Late Wednesday morning, a convoy of 26 North Otter Elementary teachers greeted students and their families from a safe distance. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

VIDEO: North Otter teachers throw ‘emotional’ parade for cooped-up students

North Otter Elementary is the latest Langley school to tell its students: ‘We miss you’

A convoy of 26 North Otter Elementary teachers drove by neighbourhoods near the school on Wednesday to say “we miss you” and “wash your hands” to students they have not seen in nearly a month due to COVID-19 pandemic school closures.

Young students lined the designated route with noise makers, balloons, artwork and signs that spelled out a message in return: “North Otter teachers are the best,” a student’s sign read.

Special education assistant (SEA) Carmen Phalen, one of the event’s main organizers, said Wednesday’s parade was “emotional.”

One student’s sign read: “You teach better than my mom,” which made a few of the teachers chuckle.

Another student was heard telling her teacher as she drove by – “I can read!”

It wasn’t just families of the school either who took part in the car rodeo, Phalen noted. North Otter neighbours joined in on the fun after hearing the sounds of celebration.

Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese was one of them, he recorded the procession on his phone (video below).

READ MORE: Teacher parades connect staff to student families during self-isolation

SEA Melissa Cox, with son James, had a special message for Karter – a student who was in isolation for weeks at home due to having immunocompromised family members.

“He’s one of my favourite students,” Cox said, pointing to her bright green sign that read: “We miss you Karter.”

British Columbia first suspended all K-12 classes indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, March 17.

Since the beginning of April, Langley elementary schools including Alice Brown, James Hill, Wix-Brown, Lynn Fripps, and West Langley have held events to connect with their students while social distancing to prevent virus spread.

April 7 marked the very first teacher’s car convoy, and time of connection, between teachers and their students in Aldergrove.

More photos from the parade can be seen here.


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