East Central First Nations Education Partnership
October 21, 2020-Randy Constant, the Director of Education for the East Central First Nations Education Partnership (ECFNEP) which operates schools in the communities of Cumberland House Cree Nation and James Smith Cree Nation has confirmed that both schools have been temporarily closed by the respective Chiefs and Councils of the First Nations.
An outbreak of COVID-19 in the village of Cumberland House has resulted in the Nistro Awasisak Memorial School (NAMS) being shuttered by the Chief and Council of the Cumberland House Cree Nation on Monday, October 19.
Similarly, Bernard Constant Community School located on the James Smith Cree Nation near Melfort was closed today by the Chiefs and Councils of the James Smith Cree Nation, Chakastaypasin Band and Peter Chapman Band.
According to Mr. Constant, the schools will be closed initially for the next three weeks and their reopening will depend on the communities containing the spread of community transmission. The Partnership’s senior officials believe the decision by the elected officials was prudent as the health and safety of students and school staff are paramount.
Students will continue to learn during the temporary closure noted Mr. Constant. “Learning for students at both schools will continue by either homework packages delivered to the residences of students or by online learning,” said Mr. Constant. “The education of our students will continue despite the virus being present in both of our communities. All community members are urged to be cautious and follow public health guidelines such as wearing masks and social distancing to curtail the spread of the virus in the communities. Our students are naturally disappointed by the school closures and look forward to returning to the schools when the virus is no longer present in two affected First Nations which compose the Partnership.”
Further updates will be provided when necessary.
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