Tardy students? Arctic Canadian town turns to emergency alarm

Sunrise in Kugluktuk, Nunavut. The hamlet's emergency siren now sounds at 8:30 a.m. every school day to get the kids out of bed and into class. (Peter Kakolak)
Sunrise in Kugluktuk, Nunavut. The hamlet’s emergency siren now sounds at 8:30 a.m. every school day to get the kids out of bed and into class. (Peter Kakolak)
Normally used to alert the hamlet to an emergency, the siren in Kugluktuk, a community in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut,  now sounds at 8:30 a.m. every school day to get the kids out of bed and into class.

At the high school, attendance rates hover at about 60 per cent.

“We were knocking on student doors to wake them up in the morning and they said ‘Why don’t you just turn on the siren?'” said principal Haydn George.

Close to 200 people in the community signed a petition asking the hamlet to sound the alarm. Most of those signatures came from students.

“Since I hit high school, like Grade 10, most of my classmates have been dropping out of school because they’re too lazy to get up in the morning,” said Grade 12 student Darla Evyagotailak.

The new community wake up call started just before the Christmas break so George says it’s hard to know exactly how effective it is, but he’s going to keep sounding the alarm when class resumes in January.

Related Links:

Town in northern Sweden leads the pack of best schools, Radio Sweden

Revolution in rural Alaska education? Many embracing regional schools, Alaska Dispatch

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