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Minister Simpson and Education leaders meet to discuss joint work

Communiqué

Yellowknife — April 29, 2021

Minister of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE), the Honourable R.J. Simpson, met with education leaders from across the Northwest Territories (NWT) on Tuesday to review various initiatives to Improve Student Outcomes in the Junior Kindergarten (JK) to Grade 12 (JK-12) education system. 

Education leaders meet with Minister Simpson multiple times a year to hold important discussions about the future of education in the territory. Minister Simpson opened today’s virtual meeting by thanking the leaders and staff of the Yellowknife Catholic School Board for their response to the news of a COVID-19 case connected to one of their schools. He acknowledged the important work done this year by education leaders, education body staff and the Department of Education, Culture and Employment to develop well defined processes and procedures for managing this scenario. 

As key stakeholders in all matters of education change and renewal, education leaders participated in a discussion regarding the 2030 Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) Strategy discussion paper. The Strategy focuses on improving the availability and affordability of early learning and child care throughout the territory. The 10-year Strategy will provide a broad description of the elements required to increase the availability of child care throughout the NWT.

Education leaders also discussed JK-12 Curriculum Renewal. ECE provided updates on recent public engagement initiatives, and ECE’s research into Alberta’s recently-released K-6 draft curriculum. The Minister assured education leaders that their input will inform decisions around JK-12 Curriculum Renewal, and any new curriculum will be carefully reviewed to ensure it meets the needs and interests of NWT students and communities.

Minister Simpson and education leaders had productive follow-up discussions about Education Act Modernization (EAM). The presentation explored areas of the NWT education system’s structure and governance, including overlapping Roles and Responsibilities and Funding the Current Education System.

Information about forthcoming online regional events and further public engagement opportunities around Education Act Modernization was shared.

ECE also presented education leaders and the Minister with results from the Early Development Instrument (EDI). Kindergarten teachers in the NWT have completed this questionnaire since 2012 to measure a child’s ability to meet age-appropriate developmental expectations. Annually collected EDI data provides information to guide decision-making, monitor trends and measure the impacts of changes to programs and services provided for children in the early years. ECE is gathering feedback on the EDI results, as it works to change the way it analyzes and reports on the data.

The next meeting of education leaders with Minister Simpson is scheduled for Tuesday, May 25, 2021.

Quick facts:

  • The GNWT is working to modernize the Education Act in an effort to improve student outcomes to the same level as the rest of Canada, and to close the gap in student outcomes that exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, and between students in Yellowknife and smaller communities.
  • To participate in the modernization of the NWT Education Act please click here: Have Your Say – Education Act Modernization.
  • ECE regularly reviews its curriculum and resources to ensure they align with the NWT’s priorities and values for education.
  • The NWT currently uses a mix of curriculum that is either adapted or adopted from other jurisdictions in Canada, or is created in the NWT for JK-12.
  • Much of the NWT curriculum is Alberta’s, especially at the high school level, though ECE also draws on parts of its curriculum from other Western Canadian provinces.

Quotes

“The NWT JK-12 education system is undergoing important change as our government works toward improving student outcomes in the territory. Meeting with education leaders is vital to ensure we hear their feedback on these significant initiatives. I am pleased with the productive discussions we had today and look forward to continuing these conversations at future meetings.”

-R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment

“I would like to thank the Minister and education leaders for their time today. There is exciting work being done in education renewal right now, so it is more important than ever for us to come together. The collaboration and friendships cultivated among education leaders is so valuable as we work closely toward the common goal of improving education outcomes for NWT youth.”

-Erin Currie, DEA Chair, Yellowknife Catholic Schools

 

For more information contact:

Christina Carrigan

Manager, Communications and Public Affairs

Department of Education, Culture and Employment

Christina_carrigan@gov.nt.ca

 

Erin Currie

DEA Chair, Yellowknife Catholic Schools

erin.currie@ycs.nt.ca