Nova Scotia

In-class learning to resume this Wednesday for N.S. schools outside Halifax, Sydney

Nova Scotia announced an easing of pandemic restrictions starting with schools and travel within the province.

Students in parts of the province will continue with remote learning

At Friday's briefing, Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin and Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Robert Strang announced that schools outside HRM and Sydney could resume in-person classes on June 2. (Communications Nova Scotia)

Nova Scotia schools outside Halifax and Sydney will be able to resume in-person classes starting this Wednesday.

The change in policy was announced by Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief medical officer of health, at a briefing on Friday.

Schools in Halifax and Sydney, which continue to have relatively high numbers of new active COVID-19 cases and community spread, will continue to offer at-home learning.

Rankin said exceptions will be made for students with highly complex needs in the Halifax Regional Municipality and Sydney. A news release from the province said school officials will contact families of those children to provide details about resuming in-person classes on June 2.

"We know that in-person schooling is best for children, and thanks to Nova Scotians following the rules, we can safely reopen schools to many of our students," Rankin said. 

At schools that are reopening to in-person classes, school teams will be allowed to practise inside the school. School gyms across the province will remain closed to community use.

Child-care to resume 100% capacity

It was also announced at the briefing that licensed child-care centres and family daycare homes across the province can return to 100 per cent capacity starting on Wednesday.

Families may choose to continue to keep their children out of child care and their space will be held until June 30 without paying any fees. Their space will not be held after that date unless fees are paid. 

Paul Wozney, president of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, said the decision will cause 'mass system headaches.' (David Laughlin/CBC)

Describing the decision to resume in-person classes as "head-scratching,' Paul Wozney, the Nova Scotia Teachers Union president, told CBC News that the two-tiered approach is going to cause "mass system headaches."

"It's going to pit family and students against teachers across the province," Wozney said.

"Teachers just finally wrapped their heads around how they were going to do final assessments ... and now is that all going to go out the window because you're doing in-person learning?"

The province has posted a list of the schools in the Halifax Regional Municipality and Sydney that will continue with online learning.

With files from Michael Gorman