Most public school students will start their holiday break after classes end Friday, December 17.

All staff will report to work as usual next week unless they are required to isolate for public health reasons. The start of the official school holiday break remains Wednesday, December 22.

Learning centres will remain open on December 20 and 21 for students whose needs are met through learning centres and require additional support.

“I want to thank all of our students and staff for their hard work this year,” said Becky Druhan, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “We need to recognize that the recent outbreak in our province has put pressure on our schools, the people who work there and the students and families who are connected to our classrooms. In light of the operational impacts stemming from the Omicron variant and the need for close contacts to self-isolate, we have made the decision to modify our school calendar and support those who need it most. Today’s decision will provide clarity and certainty to parents, guardians, students and staff.”

A small number of schools have had to move to at-home learning, and it is expected that a small number of others may need to do so before Friday due to operational impacts from the pandemic.

Minister Druhan said the Department will continue to monitor the pandemic over the holidays and consult public health before schools reopen. The decision to begin the school holiday break early is an operational decision based on staffing pressures and not a public health decision.

These changes were made in consultation with regional centres for education and Conseil scolaire acadien provincial, the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and the Public School Administrators Association of Nova Scotia.