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Schools ramping up to welcome back students

PHOTO. Father Patrick Mercredi Community High School is one of two Catholic high schools in the FMCSD. Schools across the region and Canada will be busy with children, teens, and parents on the first day of school: September 3, 2019.

Before too soon, thousands of kids in Wood Buffalo will be back to school.

September 3, 2019, is the day parents will see their kids off, and some for the first time.

School doors in the Fort McMurray Catholic School District (FMCSD) opened to staff on August 15.

Superintendent George McGuigan said schools are currently taking registrations.

“Our administration, principals and vice-principals [are] looking after people with new registrations. Our caretakers and maintenance do a superb job every year in cleaning and getting the schools ready.”

McGuigan said they expect more than 6500 students filing into FMCSD classrooms.

However, he added that the number could increase by two per cent as registrations continue.

“There’s a lot of young families in the community [with] more children entering the school system than are leaving it at the other end. Once we open our doors, we have new registrations; we still have families moving in from out of town, so we have to add them into the mix.”

McGuigan estimated FMCSD should have a stable count of students by the end of September.

Nevertheless, he added that greeting the kids should be around 340 teachers.

The big day

The FMCSD has a staggered entry for their youngest students.

McGuigan said children enrolled in preschool and kindergarten have a different start to their school year.

“Our children in our early entry programs and kindergarten will start during the first week. They meet the teachers, set up schedules, and get comfortable with classrooms and the surroundings.”

He added early entry and kindergarten programs would begin the following week.

Schools across Wood Buffalo expect business and traffic congestion on the first day.

George McGuigan said kids and parents should exercise patience in school zones, which RCMP will patrol.

“There will be many parents and children in our school zones, so watch the speed limit and when [they’re] in the parking lots, be very careful.”

McGuigan also suggests teens attending secondary school study the new transit schedule on the Municipality’s website.

New bus routes come into effect on August 30.