Back to the books and monkey bars

School sound effects have a special ring on September 22 in Castlegar

Twin Rivers Elementary principal Doug Hickey enjoys the sights and sounds of happy children on Back to school day

The expression ‘better late than never’ seemed to apply on Monday, September 22 at Twin Rivers Elementary, and similar feelings were likely expressed across the province.

Principal Doug Hickey was noticed watching over a playground full of laughing, shouting children during lunch time. Hickey appeared to have a certain serenity about him. The aura of contentment may have been dismissed as the imagination of the photographer, had the principal not commented on the atmosphere following intense negotiations between teachers and government which had delayed the launch of the school year by several weeks. Another week had been missed prior to the summer break.

“The sight and the sound is so uplifting,” said the administrator. “We probably missed a couple of beats but we’re starting school today, I met with all the children… it’s been really positive.”

Hickey was well aware that each happy child on the school grounds also represented a relieved parent or guardian.

“I’m sure parents are pretty excited too,” he said. “They’ve worked hard in the last weeks, as far as providing child care, keeping their kids engaged in some sort of academics. It’s just a terrific day for kids, here. They don’t really worry about what happened over the last two weeks, they’re just ready to go.”

The excitement among the youngsters seemed obvious, but maybe it also had something to do with the long pause since school was let out last June. Whatever the case, it looked the principal and pupils were ready to ‘strike’ the resolved labour dispute from their memories, have some fun and get down to learning.

“Everybody’s got a big smile on today,” said the principal, “and that’s really what it’s all about.”

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