Calgary parents and students optimistic on first day of school

Up until a few weeks ago, Calgary families were still unsure what school might look like this year. Would masks be required? What about online learning?

Zaki Ahmed started Grade 3 on Wednesday at Guy Weadick Elementary and said he’s feeling “very good” about returning.  

His mother, Nina Shah, is too.

“I’m actually pretty excited and confident because they have all the regulation and rules put in place,” she said. “Same thing as last year.”    

Kids heading into Calgary Catholic and Calgary public schools will be required to wear masks this year, as well as maintain proper distancing and follow hygiene procedures as COVID-19 cases continue to climb. 

Across the province, each school authority has made its own decisions on those protocols with no mandates from the province.

Excitement

Neela Mukhopedhyay runs a before and after school program in Temple and says there has been a buzz of excitement in her students about going back to school.

“The children are very excited after all that we went through, like on the pandemic, they are tired at home,” she said.

“They want to come out to play, socialize, interact, communicate.”

There’s a lot to look forward to this year, too, according to education director Calvin Davies with the Calgary Board of Education.

“Schools are gearing up to look at developing practices, and school teams, and hopefully engaging in inter-school athletics, clubs, intramural activities and those kind of things,” he said.

“We’re really pleased that those opportunities are back for students — at the moment, anyway.”

While they’re hopeful for a normal school year, parents and school boards alike say they’re ready to pivot if necessary.    

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