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Class is back in session

GSSD to maintain best practices to avert disruptions.
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Students partake in orientation day activities at the Yorkton Regional High School.

YORKTON – Students in the city returned to class on September 1st to kick off their 2022-23 school year.

Yorkton This Week spoke with Quinton Robertson, Director of Education with the Good Spirit School Division, regarding the expectations of the coming year.

"I think it's a continuation of the work that we've started the last couple of years," said Robertson, adding, "really focusing in on comprehensive school community health...high quality teaching and learning —healthy sustainable physical and social environments—effective policy and procedures, engagement of all families and communities."

"We're focusing squarely in on those four pillars and trying to ensure that any opportunity gap that may have resulted from the pandemic is closed," said Robertson.

Though schools have experienced disruptions over the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Robertson said the GSSD is "ensuring that healthy environments are in place."

"We offer a mask friendly environment—it's not mandated but it's mask friendly," said Robertson, adding, "we'll have those masks available for both staff and student use on a voluntary basis."

Robertson said the GSSD will maintain the best practices to avert disruptions.

"We can continue with sanitization practices—we continue with hand sanitizing—those effective practices that we would have learned from COVID," said Robertson, adding, "other than that, we are really looking at a return to school as normal."

As always, students are the main focus of a school year, but Robertson said that a major initiative for the GSSD is the staff.

"We are really trying to focus in on staff well-being," said Robertson, adding, "we conducted a comprehensive survey with all of our staff and we'll be taking those findings, forming a committee and really trying to ensure that our staff well-being is looked after."

"We know that many of our staff looked after family and the community during the pandemic—we want to make sure that we look after them," said Robertson.

Robertson said that over the summer months the Yorkton Regional High School received upgrades to its facility.

"There's a major capital project going on [at YRHS], we have done a tremendous amount over the summer," said Robertson, adding, "in the A wing, most of the windows have been replaced, they've started some painting...roof work has been completed."

Robertson said that the school was to receive air conditioning units as well, but that the installation of them has been delayed.

"There was a supply disruption so the air conditioners have been delayed," said Robertson, noting that the installation of the AC units will be completed in the spring.

"We're excited to get back to learning without disruptions and continuing to focus in on our four pillars—continuing to focus in on student learning and well-being," said Robertson.

"Welcome back to school and we're looking forward to putting students first and learning without limits and achievement for all."