,” said Amos. “We appreciate your continued partnership and willingness to adapt and respond to these evolving conditions. We will work together to get our community through this pandemic.”
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