It was a different-looking first day of school for kids at Maple Ridge’s Eric Langton elementary on Thursday.
Many of the parents and students wore masks – all of them a little more dressy and interesting than standard light blue medical PPE. And even some of the intermediate students walked in holding hands with a parent into a more uncertain environment, as they went back to school during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m a little nervous, during this time, going back to school,” said Grade 5 Cynthia Marr. “But I’m excited too. I get to see my friends again.”
Her grandma, Nora Marr, had a more pointed take: “We’re terrified.”
The family has been careful about social distancing, taking the government’s COVID-19 protocols seriously.
“This is our bubble,” she said, meaning the trio walking to school, which also included her son David.
“I’m old,” she said.
“And I’m diabetic,” added David.
Elton De Genova and daughter Ainslee were also heading for the first day of Grade 5. She was happy to have the same teacher as last year, and see her friends.
“She’s a little nervous – the COVID thing,” said Elton.
Another student, Lydia Kelln said she would rather do home schooling “in the comfort of my own home.”
Her stepmother Buffy Drover, had been hoping that with the rising numbers of cases of COVID-19 infections in the province, the government would postpone the return to school.
“I was really hoping it wouldn’t happen,” she said. “We’re not ready.”
Students at the school came in two groups, for morning and afternoon sessions, during their first day on Thursday. Educators returned on Tuesday and Wednesday, and students will be part of orientation week today and Friday.
Parents with questions about back to school can pose them at https://www.sd42.ca/faq/