LAC LA BICHE - Heart-art and cards were passed through many Lac La Biche County elementary schools early last week — to be held in quarantine until next week —as a series of events meant students had to plan their in-school Valentine’s Day events a little differently this year.
With Valentine’s Day falling on a Sunday, and the next day a Family Day provincial holiday, most schools opted to hold their events on Feb. 16. A three-day teacher’s convention at the end of last week, freezing temperatures that cancelled bus routes, and new pandemic precautions, meant that cards had to be left at some schools early last week.
April Fabbro the administrative assistant at Vera M. Welsh Elementary School, says the cards had to be handed into school staff in advance, as a kind of COVID quarantine before they could be handed out at the school’s Valentine’s Day events on Tuesday.
“They can’t just hand them to their friends, the cards have to sit for 72 hours,” said Fabbro.
The challenges and changes continued as students came back to classes for Valentine’s Day events that weren’t like other years.
“Normally we do classroom parties, so they’d bring in cupcakes and snack trays — and we can’t do that unless everything is pre-packaged ahead of time and it has to sit for a few days,” said Fabbro.
While the parties are side-lined, school officials have several planned events to welcome students back to a Valentine-themed week.
At Light of Christ Catholic School, they have a full week's worth of fun-filled activities to participate in, says Principal Carmen Semeniuk. The School Spirit Week was supposed to be start last week but because of the bus cancellations due to the freezing temperatures, it was pushed to the following one.
“We wanted to make sure that all of the students could participate, so we moved it,” said Semeniuk.
On the first day, students will be strutting their stuff down a red carpet as they get to dress up like a movie star. They will also be able to dress like their teacher on Wednesday, and on Thursday they get to pick a decade and wear outfits from that time period. Semeniuk says that the students are looking forward to the week as every day brings something different. The school’s Student Leadership Group also put together a candy-gram fundraiser, where the children could order them for their peers and surprise them on Valentine’s Day.
Even with COVID-19 restrictions, the schools are doing everything they can to continue classroom celebrations for their students.