The concerns parents have about the province’s back to school plan

WINNIPEG — While some parents and kids are excited to return to school given how the last school year ended, some parents don’t want to send their kids back.

The Manitoba Association of Parent Councils (MAPC) said there are some safety concerns with the virus.

Brenda Brazeau with MAPC said the pandemic has been tough on kids.

“They’re struggling during this pandemic, you know, and they have questions too, and their little minds are wondering what’s going on,” said Brazeau.

Students from kindergarten to grade eight will return to class full-time while high schoolers will do a combination of part-time learning at school and remote learning at home.

Brazeau said some parents say they want to keep their kids home due to the virus.

“You know, kids are kids. They like to play around, they like to touch, they like to touch each other,” she said.

The organization wants to know what happens if a parent isn’t comfortable letting their child out the door, and if they can be set up to learn from home.

As part of the province’s back to school plan, it says remote learning will be available for students who are medically advised to stay home due to COVID-19 risk factors.

“If students are not medically advised to stay home, options for families include public school, independent school, or home-schooling,” the province said in a statement to CTV News.

As some parents are anxious, psychologist Dr. Toby Rutner said those feelings could have a trickle-down effect to students who are excited to see their classmates again.

“That could be conflicted with what is going on at home. If the parents are nervous about the child going back to school, it’s communicated to the child,” said Rutner.

He said parents should do their best to reassure their kids.

“I think what we want to do is give the children a clear message that it’s terrific that you’re going to be back at school, there’ll be some changes,” he said.

Rutner said parents should educate themselves and talk to a paediatrician about COVID-19 to get reassurance.

Kids will be going back to school on Sept. 8.

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