Sue-Ellen Miller hopes her final back-to-school season in Quesnel will be a memorable one.
The Quesnel School District superintendent may be retiring in January, but she still sounds excited for the start of the 2021 school year.
“There was much more of a focus on (health and safety) last year, because we were all so fearful, but this year, we’re really looking forward to a bit more normal,” Miller said.
Former Quesnel School District principal Dan Lowndes will take over as superintendent.
Classes kick off province-wide on Wednesday, Sept. 8. Some COVID-19 pandemic measures from the previous year will remain in place, like mask-wearing for grades 4 – 12, while others, like cohorting will not be needed.
“It’s really exciting for us to be having sports coming back,” Miller said. “Having kids being able to do performances, even for a small audience, those band performances, those theatre performances, we missed so much from that.”
The district will still have health checks, people staying home when they are sick, and more hand hygiene. Quesnel School District received $1.3 million in provincial and federal funding for COVID-19 prevention measures last school year.
“We’re in a different place this year because of the vaccine,” Miller said. “We have a sense that there is one more really important measure in place, being the vaccine, and we have been encouraging staff, students and all members of the community to get it.”
While several COVID-19 cases were detected in schools around the division during 2020/2021, no outbreaks were reported.
The full back to school plan is available at the district’s website, www.sd28.bc.ca.
School District Board meetings will remain virtual, as the board offices are too small to ensure physical distancing. The first Board meeting of the school year is set for Sept. 22.
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