'It’s a waste of time': Low turnout for the final day of school in Nova Scotia

As Claire Mahaney-Lion dropped her son off at school Thursday morning, she questioned the reasons behind scheduling a school day that would last fewer than two hours.

“I think it’s a waste of time,” said Mahaney-Lion. “I think school should have just ended on Tuesday.”

Some parents disagreed.

“I think it’s nice just to give them an extra bit of time, to say goodbye,” said one mother as she dropped her daughter off at school.

Emily MacNeill-Liot saw the issue in two ways.

“It does give the kids an opportunity to say goodbye to their peers,” said MacNeill-Liot. "But it is really hard for working parents to find an opportunity to actually take the kids to school and pick them up an hour later.”

In many cases, school buses had more drivers than students.

"We have three on all of the seven buses,” said a bus driver as he pulled out of the Cole Harbour High School Parking lot.

According to Nova Scotia Teachers Union president Paul Wozney, many parents, teachers and even students were all asking the same questions.

“Should this be a day of school?" said Wozney. "Is there a better use for this time, than this?”

“It is traditionally a shorter day,” said Nova Scotia Education Minister Becky Druhan in a statement. “With so many changes over the past few years due to COVID, it is great to return a sense of routine and allow students to enjoy this special day.”

Parents who have already received report cards via email may view attending the final day of school as a waste of time, but according to Wozney, some families do not have access to the internet.

“There are lots of places around the HRM where broadband internet is not accessible or affordable to people,” said Wozney.

Which meant attending school in-person for some was the fastest receive report cards.