The GNWT has released its plan for reopening school safely this fall, laying out the general measures that parents, guardians, students, staff and communities should expect to see in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools for the 2020-2021 school year.

Reopening Schools Safely: Planning for the 2020-2021 School Year outlines how schools intend to approach continuing education for all NWT students during the upcoming school year while prioritizing the health and safety of all students, staff and communities. It includes a spectrum of learning approaches that schools may use throughout the year, depending on the circumstances of the pandemic. It also communicates what education will generally look like by grade level.

All schools are planning to reopen for the 2020-2021 school year with a focus on providing as much in-person education as possible. While details of reopening plans will vary from school to school, the Reopening Schools Safely document provides a high level overview of the general health and safety measures schools will need to take during the upcoming school year to stay aligned with direction from the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer on COVID-19.

R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment noted that the GNWT is working diligently with all NWT education partners to create a supportive and effective learning environment for students in the 2020-2021 school year and beyond.

“Reopening Schools Safely outlines how we intend to approach continuing education for all NWT students during the 2020-2021 school year while prioritizing the health, safety and well-being of all students, staff and communities.”

Dr. Kami Kandola, Chief Public Health Officer of the NWT noted that these measures will only grow in importance as the pandemic continues to unfold across Canada.

“I am confident that this plan forms a solid foundation for a safe, gradual return to school for students across our territory. Infection control, staggered classes, and physical distancing measures will help the learning cycle get going again, while protecting from the spread of COVID-19.”

Schools have submitted their detailed reopening plans and are working to have them approved by the OCPHO as soon as possible. The specific details of these plans will be made available by schools and education bodies once they are reviewed and approved.