The Holy Spirit Catholic School Division, which has K-12 schools in Lethbridge and southern Alberta, had its first day of classes Wednesday.
Ken Sampson, superintendent of schools, said this marks the first start to an academic year without COVID-19 measures since 2019-20.
“As we headed out of last year we knew there was a significant level of exhaustion,” Sampson explained.
Sampson said they’re entering a “new normal” that many are looking forward to.
“To put the past years behind us and to really focus in on this is a new year. We’ve got some new curriculum to implement and we’ve got some great opportunities ahead of us”
The Lethbridge School Division will be returning on Sept. 6. Both districts are keeping an eye on public health measures.
“Just being allowed to kind of show up without any kind of barriers, I think it’s something that allows the (children) to express themselves in the best way possible,” said parent Candice McMurren of not having restrictions like online learning and face coverings.
“We had a wonderful summer, it’s always good for the kids to experience different things, but there’s something kind of magical about coming back and the start of the school year.”
Kathy Jones-Husch, principal of St. Patrick Fine Arts Elementary School, said they are lucky to be able to return to their roots in creativity this year by showcasing the arts.
“This year out of those restrictions, out of cohorting, out of limitations, we are celebrating the arts as much as we can. A return to a live Christmas concert and we’re looking at having a fine arts festival in the spring,” Jones-Husch said.
Lethbridge police are reminding motorists that along with classes starting back up, 30 km/h school zones will be back in effect on school days.
Officials recommend making driving in the lower speed a habit in all zones immediately, even though not all schools are back in session just yet.
Parents and guardians are also encouraged to speak with children about the importance of traffic safety, including awareness of their surroundings and the proper use of crosswalks.