Back to school for thousands of students across Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

September 6, 2023

By Colleen Flanagan, The Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows News

A large sign reading “Brighter Together” welcomed students to Harry Hooge Elementary on Tuesday, Sept. 5, on their first day back-to-school.

Excited chatter could be heard everywhere in the school playground as about 500 students lined up for their classes.

Grade 1/2 teacher Brittni Kidd walked up and down the lineup of her students for the year, asking each of them about their summer vacation and remarking about how tall they grew over the summer.

One student even offered, “We saw a bear!”

Staff also greeted newcomers at the front of the school, showing them on a map where they needed to be with their children.

Principal Nicole Neggers said the first day back went smoothly for students.

“The students all transitioned back into last year’s classes, reconnecting with their friends and the staff,” she said.

About 16,000 children of all ages across Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows headed back to class on Tuesday.

School started at 12:30 p.m. for a half day of school, returning to a 8:30 a.m. start on Wednesday, Sept. 6.

“Since COVID, we have changed the start time to the afternoon for students on the first day. We find they are much happier and more awake coming after lunch,” explained Neggers about the district-wide start time.

Ridge Meadows RCMP are warning motorists to slow down and heed the 30 km/h school zone speed limit – noting those who don’t may face a fine anywhere from $196 to $253.

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