Flin Flon schools extend remote learning for another week, will return June 14

All four schools in the Flin Flon School Division (FFSD) will be staying in remote learning for a little bit longer.

Classes at Ecole McIsaac School, Hapnot Collegiate and Many Faces Education Centre were slated to reopen June 9, pending any other COVID-19-related pauses or suspension, but that changed Monday afternoon. Not long before The Reminder’s deadline, the FFSD announced that in-person classes at all four schools would be suspended until June 11, with classes expected to resume June 14.

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A person with COVID-19 was found to have been at Ruth Betts during a possible infectious period late last month. The case was announced at the school June 2, with a letter from the Flin Flon School Division stating that someone in the school's Buffalo cohort had tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been infectious and in the cohort May 28. All close contacts have been notified and the FFSD stated they would continue working with public health.

As of June 7, Manitoba health officials have confirmed 10 recent cases of COVID-19 at FFSD schools - three at Hapnot Collegiate, six at McIsaac and one at Ruth Betts. Each school has one confirmed case of a COVID-19 variant of concern - while individual cohorts have been previously announced by the FFSD, it is unknown if those who tested positive were staff members, teachers, students or any mix of the three.

"After consultation with Manitoba Education and Public Health, Ruth Betts Community School will be required to extend their period of remote learning up to and including June 11. Classes are expected to resume June 14," reads a June 3 letter from FFSD superintendent Tammy Ballantyne. The same text appears in the June 7 announcement confirming all four schools would continue with remote learning for another week.

"Students can continue on their current work packages. Grades 1-8 teachers will contact families about online teaching time. There will be no need to drop anything off or pick anything up. Students can bring their work back when school resumes."

All four FFSD facilities went to remote learning for almost all students May 25, with the exception of children of some designated critical service workers and students with exceptional education needs.

In Creighton, the Creighton School Division has announced that remote learning at Creighton Community School would also be extended - but unlike on the Manitoba side, only for two more days. Students will return to in-person classes June 9.

“We understand that distance learning is very difficult, but at this time, we are unable to adequately staff the school. Thank you for your understanding and patience,” reads a statement from Creighton School Division director of education Vincent Cable, sent out June 1.

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