Excited and nervous faces filled the halls of three Edmonton Catholic schools Monday as students headed back to class three weeks ahead of most Edmonton students.
At Mother Teresa Elementary in central Edmonton, most students were happy to get back to class and catch up with classmates after their five-week vacation.
“I’m excited to see my friends,” said Grade 2 student Kaliyah Coughlin as she walked to school with her mom Lolita Noel.
“It feels like the break wasn’t long enough at all,” said Noel.
Mother Theresa has been offering year-round school for two years, and was brought in after consultation with the community, staff and parents, said Edmonton Catholic School District spokeswoman Lori Nagy.
“Parents tell us that children do much better when they’re back into a routine,” said Nagy, adding that St. Alphonsus and St. Catherine Elementary/Junior Highs – with a total of 1,100 students – are also part of the program.
Students still have the same number of learning days that students at other Catholic schools do, but get a two-week break in October and a two-week break in the spring in lieu of an extra three weeks in the summer.
“It really does help to close the learning gap. In September, students have retained more (information) than they would if they had eight-weeks of holidays,” said Nagy.
The rest of the Catholic school system students and all Edmonton Public School students return to class Sept. 4.