Happiness and relief were felt by Parkview students and staff when they returned to their normal routine following a temporary closure of the Sicamous elementary school.
The school suspended operations on Sept. 20 on the advice of Interior Health after a musty odour persisted for weeks following a rainstorm. While the school was closed, Parkview classes moved to other schools, with some bused to Salmon Arm. Classes for the school’s youngest students were held at Eagle River Secondary, while students from the older grades went to either South Canoe or North Canoe Elementary.
Classes at Parkview resumed on Wednesday, Nov. 13, and Principal Carla Schneider credits the work by the school’s staff for managing the challenging disruption of the school’s routine.
“It was a long seven weeks but our staff really worked together to make it work, and all the people from the district did a really great job,” Schneider said.
Schneider said Parkview’s students are happy to be back at the school as the trips to classrooms elsewhere were nerve-wracking, particularly for some of the younger ones.
Grade 5 teacher Angela Hennis, whose students had been busing to South Canoe, said the kids were mostly excited to get back out on the playground for recess as South Canoe didn’t have one.
Grade 4 teacher Wendy Taylor said her students are also excited to be back on the playground and back to the routine in the tight-knit elementary school.
The disruption of routine created challenges for students requiring additional support from the school’s certified education assistants (CEAs). Tricia Jeffery, one of Parkview’s CEAs, had been riding the bus along with students to North Canoe Elementary in Salmon Arm. She said the loss of class time and the bus rides were challenging, but she was happy to sit with the students who didn’t want to get on the bus. She said the shake-up in routines created difficulties for some of the students requiring extra help, and it is good that things are back to running normally.
As students came into the school through the front doors or out to recess, they walked by a banner that read ‘Welcome Home,’ a gift dropped off by district executives. School district operations staff are continuing to monitor air quality in the school, but all targets have been met so far. Further tests are planned for last Friday, Nov. 15, to ensure the air quality remains acceptable.