After six months, teachers and staff across Lloydminster waited patiently to welcome back students to the classroom on Tuesday.
Lloydminster Comprehensive High School Principal Dwayne Marciniw mentioned many students expressed excitement to be back to face-to face learning once again.
“We couldn’t be more proud of our students and staff for the role that they played in making our first day back to school a successful one, and we are hopeful that this is the start of a great year ahead,” said Marciniw.
As students strolled through halls, they may have noticed a few changes in their schools.
These include being required to work in groups and take staggered breaks to limit contact with other students, hallway markers to handle traffic control and a focus on sanitation.
Holy Rosary Principal Vince Orieux believes, despite some changes, school days are going to run as normal.
“We’re limiting a little bit when they come to school in the morning and some of the things that they really enjoy, like hanging out in the commons and visiting, they can do that in their classrooms, but not so much in the public areas.”
Over the Summer, the Lloydminster Public School Division and Lloydminster Catholic School Division were hard at work creating back-to-school plans for approval by the Government of Saskatchewan.
Leading up to the return, divisions had a mid-August deadline for the plans with each school principal releasing them to families on August 26th.
LCSD is taking a staggered return to school approach while the LPSD welcomed all students back on Tuesday.
LCSD students with their last name starting with A to L started on Tuesday and M to Z on Wednesday. The schedule will be staggered for the rest of the week to get students and parents acclimated with the new protocols. Regular classes begin on September 14th.
Since it was the first day of class, Orieux mentioned so far students response towards the new changes, such as wearing masks, was well-received.
“They understand the social norm and the responsibility that they need to have as students to keep everybody safe.”
Parents have had many options to choose from ahead of their kids going back to school with remote learning and homeschooling.
Orieux added over 90% of Holy Rosary students returned to school with around 60 students choosing the remote learning option.
Since the release of Lloydminster’s back-to-school plans in August, the division has mentioned that all procedures are subject to change for the safety of staff and students.
“There are small things, procedural things we’ll just touch base on at the end of the day to make sure that we’re covered if not, we will tweak for tomorrow and you know, we still have Thursday and Friday with half the population to get things right for the full student body coming on September 14th,” Orieux said on Tuesday.