The end (or beginning) of another school chapter

Today, I took a kid to school to clear out her locker.

The week prior we got a lengthy, wordy email from the school board followed by a slightly shorter wordy email by the school asking us to follow protocol and arrive during the assigned window of time and date.

Wednesday would be for grade 7. Her homeroom was given a 2-hour window to accomplish this task.


The board email was dripping with liability lingo. I read most of it…seriously, sometimes I think they cut and paste the same paragraph over and over again and just move a few words into a different order.

There were 3 attachments and a link to go do a health check survey with Toronto Public Health. (Overkill, if you ask me. We all went into lockdown at the same time – we all know the same info.)

I followed all the directions online and then issued my own directions to the girl child.

“They want you to make a list and write down yada yada blah di blah,” I told her.

Mostly it was about returning her trombone.

When I cross-checked the board list with the school list of directives, it will surprise no one that the instructions didn’t match each other.

But alright. The board is providing guidelines to the school. Since my kid actually goes to the school we’ll follow their instructions.

We went to the school.

When we got there, we were greeted by a bottle of sanitizer and a number of masked ladies, posters warning us of infection risks and tape on the floor.

We sanitized and took our masked selves to the taped line on the floor two meters away from the table where another parent was registering.

“Stand behind the line,” the masked lady supervising us πŸ™„ told us uselessly. πŸ™„ (Sorry about the πŸ™„ but seriously πŸ™„ )

After our own registration (which was handled by three masked ladies who consulted piles of papers) and the instrument drop off we were released into the school and made our way up the stairs toward her locker.

No one wanted the list both emails told us to make.

Wait for it… πŸ™„

Upstairs, another masked lady stood guard near the grade 7 lockers.

The hallway was deserted.

My kid attempted to open her locker and discovered that she couldn’t remember her combination.

So we asked the masked lady what to do and she walkie-talkied the custodian who came to cut the lock off with a huge wrench.

My tween girl opened her locker and…

…that’s when I had a heart attack. πŸ’”

OMG the mess. 😡

She had a legitimate reason (don’t they always) for the disorganization – no time to sort papers into binders between classes – so she simply shoved everything in her locker with no rhyme or reason…how she manages to get top grades like this is beyond me but whatever.

I thank my lucky stars I don’t have to go to school anymore… 😳

Anyway. We filled two bags with her stuff and exited by the assigned door, waving goodbye to the masked ladies.*

It is less than likely she will return to that school full time for her last year of middle school. She has expressed interest in homeschooling next year, but since we don’t yet know what school will look like in the fall, we decided for now, we’ll just put everything on the back burner.

If her dream to move to the country will in fact materialize, then this whole topic will need re-addressing next fall on a whole new level.

But for now: grade 7 for this kid is done in terms of visiting the school building, and in two weeks the academic side will also conclude.

Up next:

Tomorrow, I get to take the teenager to his high school.

*My kid didn’t recognize any of the masked ladies as teachers. I suspect it was administrators with the board who were handling the locker-emptying thing since the school year is still on, and the teachers were probably busy with students and academics.

29 thoughts on “The end (or beginning) of another school chapter

  1. If they ASKED you to follow protocol, then it is an option. The liability is theirs, not yours. Protocols are for the paid employees, not the customers. In this case, though, not only would a mask be appropriate, but a full on hazmat suit would be a better option. Weeks of old lunches in a lockers may have killed any traces of Corona, and left behind enough penicillin to cure anyone already sick.


  2. Stand behind the line the masked lady told us uselessly! I hate when places have people in authority stating the obvious. The grocery store has someone at the front reminding people to follow the arrows, as if we don’t all know after three months…… I think you should move to the country! Homeschooling would be more work for you, but maybe a safer option if we get a second COVID wave in the fall, although the kids seem to be spared.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is certainly the current theme here, to move. Homeschooling doesn’t scare me at all. Never has. The kids seem ready too, especially my younger one. And frankly, I think the future of education will be hybrid, likely. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. When I read, the girl had forgotten the combination to open the lock, I was surprised.
    After so many weeks without opening the locker it is reasonable that the memory does not respond.
    Next year will be better.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was her third lock in 6 months. They don’t make them how they used to. They are flimsy, and break easily.

      She wrote her combination down someplace but forgot where… πŸ˜‰

      I also was surprised. I thought she would remember the pattern maybe…


      Liked by 1 person

  4. I can say after having the check out process with both of mine, one a senior, I wish my kids’ school did it they way yours did. Both kids came home extremely frustrated with the lack of actual organization and so few people wearing masks (and this was a couple of weeks ago). My senior had to turn things in and pick a couple of things up and was forced to go into some really packed areas so he could get his name checked off a list unnecessarily (they even told him that) because there was no guidance with traffic flow to prevent the bottle neck. When it came my daughter’s turn, nowhere in any communication did they say that the younger grades were getting to keep their chrome books through summer so they weren’t turning those in. When she showed up and they told her she didn’t need to be there if she didn’t have any of the other things (locker, books, etc.) she was so not happy. I’ve joked the the past that our school seems like it is run by drunken monkeys and this really reminded me of that fact.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Our lives have become so strange and unfamiliar. The kids seem to be doing better than the adults at adjusting. It’s interesting how quickly we forget the things we did daily only months ago…locker combinations, shopping without a mask, plentiful toilet paper, hand shakes, and hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. To be fair, it’s hard to recognize even people you know well when their faces are half-hidden behind masks. I think for Halloween this year, we should flip the script and go trick-or-treating without masks. That’ll be enough to frighten a lot of folks anyway, which is kinda the point, no?

    Err…by “we” I mean kids, of course. No self-respecting grown man would go trick-or-treating…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s a weird way to end the year, isn’t it?

    Here, the twins have been able to go back to school for the rest of June but the eldest is going to be going in once to retrieve his stuff and get his end of year report. I’ve already told him that I will be looking closely at what they say about his classroom behaviour πŸ˜‰


    1. My tween does not mind this stay at home thing at all. She is inspired by crafty things and does school work in shifts so she can craft before and after. She finds it a lot less stressful…but the lack of social life has been a bit of an adjustment. πŸ™‚


  8. It must have been so weird to be at the school in that kind of situation!!!

    Also kids lockers are DISGUSTING!!!! The end of the year when they are told to clean out their lockers. EEEEEEEWWWWWWW! Sometimes you just want to go at them with a garden hose.

    Liked by 1 person

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