There was a little apprehension, but also excitement for students, teachers and parents as schools re-opened across Saskatchewan on Tuesday.
Students and teachers returned to classrooms 172 days after the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered schools in the province.
"It felt a little bit weird, a little bit normal," one elementary student told CTV News.
Classrooms are back open now with a number of restrictions in place to limit the spread of the virus.
"We are doing a lot to ensure that everyone is safe and that everyone feels comfortable," Ecole St. Elizabeth Vice-Principal Jen Resch said. "Ensuring our students feel safe coming to school is a top priority for us."
After months away from the classroom, students and teachers returned in masks. Hand sanitizer was also readily available.
"I felt nice after reaching here in the morning because the masks were really compulsory. I saw every teacher, every student wearing the mask, so that was nice," said a parent at Harbour Landing School.
Schedules are also different with staggered start dates this week and less classes per day for high school students to limit interactions.
"I think it ran pretty smoothly. They had a staggered start, so there was half the kids and they had everything kind of set in place and had provided us with emails and videos, so it went well," a parent said.
Many families have chosen to have their children start the year with online learning.
The Regina Catholic School Division experienced short technical issues at the start of the day for its online learning program.
The division has almost 1,000 high school and elementary students taking part in online learning to start the year.