One northern school will have students learning virtually. The Clearwater River Dene Nation School will see classes online for at least the first month.

This comes after that community and neighbouring La Loche dealt with two significant COVID-19 outbreaks.

School Principal Mark Klein said that in early August,  First Nation leadership was presented options, which also included in-school classes, but ultimately decided to go online.

“They thought that based on a couple of outbreaks that Clearwater and La Loche had over the summer that it was best that we went with the online learning plan with everything that is going around,” Klein explained.

The two outbreaks that occurred totaled more than 300 coronavirus cases.

Teachers will be using Google-based learning applications to teach students with supplied iPad’s.

Klein said that SaskTel is being contracted to install internet in homes which do not currently have it.

As well, teachers will be spending 30 minutes each day with students virtually to build a relationship.

“Its not as good as being in person but, I know my whole staff really miss the kids. We did not have a proper goodbye last year, as we all rushed out of there at the end of March. We really look forward to the day that they do come back,” Klein explained.

Klein said that preparations are being made for when students return to classes in that their desks will be physically distanced and that adequate hand sanitizer will be supplied.