The Southeast Cornerstone Public School Division is preparing for its new school year, with the first day of classes beginning September 1st.

The new school year will be without any provincial restrictions regarding COVID, though there will still be some precautions available at schools.

Director of Education Keith Keating says that those students will have a particularly normal start to the school year.

"I know with this school year quickly approaching, we're planning for a more normal start than we've had in the last few years. I know teachers are starting back next week and students are the week after that, so we're looking forward to getting started with another exciting year and we're looking forward to being able to see parents and the public back in their community's schools, engaging with all of the great thing happening in those buildings."

Keating says the cause of that shift back to normal is the fact there are no longer any provincial restrictions, though. schools will still have some optional protections against COVID

"Basically, there's no longer a provincial requirement for restrictions. You'll see those hand sanitizers will remain in place and masks will be available for those people who want to use them, but other than that it will be a return to normal at the start of the school year."

A number of new staff have joined the division this year, with the division always looking for more.

"We have a number of new staff this year, but with the number of staff we have, we're constantly recruiting for different positions inside the division. We advertise in a number of places, we go to university recruiting fairs and in some cases, like for bus drivers, we've held job fairs in a number of different locations. We're always looking for substitute bus drivers," said Keating, "If anyone's interested out there, you can always call our transportation department at the school division."

Keating says that he's also excited to help build the provincial plan of education, which will be replacing the current interim plan and be in place for the next seven years.