Back to School Across Canada

New Brunswick

In New Brunswick, there are different approaches for different grades. Students in K-2 will be in groups of 15, and only allowed to interact with students in their group. For those in Grades 3-5, class sizes will depend on circumstances, but the same grouping system will apply, with students distancing from other groups.

There is no class size limit for middle school students, but they are expected to observe physical distancing from other groups. High school students will spend some days at school and some at home. Every student will be at school at least every second day, to allow for social distancing. The province is looking to hire more teachers to accommodate the smaller class sizes.

Newfoundland and Labrador

The government hopes to have a plan ready by the end of the month. The intention is to have all students physically back in school in September.


Elementary and junior high school students will be divided into “bubbles” and no longer permitted to switch classes. Each bubble will be comprised of randomly selected students and the bubbles cannot interact nor be altered.

Grade nine students will stay in their classrooms all day while those in Grades 10-12 will have the choice of attending school (in social bubbles) or remote learning or a blend of the two.


Ontario has asked school boards to prepare three separate plans for September. One plan is for regular in-class instruction with heightened health protocols, a second plan focuses on the continuation of remote learning with more standardization and the third is an adapted delivery model, which blends in-class with online learning, and would see students alternating being in class by days or weeks.

In all plans, class sizes cannot exceed 15 students in class at the same time. Boards should have a plan prepared by early August. Read Ontario’s approach to reopening schools for the 2020-2021 school year.


Saskatchewan is planning for full-time classroom learning in the fall. There will be increased sanitation measures, protocols for bringing in items from home, and minimized contact among students and staff. The teachers’ union has raised concerns over the ability to social distance with existing class sizes and classrooms.


Alberta has three back to school scenarios.

The first scenario would see students return to class normally, with regular class sizes and additional health measures. The second scenario would see in-school classes only partially resumed due to additional health requirements. In that second scenario, classes could be limited in size to 15 people with strict two-metre social distances. The third option would see students remain at home.

The province will decide which scenario will be implemented by August 1, 2020.

Read full plan here

British Columbia

BC is looking at a hybrid approach to the upcoming school year, with some in-class learning and online learning. The plan has not been finalized.

Northwest Territories

The back to school plan is still being developed, however there has been a commitment from educators to start the school year on time.


The Yukon government announced that students in kindergarten to Grade 12 will return to school in the fall. Each school is required to make an operational plan too, which will be shared in August ahead of the first day back so families and students know what to expect.