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Ellerslie Elementary teachers Sharon Collicutt and Tammy Jeffery were super excited to see their students, even if it was from the safety of their vehicles.

“It’s really hard when you don’t see them everyday,” said Ms Collicutt. “When you do see them, they’re waving and smiling, so yeah, it’s hard.”

Staff at the school wanted to find a safe way to connect with their students and decided a ‘road trip’ was the answer.

“The local community has been doing this through the fire department for birthdays and stuff, so we thought we would give it a try as a school as well,” said Principal Jason Cormier.

On the morning of May 14, staff gathered at the school’s parking lot to prepare for the road trip that would take them around the Ellerslie-Bideford and Tyne Valley area.

With participating vehicles decked out in the school’s colours of blue and yellow, the road trip got underway around 10 am and first made its way up Ellerslie Road.

Following the school’s bus routes, the procession’s progress was updated on social media to alert everyone when the parade would be driving by their way.

“We’re going to try and get as much as the area as we can,” said Mr Cormier. “We figure it will take a little over two hours.”

It’s been over two months since schools on the Island were closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak and it was recently announced by the province that students wouldn’t be returning to the classroom for the rest of the academic year.

Although teachers have been contacting with students via internet since home based learning began back in April, Ms Jeffery said it’s not the same thing as seeing the children everyday in a classroom.

“It’s not that face to face interaction,” she said.

“It’s hard from a teacher’s perspective because you can only do one lesson and not everybody is able to do it and the internet is an issue for students and teachers,” added Ms Collicutt. “It’s not as fun.”

But it wasn’t just the students everyone was excited to see either.

“The staff hasn’t seen each other in awhile, so this our get together too,” said Ms Collicutt.

Ms Collicutt teaches Grade 6 and her students will be moving onto junior high in the new school year. She’s hoping there can be a year-end celebration planned for those students.

“Which would be nice because they do need some kind of closure from the school, but if not, I said we would do something in August,” she said. “Hopefully more of the restrictions will be lifted by then.”

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