The Government of Yukon is planning for Kindergarten to Grade 12 students to return to classes in school at the start of the 2020–21 school year.
As part of A Path Forward: Yukon’s plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions, initial health and safety guidance for Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools has been developed with Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health to start planning for changes to the operations of Yukon schools for the 2020–21 school year. Health and safety guidelines will be developed before the start of the 2020–21 school year.
Each school will determine how it will adjust its operations to meet Yukon’s health and safety guidelines for Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools while meeting the unique needs and context of school communities. School principals and staff will share this information before the start of the 2020–21 school year.
This has been a challenging time for students and families. We know that the longer we are out of regular routines the more mental health and wellness are affected. Planning is well underway to return our students to school in the fall, knowing that schools will be following new guidelines to protect the health and safety of students, school staff and communities.
Minister of Education Tracy-Anne McPhee
Returning students to classes in school is an important part of our return to Yukon’s new normal. Children need to see their teachers and to be with each other in a healthy learning environment. If carefully planned, schools can be safe places to learn even in the presence of COVID.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley
Planning for the 2020–21 school year includes flexibility to reduce the number of students in schools if there is an increased risk of transmission or a second wave of the COVID-19 virus; and to supplement in-person classes with other learning opportunities if needed.
Detailed health and safety guidelines for schools will include requirements for hand washing and personal hygiene practices, cleaning and disinfecting, safe spacing through physical distancing and minimizing physical contact, riding the school bus, managing illness and absences and after school and community use.
Other jurisdictions where students have returned to classes in their schools will also be monitored to learn from and adapt to best practices.
Students will be able to ride the school bus to school with new health and safety guidelines that will be developed. Whitehorse parents/guardians should register their child by visiting yukon.ca/en/bus by June 19. Rural parents and guardians should contact their school directly to ask about busing.
The Government of Yukon released A Path Forward: Yukon’s plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions on May 15, 2020 and is on track to enter Phase 2 of the plan on July 1.
On April 7, 2020, the Government of Yukon announced the suspension of face-to face classes in Yukon schools for the remainder of the 2019–20 school year.