Iced coffees and orange juice: as schools remain shut, locker contents ripen

Iced coffees and orange juice: as schools remain shut, locker contents ripen

For months, their contents have sat locked up in the stale hallway air in schools across the country.

The jackets, books and gym shoes — along with more perishable items — were left behind in school lockers and cubbies ahead of March break, when provincial governments announced closures that were expected to last weeks.

But as the weeks have turned to months, the forgotten food has turned to mouldy mush.

Now, some school boards are allowing students to return for the sake of retrieving the long untouched items.

But as with everything to do with the COVID-19 pandemic, the options vary widely.

Parents whose kids attend schools in New Brunswick’s Anglophone South School District received a letter on April 29 about retrieving items.

“At (elementary) schools, and possibly some middle schools, a parent/guardian is asked to pick up the items. Some schools may package up the items in a bag and label for quick pick-up. At high school, students may clean out their locker,” the note reads.

A spokesman for Alberta’s education minister said each school authority in that province “provided opportunities” for students to grab their belongings.

In Toronto, there’s no such luck.

“I left my Day 2 binder in there, which is definitely the most important thing,” said 14-year-old Tyler Malazo, a Grade 9 student.

His school isn’t semestered, and the binder contains school work for half his classes. But teachers have been pretty understanding, Tyler said, posting materials online for students without access to their supplies.

Malazo also left a winter jacket and — he is loathe to admit — some energy drinks he uses to help him pay attention during early morning classes.

But he has an interim solution to that particular dilemma: “My uncle’s been supplying me.”

Tyler said he hasn’t heard when he’ll be allowed to go back and get his stuff, but he’s confident it will happen eventually.

More troubling, he said, is what some of his friends will find behind their combination locks.

“My friends have actually left iced coffees,” he said. ”I remember my friend leaving an orange jug — like Tropicana.”

The Toronto school board, the largest in the country, is still working out when students will be able to go back and get their things.

“We know that students, parents and staff are eager to pick up belongings from schools,” said Ryan Bird, a spokesman for the Toronto District School Board.

“Staff have been looking at different scenarios that consider a number of different factors such as physical distancing, number of people permitted in the school at one time, and screening measures.”

But he said there are still some unknowns, so the board is waiting for further instruction from the province and public health officials before making a final decision.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2020.

Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake Community Partners seeking donations

Community Partners is still open and ready to help, says Jen Baliant

Sylvan Lake RCMP lay child luring charge

David Brown, 38, of Sylvan Lake was arrested on May 26 after a complaint received on May 19

Small celebrations planned for Sylvan Lake grads during pandemic

The high school and local businesses have small events planned to honour the Class of 2020

COVID-19 recovered cases continue to rise in Alberta

69 more recoveries Tuesday, bringing the total to 6,048

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Sylvan Lake News is firmly committed to seeing you through the changes ahead, but we need your help

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Sylvan Lake News is firmly committed to seeing you through the changes ahead, but we need your help

If an MP heckles in a virtual House of Commons, does it make a sound?

If an MP heckles in a virtual House of Commons, does it make a sound?

How much will be enough when it comes to Canada’s COVID-19 supply?

How much will be enough when it comes to Canada’s COVID-19 supply?

Twenty-nine of Canada’s 48 national parks to reopen to day-use visitors in early June

Twenty-nine of Canada’s 48 national parks to reopen to day-use visitors in early June

Advocates push Ottawa to fix long-term problems with long-term care

Advocates push Ottawa to fix long-term problems with long-term care

COVID-19 shows need for long-term-care reform but solve crisis first, Trudeau says

COVID-19 shows need for long-term-care reform but solve crisis first, Trudeau says

Alberta premier says targeted approach needed to prevent COVID-19 resurgence

Alberta premier says targeted approach needed to prevent COVID-19 resurgence

Military has located wreckage of helicopter and remains in Mediterranean

Military has located wreckage of helicopter and remains in Mediterranean

Most Read