HALIFAX -- New Brunswick education staff are preparing for increased demand of "vulnerable students" as public schools prepare to reopen in September.

"We know that some students who may not have been considered vulnerable prior to the pandemic are now experiencing difficulties and that is something that we will certainly take into account," George Daley, New Brunswick's deputy minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, said on Thursday afternoon.

Daley said that, beginning Aug. 31, staff will be contacting parents to evaluate the needs of vulnerable students and work out a plan.

Daley also said that any parent who is not planning to send their child to school will have to fill out a home-school request form.

The province also announced that there will be testing available for asymptomatic teachers or school staff.

"Providing regular testing for asymptomatic teachers and school staff will help to better identify and isolate cases in schools,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health.

The province also announced special plans for busing.

Clear shields will be installed to protect bus drivers and buses will fill from the back to the front to minimize the amount that students have to pass other students on the bus. Students will also be required to sit in the same seat every day.

Dr. Russell also announced that any student coming to New Brunswick from outside Atlantic Canada will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival and will be tested on the 10th day after arriving.

The province has also released a guide for parents that provides a detailed overview of what parents, guardians, and children need to know before students return to school.

Just like businesses had to, schools and school districts will have to develop operational plans to show how they are going to adhere to public health guidelines. These plans will be available to parents on Sept. 3.

If you have questions about the return-to-school plan, you can email them to edcommunications@gnb.ca. If you have questions about the laptop subsidy program, you can call 1-833-901-1963 or email EECDRTS-EDPERAE@gnb.ca.