ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador says it's adding more buses and hiring new teachers for remote learning as children across the province return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The province said Thursday the new initiatives are in response to requests by several groups including several teachers unions and the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of School Councils.
Virtual teaching positions will be added to support students who are immunocompromised, or who have a family member at risk of severe complications from COVID-19 and can't attend class.
The province said it was also adding 25 guidance counsellors, hiring up to 25 more custodians and hiring 70 substitute teachers on term contracts for specific schools.
Newfoundland and Labrador says it's also purchasing 5,000 laptops for every teacher in kindergarten to Grade 12 and 30,000 Chromebooks for all junior high and high school students.
The province says additional buses are being deployed to transport every student eligible for school busing.
Premier Andrew Furey said in a statement Thursday, "Our province is in a good place for the safe return to school because of the stewardship of our Chief Medical Officer of Health and the many public health measures being implemented."
"We have low prevalence and no community transmission. We are taking every measure to ensure students, teachers and staff are safe in schools."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 3, 2020.
The Canadian Press