NW Week

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

As N.W.T. navigates the Omicron wave, most schools will continue to offer online learning

N.W.T. navigates the Omicron wave, most schools will continue their online learning.

Key takeaways:

  • School closures are still in effect as a wave of Omicron cases spreads across the Northwest Territories. 
  • According to a Facebook update from the school, in-person learning will not be available in Lutselk’e until at least January 24.
  • The Gwich’in Tribal Council contributed $103,200 to the council to purchase laptop computers for Gwich’in students in grades 10 through 12.

School closures are still in effect in the Northwest Territories as a wave of Omicron cases spreads. Still, some schools in the Beaufort Delta reopened for regular classes on Monday.

The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer indicated that schools in Aklavik, Behchok, Fort Providence, Hay River, Katlodeeche First Nation, What, Yellowknife, Ndil, and Dettah switch to remote trying to learn at the start of January.

The Beaufort Delta had 117 cases as of Friday evening, followed by the Dehcho (53), Fort Smith (47), Hay River (55), Sahtu (72), Tch (243), and Yellowknife (749).

The Sahtu Divisional Education Council stated in an email Friday that all 5 schools in the Sahtu are still closed, such as Colville Lake School, Ehtseo Ayha School in Déln, Chief T’Selehye, Mackenzie Mountain School, as well as Chief Albert Wright School.

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Online learning is still going on in Fort Providence, where there were 42 cases on Friday.

The Deninu School in Fort Resolution continues to offer online classes.

Staff is waiting for a limited count of portable WiFi sticks to be distributed relying on need, with upper grades being prioritized, according to an online update from the school.

Laptops are also accessible to students in grades eight through twelve if they need and request them.

According to a Dehcho Divisional Education Council letter, 13 staff members are “out of commission,” and in-person learning in Fort Simpson will not be possible until at least January 24.

According to a Facebook update from the school, in-person learning will not be available in Lutselk’e until at least January 24.

Some schools in the Beaufort Delta are reintroducing face-to-face instruction.

On January 17, some schools in the Beaufort Delta will open.

N.W.T. navigates the Omicron wave, most schools will continue their online learning.
N.W.T. navigates the Omicron wave, most schools will continue their online learning. Image from Yahoo

However, Aklavik and Fort McPherson schools will not resume regular classes until at least January 24.

The Chief Julius School in Fort McPherson was supposed to reopen on Monday. Still, on January 15, the Beaufort Delta Divisional Education Council declared on Facebook that the closure would be stretched another week.

The majority of cases in the Beaufort Delta are in Aklavik (56) and Inuvik (54) as of Friday (39). Fort McPherson (8), Tsiigehtchic (8), and Tuktoyaktuk (8) all have cases (7).

According to Devin Roberts, the sustained closure in Aklavik is centered on the chief public health officer’s recommendations, supervisor of the Beaufort Delta Divisional Education Council.

“We get health updates regularly… We collaborate with our district’s education authority and councils to pass school closure legislation, “Roberts stated.

According to Roberts, the COVID-19 situation has allowed the school district to upgrade its technology quickly in the last 6 months, supplying laptops and  devices to all 1,509 students.

The Gwich’in Tribal Council contributed $103,200 to the council to purchase laptops for Gwich’in students from Grades 10. The Inuvialuit Regional Corporate entity contributed $130,000 to purchase laptops for Inuvialuit students in Grade 10.

According to Roberts, Tom Zubko of New North Networks in Inuvik helps provide internet to families with students in Inuvik.

He stated, “We have enough devices for all the kids in the district.”

Source: CBC News

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