NWT’s Education Leaders along with the Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) Minister and the NWT Teachers’ Association (NWTTA) announced the decision on Thursday, May 14th not to reopen schools for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year

This follows the Chief Public Health officer’s recent recommendation that schools in the territory are safe to reopen for the remainder of the school year as part of Phase 1 of Emerging Wisely: Path to Eased Public Health Restrictions.

The statement released cited varying circumstances across communities and regions in terms of capacity to reopen schools at this time as well as the absence of teachers in many communities, strong concerns from local governments, and an immediate shortage of the equipment required to maintain safety under the CPHO’s recommendations. 

Education leaders stated that most schools anticipate being unable to complete and implement the rigorous risk management plans needed to reopen prior to the end of the school year.

On behalf of NWT Education Leaders the Chair of Commission scolaire francophone des Territoires du Nord-Ouest, Simon Cloutier referred to the recommendation to reopen as welcome news, but he says School boards collectively analyzed their capacity to do so and have determined that for the safety of staff and students, they will not be doing so.

Cloutier says taking the necessary time to plan for a well-thought-out re-entry in the fall is the priority.