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Wed, 1 Jun, 2016

News item: Helping families from Fort McMurray

We’ve welcomed about 1,000 students into 165 of our District’s 203 schools since the massive wildfire around Fort McMurray forced that city’s evacuation on May 3. 

“We expect that many of them will stay until the end of June,” said Laurie Barnstable, Director of Division Support Services, which helped co-ordinate the students’ registration in Edmonton Public Schools.

“Our staff, parents, students and school communities worked hard to get those students into classrooms quickly, waiving some of the usual requirements such as proof-of-address documents,” Barnstable said. The crisis showed the "immense heart" of people in our District, she said. “It’s been a lot of work for a lot of people, but it’s to support families who didn’t make this choice (to evacuate).”

The work of some of those dedicated people is captured in this video.

The first evacuees begin a phased re-entry to Fort McMurray this week, but schools in the community aren’t expected to reopen this school year.

An update for staff on the Fort McMurray Public Schools website confirms teachers and most support staff will not be recalled in June, and a message on the Fort McMurray Catholic Facebook page says staff and students won’t be allowed into schools to retrieve personal items until late June or early July, at the earliest.