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Nunavik education system: Operations update

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by ahnationtalk on March 27, 202040 Views


MARCH 26, 2020

On March 22, the Quebec Premier announced that school closures were extended to May 1 across the province. On the same day, the Ministry of Education confirmed that there would be no ministerial examinations this year. On March 24, the Kativik Regional Government announced a ban on all non-essential air travel to Nunavik.

In light of these developments, the Council of Commissioners met on March 24 and decided to end the school year in Nunavik, effective that day.

Students will not be penalized.

In its March 22 news release, the Ministry of Education issued general guidelines for a scenario where schools would remain closed after May 1. For Nunavik, the Council of Commissioners felt these guidelines could be applied now to end the school year immediately.

The Ministry of Education guidelines state that the decision on student transition to the next grade level would be left to the professional judgment of teachers, based on each student’s grades for the first and second terms of the school year. For the youth Sector and the adult sector, the school board is currently working with the Ministry of Education to receive directives on the application of these guidelines as we proceed with closing student files for the 2019-2020 school year. We will inform Nunavimmiut once more details become available.

In the coming weeks, the school board will share with parents suggested learning activities that can be done at home, in a family setting. In addition to these, we will share with Nunavimmiut the recommended educational applications the Quebec Ministry of Education announced it would release starting March 30. All these tools and learning activities are optional, and this applies to the whole province.

All our administrative offices are currently open. Employees assigned to these offices are teleworking from home. School and adult education centre administrators are currently teleworking and providing the required follow-ups in the workplace for any emergencies and ensuring the delivery of essential services.

Frequently Asked Questions

YOUTH SECTOR

Will my child be promoted to the next grade level?

For each student, transition to the next grade level or graduation will be determined based on the Ministry of Education guidelines and directives. At the moment, we are working with the general guidelines issued by the Ministry (news release of March 22). It states that transition to the next grade level is left to the professional judgment of teachers, based on each student’s grades for the first and second terms of the school year. The school board is currently working with the Ministry of Education to receive directives on the application of these guidelines as we proceed with closing student files for the 2019-2020 school year. We will inform Nunavimmiut once more details become available.

My child has learning difficulties. What will be available to him/her?

Right now, we don’t have an answer to this question. However, this is something we are aware of and will be looking at what services could be offered to students in this situation. This is also an issue in the rest of the province, and possible solutions are under discussion.

Will Secondary 5 students graduate this year?

Yes, students who obtained passing grades for the first and second terms of the school year are expected to graduate.

What can I do with my child to make sure he continues to learn during school closure?

We are currently working on a list of suggested activities that could be done at home or on the land, in a family setting. These will be communicated to parents and Nunavimmiut in the coming weeks, on the radio, on our website and on social media platforms.

In addition, the Quebec Ministry of Education also announced that a kit of resources (educational applications) would be made available to parents on March 30. These will also be accessible to Nunavik parents.

ADULT SECTOR

Are Adult Education courses and Vocational Training programs interrupted?

Yes, all courses and programs offered by the Adult Education and Vocational Training department are interrupted.

The only exception is general education courses offered at a distance, for students who have 1 to 6 credits left to complete before graduating.

Will I graduate from my Adult Education or Vocational Training program?

For students enrolled in general education courses offered in class or at a distance, courses will continue at a distance and only for those who have 1 to 6 credits left to complete before graduating. We will communicate with students who have more than 6 credits to complete before graduating.

Students enrolled in vocational training programs who have modules in progress will be assessed for these modules according to the professional judgment of their teachers, and as to achievement of the required skills. Once classes resume, we will contact all students who need to complete additional modules to graduate.

For college level programs offered in Nunavik (AEC), in popular education classes or tailor-made programs offered under our services to businesses, we will contact all enrolled students once classes resume.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

How many employees currently have to travel from Nunavik back to their home in other parts of Canada? Are they all teachers?

When school closures were announced last week, teachers and staff who were already down south for March Break were asked to stay there. In these communities, some teachers and staff had decided to stay in Nunavik for March Break and they are still there (Kangirsuk, Salluit, Ivujivik, Inukjuak).

Staff who were due to depart for a March Break scheduled on March 16 to 20 were offered the option to remain in Nunavik throughout the school closures. About 30% of these employees chose to stay in Nunavik (Kangiqsualujjuaq, Tasiujaq, Aupaluk, Puvirnituq, Akulivik, Umiujaq).

Finally, in 4 communities, March Break was scheduled after March 30. Employees in these communities are still in Nunavik (Kuujjuaq, Quaqtaq, Kangiqsujuaq, Kuujjuaraapik).

In total, the school board currently has to organize the movement of approximately 150 staff out of Nunavik communities this week. Teachers and staff who have renewed their contract with the school board for next year will have the option to stay in Nunavik until the travel ban is lifted.

Are employees receiving their salary right now?

As announced by the Government of Quebec, all staff continue to receive their salary as per, and until the end, of their current contract.

All our administrative offices are currently open. Employees assigned to these offices are teleworking from home. School and adult education centre administrators are currently teleworking and providing the required follow-ups in the workplace for any emergencies and ensuring the delivery of essential services.

What will happen to employees who were down south when the school closure was announced. Will they be able to travel to Nunavik to recover their personal effect?

Our immediate priority is to organize the repatriation of all staff to locations outside of Nunavik.

We are already working on scenarios and possible solutions for staff whose personal belongings remain in Nunavik. We will communicate with all concerned employees as soon as staff currently remaining in Nunavik have been repatriated home.

What will be the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak on teacher and staff recruitment?

Teacher recruitment is continuing as usual and we have already filled 52 teaching positions in Nunavik for next year. At the moment, there are 42 teaching vacancies that we are still recruiting for.

It is important to note that the early cut-off date introduced this year, for teachers to indicate their intention for the next school year, is making a very positive difference. It has allowed us to gain almost 8 additional weeks to recruit, compared to previous school years.

The recruitment of school administrators for next year also continues.

Concerning non-teaching non-essential positions based in Nunavik, recruitment is currently on hold given the current ban on movement of non-essential staff.

About COVID-19

COVID-19 causes respiratory infections with symptoms of fever, cough and breathing difficulties. Kativik Ilisarniliriniq takes the situation linked to this disease very seriously. Government authorities, including the Direction de santé publique and the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services are providing the school board with all the advice and directives to deal with this virus.

Infection prevention reminder

Every individual has their part to play to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

The health recommendations below are provided by the Quebec government.

Get provincial public health updates here.

Get Nunavik public health updates here.

Stay at home

  • Do not receive visitors at home.
  • Avoid non-essential travel from one region to another
  • Postpone all non-urgent medical appointments.

Infection Prevention for everyone (source: Government of Quebec)

  • Wash your hands often with soap under warm running water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.
  • When coughing and sneezing cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs.
  • If you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards.
  • If you are sick, avoid contact with more vulnerable people, including older adults and people who have a chronic disease.
  • Avoid direct contact when you greet someone, such as shaking hands, and use alternative ways to greet people.

For citizens returning from travelling (source: Government of Quebec)

Mandatory self-isolation for 14 days for all public service employees and health care, education and daycare workers, both private and public, returning from abroad returning from on or after March 12, 2020.

Individuals who are returning from outside Canada and are in self-isolation at home must:

  • Inform your immediate supervisor;
  • Stay at home;
  • Not go to work;
  • Not use public transport;
  • Postpone all non-urgent medical appointments.
  • Not receive visitors at home.
  • Call 1-877-644-4545 if they have a cough or fever.

NT5

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