Sask. schools are out, but some students are still living on campus

Schools have closed their doors across Saskatchewan this week, but things are different if you live where you study.

At Luther College High School in Regina, 37 student residents are living in the dorms. Most of them, according to the principal Mark Anderson, are international students whose home countries are considered hotspots for COVID-19. 

Anderson said a reduced staff crew of essential workers has been following all the provincial government's safety directives and pandemic precautions while keeping the teens housed, healthy and fed. 

"We started, a while back, with making sure they were sitting far apart when they were in the cafeteria," he said.

Then new rules led to changes for meal protocols.

"We worked closely with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the government to decide that it's probably best to have boxed meals taken to their rooms to ensure safety."

Socialising while keeping their distance

Fortunately, Anderson said, with many other students moved out the school can house each student in individual dorm rooms. Staff are doing their best to find ways to entertain the students and not keep them in those rooms 24/7. 

"They did a movie night. And of course, depending on the configuration we have seating for up to 500 or 600 in our Merlis Belsher Centre, so we were able to space the kids out far enough away from each other that they could still watch this movie on the big screen," Anderson said. 

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He added that the large, otherwise unused school gym means they were able to spread out inside, too. 

"Once again, students are able to engage in some physical activity without having to interact or get too close to each other. So we've been fortunate to have those great facilities and I know the students love the distraction and physical exercise and mental well-being of those get-togethers." 

No students on-campus at Notre Dame

At Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Sask., there are no students still living on campus. 

Marketing and communications director Dawn Froats said via email that nearly all the school's resident and international students were able to get home before travel restrictions made it too difficult. 

She said some have chosen to stay, but many of their parents arranged for them to stay with classmates' families. One student is living in a homestay situation in Saskatchewan. 

Half the residents still at University of Regina

Of the approximately 1,000 students who would normally be living on-campus at University of Regina, approximately 500 are still living there. The majority of the remaining students are also international students. 

The university has encouraged live-in students to move out if they are able, but it's not mandatory. Those who can't move out early will be accommodated until their scheduled move-out date.