Dear NSISP Agents:
I would like to take this time to thank you for your continued support, patience, and understanding as we navigate this difficult period. While this is a massive challenge for all of us, we remain optimistic we will get through this by working together. We continue to provide the best possible services to our students under the current circumstances with the health and safety of our students, staff, and host families guiding our decisions in the coming weeks and months.
On March 30, 2020, it was announced Nova Scotia’s public schools will be closed until at least May 1, 2020. At the same press conference, Nova Scotia’s Learning Continuity Plan was announced by Premier Stephen McNeil. This is the first step in Nova Scotia’s commitment to offer distance learning to our students during this period of self-isolation to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
We have been waiting to send this update until we received clarification on how this announcement would impact NSISP students. Today we received confirmation from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Regional Centres for Education and Conseil scolaire acadien provincial, international students will be supported to complete their courses using whatever remote strategies are available. Therefore, students who wish to return home but were worried this may impact their education can be assured they can complete their courses and receive credit.
Highlights of Premier McNeil’s announcement are as follows:
- students who were on track to graduate will graduate and Grade 12 students who need a preliminary paper-based transcript for bursaries, scholarships or university entrance will receive one by contacting their Regional Centre for Education or Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP).
- students who were on track to proceed to their next grade will move to their next grade on time. Students will receive end of year report cards. All final exams are cancelled.
- a dedicated learning website for families is available at https://curriculum.novascotia.ca/learning-home
- IB exams are cancelled
- You can read more details of the plan here https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20200330004
Our advice remains for students to stay in Nova Scotia unless you have a secure and direct route home. Ultimately, the final decision is up to the natural parents of our international students. On that note, if agents book flights home for students, please proceed with the understanding that once students pass through airport security, NSISP is not able to provide assistance if flights are delayed or cancelled. Please be careful when making plans as there has been a great deal of disruption to flights and most international flights offered by Air Canada are being suspended after April 1, 2020.
We continue to update a frequently asked questions sheet for our stakeholders and it can be accessed here: https://nsisp.ca/sites/default/files/nsisp_covid_19_faq.pdf.
Executive Director, NSISP