Re: Nova Scotia’s Learning Continuity Plan for Students
To: Our Nova Scotia Schools Community:
I want to thank everyone for their care and patience during these extraordinary times. By staying home, helping others and self-isolating, you help people around you stay safe and protected.
I also want to thank teachers, principals and education workers for their efforts to keep children learning and supported. These are extraordinary times and they require new ways of teaching and learning. I appreciate your efforts to be flexible and for finding new ways to provide supports to students while undergoing the same challenges as all Nova Scotians.
We all have a role to play to keep our students learning while schools are closed until at least May 1. This is why we developed an online portal for families and teachers, that can be found at https://curriculum.novascotia.ca For families, this site contains tips on reading with children, ideas for planning your child’s day, and appropriate online education tools. This site provides support to teachers, as well, including lesson plan ideas and information on no-tech, low-tech and high-tech learning.
This week, teachers will check-in with students/parents via telephone and/or email and begin rolling out Nova Scotia’s Learning Continuity Plan. The highlights of this plan are a combination of online learning assignments and projects and at-home learning projects for those without access to Internet or technology. Over the coming days, more information will be shared by teachers about future assignments and projects.
At the same time, we recognize that there are technical and social challenges for some families. Not everyone has the appropriate internet or technology devices. For those without internet or technology, our plan is to send learning packages biweekly through the Saltwire Network to students in P-9 while students in grades 10 to 12 will work with their individual teachers to address their specific needs. Additional information on distribution will be forwarded to schools. We have ensured our distribution methods are reviewed and endorsed by public health officials. For families who feel learning will be a burden at this time, we ask that you speak to your teacher. This plan is meant to support learning and it is meant to help you, not add additional burden. No child will be disadvantaged because of COVID-19. Next year, our teachers will be able to identify any learning gaps in key areas and address them.
For Grade 12 students, we recognize the importance of this year. Please be aware that students on-track to graduate will graduate. For those not on-track in a credit course, teachers will work with you to address gaps in learning. Students who need a preliminary paper transcript should call their Regional Centre for Education or CSAP. Those who need School Counsellor support for planning or applying for next year, please let your teacher know. You will receive a final report card and anything that needs to be submitted to a college/university or employer will be provided.
I also recognize that this is a stressful time for students and families. That is why access will continue for student support services such as SchoolsPlus. For those who require additional supports, we ask that you contact your teacher and/or principal. They will direct you to the supports you need.
Over the coming days, we will need to be flexible and patient as principals and teachers roll out this Plan. We have never experienced a time when schools are closed, so we will need to be patient as we – teachers, principals, students and families – continue our educational journey this year.
Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development