School Starts — Not with a Bang, But a Whimper

Ioco School

It’s official, everyone, the first day of school in most Vancouver area public schools, which saw parents dragging kids out of bed early for possibly the first time in the summer, and shipping them off to school at the bright early hour of . . . wait, 10am?

Due to some logistical issues this morning, I found myself meandering back and forth across the GVRD making sure my keys, car, work laptop, and body were all in one place, but aside from the late start at work, it gave me a great opportunity to watch the behaviours of schoolbound young people from about 7:20am to about 10:30am. And what was my biggest surprise?

Sure, there were hordes of parents and students buzzing around the schools at 7:30 or so, getting there early, finding classrooms, meeting teachers, and presumably all that other first day stuff I remember from my childhood. But as I traveled through East Vancouver toward downtown an hour later, the crowds hadn’t really dissipated any. Likewise, an hour after that as I made my way back through Burnaby and Coquitlam, the streets were still full of groups of teenagers, adorned with new knapsacks and runners meandering in a generally school-ward direction.

And even as I neared work well after 10, the crowds weren’t much lighter.

I understand that some schools had implemented staggered start times, especially for the younger ones, but that didn’t seem to be what was going on at all. However, it was eerie the way that groups of friends had somehow conspired to set off for school late at exactly the same time.

If I’d known all those years that I could have wandered in a bit late, that first day panic might not have seemed as frenetic. . . .

3 Comments so far

  1. Rebecca (unregistered) on September 5th, 2006 @ 2:32 pm

    When I was going to school they would stagger start times. The grade 8s would be in for 9:30 then once they cleared out the 9-10s (in the Jr. High School) would arrive for around 12:30pm.

  2. Matt (unregistered) on September 5th, 2006 @ 2:35 pm

    Maybe that’s what it was, then. The people at work seemed to think the staggering only applied to grades 1-3 or so, but maybe that’s only in their particular area.

  3. Rebecca (unregistered) on September 5th, 2006 @ 2:52 pm

    I grew up in Surrey so they always tried to protect the fresh grade 8s from the scary older high-schoolers… which they could do until classes started on day 2 :p

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