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Back to school 2021-2022: a return to normal?

After a school year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing, wearing of masks, online courses for some, the start of the 2021-2022 school year will mark a return to normalcy if nothing happens to cloud the picture. 

Young people (and parents too) are eager to go back to the way they used to do things: shake hands with friends, give them a hug, sit close to them. All these little gestures that were so commonplace before the pandemic but that we missed so much last year! Is it not quotes that happiness is only realized when it’s lost…

But hopefully, if the government’s predictions on vaccinations hold true, everyone will be able to get back to those everyday habits that yielded so much good. Here’s the government’s announced back-to-school plan, with tips and tricks to make this back-to-school season as stress-free as possible, from packing lunches to shopping for school supplies. The government plans to update the plan in August. 

Watch out for the Delta variant.

Back to school as before!

The Quebec government’s current plan calls for a return to school in 2021-2022 as normal as possible:

  • normal school organization, without restriction of a stable class group;
  • no intervention masks or face covers for students or staff;
  • full-time educational services, including special educational projects and field trips;
  • additional supports for vulnerable or academically delayed students; 
  • resumption of extracurricular activities;
  • school transport without distance restrictions and according to the normal rates; 
  • usual organization of cafeterias and dining rooms.

CEGEP and university students will be able to return to campus without social distancing.

This plan will only be effective if the epidemiological situation is stable and 75% of people aged 16 to 29 have received two doses of vaccine by the fall.

If the health situation requires it, certain restrictions may be applied as well as social distancing measures in certain situations.

All we can do now is keep our fingers crossed that nothing happens to disrupt the start of the 2021 school year.

Hot lunches, cold lunches, you name it…

The children will be happy to go back to the school cafeteria and lunch room again and we understand them. It’s so much friendlier! Even better, they will be able to eat hot lunches again! You have to admit that eating cold lunches all year long can get boring very quickly. A mix of the two is a good option to keep them motivated at lunch time.

Here is our selection of quick hot meals perfect for lunches:

Ricardo’s Chicken Fried Rice

Ricardo’s Chicken Curry Noodles

Ricardo’s Eggplant Parmigiana

Geneviève O’Gleman’s Shrimp and Cauliflower Couscous

Isabelle Huot’s Salmon Puff Pastry with Spinach and Feta

Stefano Faita’s Mini Meatball Lasagna

For cold meals, get inspired by our article on healthy cold meals perfect for lunches.

Here you are with recipe ideas for year-round lunches that kids and adults will love. 

As with anything, the key is planning:

  • Make sure your pantry and freezer are always well stocked. 
  • Remember to double the portions when you make dinner in the evening, so there will be enough left over for lunch the next day.
  • Prepare vegetables and raw vegetables in advance.

Remember that good organization is the starting point for a better balance between work and family.

School supplies: stress-free shopping

Are you one of those people who always wait until the last minute to shop for school supplies? Aha! Not only do you risk going to several stores to complete your list, dealing with the shortage of certain items, but it will also cause a lot of stress. Not to mention the fact that the stores will be crowded and there will be long lines at the checkout. Also, expect to deal with your children’s tantrums when you tell them that the bag or lunchbox they wanted is no longer available… The golden rule is to get started early. 

Wouldn’t you rather be sipping cocktails on a patio or getting a massage at a spa in the days leading up to school than running around finalizing school purchases? 

All in all, after a rather special year, children and parents will be more than happy for the 2021-2022 school year to be “normal.” Everyone is looking forward to socializing again. If the government’s predictions on vaccinations are confirmed, we will be done with distancing ourselves in class, bubbles, wearing masks in class, school closures and all the headaches that this causes parents. It is about time…

So, are you ready to go back to school?