Excitement and anxiety for new school year


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 08/09/2020 (997 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Normally this time of year is exciting, albeit busy for families in The Maples. Children are looking forward to seeing their friends again, and parents are happy to get their kids back into a routine.

We all know that this year is very different. The excitement feels more like anxiety, and our new “routines” are not necessarily as comforting. Just a few days out from going back to school, my office continues to receive a lot of calls from concerned and confused families.

The provincial government had five months to prepare a back-to-school plan. In fact, teachers, parents, and administrators were eager to help early on. Yet, the government still chose to wait until the last minute, and flip-flopped on whether to mandate masks as teachers had asked for — so the question is, who were they really consulting with?

My team has called on the provincial government to do a better job of planning for back-to-school. This would include smaller class sizes to ensure  physical distancing is possible, new money for the increased costs for schools and divisions is provided, and hiring more teachers.

For weeks parents, teachers, school boards, and other support staff were telling the government they needed significantly more money to ensure a safe return. Initially, the government didn’t invest a single extra cent in the safe return to school during this pandemic.

Then, when it came down to the wire and schools were scrambling to get things ready for students on Sept. 8, the government decides to give schools a little bit more money, but now they have to jump through all the government’s hoops to get it.

Even worse, the government did not address one of the primary concerns of Manitoba families which is reducing class sizes so their families aren’t exposed to dozens of different people a day.

In The Maples, we already have issues with overcrowding in our classrooms. This was a problem before the pandemic. The government still doesn’t have a plan to deal with this even when it is more important than ever to reduce class sizes.

What are your back-to-school concerns? Contact my office at 204-417-3486 or email me at

Mintu Sandhu

Mintu Sandhu
The Maples constituency report

Mintu Sandhu is the NDP MLA for The Maples.

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