Students who attend Yellowknife School District 1 (YK1) and Yellowknife Catholic Schools will be back again around Monday.
In letters to parents and guardians on Friday, principals of both school boards said they made the decision based on advice given by the Office of the Chief of Public Health.
In a statement issued late Thursday night, the OCPHO office recommended that schools in Aklavik, Behchokǫ̀, Fort Providence, Hay River (including K’atl’odeeche First Nation), Whatì and Yellowknife, including Ndil and Dettah, convert, to distance learning.
The Federal Health Office said each of these communities was experiencing “or shows evidence of imminent community transmission”.
In the statement, the chief public health official said that 170 new cases had been identified in the province in the past 24 hours. The majority of cases in the territory are in Yellowknife.
Back to school has already been postponed from the holiday break to January 10 due to the risks of COVID-19.
YK1 noted in its letter that “updates with specific information for your child and distance learning will come from their school.” She added that her transition to distance learning also applies to K’alemi Dene School and Kaw Tay Whee School.
The Catholic Council said additional information about its schools’ learning plans will be shared with parents and guardians by their children’s teachers on Friday.
Both school boards said they were in regular contact with the Department of Education, Culture and Employment “to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to keep students and staff safe and to provide additional resources, such as technology, to support continuity of learning for students.”