Government of Yukon

August 23, 2017

Yukon teachers are back to school at the annual Summer Academy

Yukon teachers, principals, educational assistants and remedial tutors are back to school today, kicking off the year with two days of learning.

The annual Summer Academy brings together all Yukon educators for professional development sessions on August 23 and 24 at F.H. Collins Secondary School, Selkirk Elementary School, Elijah Smith Elementary School and Christ the King Elementary School.

This year’s sessions are aimed at supporting the implementation of the redesigned curriculum, including assessment practices and Yukon First Nations reconciliation.

Summer Academy is part of an annual Welcome Week. All educators are expected to participate in Summer Academy. Welcome Week also includes a new teacher orientation day and a First Nations orientation day for all new teachers and principals.


“Professional educators play a critical role in the health and wellbeing of our communities and children. Investing in professional learning at Summer Academy, and throughout the year, models life-long learning and encourages new ways to engage students.”

–Minister of Education Tracy-Anne McPhee

Quick facts

  • Principals and teachers will be attending sessions at F.H. Collins Secondary School, Selkirk Elementary School and Christ the King Elementary. Educational assistants and remedial tutors will have their own sessions at Elijah Smith Elementary School.
  • There are over 800 educators attending Summer Academy.
  • Teachers in Grades K to 9 will start using the redesigned curriculum this school year. Grades 10 to 12 will start the following school year.
  • School starts for most Whitehorse students on August 28. For more information on start dates for all schools, as well as other important dates, see the School Calendar webpage.

See backgrounder.


Sunny Patch
Cabinet Communications

Kyle Nightingale
Communications, Education

Backgrounder – Overview of Summer Academy workshops and presenters

Mark Connell
(Yukon College)

Decolonizing the classroom

This workshop provides a brief introduction to the concept of decolonization and its implications on teaching. Through various activities, participants will explore why and how a decolonized approach to teaching is a prerequisite for meeting the needs of Yukon students and promoting reconciliation.

Kaleb Child (B.C. Ministry of Education)

Kans Hilile: “Making things right” for all learners

A presentation that focuses on acknowledging the wrongs of the past, that Aboriginal education is for everyone, and the personal and professional journey of taking action to benefit all learners.

Aboriginal worldviews and perspectives in the classroom

This workshop gives an overview of the emerging themes and the developing understandings of how educators can lead, transform and continue to grow their relationships in communities as they support learning for all students.

Jan Unwin (BC Ministry of Education)

Transforming education in British Columbia: A focus on the graduation learning years

This session presents the rationale behind the transformation of the K-12 world of education and the connection to post-secondary and the world of work.

Brent Munro (BC Ministry of Education)

Flexible and personalized learning in your classroom and community

The redesigned curriculum has been built to support both students and teachers in how they learn best. Students and teachers are able to approach learning and exploration of concepts in much more flexible and personalized ways. This session helps educators develop personalized learning strategies in their classrooms and communities.

Tosh Southwick (Yukon College) and Nicole Morgan (Yukon Department of Education)

What Does Reconciliation Look Like in Education?

The stories of two born and raised Yukoners, one of whom is Yukon First Nations, are compared to deepen our understanding of the experiences and impacts of learning in Yukon schools. Tosh and Nicole connect to model the cultural competency of the new curriculum and help us to reimagine reconciliation in education.

Curriculum and assessment sessions

Presentations in this theme provide ideas for specific subject areas, like Grade 10 – 12 science classes or how to build an integrated unit, and inquiry-based learning. Field trip planning and risk assessment is presented. iPads and other technology are also presented.

Several Yukon First Nations themed presentations include the Blanket Exercise, Plants and Connection to Place – an integrated science unit to explore the idea of place as it relates to traditional teaching about plants.

Other sessions present assessment strategies for assessing student performance based on the learning standards and goals in the redesigned curriculum, and how to use portfolios of student work to show evidence of learning.

News Release #17-170