New Brunswick

New Brunswick public schools will stay closed indefinitely

Schools will remain closed in New Brunswick indefinitely because of COVID-19, the province said Friday.

Education Minister Dominic Cardy will have more to say about home-school plans in the days to come

Officials with the Department of Education said in a memo to parents not to expect home learning options until April at the earliest. (Kevin Mulcahy/Shutterstock )

Schools will remain closed in New Brunswick indefinitely because of COVID-19, the province said Friday.

A memo to parents from the deputy minister of the anglophone education system, George Daley, said they will remain closed "until further notice." 

Premier Blaine Higgs said the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is working with districts on how to arrange for students to do school work at home.

Premier Blaine Higgs said public schools across the province will likely not open by March 30. (CBC)

"Where we are at this phase is they're looking at alternative ways that they can have education materials available to students at home," Higgs said. 

Earlier in the day on Twitter, Education Minister Dominic Cardy said officials would be working on that next week. Daley said in the memo to parents they "should not expect home learning options until April at the earliest."

Daley urged parents to spend the coming week focusing on physical and mental well-being with their children.

"Resources are being assembled to share early next week to help guide and support your efforts." 

Education Minister Dominic Cardy said on Twitter the department was working on many things, including getting schools ready for other uses. (Jacques Poitras/Twitter screenshot)

In his tweet, Cardy said this past week had been about "getting schools ready for other uses."

Asked if that might include COVID-19 patients if existing hospital capacity is overwhelmed, Higgs said that's not the plan.

"Obviously, if the schools are vacant and they are buildings we need for centres of any kind, they could be used," he said. But planning in the health care system now is focusing on existing facilities.

In a briefing on how the daycare sector will function as most centres close and others remain open for the children of essential workers, Daley said some schools could be used for the spillover demands.

Higgs announced March 13 after a meeting of an all-party committee of cabinet ministers and political party leaders that all schools would close for two weeks.


Jacques Poitras

Provincial Affairs reporter

Jacques Poitras has been CBC's provincial affairs reporter in New Brunswick since 2000. He grew up in Moncton and covered Parliament in Ottawa for the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal. He has reported on every New Brunswick election since 1995 and won awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association, the National Newspaper Awards and Amnesty International. He is also the author of five non-fiction books about New Brunswick politics and history.


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