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Kingston’s Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College getting ready for the fall semester

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WATCH: Kingston's Queen's University and St. Lawrence College getting ready for fall school semester.

New classes, new teachers and making new friends. Add to that new COVID-19 protocols and you’ve got the upcoming school year.

Some post-secondary students are filtering into Kingston, but it’s certainly nothing like previous years. Activity at St. Lawrence College is pretty sparse, but that will all change with the official start of fall semester school just days away, according to Glenn Vollebregt, the school’s president and CEO.

Read more: Kingston-area public school board releases video as students’ return to classes nears

“We’ll have over our three campuses about three thousand students on campus with the balance studying in an alternate delivery format,” Vollebregt said.

“To put that into perspective we usually have about 10,000 students, so it is quite a difference.”

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Coronavirus: Canada to give provinces $2B to help kids return to school safely

Rewind to about this time last year. A good portion of the nearly 2,400 first-year students gathered in the school’s gym; the atmosphere was electric and you could feel it.

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But that’s just a memory now as that sight and feeling will not be duplicated in 2020. Vollebregt remembers.

“Is it going to be like that this year? no, but it’s going to be different. It’s going to be different and it’s going to be great,” Vollebregt said.

“We’re incredibly confident in terms of what our folks have done to make sure our buildings are safe. That was the number one priority — make sure our students are safe, our staff, our faculty, anyone who is in the building are safe.”

Read more: 3 eastern Ontario school boards expect majority in-class attendance come fall

Sophie Barber is a nursing student at Queen’s University.

“I’m super happy to be back with my program and with the other nurses, especially because we work so close together,” Barber said.

“It’s been good to see everyone.”

Barber and two of her class and housemates have been back in the city for a couple of weeks now, and despite the COVID-19 pandemic, she’s excited about the new school year.

“We’re one of the only programs that does have in-class classes and so we will be working our clinical shifts in a hospital scenario, but we also have mandatory labs that we get to do in person — obviously socially-distanced and with guidelines — but I also think we have a few lectures that might be taught in person, as well.”

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Whether it’s Queen’s or St. Lawrence both sound like they are ready for the fall semester with appropriate covid protocols in place of course.