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Elementary schools students return to class in B.C.’s Southern Interior



a little girl riding on the back of a bicycle: Elementary schools in the Southern Interior of B.C. have now opened.


© Global News
Elementary schools in the Southern Interior of B.C. have now opened.

Elementary schools in B.C.’s Southern Interior have opened and with the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, it’s an unprecedented first day back at school.

Global News talked to some elementary school parents to see how they are feeling about schools being reopened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m glad they’re reopened, I think it’s good to get back to a sense of normal,” said Angela Walsh, a Kelowna parent.

“My son has been really excited to get the opportunity to go to kindergarten. Of course, I’m a little bit nervous not knowing how things will play out with COVID-19″.

The same sentiment was echoed by another parent.

“He was actually quite happy to go this morning and was first in line to get into his classroom. I’m feeling pretty positive,” said Amy Martens, a Kelowna parent.

“Definitely a wait and see what happens.”

Read more: Back to school: If someone in a B.C. school gets sick, what happens next?

Martins, whose son is going into Grade 5, says school resuming is like a weight being lifted off her shoulders.

“A relief, for sure. Socially, it’s nice to have him back with his peers. Get him out of the house, and having a purpose to the day. It’s hard to keep a 10-year-old busy,” said Martens.

One parent said its been a long summer for him and his wife.

“I’m excited to have them going back,” said Matthew Cleary, a Kelowna parent.

“It’s been a long spring and summer taking care of the kids at home, and working from home. So, it’s nice to get them back into school and into a regular routine.”

Read more: Coronavirus: Anxiety high for B.C. teachers as they prepare to return to school on Tuesday

Central Okanagan Public Schools says it hears some of the concerns that some parents are having, but say staff are doing everything they can within the provincial guidelines to keep everyone safe.

“We are really excited to see about 99 per cent of our kids come back to in-class instruction. We’ve got lots of safety protocols in place to make sure that the risk is low for students to attend school,” said Kevin Kaardal, Central Okanagan Public Schools’ superintendent.

The situation will be an ongoing one, and parents say they will be monitoring how the transition of opening schools during a pandemic goes.

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