VIDEO: Lochside Elementary teachers missing their students plan parade through community

Teachers and staff from Lochside Elementary School planned a parade through the community on Thursday to visit their students during the pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
A fire truck from the Saanich Fire Department led the Lochside teachers’ parade with lights and sirens blaring. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Families lined the parade route and some made their way down to the elementary school to watch the parade kick off. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Teachers made signs and decorated their cars with balloons to show their students some love during the pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Teachers made signs and decorated their cars with balloons to show their students some love during the pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Teachers and staff from Lochside Elementary School planned a parade through the community on Thursday to visit their students during the pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Teachers made signs and decorated their cars with balloons to show their students some love during the pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

It’s not every day Saanich residents get to see a parade of teachers coming down their streets but on Wednesday afternoon, that’s exactly what Lochside Elementary School students witnessed.

On April 22, a caravan of teachers and staff – led by a fire truck with lights and sirens blaring – paraded through the community to say hello to their students who are isolated from one another due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ ALSO: Little libraries stock chalk across Greater Victoria to spread positive messages

Despite the rain, teachers decorated their vehicles with balloons, posters and streamers and marshalled outside the elementary school on Wednesday morning. The parade route took the group all through the school’s catchment area – down side roads and cul-de-sacs alike – so that they could visit as many students as possible from the safety of their cars.

The school’s bright green mascot, the Lochside Lizard, brought up the rear and waved to students from the moon-roof of the last vehicle. Families and kids with colourful raincoats and umbrellas lined the streets to wave to their teachers who they hadn’t seen in more than a month. Many were carrying signs and posters they’d made to show their teachers as the parade passed by.

“It was so great,” said Lochside kindergarten teacher Carolin McDonnell. “I, myself, got emotional.”

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Sooke teachers are ‘feeling good,’ show it off in song and dance for students

Teacher librarian Laura Molloy pitched the idea for the parade during a virtual staff meeting and everyone loved the idea, McDonnell said. She created the route and other details fell into place. The rain wasn’t ideal but McDonnell pointed out that when events don’t quite go as planned, they usually end up being more memorable.

She said the parade was part of an effort to stay connected to students as “remote learning in a crisis” doesn’t match the classroom experience. Students miss socializing and so do their teachers.

“We’re all trying to find ways to keep that relationship going” with the students, McDonnell said. “We all needed this.”

The students were so excited to see the fire truck leading the parade, McDonnell added. In the true community spirit, the truck was driven by a teacher’s husband who is a member of the Saanich Fire Department.

McDonnell acknowledged that teachers felt bad about driving in a parade on Earth Day but decided that having the teachers drive out to the students was better for the environment than having the families drive to the school.

READ ALSO: Parents not teachers, rather facilitators, says Victoria school board chair


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

CoronavirusGreat TeachersSaanich

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich property tax notices in the mail, residents unable to pay in person

Payment options, late penalties adjusted due to COVID-19

Name of victims ‘ripped down’ from Victoria display

Organizers feel the act is ‘malicious’

Saanich teen launches free online tutoring website

School Helpers matches volunteer tutors with students

Group desperate to find solution to wrecks lining shores of Cadboro Bay

Caddy Bay ‘a wild west’ without authority, say locals

Greater Victoria transit usage sees gradual rise

Ridership still down 66 per cent compared to last year

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Cortes Island affordable housing project hangs by a thread

Regional decision makers resort to COVID-19 concerns despite virtual meeting option and push hearing to September

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Damage happens every year, forcing site manager to reallocate improvement budget to repairs

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Man found dead in his tent at Island homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

Most Read