Future P.E.I. kindergarten students get drive-thru orientation
COVID-19 meant parents driving up one-by-one to meet teachers, get orientation kits
"Welcome to kindergarten!" said the teacher, handing a student some orientation paperwork through a car window with blue-gloved hands, as upbeat children's music played in the background and balloons bounced in the wind.
Thursday, some Island parents drove their children to the schools they'll be attending in the fall, where educators held drive-by parades to welcome the new students.
"We're doing a different version of welcome to kindergarten," said Terry MacIsaac, principal at Spring Park Elementary in Charlottetown, which will welcome about 40 kindergarten students this fall. The program is provided free by the non-profit The Learning Partnership.
Normally the students and parents would spend part of the day inside their new schools so they'd have an understanding of what a typical day would be like in the fall and get off on the right foot. They'd do arts and crafts, a little physical activity and a music session, MacIsaac said.
Thursday's event was set up in the school's bus lane. Students got to meet their teachers and principal, and received a special book bag to help them get ready for the fall.
'Connection with the school'
Students also received a certificate welcoming them to kindergarten, and teachers took their photos so they would know who is who this fall.
"It's a little different than what we normally do, but it's been a great turnout," said MacIsaac. "Parents are very happy to have this connection with the school again."
Students across P.E.I. have been home from school for the past two months to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
MacIsaac said educators are not sure what school will look like in the fall.
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With files from Isabella Zavarise