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Changes are being made for the 2020-21 school year in New Brunswick in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Students in kindergarten to Grade 8 will attend school full-time, while those in Grades 9 to 12 will be taught using a combination of online and in-class instruction.

Education Minister Dominic Cardy said some classrooms may have smaller groupings, and transition times – such as arrival, breaks and lunches – will be staggered.

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“Students in kindergarten to Grade 2 will see reduced group sizes, with the aim of approximately 15,” he said. “The same will apply for students in Grades 3 to 5, however class size there will depend upon available resources.”

Students in Grades 6 to 8 will have regularly sized classes, he said, and in Grades 9 to 12 students will not be grouped due to schedules and multiple course options.

He said those students will experience “blended learning,” Cardy said.

“That means some days they could work from home through distance courses or through guided projects to meet core learning outcomes,” the minister said. “This will help ease congestion in schools where we know overcrowding is already an issue.”

Public access to school buildings will be limited to students, school staff and those who receive permission in advance from the principal.

Students, staff and visitors will also be subject to a screening process, and anyone feeling ill is instructed to stay home.

The minister said teachers will work with students to ensure they receive any curriculum that was lost after the onset of the pandemic during the current school year.

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Cardy said he continues to work with school districts and public health officials on plans in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 at a school.

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