Change in COVID-19 Protocols: April 1, 2022
March 31, 2022
To all Yellowknife Education District No. 1 (YK1) parents and guardians:
Re: Change in COVID-19 Protocols – April 1, 2022
As you may be aware, the Northwest Territories (NWT) Public Health Emergency and all public health orders end on March 31, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.
What does this mean for YK1 schools?
As of April 1, 2022, this is what parents and guardians of students should be aware of:
- Masking in the classroom will no longer be required for students or staff (teachers, assistants). It is recommended that anyone visiting a classroom from outside should wear a mask
- Masking outside of classrooms, in communal areas of schools, and school buses, will remain in place for the time being. Fitted, disposable 3-ply masks are recommended
After April 1, 2022, schools and education bodies will begin to make operational decisions based on the COVID-19 situation in their communities and take appropriate risk mitigation measures. They will base these decisions on a colour-coded “traffic light” model. This will be posted on the COVID-19 dashboard weekly.
Schools and education bodies will use this information to make decisions about mitigating risk to best protect students and staff. That means precautions and activities may vary between schools in different communities, depending on the colour risk of the community.
When there is known community transmission in a community, it will be categorized as ‘red,’ and the following will not be recommended:
- Extra-curricular activities
- Allowing visitors in schools/classrooms
- Holding events
- In-servicing, professional development activities and staff meetings
The following will be recommended if the community is categorized as red:
- Physical distancing in schools and classrooms
- Bubbling in classrooms, peer groups
Students and staff are still expected to use the Daily Symptom Screening Tool for Students, School Staff and Early Childhood Care Workers. If students or staff are sick, they should stay home.
It is important to note that two vaccine doses plus a booster shot have proven effective at reducing the severity of illness from a COVID-19 infection.
As always, I encourage students to take time for their mental wellness. Supports are available through:
- Child and Youth Care Counsellors at YK1 schools
- BreathingRoom: An e-mental health program for youth aged 13-24. It supports youth and young adults in learning new ways to manage stress, depression and anxiety, as well as strengthening their existing coping skills
- NWT Help Line: Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is 100% free, confidential, and anonymous. Call 1-800-661-0844
- Kid’s Help Phone: Young people needing to talk to someone can call the Kid’s Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 or go to www.kidshelpphone.ca
- NWT Community Counselling Program: Available free-of-charge to every NWT resident, in every region of the NWT. It helps people deal with a variety of issues, including family violence, mental health issues and addictions
If you have any questions about these changes and what they mean for your child’s school, please contact your child’s school office.
Dr. Cindi Vaselenak
Yellowknife Education District No. 1
Phone: (867) 766-5050