Nfld. & Labrador

All K-9 students will pass this year: N.L. English school district

Even if schools reopen after the COVID-19 shutdown, students will still progress to the next grade.

Graduating high school students won't be 'disadvantaged'

If you're a student between kindergarten and Grade 9 in public school in Newfoundland and Labrador, congratulations. You have passed. (Brenna Owen/CBC)

All public school students between kindergarten and Grade 9 in Newfoundland and Labrador will go onto the next grade — regardless of what happens during the remainder of the school year.

"No matter what time we get back, if it's this year or the start of the next school year," said Tony Stack, CEO of the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District. 

He said in-school instruction will be suspended for several weeks, at least.

The plan for high school students is still being worked out, with particular focus on Grade 12 students.

"Any graduating student will not be disadvantaged in terms of their post-secondary plan," he said, noting COVID-19 is a "worldwide event" with similar conversations happening everywhere. 

Tony Stack, CEO of the NLESD, says the district is focused on the wellness of students, families and teachers at this difficult time. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

Teachers are not required to assign grades or values to any work done at home while schools remain closed due to COVID-19 concerns, as Stack noted not everyone has internet access at home. 

However, he said students are encouraged to share work with their teachers for feedback and guidance, as the district wants to offer learning in "a non-graded virtual environment" and maintain the relationships between students and teachers online. 

Focus on wellness

"We don't want to put any stress on parents," Stack said, as the focus should be on the wellness and health of everyone. "There's no expectation that parents will have to do home schooling."

Stack acknowledged there had been some confusion in messaging to teachers and families, but student belongings can only be retrieved from schools if absolutely necessary.

"We are not looking to replace face-to-face instruction, that's just impossible," he explained.

"It's not like flicking a switch and we can just go to online learning, particularly in the younger grades."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Meg Roberts