North

Some N.W.T. schools are helping students with homework outdoors

Two schools in Fort McPherson and Aklavik, N.W.T., offer outdoor programming in the Beaufort Delta region.

'It was amazing,' says vice-principal of Moose Kerr School

Moose Kerr School students in Aklavik, N.W.T., receive help on their homework packages outdoors. The program began Wednesday. (Moose Kerr School)

As the weather warms up and schools are wrapping up, some schools in the N.W.T. are offering extra help for students outside.

Moose Kerr School in Aklavik, N.W.T., is one of the latest schools to offer support to students outdoors who are finishing up their school packages. They started on Wednesday, and will offer help outside for a few hours a day Monday to Friday.

"The principal contacted me and told me that some communities in the [Beaufort Delta Education Council] school division are doing this, so we should try doing that," said Walid Ayache, vice-principal of Moose Kerr. "It was amazing … Eleven kids showed up."

He said the education assistants and students sit in desks about two to three metres apart from each other.

Devin Roberts, assistant superintendent of the Beaufort Delta Education Council, wrote in an email that Chief Julius School in Fort McPherson, N.W.T., came up with the idea after meetings with the principals, a program support teacher and support assistants.

'We don't force them to come. It's out of their goodness of their hearts that they come and help the kids,' says the vice-principal about education assistants. (Submitted by Moose Kerr School)

Chief Julius School started its outdoor homework help at the end of May.

Roberts said other schools in the region are provided internet connections with turbo sticks and sponsorship with New North Networks in Inuvik.

"We are open to doing any and everything we can to support learning, as long as it is done with the utmost safety during these trying times," wrote Roberts.

Students sit in desks about two to three metres apart from each other. (Moose Kerr School)

Aklavik's Ayache said he thinks that even more students will take advantage of the help as word spreads around the hamlet.

He thanked education assistants for doing everything they can to help set up the outdoor support sessions on short notice.

"We don't force them to come. It's out of their goodness of their hearts that they come and help the kids."

He said although the school does everything it can to help the students with their work through the internet or phone, it's still difficult for them to be learning outside of a classroom.

"The problem is some kids probably still have frustrations. Some parents don't know… how to teach them the material," Ayache said. "The parents were giving us positive feedback on this."

The deadline for the students to complete their education packages is June 12.

Moose Kerr School will continue to set up outside for kids to get help from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., during the weekdays until that deadline.

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