“September brings a wave of excitement as kids of all ages head back to school. This year feels a little bit different, and a little bit unknown. Our two oldest boys will be heading back to elementary school and our youngest to preschool. One thing does feel the same though – their excitement to get back to school and see all of their friends.

School is more than just education, it’s a place for our kids to be part of a community to grow friendships and to learn to work together with others. More than anything during this pandemic we have felt the need to work together as a family, at work, at school and in our community.

We are so grateful for the leadership from our medical health officers and the ministry of education who have put everything into place to make school safe for our kids to return to.

This school year will look different but it also has the opportunity to be an amazing year. A year where our kids will learn to work collectively together, to really appreciate time with friends and to learn how to adapt to new situations.”

-Curtis and Jen

“It’s that time of the year where we typically end our summer with some family-fun at the PNE and enjoy a quick weekend getaway down south for the labour-day weekend.  Unfortunately that wasn’t able to happen this year.  We know this pandemic has created many unforeseeable changes and challenges for all of us.  As we reflect on the past 6-months with feelings of stress, fatigue, and frustration, we also have significant gratitude and blessings for what we have and our strength to adapt. 

After 3-months of helping both of our kids (8 and 5) tackle the world of “online-learning” (aka homeschooling for two working parents), it’s yet another time to adapt as we prepare for this upcoming school year.  The return-to-school plan we realize leaves us with many questions and unknowns: Will our kids keep their mask on amongst their learning groups? Will they stay in school this fall? Will there be a second wave? What if the kids bring home germs and we need to self isolate?

With all this uncertainty, like many things we’ve learned and experienced during this pandemic, we need to trust the system.  We need to feel confident that the experts leading us will inform us with the best available information in order to make the best decisions for everyone. 

At this time, we are not only thinking about school protocols to keep our kids safe, but also the day-to-day responsibilities in this COVID world including sidewalk drop-off/pick-ups, lunches, afterschool care, extracurricular activities, scheduling…just to name a few. 

What we do know is that our kids miss their friends, peers, teachers, and the social interactions that school so importantly provides.  Although we have a bunch of fear and hesitation, we do feel that our kids need to go back to school.  Homeschooling (again) is not an option with two working parents.    

As the fall season slowly approaches, we look forward to shifting gears, but again adapting to what we are up against.  We realize that another lock-down could occur, but we really strive to live in the present and worry only about those things that you ultimately have control over.  For both Miley and Lukas,who are entering grades 4 and 1 respectively, we can only continue to strive to empower them with the tools from Dr Bonnie Henry: to be calm, be kind, be safe, and wish for the best.”

-Anita & Steve