New Brunswick public schools will stay closed indefinitely
Education Minister Dominic Cardy will have more to say about home-school plans in the days to come
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.
"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."
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.