Yellowknife school boards release reopening outlines

School is scheduled to begin on Aug. 31 for YK1 and Yellowknife Catholic Schools.

(CKLB file photo).

In an effort to enforce safety when schools open on Aug. 31, many teachers in Yellowknife will be wearing face shields during lessons.

This was announced as part of the Yellowknife Education District 1 (YK1) and Yellowknife Catholic Schools reopening plans, which were approved by the department of Education, Culture and Employment and the chief public health officer.

The Yellowknife Catholic Schools press release says students from kindergarten to Grade 9 along with Grade 12 students will receive in-person learning. While students in Grade 10 and 11 will receive a blended learning — a half-day in school while spending the rest of the day learning from home.

YK1 plans for all grades to receive in-person learning, but physical distancing won’t be enforced in the classroom bubble for students from kindergarten to Grade 6.

“Younger children are seen to be at a lower risk for contracting and spreading COVID-19, which is why there are fewer physical distancing requirements for elementary students,” the YK1 release says.

All outlines have similarities for the fall semester, including increased spacing between desks, physical distancing measures and masks required for when this isn’t possible, including on buses.

There will be no assemblies as well as limitations on gatherings.

Changes may occur with scheduling, including staggered drop-off and pick-up times and modified lunch, recess and break times.

Designated entrances and exits, to restrict and manage flow in hallways and common areas, will be another change.

Parents will have additional responsibilities including monitoring their children for symptoms.

Students will be required to wash their hands before coming to school and frequently throughout the day.

Disinfection procedures will be enhanced including in classrooms and in high traffic areas.

Students will be asked to label personal items and to not share.

K’alemi Dene School announced the plans on its Facebook page Wednesday afternoon.

Hi KDS Families!

I’m sure you have started to hear lots of things about schools re-opening in the fall. KDS will…

Posted by K’alemi Dene School on Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The YK1 press release says although the plans are established, the situation may change at a “moment’s notice as the pandemic dictates”. If a number of school staff are affected by COVID-19, school closures may become necessary.

A full plan for YK1 parents will be issued on Aug. 14, the release concludes.

About the Author

Luke Carroll
Luke Carroll is a journalist originally from Brockville, Ont. He has previously worked as a reporter and editor in Ottawa, Halifax and New Brunswick. Luke is a graduate of Carleton University's bachelor of journalism program. If you have a story idea, feel free to send him an email at