Catherine Delaney’s daughter Rose was scheduled to start kindergarten this week. But Delaney withdrew her five-year-old from school.
“I am immuno-suppressed. I can’t really take a chance on my life,” the mother of two said.
She’s frightened her kids will get sick at school. She says she’s relieved kindergarten is not mandatory, because she struggled getting a doctor’s note granting her a medical exemption.
She’s confident with her decision, after seeing back-to-school images this week of parents and students clustered close together outside schools. It promoted her to start a social media hastag — “#entreefail”.
“It’s where you can denounce situations where people aren’t respecting the rules. The very already lax rules aren’t being respected in some instances,” she said.
“Sometimes we need to turn to social media.”
While many French schools returned this week, Montreal’s English school boards are set to return to class on Monday.
Parents have mixed feelings about it.
“Yes there are some parents who are very anxious for school to start ,they can’t wait to start,” said Caroline Phaneuf, the chair of the English Montreal School Board Parents committee.
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“There is a large percentage of parents as well who are very nervous about sending their kids back to school.”
Administrators at schools across the island have been working tirelessly to ready their schools for children.
St Leonard’s Honore Mercier elementary school is ready to welcome kids.
“We have lots of balloons, we have music, so when students do come in they will feel happy. That’s our goal,” said Christina Voggas, the vice-principal of Honore Mercier school.
Administrators placed decals on floors, dividers in hallways, and sanitizing stations everywhere, with all hallways now having one-way paths.
The measures have helped reassure teachers.
“We are pretty confident with what we have put in place our students and staff will be safe in coming here,” said Voggas.
Elementary teacher Jennifer Borenstein says she’s been inundated with emails and calls from parents who are worried. She has her own concerns for her two young children. But she said after seeing all the measure her Margaret Manson Elementary school has taken, she says parents should feel confident.
“They need to believe in us. They need to trust us that their children are our children. We adore them; we treat them like our own. We will do everything in our power to work as a team to keep everyone safe.”
They’re words parents want to hear, before kissing their children goodbye Monday to start a school year unlike any other.