Thousands of students return to Regina schools

Regina Public Schools opened its doors to about 25,000 students Wednesday morning.

Many students and staff were excited to get back into the classroom.

“It’s a different classroom and I’m starting to make new friends,” said Grade 2 student Ryden Stapleton.

The school board said extra supports will be available to help transition students back to the classroom setting and for those who may have fallen behind during the 2020-21 school year.

“We’ve put a lot of things in place to ensure that students who last year missed out on some of their learning or weren’t comfortable in a remote learning environment, we’ve put in measures to get those students back and get those students caught up,” Terry Lazarou with Regina Public Schools, said.

With COVID-19 and the delta variant on the rise in the province, all elementary school students in both Regina public and Catholic schools will be required to wear a mask at all times. Maskshave been highly recommended for high school students.

Both school divisions said even with the COVID-19 protocols in place, they are still trying to make the school year as “normal” as possible by bringing back recess and extra curricular activities.

“Administrators and staff have worked really hard to make sure that they have that in place for their students and working hard to keep everything safe and have those routines and procedures in place as well,” Stacey Gherasim, superintendent of education with the Regina Catholic Schools Division, said.

The school divisions said they have plans in place for another pandemic-related shutdown, but added that the goal is to have students in the classroom for as long as possible.

Regina Catholic schools will welcome its students back on Thursday.

Anyone who is feeling sick is asked to stay home from school and call 811 for further direction.

STAYING SAFE IN SCHOOL ZONES

Parents and anyone driving students to and from schoolis reminded to slow down in school zones.

Regina school zones are 30 kilometres an hour from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, seven days a week. Fines increase in school zones with tickets starting at $170.

SGI said drivers should also follow all posted signage, like no stopping zones.

“Avoid U-turns, be careful around buses as they’re loading and unloading, watch out for pedestrian crossing whether it’s crossing guards, crossing signals or run of the mill crosswalks,” Tyler McMurchy, with SGI, said.

Regina police were present in school zones Wednesday morning and said officers saw a lot of traffic violations.

“I’ve observed many people not stopping for the stop sing, not stopping for pedestrians,” Cpl. Andree Sieber said. “It’s for everyone’s safety.”

McMurchy said there were 23,540 speeding in a school zone convictions in the province in 2020.

Sieber said drivers need to slow down, put down their phones and pay attention.