While most Saskatchewan high schools will be holding classes, Campus Regina Public (CRP) is keeping its door shuttered.
The school provides career-oriented classes for students in the Regina Public School Division. Typically Grade 11 and 12 students attend class there while still going to their original school for the remainder of their classes.
CRP will be closed during the fall semester to limit the size of student cohort groups and prevent students from different areas of the city interacting.
The news was sad for Peh Bee. The Grade 12 student said she met new friends while attending classes there last year and was hopeful to take more this year.
"I loved every moment of it," Bee said. "Everyone there was so welcoming and felt very warm and I felt like I belonged there."
Bee said she could relate to the CRP students and teachers more than the ones at her home school.
"It inspired me to become a more open-minded person and look at views and different perspectives," she said. "I've become a better person than I was a year ago."
It felt like a safe place. - Laura Milligan
Jason Coleman, superintendent of achievement for Regina Public Schools, said the decision was not made lightly.
"A lot of our planning went into trying to keep the number of cohorts down, and that [CRP] would bring kids from various schools for a half day … It didn't necessarily work as well," Coleman said. "I think the reaction is disappointment, but I also think the reaction is understanding."
The division's website says staff at CRP are now working to teach online through the division's eSchool initiative.
Bee said one person who made her feel welcome at the school was fellow student Laura Milligan. The two quickly became close friends.
Milligan, who is heading into Grade 12 at Sheldon Williams Collegiate, said she's feeling upset as well.
"I liked the diversity [at CRP], I thought it was really unique because I got to meet people from other schools that I would never have the opportunity to connect with," Milligan said. "It felt like a safe place."
Milligan said CRP catereted to students' individual needs and interests.
"They really wanted to learn and I think that the teachers were really conscious of that," she said.
Miligan said she wanted to pursue social justice as a career but won't have the opportunity to take the specialized course again. The atmosphere is also something she'll miss, because the school felt like a community where people accepted each other, she said.
"CRP was a safe haven for a lot of the other people as well," Milligan said.
"Even though we won't get to experience it this year, at least we have had good times there and we can look forward to the people in the future, the students that will get to experience that same joy that we did."
Bee said it's also different because she's in Grade 12 this year. It was her last chance and she won't have the same opportunities after high school, she said.
"I honestly don't know what to say because I'm so sad," she said. "I guess maybe more opportunities in the future will come."
Coleman said the division will be re-evaluating the decision as the school year goes on, but that it will depend on the advice of the Ministry of Education and provincial health officials.
"We've seen kids who sometimes have struggled at times with a more traditional model of great success. So we are committed," Coleman said. "We'll be the best we can do to make the right decision around safety for that program and for our kids."