Vincent Massey School celebrates connections with parade

Principal Harriet Tomporowski greeted students as the Vincent Massey School parade exited on their journey Friday afternoon.

Vincent Massey Public School is the latest school in Prince Albert to pay tribute to the connection between students, families and staff.

The school held a parade Friday afternoon, and principal Harriet Tomporowski said they want to see their student’s smiling faces and be able to connect.

“It is so important, I think, during this time to keep those connections going,” Tomporowski said.

The parade was led by the Prince Albert Police Service (PAPS) and stretched down Third Avenue originating in the school’s parking lot. Tomporowski said the entire concept is great for everyone’s condition.

“When we meet with kids through meetings and phone calls it is not the same as seeing them, so I think for our staff it is going to be really good (for) everybody’s mental health,” she said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought clarity to the connection between families and schools, she said.

“I think people just realized how important those connections are for our kids, our families and our staff. It has been a really rough go for people not having that closure of a school year and teachers being able to say goodbye to their kids and kids being able to say goodbye to their friends and their teachers. You realize how important that stuff is for everyone when you don’t have it.”

She said that that teachers like herself had a tough time working at home because they want to be with their students.

“I am really getting tired of myself because I hang out with myself all day every day,” she said.

“I talk to a lot of people on the phone through Zoom meetings but there is something being in contact with another human being in the flesh that is different.”

Students traveled from long distances to greet the parade as it began.

Students and families were out in force to greet the staff on their parade route.

The parade did not include some cul de sacs as the police decided which ones were safe because of the amount of vehicles. They chose instead to drive by them.

According to Tomporowski, the entire affair lasted around and hour and when rain came in the middle of the event it did not dampen the festivities.

The idea actually started before other schools like John Diefenbaker, Ecole Arthur Pechey and others hosted their parades.

“We talked about it early on our vice principal (Sylivia Delisle) actually had the idea before anybody had started doing them but at that time we were worried about getting people to gather on the street so we wouldn’t do it then.”

The staff of Vincent Massey School wound through their neighbourhood Friday afternoon.

The original plan was to host it next Monday, June 1, to celebrate the start of the last month of the school year but staff training made that not feasible.

“We thought we could hold off and wait until now.”