Nova Scotia

Plan is in the works to resume offering N.S. student support program face to face

A popular Nova Scotia program that hosts after-school activities and provides individual support services for schoolchildren and their parents will continue to be offered virtually throughout the summer, but there's hope that sessions will soon be offered in person.

Education minister says department will soon be handing over its plan to public health for approval

When the Nova Scotia government ordered schools closed in March to limit the spread of COVID-19, there were 1,264 students participating in SchoolsPlus. (Juliya Shangarey/Shutterstock)

A popular Nova Scotia program that hosts after-school activities and provides individual support services for schoolchildren and their parents will continue to be offered virtually throughout the summer.

Education Minister Zach Churchill said SchoolsPlus may even soon go back to providing in-person counselling.

Churchill said his department will soon hand over to public health officials its plan to provide counselling, speech therapy and other support services face to face.

"Students that are interested or need any one of those services that are delivered through the SchoolsPlus umbrella — social worker support, child and youth care practitioner support, mental health clinician support, school psychologist support — the whole range is available to our students that require those services," he said following a cabinet meeting last Thursday.

The Education Department said when the Nova Scotia government ordered schools closed in March to limit the spread of COVID-19, there were 1,264 students participating in SchoolsPlus.

'No student will be denied services,' says spokesperson

When classes resumed virtually, so too did SchoolsPlus programs and activities.

Education Department spokesperson Gary Andrea said from May 1 to June 15, SchoolsPlus facilitators carried out more than 5,700 online or phone meeting with students and families, he wrote in an email to CBC News.

"SchoolsPlus will be available throughout the summer months for any student who needs to access those services," Andrea said. "No student will be denied services."

SchoolsPlus was originally a pilot program that the previous NDP government expanded provincewide in 2011.

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