In the early morning drizzle, Board Trustee Barb Salmon, Board Chair Patricia Beazer, and members of Westwind's administration team drove to Spring Glen Junior High, Spring Glen Elementary, and Mountain View Schools. They arrived and brought trays of treats into the school for the students and staff coming back to the school after the two days of evacuation and closure in the area.
The students at all three schools were elated to see friendly faces greeting them at the doors with high fives and assurances that it was "going to be a sweet day!" from Trustee Salmon.
At Spring Glen Junior High School the students quickly dug into the cake, cookies, and brownies on the tables, the staff and parents chatted about the relief they felt today. They traded stories about the fire and the emergency response in the area.
At Spring Glen Elementary School, students were waiting for Trustee Salmon and Chair Beazer in the front entrance and greeted them with a loud shout and applause. The young students were very excited about the treats and immediately surrounded the table. Staff and parents were drawn into the cantagious excitement of the students.
At Mountain View School, Principal Stacey Jacobs called all the students down to the gym by class. They sat on the bleachers and Trustee Salmon gave a short speech welcoming the students back.
We wanted to come back and tell you how awesome you are and that you’re rockstars. And we wanted to make sure that you knew that we love you guys, we support you, and we’re proud of you for being at school today. And we wanted to make sure that you knew that it is going to be a 'Sweet Day' in Mountain View, alright?
We know that it has been not so fun this last week, but we know that there are lots of people here to support you, right? Your friends are here to support you, your teachers are here to support you, [the school counsellor] is here to support you. So we want you to know that you are loved and supported and safe here in school. Okay? You’re awesome!
We are so thankful to be able to welcome many of our students back to these three schools. The schools were untouched by the fires, and outside the mandatory evacuation areas. There is still an evacuation order in place in parts of these school boundaries, and we know there are still families in our communities waiting to get back to their homes. We know there are homes and property that have been damaged by the fire, and we are thinking about them today and wishing the the best in the recovery process.
We know that this has been a trying, and even traumatic, time for some of our students and families. We have counsellors at each school for students and staff to talk to.