Director of Education's Message » Welcome to the Athabasca Denesuline Education Authority!

Welcome to the Athabasca Denesuline Education Authority!

Gerry GWelcome to the Athabasca Denesuline Education Authority!  We are privileged and honored to have become the first amalgamated Denesuline First Nation Education Authority established in the Province of Saskatchewan under the Federal Government Education Transformation Initiative. Our Authority represents the three Denesuline First Nation Bands in the Athabasca Region of our Province – Black Lake First Nation, Fond Du Lac First Nation and Hatchet Lake First Nation. Our mandate is to be responsible for all educational services for Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12 to our communities and schools. We are very recently founded and organized in order to improve the quality and opportunities for learning for all students of the Athabasca Region. We are continuously working diligently to identify and assess the needs and wishes of our students, staff and communities in order to realize improved learning outcomes for all our children. You will find this to be a dynamic organization dedicated to student achievement.

The Board of Education is clearly focused on its vision and mission to achieve excellence in education for every learner.  That focus will enable the Authority to consistently improve and will empower staff to provide the best programs and learning outcomes possible for nearly 1200 Prekindergarten – Grade 12 students in 4 schools. The students and families within our communities are well-served by dedicated staff members who are focused on ensuring that all students achieve high standards.

The Board of Education has set four priorities for all our schools: Literacy and Achievement, Numeracy and Achievement, Student Retention and System Accountability and Governance.  At Athabasca Denesuline Education Authority, we have taken these priorities and used them as a framework to align our system goals, school goals, and individual staff professional goals. 

I am excited to be part of this education authority and proud of the work we are doing to achieve our goals.  You will see that our focus on literacy will lead to greater success for all students.  To be literate today means so much more than the ability to read and write.  We believe that literacy begins with basic skills in reading, writing, math, and other areas but literacy becomes the ability to think, apply knowledge and communicate in all subject areas.  This understanding of literacy will guide all that we do.

The Athabasca Denesuline Education Authority will be a place of excellence and we are proud of the work we are developing for students, families and other partners in our educational community.  If you have any questions or concerns, or suggestions, please contact us at your local school or at the Authority Education Centre (306-922-9830).  We welcome the opportunity for conversation and look forward to working with you as we pursue excellence for every learner.

Yours in Education,

Gerry Guillet

Director of Education

ADEA COVID-19 Update
August 27, 2020

Dear Parent or Caregiver:


This letter is to provide you with an update on school operations for the Athabasca Denesuline Education Authority (ADEA) for the 2020-2021 school year and the procedures that schools will be using to ensure a safe return to school for all students based on health authority guidelines.

School staff has been working closely with ADEA senior staff over the past several weeks to prepare an orderly and safe return to school for all students.  Schools will be welcoming back students on Sept. 8th/20 for in-class instruction.  Schools may stagger the entry and dismissal times for grade groupings of students (ie. K-3, 4-6, 7-12) by a few minutes to avoid crowding entrance and exit areas (see attached schedule).

It is very important to note that if your child is feeling unwell, or exhibiting any cold or flu symptoms, that they are to remain at home until they are feeling better.  If your child becomes ill at school, you will be contacted to make arrangements to come to the school to take your child home.  Children who are ill will not be sent home on the school bus.  Please contact the Community Health Office to arrange for a medical test if you believe your child’s symptoms are similar to those of COVID 19 and follow the directions provided by the health officials.

Temperature checks of students will be conducted for all students prior to entering the school at the start of each day.  Students with excessive temperatures will need to be picked up by parents/caregivers and taken home.  Written medical clearance from the community health office will be required prior to the student returning to school.

Parents and caregivers will be asked to drop off and pick up their children as much as possible to reduce the number of children requiring busing.  Schools may be staggering their bus pick-up and drop-off times and class start and dismissal times so that reduced numbers of students will be entering the school building at any given time.  Temperature checks will be conducted prior to students entering the bus.  Students with excessive temperatures will be sent home if safe to do so and parents contacted.  If not, a staff member will escort the student home.  Written medical clearance from the community health office will be required prior to the student returning to school.

Children transported will be assigned a consistent seat on the bus/van.  Buses and vans will be sanitized before and after each trip with students.  Please see the attached information sheet for your child/children that will identify the start and dismissal times and bus pick up and drop off times.

Parents and caregivers will not be permitted to enter the school, with the exception of pre-arranged meetings with the principal or staff, or for emergency purposes.  Only school staff, itinerant specialists and maintenance personnel will be permitted in school buildings to reduce the number of adults coming into contact with the students and staff.

Additional social distancing and hygiene practices will be in effect when school begins.  As much as possible, students will be asked to maintain 2 meters of distance when in the hallways and school grounds. Hallways will be marked with tape to indicate traffic patterns for moving through them and 2 meter spacing will be marked on the floor at the office and at the library sign out desk, etc.   Classrooms will have desks arranged with as much distancing as possible between students' desks.  To reduce multiple use of desks and tables by numerous classes, students will stay in one classroom as much as possible with specialty or subject teachers coming into the classroom to teach.  

Students will be asked to sanitize their hands upon entering the building, exiting the building and re-entering the building.  Sanitizer or washing stations will be at those entrances designated for entering and exiting. Students will be asked to use only their learning supplies and to avoid sharing of pens, pencils, crayons, glue sticks, etc.  Common contact points, such as computer keyboards will be wiped down before and after each student use.  Washrooms will be monitored to ensure that only a small number of students are using the facilities at any given time to maximize social distancing.

Additional cleaning procedures will be in place with high contact areas such as door handles, water taps, toilet handles, etc. disinfected numerous times daily.  All student desks surfaces will be disinfected at breaks and after school.  As well the school will see additional cleaning daily procedures with Health Canada approved cleaning solutions

Recess and other breaks will be staggered to minimize the number of students moving through the hallways at any given time.  Lunch will be eaten in classrooms.  Students and staff will not be allowed to share lunches with other students or staff.  Nutrition programs will be conducted with all public health provisions in place and only assigned staff will be involved in the food preparation and distribution to students.

If your child has significant learning challenges that will make their ability to social distance and practice appropriate hygiene difficult, your school will be in contact with you regarding programming.  In some cases the child will receive therapy services at the school for designated periods of time, and then return home to be under the supervision of the parent or caregiver.  These arrangements will be on a case by case basis to best support individual student needs.

If the ADEA receives information from health officials that additional health and safety procedures are needed, the ADEA will consult with local leadership regarding any changes to school operations.  Schools will then inform all parents and caregivers of planned changes.  Operational changes may include moving to a Blended Model of Instruction with students attending school on alternating days, and receiving distance/remote on line learning support at home on the intervening days.  If directed to close schools completely, ADEA  schools will move to a Distance/Remote On Line Model of instruction with students conducting their school day at home.

The ADEA appreciates the support of parents, caregivers and communities as together we provide the best educational experience for our children and youth during this period of COVID 19.  If you have questions regarding your school’s start up procedures or programming arrangements, please contact your school principal or superintendent of education. 

We look forward to a safe and positive 2020-21 school year for everyone!




Gerry Guillet

Director of Education