Students have been back in their classes for just over a week now, and so far, everything seems to be going according to plan.  

In an interview with KenoraOnline, Director of Education for the Keewatin Patricia District School Board (KPDSB), Sherri-Lynne Pharand, explained that the school board is proceeding with caution but in general, is very excited.  

Students returned to in-person learning on January 17, after a brief period of virtual learning following the Christmas break and a regional surge in COVID-19 cases.  

“Obviously, we’re cautious, as is everyone right now because of Omicron, but we know that the best place for learning is in schools face to face and how important that is for both a student's education and their mental health,” said Pharand.  

Pharand continued “We are thrilled to have them back.” 

As part of the return to in-person learning, students and staff have to participate in enhanced daily screening and increased PPE.  

“You know, we have the enhanced protocols and in particular, public health emphasizes for us that the most important thing is the daily screening. It's active screening right now which means that it's verified each day that students have completed the screening,” said Pharand.  

“As well, we have the enhanced masking and as we go into elementary, we are limiting the cohorts as well,” she continued.  

Pharand concluded “We’ve been able to distribute the rapid tests that came from the province to all of our elementary students and staff. We are anticipating another shipment for our secondary students.”