NWT schools discuss new plan for education

Arthur C. Green/CKLB Radio

A new education plan will allow NWT schools a more blended and flexible learning approach.

Minister R.J. Simpson met with education leaders and the NWT Teachers’ Association (NWTTA) via teleconference yesterday, to discuss how learning will be maintained throughout the 2020-2021 school year.

Stemming from the precautions of COVID-19, this new plan allows students to learn part-time in school, as well as part-time at home or on the land.

“It would be related to things like class sizes, how they plan to put controls in place to protect from infection, and measures like staggered attendance and/or partial virtual schooling. Each plan is going to be different because there are different considerations for different schools. The thinking is that education authorities are the experts on the educational needs of the folks they serve, and Dr. Kandola and her staff will be there to ensure risk gets mitigated as they do it,” says Mike Westwick manager, COVID-19 response.

Students who cannot attend school due to health concerns will be given an alternative, distanced method.

“Schools will be taking a flexible approach that prioritizes in-person learning while providing alternative options for continued learning to ensure our students continue to receive an education while we protect the health and safety of students, staff, and communities,” says R.J. Simpson, minister of Education, Culture, and Employment.

Once the plan has been approved by the office of the Chief Public Health Officer.

Reopening details will vary for each school and grade level.  Students, staff, parents, and guardians can expect a public document, outlining the transition, early on in the school year.

Tentative Agreement Reached – Teachers Union

In a separate news release, the NWT  government has announced it has reached a tentative agreement with the NWTTA.

“Both parties are pleased with the progress since negotiations started on June 2, 2020, during this unprecedented time, and are recommending ratification of the agreement to their membership and the Financial Management Board,” the press releases states.

Details of the tentative agreement will not be publicly released until the ratification process is completed.

CKLB radio has reached out to the president of the NWTTA, Fraser Oliver, for a comment on the progression of the new education plan post-COVID-19.

About the Author

Mariah Caruso
Mariah Caruso is a digital journalist, originally from Toronto, Canada. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Hons. Bachelor of Arts and completed her Journalism post-grad at Sheridan College. She has an insatiable appetite for life, storytelling, connecting to the people, and getting to the heart of the issue. Mariah is excited to begin her journey and career in Yellowknife, NWT, and get involved with the community. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at mariah.caruso@cklbradio.com