Classes resume in Nova Scotia amid COVID-19 concerns
On the first day of school on Tuesday, Keith Myers said he was holding his breath, hoping for a smooth year for seventh grade for his daughter.
"Yeah, we will see what happens and hopefully it goes in the right direction," said Myers. "With just everything that is going on, it's hard to call."
Donna Knox said recent days in her household featured mixed emotions.
"She was looking forward to going back," said Knox, who dropped her daughter off at school to start junior high. After two consecutive school years dramatically impacted by COVID-19, Knox said the pandemic has taken its toll.
"She has anxiety about COVID-19," said Know. "And she's worried about starting junior high this year."
Students in Nova Scotia are still wearing masks, for now. Strict cleaning protocols remain in place.
Nova Scotia Education Minister Becky Druhan said all eyes are on the potential impact on Nova Scotia schools, given the easing of restrictions will happen, when the province reaches Phase 5 of its COVID-19 recovery plan.
"We will be working closely with public health," said Druhan. "And what does transition measures are, and how they look. To make sure we can consider all the things we need to consider when heading into the next phase."
Druhan also said students resuming all non-classroom activities is a crucial part of the school experience.
"The ones that stand out are the memories and socializing with friends," said Druhan. "Participating extracurricular activities. I was in choir and music. Those are the things that we are so excited the students will have an opportunity to do this year."
When the schoolbellrang this morning, Knox said she mostly optimistic about the year ahead.
"Because now she is able to socialize," Knox said of her 12-year-old daughter. "But I wish they would keep the masks on."
Even with the easing of restrictions, Knox said she still has fears about the spread of COVID-19.