Students excited for in-person learning as schools partially reopen
Manitoba schools are starting to open with distancing measures, smaller classes and hand sanitizer
Hallways were quiet and hand sanitizer was plenty as some students headed back to class in Winnipeg on Monday.
Schools across Manitoba partially reopened to students and teachers as part of the province's second phase of reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
At Maples Collegiate, a handful of students attending an aviation, trades and technology class were glad to be back.
"I feel really good," said student Reza Heidari. "It's really hard to stay motivated at home, that's why I am here today and it's easier for me to learn in person."
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Ralph Oliveros, 18, said after spending most of the last two months at home since schools closed in March, he needed to get back to class.
"It's been torturous — boredom and a lot of sleep," he said. "I've definitely learned more in like the last hour I've been here than I've learned the past few days I was online."
Students are being invited back to schools to attend one-on-one instruction and small group classes over the month of June.
Instructor Andreas Laubstedt said while online learning has its place, it's no replacement for in-person instruction.
"We have an engine behind me and students can grab onto stuff, hold onto stuff," he said. "I can't deliver that from my living room at home, sitting in front of my computer, so I'm really happy to be back in the classroom. I think it's a good thing."
Before entering the classroom, students must wash or sanitize their hands, sign in and answer a series of questions to ensure they are healthy, Laubstedt said.
Desks are spaced two metres apart and students can only spend time in the classroom they are attending, he added.
Oliveros admits the set-up feels a bit strange but he and his classmates said they feel safe.
"Really comfortable, really safe," he said. "I think if everybody was to take part and do their role properly it will be smooth sailing from here on out."
Outside the collegiate, Grade 10 student Rebecca Cabral stopped by to visit the teachers she's missing. She doesn't have her in-class appointment until next week but she is eager to return.
"I miss being in school and I really don't like online," she said. "I find that when the teacher's actually there in front of you it's way easier to go ahead and learn because you can ask questions rather than waiting for an email."