Principal Tim Flynn (left) and vice-principal Nicole VIngerhoeds (right) welcome back students.The staggered start for back-to-school this fall means students in different grades and different schools are heading back to class at different times. Charlie Orme was looking forward to seeing his friends at King George VI in Kenora.

"I'm really excited to go back to school," Charlie said, before starting his first class in Grade 3 earlier today.

As she paused in the kiss and ride drop-off zone, Charlie's mom, Stacey Orme, also offered her thoughts.

"I feel the schools have done a really good job of preparing," she said, before wishing her eight-year-old son a good day in school.

It's been a long March Break for many parents, Orme acknowledged, before heading out.

At the front of the school, principal Tim Flynn was joined by vice-principal Nicole Vingerhoeds, as they welcomed back staff and students.

"Things are going well so far," said Flynn, noting parents are obeying public health guidelines.

"Kids are excited. Lots of smiles. I think they've missed their friends. I know staff are excited. All staff are out and around today greeting kids and making sure they're ready to go," he added.

"I think parents are just wanting to make sure that everybody knows how things are going to unroll over the next few days," said Miss V, noting the school board has been active in messaging families about protocols.

"Families seem to be all on board. They've been really supportive," added the vice-principal.

Some fun activities -- such as the virtual assemblies, school-wide bingo -- are on the horizon, as the school looks to keep the mood upbeat.

For more information:

2020-2021 School Year Information & Updates (KPDSB)

What can students expect today as they return to school? (KCDSB)