All pre-K to 12 schools in Saskatchewan will be suspended indefinitely starting Friday.

The Government of Saskatchewan announced from March 16 to 19 classes will wind down due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. They say parents who are able to keep children at home should do so immediately and those with limited childcare options will have a window to plan for the suspension.

Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab says children in schools face a low risk of exposure but proactive closures will reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

All students will receive a final grade based on their current grade and students will move on to their next grade level next year. Students eligible to graduate from Grade 12 this year will graduate. The Ministry of Education and school divisions across the province will work with Saskatchewan post-secondary institutions to adapt entry requirements for programs beginning in the next academic year.

Teachers and staff are able to work from home or in schools during the cancellation period. The Ministry of Education is working with school divisions and teachers to create a supplemental curriculum program through distance and alternative learning methods. They will have no impact on final grades but will allow students to continue learning with the proper resources.

Officials say the measures apply to daycares co-located within schools but do not apply to licensed  daycares outside of schools. The government is considering implementing restrictions regarding licensed daycare facilities at a later date.

The government is also looking at options to provide childcare services for individuals providing essential services during the COVID-19 response.