School daze: Families do their best to prep for COVID-19 return to class

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“He’s nervous to go. But he really hated online schooling so much, mentally it just was not good for him at all,” Silveira said. “So he’s really excited to get back and see friends and just have that social aspect, even though he knows it’s going to be much different than the beginning part of Grade 7.”

She also has a five-year-old son who will be at home and a two-year-old going to a day home.

“I’ve actually cried over this. My son who’s supposed to go to kindergarten, we have to keep him home and he’s such a social kid,” Silveira said. “But I don’t trust at all sending a bunch of kids who are in kindergarten, who have no idea what real social distancing means.”

She adds that she’s received no information about online schooling for kindergarteners, if it is even an option.

“Do we just do absolutely nothing because kindergarten is half day? Like, I wish that we had more guidance on exactly what to expect for the online part of the system. That’s a big thing.”

Georgette Popoff is also concerned about her two boys, in grades 9 and 11, returning to school. She worries it will be impossible for students to socially distance and once students go back, cases of COVID-19 will increase. 

“There’s no space in the schools as it was, so how they’re going to change to even try to do more social distancing is beyond me,” Popoff said. “Our classrooms were already over capacity and that’s with student teachers in the rooms to at least assist students. Now, we don’t even know that we’re going to have aides at all, period, for anything. One teacher, still 40, 50 kids, it’s just not going to work.”

Silveira echoes that sentiment.

“I think we need to be a lot more realistic about the size of the classes that we’re putting the kids into, and the number of kids, and I feel like it doesn’t make sense because we’ve been so strict since COVID began,” Silveira said.

“We haven’t seen a lot of our friends or family, and all of a sudden you’re going to send 30 kids back into a classroom. So I feel like everything that we’ve worked really hard to accomplish, it’s going to be erased.”

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