Students returning to class Tuesday in the Okanagan – Okanagan

It’s a new beginning for many students and their parents in the Okanagan, as the new school year kicks off Tuesday morning. In the Central Okanagan alone, about 24,000 elementary and high school students are heading back to class.  Some high school students in Kelowna say they’re ready for a fresh start.

“I’m excited to be back in the classroom, “said Jordan Wesley, starting grade 10 this year. “It’s just such a great environment and I’ll definitely be learning a lot.”

For other students though, it’s the social aspect that has them eager to get back.

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“I’m pretty excited. Excited to see my friends again,” said Layla Harrison, who’s also heading into the tenth grade.

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While some students expressed joy when talking about their first day of school and what they look forward to throughout the year, others are on the fence about going from two months of freedom to a full-time schedule.

“I’m kind of nervous to go back to school, but also excited to see my friends and stuff like that,” explained Oliver Bullock, who’s starting grade 6 Tuesday morning.

This was the first summer in the Okanagan in three years that wasn’t hindered by public health restrictions. Despite the conditions, parents say they’re ready to see their children get back to learning.

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“We’re actually all excited,” explained parent of two, Christina Schewa. “They are all ready to go back to school, back to a routine, right girls?”

“I don’t know if my smile is giving it away, but it’s going to be good for them to get back into some routine again, but we’ve had an awesome summer,” described another father of two, Josh Byron.

“It felt like this year was kind of the year where everybody was kind of somewhat back to normal.”

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So far everything does appear to be normal heading into the new school year, but Byron says there will be a sense of caution as he sends his daughters off to classes Tuesday morning.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say that there is some concern with where things are going,” said Byron.

“It’s been hard to track the last few years and where things have been at but buy-and-large we’re pretty optimistic that we’ve gotten past the worst of it and we’re looking forward to kids being back in class without the restrictions that they’ve had the last couple of years.”

Global News tried speaking with parents who left back-to-school supply shopping until the last minute, but those we spoke with said they had far-too much on their list to comment.

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