Our Community of Sambaa K’e and our School

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Kristy Nicholls


Charles Tetcho School
P.O. Box 60,
Trout Lake, NT
X0E 1Z0
Phone: 867-206-2242
Fax: 867-206-2516

Regular Hours

Monday to Friday

8:45 AM to 4:15 PM
Closed for lunch
 (12:00 PM – 1:00 PM)


Ruby Jumbo – Sambaa K’e

In a community which maintains traditional lifestyles as well a great respect for cultural heritage, Charles Tetcho’s goals are to foster a climate in which all students are able to learn and acquire essential skills related both to curricular outcomes and meaningful life skills. Cultural traditions and Dene Yahtie language training are integrated within our daily instructional lessons.

Welcome to Charles Tetcho School, located in magnificent Sambaa K’e (formerly known as Trout Lake). We are situated on the flat, sandy, forested southeast shore of Trout Lake and at the mouth of the Island River in the south-central area of the Dehcho region. Our community is accessible by charter aircraft in summer or by a 126 kilometre ice road during the winter months.

We are a Kindergarten to grade 9 school with an enrollment of 16 students. In 1959 students were taken from Trout Lake to schools in Fort Smith, Providence even Inuvik. When Thomas Simpson School and hostel were completed in 1960, students from Trout Lake went there for schooling. The first school was built in Trout Lake in 1972. A larger school providing education to grade six was built in 1978 and named Charles Tetcho after the first Sub-Chief in this community. A beautiful new and larger and school building is currently under construction to accommodate the growing population of students and will be officially opening September 2019. High school students will continue to go to Liidlii Kue Regional High School in Fort Simpson.

At Charles Tetcho, we are more than just a school; we are an extension of our students’ families! I am a firm believer that the parents and guardians of our students play an equally important role in every child’s learning experience. We invite parents and guardians to be active participants in the daily learning activities and school experiences of their children. When we all work together to support student learning, we believe that our students tend to do better in school, stay in school longer and enjoy school more. An open, two-way path of communication is vital to the success of our students!

At Charles Tertcho, we endeavor to create a school community that provides quality education along with a strong focus on wellbeing. We strive to provide every student the opportunity to develop critical thinking, a strong feeling of self-worth and an understanding of his or her social responsibility. We are proud of our community connections and the partnerships that we have established with various groups (Kole Crook Fiddle Association, Ecology North, NWT Judo Association etc.) as a way to provide a variety of activities and opportunities for students to engage in their learning and connect with their community.

Our staff includes a Primary Teacher, a Principal/Elementary Teacher and an Indigenous Language and Culture Instructor. They are passionate about developing the academic, social, physical and spiritual whole of the young people in our care. While maintaining high standards for student learning, they work hard to make Charles Tetcho School a warm and friendly place, where all children can experience the satisfaction of persevering and the joy of succeeding. We all share a goal of providing a safe, supportive and cooperative learning place of learning for all of our students; an environment that allows them to explore and learn from the world around them and one that celebrates each individual student and encourages them to continuously strive for their personal best.

As principal, I greatly value our vibrant school community and the partnership our school has with parents and the community. I am honoured to be working with the Charles Tetcho team and I look forward to continuing to have a positive impact on the children of Sambaa K’e, and to new discoveries with an amazing team of teachers!