West Royalty students return to school following COVID-19 shutdown

·1 min read
West Royalty Elementary reopened Monday following a shutdown due to COVID-19. (Jane Robertson/CBC - image credit)
West Royalty Elementary reopened Monday following a shutdown due to COVID-19. (Jane Robertson/CBC - image credit)

West Royalty Elementary School reopened Monday after being closed for a week due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

A growing number of people connected to the school have tested positive, and as of last week more than 500 close contacts were in isolation.

Principal Marilyn MacLean said Monday's reopening was bittersweet as only 48 per cent of students returned to in-person classes. It's unclear how many absent students are home isolating and how many are home by choice, she said.

Sheehan Desjardins/CBC
Sheehan Desjardins/CBC

"We were excited to see those students — but we're also missing having the other 52 per cent of our students not here," MacLean said.

"It's like being part of a family and going out to an event and not having your whole family at that event. So we're certainly looking forward to the time when we can all be together here at school."

Separated desks, cohorts

Students who returned to class Monday found some additional health protocols in place, including separated desks, student cohorts and enhanced cleaning.

Leah Classen said her daughter, who is in Grade Six, was eager to get back to school. She said she had little hesitancy about sending her daughter back to class.

Sheehan Desjardin/CBC
Sheehan Desjardin/CBC

"With all the information that we've had — they've given us all the communication with the cleaning. Just knowing how well things were managed before, it feels like everyone's watching, everyone's being as safe as they can for these little ones."

MacLean said the reopening went well, but they're not out of the woods yet — a couple of full classrooms are still isolating. For them, remote learning will continue.

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