Anxiety, optimism as many Montreal kids return to class amid COVID's fourth wave

·1 min read

MONTREAL — It’s back-to-school day for thousands of children in Montreal’s English-language school system, with both parents and teachers hoping for a more normal experience despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

At St. Monica elementary school in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood, a cheer went up from parents this morning as rows of masked children were led into the building.

Children in Grade 1 and up will have to wear masks in common areas and in class, but there won’t be any more class bubbles and extracurricular activities are allowed.

Chelsea Watts-Smith and her seven-year-old daughter, Jayda, said they were both excited for school to come back.

Watts-Smith says she homeschooled her daughter last year but says she feels that teachers and school administrators have worked out the kinks of schooling during a pandemic.

Principal Silvana Crigna says that while some teachers are feeling a little anxious about being in a room of unvaccinated students, the school has worked hard to balance keeping people safe with allowing kids to have as much normalcy as possible.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 31, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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