Health and safety guidelines are now online as Kindergarten to Grade 12 students in Whitehorse prepare for a near-normal return to school on Monday, August 23, 2021.
The Department of Education has worked closely with the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) and the COVID-19 Response Unit to finalize these guidelines for the upcoming school year, while keeping some measures in place to ensure schools remain a low-risk setting.
- Staff and students over the age of five must wear a mask in all indoor settings outside the classroom, including common areas and hallways. Masks are not required in the classroom.
- While no specific physical distancing measures will be in place, schools expect students to respect traffic flow and be mindful of others’ personal space.
- Hand washing, hygiene practices and staying home while sick will still be encouraged and recommended.
Parents and families can now also review the Yukon Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education Recovery Plan online. Health and safety guidance will be regularly reviewed with the CMOH and COVID-19 Response Unit throughout the year to make any necessary adjustments to align with the current situation in the territory.
School buses will also be operating normally for the 2021–22 school year, with the added measure of required mask use for all drivers and riders ages five and older.
Each school throughout the territory is finalizing their operational plans to ensure all students can return to in-person learning while maintaining the flexibility to adapt classes if required over the course of the post-vaccine recovery. School-specific plans will be posted on each school’s website before students return to class.
As part of the return to full-time, in-class instruction this fall, students, parents and families can anticipate that their school will:
- Engage directly with all students and families to communicate expectations and available educational program options for the 2021–22 school year.
- Emphasize social-emotional approaches to learning and communication as key components of the pandemic recovery.
- Be responsive and flexible in meeting individual student needs, including acknowledging and addressing impacts from the pandemic on learning and wellbeing.
It’s important students have an opportunity to learn and grow in-person with their peers and teachers. Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our school staff and public health officials, students will continue to benefit from the important academic, social and emotional supports that accompany in-person learning. We are thrilled to welcome students back to full-time, in-class learning this fall and I wish everyone a safe and successful start to the school year.
Minister of Education Jeanie McLean
The first day for students at Whitehorse schools is Monday, August 23, 2021.
Rural schools follow different school calendars than schools in Whitehorse, with students returning to class between Wednesday, August 18 and Wednesday, September 1.