Masked to School: Students, Teachers, Parents Celebrate Return

Canby kids are back to school — and though it looks a little different than local officials had initially planned — students, teachers and parents alike reported a successful first day and a welcome return to some sense of normalcy.

“They all came home talking nonstop,” said local mom Stephanie Cochrane. “I’d say it was a great first day!”

“Great first day back for my fourth grader!” agreed Kyle Warner.

Photo courtesy Maria Koenig.

Erin Ranson, who sent her seventh-grader for her first day at Baker Prairie Middle School, praised students and staff for following the district’s coronavirus guidelines.

“She had an amazing time at BPMS,” she said. “And, not to mention, all kids followed the mask and social distancing rules. Shows our kids have more sense than adults sometimes.”

Some reviews were slightly more mixed.

Photo courtesy Sara Stolpp.

“My eighth-grader said it was great,” Nikki Coleman told The Canby Current. “He likes the new principal at Ninety-One, as well as the new social studies teacher. My freshman had a great day, and my senior said his day was ‘meh.’ LOL.” (Sounds about right.)

Teachers and administrators at Canby High School were happy to be back, and concerns that enrollment might be affected by last year’s extended distance learning and hybrid experiment — and this year’s continuing mask mandate — proved to be overblown.

Registration at CHS was actually up by more than 100 new students this week.

Photo courtesy Greg Dinse.

“We’re off to a good start,” Principal Greg Dinse said. “It was a great first day. Lots of positive energy, and we’re at the highest enrollment we’ve seen in years. A bit crowded, but it’s exciting to have our kids back.”

“It was fantastic to see all the students back today,” agreed College and Career Center Coordinator Sue Winner. And lunch lady Ginger Burns-Hutchinson added, “Wonderful to see all the kids back. Everyone was happy!”

Elementary school parents reported positive experiences, like Karissa Peterson Hanno (“My daughter is at Lee and had a wonderful day!”) and Molly Toney Wassom (“Daughter is fifth-grade at Carus and was soooo happy to be back!”).

Photo courtesy Miranda Bain.

Still others copped to a bit of anxiety about sending their little ones back to a most-unusual first day of school.

“Nerve-wracking but equally hopeful,” said Jamethiel Morse. “The kid said it was better than he expected.”

“My kids loved their first day,” echoed Amelia Solem. “It was me who was a nervous wreck.”

Photo courtesy Jamethiel Morse.

But not all parents were able to enjoy their first full day of in-person school in almost a year and a half.

Several other districts, including West Linn-Wilsonville and Happy Valley, punted their returns to next week.

“One week and two days, baby,” wrote West Linn dad Steven Weldon. “Finally — both my kids out of the house for longer than a few hours.”

Photo courtesy Jennifer Archer.

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