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Hanover School Division Switches to Remote Learning

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Effective November 24, the Hanover School Division will temporarily close its doors to in-school learning, the province announced on Friday. This latest development comes on the same day that news broke that Steinbach’s 10-day test positivity rate had reached 40 percent, with the neighbouring RM of Hanover coming in at 30 percent and climbing.

This affects more than a dozen schools in communities like Niverville, New Bothwell, Landmark, and Steinbach. The schools will move to remote learning.

“This action is taken as a preventative safety measure in response to the increased test positivity rate in Steinbach and the RM of Hanover,” reads a letter from HSD interim superintendent Shelley Amos which was distributed Friday to parents and guardians. “The decision to move Hanover School Division to the Critical (Red) level is not a reflection of school-based virus transmission. Our schools continue to be safe places to learn. In consultation with Public Health and Manitoba Education, Hanover School Division is working on an action plan to respond to our communities’ increased positivity rate.”

So what does this mean, specifically?

  • All students are moving to teacher-led remote learning at home.
  • Schools will endeavour to accommodate the K–6 children of critical services workers who cannot make alternative care arrangements so that these students may attend school. While at school, these students will participate in and receive support for the same teacher-led remote learning that their classmates who are learning from home are receiving.
  • Students over age 12 who are children of critical services workers and who have disabilities or special needs that preclude them from staying home (independently) may also be accommodated at the school and receive supervision and remote learning support.

The letter adds that the school division will not be responsible for any student transportation during the period that they’re in code red.

“We do understand and agree that this may create hardship for some families,” Amos writes. “This pandemic has created many hardships for families and schools alike. To that extent, we are exploring our options and the possibility of continuing minimal bus transportation. There are, of course, many complicating factors and layers of decisions that need to be considered. As we continue to plan, we will evaluate the possibility of continuing transportation for those who have exhausted all other options.”

All schools in the division will open for regularly scheduled classes on Monday, November 23. If a parent or guardian has identified that in-class learning is required for their family, then their children may also attend classes on Tuesday, November 24, 2020, although they must provide their own transportation.

“Your child’s school will continue to communicate with parents/guardians,” the letter continues. “In the meantime, we will provide additional phone support this weekend for general questions regarding the shift to Critical (Red) level.”

The schools’ phones will be answered on Saturday, November 21, from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

“Once again, thank you for your support,” says Amos. “We appreciate your continued partnership and willingness to adapt and respond to these evolving conditions. We will work together to get our community through this pandemic.”

For more information

Additional information about the province’s plan for schools going to code red: http://hsd.ca/wp-content/uploa...

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