By Justin Seward
While it has been a couple of weeks since students have been back in a classroom setting for the first time in six months since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Bow Island’s St. Michael’s School has seen a near flawless start to the new school year.
“I was surprised how much teachers and myself really missed being with the kids,” said Chris Sumner, St. Michael’s School principal.
“It was a real eye opener. We teach because we enjoy it and we love it. But I didn’t know how much.”
Sumner says in the return to school, his concern was the safety protocols.
“Particularly the little ones,” he said.
“Are they going to be following protocol? Once again, (I am) surprised. It’s been a non-issue as far as I know- even the little people down in Kindergarten, Grade 1. Even the older kids on this side, they’re trying as hard as they can to follow the rules and regulations. As an administrator or teacher, it’s a real blessing, because they’re trying and they’re dong a great job.”
There was an initial sense of worry before the provincial government announced that the scenario was going to be the same as when the lockdown happened.
“I think there was genuine fear and people were somewhat apprehensive that they were going to continue on with the scenario from March to June,” said Sumner.
“In coming back in September- I don’t know how long it’ll last- so far it’s been great. People are happy, enthused and happy to learn. I do expect things to level off at some point and continue to back to the norm”
Sumner says he has never been in back to school setting like this.
“Nothing like this that I can recall even being close,” he said.
Sumner said, “The province has done a good job. I think they’ve handled the protocol well. I think their instructions and guidelines have been pretty succinct.”
All of the school’s students returned to the classroom.