SCHOOL CLOSURES & FIRE DRILLS 

Please contact your child's school directly if you have questions about current school closures.

Fire Evacuation Drills

Principals are responsible for conducting school evacuation fire drills; with three fire drills being held in each of the fall and spring terms. A fire drill must also be held within the first twenty instructional

school days.

Emergency School Closing​

Emergency School Closures are defined as those rare occasions when the school is closed to both students and staff. The following are reasons for which the Superintendent may authorize an emergency school closure:

  • Blizzards – Schools may be closed in the event of a blizzard and white-out such that buildings are not visible and staff and students are at risk of getting lost and frozen. As a general principle South Slave schools will not close due to cold weather.

  • Fire or Fumes – School principals are expected to evacuate the school immediately in the event of a fire or noxious fumes in the building.

  • Communicable Diseases – Only the Chief Medical Officer for the NWT has the authority to close schools due to influenza or other communicable disease concerns in a community.

Unplanned Cancellation of Classes

Unplanned Cancellation of Classes is defined as an occasion where the school remains open but some or all students may be exempt from attending. In such cases, staff are expected to be in attendance. The following are reasons for which the Superintendent may authorize the cancellation of classes:

  • Bussing cancellations - While school bus contractors may choose to discontinue service at certain temperatures, schools will remain open and staff will continue instruction to those students who show up.

  • Power and/or Heating failures - The effect of power or heating failures on student instruction will depend in large part on the time of year, availability of natural lighting and the duration. Generally power or heating failures would have to be of considerable duration before dismissal of students would be considered.

  • Water failures - Water failures can have a fairly immediate effect on a consideration to dismiss students. The duration of a water shortage is a prime consideration for two reasons:

    • health issues related to the availability of washroom facilities, and

    • code considerations for fire sprinkler systems. Certain schools, because of the town mains supply situation, have been instructed by local fire authorities to evacuate in short order if there is a public water failure to the school building.

In the event of unplanned cancellation of classes, the school remains open. It remains the responsibility of parents to determine whether or not it is safe to send or otherwise transport their children to and from school. Once the student has entered school property (including the school busses if they are running) the safety of the student becomes and remains the responsibility of the school staff until the student has left the school property at the end of the morning or school day or some earlier time that the parents may be informed that their children are excused.
 

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