In 1965, materials for the Holman Federal School were airlifted into the community. The community used to host gatherings in two small portables, as well as day classes for children. The portables were located on the current site of HKE. At that time, there was no gymnasium or activity room. Having two classrooms for all the students and community member's gatherings was very challenging. A new school was built begining in 1983 and was completed shortly after the passing of its namesake, local artist Helen Kalvak. Helen, born in 1901, passed in 1984. In 1984-85, Ulukhaktok Elihavik School opened its doors for students in K-9. A town-wide naming competition that year resulted in its eventual permanent name. In 1985-86, Helen Kalvak Elihakvik began it's inaugral year. In 1995, the "new" school had a makeover where it received a large gymasium. This allowed the former gym/recreation hall to be converted into a library. In 2000, then principal, and local Inuvialuit, Helen Kitekudlak brought grade 10 to HKE. The following two years, HKE grew to offer grade 11 and 12. In 2003, HKE had its first two high school graduates. Since 2003, HKE has an additional 78 graduates! This number will continue to grow as we HKE has developed a balanced academic and culturally responsive learning experience for the youth of Ulukhaktok.
At Helen Kalvak School, we believe that all members of the community have the right to a learning and work environment free from intimidation, humiliation and hurt. We all share a responsibility to foster, promote and restore right relationships. We believe that bullying is unacceptable and we [students, staff, parents and community members] all share a responsibility for preventing it. This policy builds on the school’s “Code of Conduct” and “Progressive Discipline Policy” to provide clear procedures and strategies to prevent, reduce and respond to bullying. Because Schools are called to establish relationships which are grounded in love, compassion, reconciliation and justice. In witnessing these values we reject ideas, beliefs and behaviours which marginalize or victimize people.
Our school philosophy, we engage with parents, the community and partners to provide a quality education to our students. We indigenize education by both integrating local culture into the classroom and taking the classroom onto the land. We aim to prepare our youth to walk in two worlds, grounded in their traditional culture while leading engaged and fulfilling lives in today’s complex world.