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

City of Red Deer down to one confirmed active case of COVID-19

18 new cases were confirmed across the province Saturday

Lacombe’s museums change summer operations due to COVID-19

Lacombe & District Historical Society hoping for pre-booked, members of the same household tours

Lacombe’s Midway Centre looking to attract tenants

Albertan economy, COVID-19 leading to difficulty finding suitors

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The Lacombe Express covers the stories that matter to you and to our community

N.S. fire crews continue battling ‘out-of-control’ Porters Lake blaze

Word of the fire first emerged early Saturday afternoon

Technology, representation butt heads amid debate over resuming Parliament

The Liberals are now proposing four meetings a week until June 17

Procession for Snowbirds crash victim makes its way through Halifax

The 35-year-old military public affairs officer and Halifax native died in the crash

Who is at highest risk of exposure to COVID-19? Firefighters, drivers, pharmacists, cooks

Central Alberta firefighter says virus taking toll on mental health

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada as of May 23

There are 83,621 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada

Procession for Snowbirds crash victim to make its way through Halifax today

The military public affairs officer died in the Snowbirds Tutor jet crash in B.C. last Sunday

Employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

Only eight per cent of employers were fully prepared to restart operations, survey finds

Central Alberta woman recognized by province for making hospital gowns

Northern Lights Volunteer Recognition program honours Christine Engel

Most Read