COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) – Teachers have spoken out about their concerns, many parents are also anxious, but how are students feeling about their return-to-class this week?
Kids across the province are taking part in COVID-19 orientation sessions this week amid a flurry of new protocols aimed at reopening schools while the COVID-19 pandemic wears on.
In Coquitlam, 15-year-old Charlotte Gibson says she would rather be starting classes from home, but since she doesn’t have a compromised immune system, she doesn’t have a remote learning option.
“I’ve been working so hard over the past six months to limit my bubble to keep other people and myself safe,” she tells The Canadian Press. “Essentially, that is all kind of going out the window all of a sudden.”
Starting Monday, Gibson is set to attend Grade 11 classes every morning with up to 30 students from her designated learning group. For two afternoons each week, she will have class with about 15 students who come from a different learning group of up to 120 others.
She is worried about a lack of physical distancing.
“I feel like kids’ anxiety is going to be at an all-time high. Not only are we going to have school to worry about, but we are also going to have this added level of stress. There are going to be some kids who really want to follow the rules and there will be some kids who don’t care at all.”
Gibson says she won’t spend time with friends who are outside her designated learning group but she’s expecting some others will mingle outside school.
The latest poll from Leger finds 52 per cent of Canadians feel children should be going back to school in-person, while 35 per cent say they should not.
In British Columbia, the numbers trend the other way with only 38 per cent believing kids should head back to a physical classroom and 46 per cent who say no.
Despite those sentiments, 61 per cent of parents asked by Leger say they are sending their children back to school this week with 18 per cent, nationally, saying they will keep them home.
Compare that to what we have heard from some Metro Vancouver school districts who have indicated 80 to 90 per cent of students will be returning to face-to-face learning this week.