With students back in school physically, one Winnipeg principal talks about the way the school has changed and what has thankfully stayed the same.
Jaime Siska is the principal at St. Boniface Diocesan High School, a school for students in grades 9-12.
"We serve the church's mission of education. We want to educate the whole student. We're here to serve the students, parents, and the Catholic community but welcoming all faiths with a Christ-centered environment," says Siska.
The high school has an on-sight chapel, and also have religious classes that all students must participate in.
"I believe in the mission of the church, and I was born and raised Catholic. My mom attended Catholic school and my great-aunt was a nun. She was very influential on my sister and me growing up. When the opportunity came to teach in a Catholic school, it just felt right for me."
The school's home base is the St. Boniface Cathedral.
"It's a very family-driven environment. Everybody knows each other because we're a small school and you get the chance to build relationships with our students."
Siska knows all the student's names, which right now is 174 teenagers. This is one of the benefits of a smaller school, according to Siska.
"That's actually been a real positive thing in a pandemic, having a small school environment because we're really able to keep those class sizes down."
The school has been having two days of in-person studies followed by two days of remote learning.
"Our staff have been very dedicated to lots of communication with the students and parents to ensure the students are successful. We only had a select few that had to do some recovery learning."
They had two positive cases of COVID-19 in the school back in November of 2020 and none since.
"A thing that makes us really unique is our University Now program. That is where you're able to obtain a duel credit program. The benefits of taking one of those courses is new students starting University for the first time. This program allows you to obtain a University credit while attending high school," says Siska.
They will be hosting a virtual open house on February 3, 2021.