High school principals report smooth return
By Lyonel Doherty
Back to school in Oliver and Osoyoos high schools went very well last week, according to the principals.
Scott Tremblay at Osoyoos Secondary School (OSS) said staff were well prepared and educated on all health and safety guidelines and protocols.
“We were well-equipped with extra cleaning staff and materials, as well as the necessary personal protective equipment for staff and students,” he said.
Tremblay said they had no issues with mask compliance. (The province has made it mandatory that high school students wear masks.)
“The students were just happy to be at school to see their friends and teachers,” he pointed out.
Tremblay said he hasn’t been fielding many calls or emails from parents.
“We are all looking forward to having another fantastic year at OSS.”
Ditto at Southern Okanagan Secondary School in Oliver.
Principal Tracy Harrington said back to school went very well. She noted that students were met at the door and given masks before sanitizing their hands and going directly to their assigned “learning groups” for a health and safety overview.
Harrington said all of their preplanning paid off.
“Everyone understands that this is very serious and everybody has to do their part.”
She praised parents for asking important questions, citing one case where a parent wasn’t going to send their child to school. But that changed after the parent came into the school to see the protocols in place.
“They said they were very happy with all the safety measures and have decided to send their child.”
Harrington said staff are doing everything they can to mitigate the risk, with a plan in place if someone tests positive for the virus.
“We are so happy to have the students back in the building, and by the sounds of it, kids are happy to be back as well.”
At Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary School in Oliver, principal Patsy-Anne Takacs reported a smooth transition back to school.
“Many students came in with masks, and everyone seems to be doing quite well with adapting to this new normal.”
Takacs said the calls she is fielding are primarily from parents who are choosing to wait for a period of time before sending their children back to school.
The principal said everyone has been very appreciative of staff’s efforts in putting together the safety protocols for the children, and are very understanding of the many changes, such as dropping children off outside, instead of coming into the school.