May the 4th be with you -- Skeena Middle School style

Skeena Spirit Day_May4_2020_3

It's been over a month-and-a-half since most students have been in the classroom -- and we still don't know when most of them will be able to return.

But Monday afternoon, teachers and staff at Skeena Middle School in Terrace decided to send a message to the kids:   YOU ARE MISSED!


[Skeena Middle School -- May 4, 2020 -- picture by Steve Ross CFTK]

They decided to take advantage of "May the Fourth" -- known nowadays as Star Wars Day -- to let everyone know that they are not forgotten.

Grade 8 teacher and part time Imperial Storm Trooper  Matthew Midgley was among the organizers of this event.

"There was other schools that were doing similar participation, Thornhill and also you see things on Facebook, and we said we want to see our students and this would be great, it seemed to really uplift people and that's what we want, we want to tell these guys that we're still here, we're missing them, we get to see them, they get to see us,"   he explained.

Both Midgley and principal Phillip Barron said they were glad to be able to connect again in a personal way with the community.

Skeena-Spirit-Day_May4_2020_1.jpg

[Skeena Middle School -- May 4, 2020 -- picture by Steve Ross CFTK]

"We do miss our kids and our families, we very much want to see everybody back in session under the right circumstances, so it's a nice chance to see everyone and say hi and let them know we're missing them,"  said Barron.

When students departed classes in mid-March for what should have been a two-week Spring Break, the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing, and no one could say when they'd be allowed back in the classroom.
Once Spring Break ended, instruction has been done through various means, including online programs, and there's always the worry that kids will lose the connection with their teachers that's so important to learning -- and Barron said it's hard on the teachers too.

"The fact that we're not face-to-face with our students, the fact that we're still trying to reach out to some of our families and some of our students, that's been the hardest part -- we are in this because we value our relationships and our connections with people, with our young people in particular, so that's been the hardest part is not sitting down, not being face-to-face with everyone, but we're doing everything we can to maintain those connections and relationships."

And with no clear answer to the question of when kids can safely return to the classroom, Barron says it's possible there may be more events like this on the horizon.