Return to in-person school a big boost for kids

Kids are back in class working through the first week jitters and that will have a significant positive impact on their development, say psychologists.

"We think it's really important for kids to be back in school," says Nicole Racine, a post-doctoral research fellow in psychology at University of Calgary. "Schools aren't just places where you learn to read and write. They are places where you experience social emotional learning, where you have peer interactions."

Racine says for some kids, it's also one of the few places they can feel safe and spend time with positive and supportive adults.

There is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the upcoming school year. There were nearly 1,347 new COVID cases recorded in Alberta Wednesday and most public health measures have been suspended.

The provincial government hasn't addressed the issue of the pandemic for weeks.

The Calgary Board of Education is not planning to inform parents if a classmate tests positive for COVID-19, following provincial guidelines.

The Calgary Catholic Board will inform parents, but only if they are made aware of the case.

Health concerns aside, being able to see friends and learn together is expected to be big boost to kids happiness.

"Being out of school and having the lockdown and restrictions have really impacted kids' mental health and well -being," Racine says.