Minister Simpson meets with education leaders to discuss key initiatives, plans for new school year


Yellowknife — July 5, 2021

R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE), met with education leaders on June 22, 2021 to discuss the upcoming school year, and provide updates on key education initiatives to improve student outcomes in the Northwest Territories (NWT).

Minister Simpson opened the virtual meeting with remarks about the recent discovery of remains at a residential school site in Kamloops, B.C. He assured education leaders that his staff are working to get information about federal funding supports for Indigenous Governments and communities that want to pursue this work at residential school sites in the NWT.

The Minister discussed school reopening plans for the 2021-22 school year, along with Chief Environmental Health Officer Peter Workman. Mr. Workman spoke about the COVID-19 safety requirements for NWT schools for the upcoming school year, as well as the easing of restrictions announced June 21. Education leaders were pleased with the news that physical distancing requirements are being relaxed, enabling all students to return to full-time in-person learning in the fall of 2021.

ECE staff also provided updates on what has been learned to date on the various engagements with key education partners on the development of the 2030 Early Learning and Child Care Strategy, the Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 Curriculum Renewal initiative, the Education Act Modernization initiative and the development of a new 4 year Skills 4 Success action plan.

Minister Simpson and Education leaders will meet again on August 17, 2021 prior to the 2021-2022 school year beginning.


“As we look forward to summer, I once again offer my thanks to Education leaders for their cooperation and coordination during this challenging school year. I also thank Peter Workman for joining us on June 22, and for the work of the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer throughout the pandemic to keep students, educators, and our community safe. Keeping the health and safety of our students and educators at the forefront for the 2021-22 school year in September while  continuing our important work to improve education outcomes for students in the NWT is our priority.  I wish students, school staff and Education leaders all a safe and enjoyable summer, with some much-deserved time off.”

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

“We thank the Minister and Mr. Workman for their updates. We feel confident that our schools and staff will be prepared to reopen schools safely this September, with exciting initiatives to look forward to. We hope our staff, students and families have a happy and healthy summer.”

Darlene Gruben, Chair, Beaufort-Delta Divisional Education Council


For more information contact:

Briony Grabke

Manager, Communications and Public Affairs

Department of Education, Culture and Employment


Darlene Gruben

Chair, Beaufort Delta Divisional Education Council