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Are schools ready?: Petten
“Parents, staff and students are also very anxious about the spike in COVID 19 cases in the province and what that means for the return to school plan. Are we starting the year in a low-risk or high-risk scenario?”
Thursday, September 2, 2021

(August 31, 2021) – Barry Petten, Shadow Minister for Education and MHA for Conception Bay South, is responding to continued inquiries and concerns expressed as we look to schools opening next week. While Petten expressed his sincere hope of a safe and happy school year for everyone, he noted there is still unease among many parents and students.

“My office continues to hear about schools still short staffed in critical areas like custodians and cafeteria workers, bus contractors still looking for drivers and classrooms still looking for student assistants and teacher and learning assistants,” said Petten.

“Parents, staff and students are also very anxious about the spike in COVID 19 cases in the province and what that means for the return to school plan. Are we starting the year in a low-risk or high-risk scenario?”

Petten noted last year was a complete mess with chaos surrounding school bussing, classroom cohorts, home schooling and kindergarten.

“While the Minister has deferred to Public Health, many of these issues are operational in nature and need to be addressed. Government had the entire summer to prepare, yet we are left scrambling again for key staff and even the promised air filtration and purification systems were ordered too late and will not be fully available when the school bells ring on September 8. This is a complete failure of the Furey government.”

“None of these are new issues. Why did government let issues from last year sneak up on them this year? We all want a safe return to school that puts students, parents, and teachers safety first and foremost. That requires government action, which has been totally lacking in the lead up to the school year starting.” 

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