The Halton District School Board welcomed elementary and secondary students attending school in-person on the first official day of the 2020-2021 school year.
Elementary and secondary schools across the region opened their doors to students and staff with enhanced safety protocols during COVID-19. Virtual schools will begin instruction on Wednesday, Sept. 16.
Last week, during their orientation day, schools walked students through health protocols to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone inside the building. This includes proper hand-washing and sanitizing, physical distancing, wearing masks and more.
Busi Gwiji has children in Kindergarten and Grade 3 at the newly-opened Dr. David R. Williams Public School in Oakville.
“We are excited about school and the kids are excited to be back,” she says. “They're looking forward to making new friends. We’re looking forward to it overall.”
Megan Mills, Kindergarten teacher at Dr. David R. Williams Public School, says she is thrilled to see her students today.
“I’m just looking forward to a fun day,” she says. “I want parents to know that we are here for your children, that we’re here to take care of them and that we are thrilled to see them.”
Principal Janet Ricciardelli says the staff is ready to start the new school year.
“Today is our first day and our whole school community is coming together for the very first time in a new building and I couldn’t be more thrilled,” she says. “Regardless of the circumstances we are in, this is an amazing time for all of us and we are focusing on that positive energy.”
Megan Abdool, in Grade 11 at M.M. Robinson High School in Burlington, is happy to be back learning in school and is comfortable with the health protocols in place. For example, she notes that students weren't lingering around hand sanitizing stations and talking to each other.
”We also went over the protocols with our teacher,” says Abdool.
“Coming into school today I was incredibly eager,” says Claire Proteau, Principal at M.M. Robinson High School, noting weeks of preparation have gone into preparing school for the first day. “There are students smiling behind their masks and they are feeling pretty good. It feels like we did the right stuff the right way to make it all roll out properly.”