Back to School – Students of all levels ready for return to school

Elementary, middle school and high school students talk about the morning rush to get ready for class

Jesse Charmley and dad Darrin ride to Ecole Doncaster from their home in the Mount Tolmie neighbourhood.

Elementary school

Commuting to school is a bike-only ritual in the Charmley family.

In preschool, Jesse rode by trailer.

By kindergarten, he had graduated to trail-a-bike. And now for Grade 1, the six-year-old will travel on his own power, riding his (still fairly new) red mountain bike.

“In theory our daily prep starts the night before with lunches but usually we end up putting lunches together in the morning,” says dad Darrin Charley.

The buzzer for Ecole Doncaster rings at 8:42 a.m.

“If we’re walking to school, we leave at 8:15, by bike, around 8:30 [a.m.], never by car,” Charmley added.

Jesse’s isn’t the only morning commuter, as four-year-old Coen is towed to preschool twice a week in Fernwood, either by Darrin, or mom Erin, on their way to work downtown.



Middle School

Compared to elementary school, Carolyn Phillips says her 10-year-old daughter Allie requires little supervision when preparing for class in the morning.

“She can get herself ready, she knows the time schedule, she can help her sister find things that she needs,” said Phillips. “Allie usually is up pretty early, even before me.”

While she tries to prepare lunches the night before, Phillips said some days she’s making breakfast and lunch at the same time.

The hardest part, though, is usually the last 10 minutes, when Allie and her younger sister Katie are double- and triple-checking that they have everything for the day.

“We have to make sure we have everything we need and whatever else,” said Allie, who’s heading into Grade 5 next month.

“Some days it’s a rush, some days it’s not a rush,” said Phillips.

“It just depends on whether everyone’s co-operating or procrastinating. It’s hard to predict how it’s going to be every morning – I think most parents understand that.”

High school

Of course, everything changes in the teenage years.

Sixteen-year-old Willa Rolfe prepares her own food for the day. And no, she doesn’t do it the night before.

“Between homework and tae kwon do, I don’t usually make a lunch the night before,” she says.

And why would she? Rather, the typical teen is content to put a lunch together in a rush before heading out the door to Claremont secondary, where she’s entering Grade 11.

Twice a week school starts at 7:30 a.m. But the rest of the week, Rolfe, and the rest of the Claremont student body, benefits from the school’s late start time of 9 a.m.

“I think it has to do with the [rural] school bus routes,” says mother Margaret, who’s already guided Willa’s two elder siblings through graduation at Claremont.

They all started at Prospect Lake elementary, which, incidentally, has a much earlier start time.

For Willa, it means a later finish, as her days at Claremont go well beyond the 3 p.m. bell. She’s in musical theatre and is starting stagecraft this year, both of which have after-school components.


Just Posted

Mom who lost son to brain tumour in March joins the 24th annual Brain Tumour Walk

The Brain Tumour Walk takes place at the University of Victoria on Sunday, May 26

Comic Con announces winning artist in $500 ViGuy competition

Van Isle Comic Con announce judges’ award winner, People’s Choice voting now open

Sooke woman is ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at Thetis Lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Victorian makes gridlock fun with traffic bingo

How far into your drive before you yell BINGO?

Throwback Thursday: Shamrocks revisit the 1950s with new uniforms

Victoria team introduces its new white jersey for the 2019 70th anniversary season

VIDEO: Journey of SD62 Aboriginal graduates recognized at ceremony

‘Enriching and empowering’ ceremony encourages students to hold onto their identities

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Brewpub offers ‘boat valet’ for paddlers during Surfrider celebration tonight

Free ‘Surf Formal’ evening features a local art auction, door prizes, live music

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Building a close-knit community in Sooke

Knit 2 Purl Together a community event

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Most Read