British Columbia·Photos

Masks, physical distancing, part-time classes: B.C. students get a taste of what's to come this year

As the province grapples with reopening schools, students are excited to see their friends — even if it's at a distance.

Portraits of students returning to school amid COVID-19 protocols in Surrey

Students at L.A. Matheson Secondary School in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, Sept. 10. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

As schools reopen across the province this week, students are getting their first look at how COVID-19 precautions will change the way they learn.

Staff greeted students outside L.A. Matheson Secondary School in Surrey on Thursday and gave them masks and bags branded with the school's name.

CBC spoke with a number of students arriving for their first day to get a glimpse of their expectations.

Shavi Gopal, Grade 9 

"We have to wear masks and social distance. My summer has been pretty boring because we have to stay at home and can't go to public places."

De-Shawn Haverty, Grade 8

"When is lunch?"

Sarika Chand,  Grade 8

"It's kind of weird because no one is in classes and everyone is outside."

Jessica Kasthurirathna, Grade 12

"I'm very excited to see everyone at school, it's been a long time. This is my last year so I want to spend more time at school rather than staying at home. We have to follow the rules and some students might not, but we are still trying to keep up with everything that is going on."

Shiane Parmar (left) and Lily Ismail, Grade 9

"I am feeling good even though there are a lot of safety things and it is kind of confusing with the new schedules. Not sure how they completely work, but I will find out soon," said Shiane Parmar.

"I am anxious about corona because it's a big thing now and I don't know if everyone else is taking it seriously or not," said Lily Ismail.

Adham Alowais, Grade 12

"We get to meet all the new kids from Grade 8 and get to see all my friends. It's going to be a lot different from the other years because we have to social distance."

Ahsen Khan, Grade 9

"My mother said I better be smart and don't get the virus, don't touch people."

Harman Atwal,  Grade 9

"Finally, after a long time going back to school ... there are a lot of things that aren't going to happen like sports that I was looking forward to."

Ishaq Ahmad, Grade 9

"It's pretty scary, some of us have elders at home and we don't want to bring the virus home."

Karan Brai, Grade 9

"How is the class going to go? Will they have different seating plans or all together?"

Jora Phagura, Grade 8

"Excited, starting a new chapter. One thing I am nervous about is getting bullied."

Teigan Somkrahenbil, Logan Voyer and Avin Owsley,  Grade 8

"It wasn't too bad. It was fairly quiet, just going over the general stuff," said Teigan Somkrahenbil

"I like that it's only two days a week. I get to play more video games,"  said Avin Oswley

"I want to do volleyball, basketball and soccer. Some teams might not happen just because of the virus," said Logan Voyer.

Rose Daniel, Grade 10

"I'm feeling really good, just a bit nervous. The social distancing is going to be hard for our class I think. I think this year I am going to become more flexible with what's going on."

Waed Hamoud, Grade 9

"We will be fine. I have all my classes so I am excited for school. I wish the corona will be done. We have to wear a mask a lot, and I hate to wear a mask."

Mia Deol, Grade 10

"Obviously this year is really different. I think a lot of our concerns is whether we are going to be seeing our classmates enough, whether we are going to be seeing our friends enough. Are we going to losing friendships?"