Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today that K-12 schools in Manitoba will be suspended indefinitely for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. 

The initial suspension of Manitoba schools was set to expire on April 13. However, Goertzen alongside Premier Brian Pallister announced the suspension for the remainder of this school year.

"If prior to the regularly scheduled conclusion of the school year, the Public Health Officer deems it safe to open our schools, we will eagerly welcome our students back," said Goertzen from inside the Manitoba Legislature earlier today.

School buildings will remain closed; however, child care centres will continue operating under new guidelines which will be announced shortly. Teachers will be able to access their resources to ensure that learning from home for students continues. 

Student’s marks will be held where they were on the last day of regular classes. If you are a grade 12 student and you were on pace to graduate, you will indeed graduate. Students will be able to increase their marks through their additional "home" learning. 

Grade 12 provincial exams have been cancelled. All students will receive assignments, final marks, and assessments. 

"We are actively working with school divisions to find best practices and enhance their existing resources," continued Goertzen. 

For kindergarten to grade 8 students, teachers will continue to engage with students and parents using existing communication skills so students can continue to learn from home. When it comes to students in grades 9-12, they will continue to learn using online distance resources. More information will be provided on those resources when it becomes available.

When speaking about grade 12 students across the province, Goertzen understands this is a tough time for the so many students that were looking forward to graduating.

"We know that grade 12 students have such a bright future, this isn't how they envisioned their final year, so many have been looking forward to going through the graduating ceremony for years," he concluded. "This is about their futures and making sure they're safe."

Stay tuned for more including a conversation with Dan Ward, Superintendent of Mountain View School Division.