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Below average back to school

Hills parents share concerns about ‘plan’


By Hunter Cresswell Schools across the region opened their doors and welcomed students back this week - but the number of kids returning are nowhere near pre-COVID numbers. Even those low numbers are cut by half when comparing the anglophone school boards to their francophone counterparts: the percentage of local English students who went to school this week is less than half that of local French students who returned to class.

According to Western Quebec School Board director general Mike Dubeau, an enrollment survey completed on May 7 showed that only 39 students would return to Chelsea Elementary this week compared to 310 enrolled at the beginning of the school year; only nine students would return to Kazabazua’s Queen Elizabeth Elementary out of the previously enrolled 77; and only 19 of 297 students would return to Wakefield Elementary. Across the 19 WQSB schools, the student return rate is just over 14 per cent. By comparison, Le Droit reported that the local French school board, Commission scolaire des Portages-de-l’Outaouais, which includes Grand-Boisé in Chelsea, has a student return rate of over 35 per cent.