Catholic School District, Public Division Feeling Optimistic After First Month Back at School

The first month of schools being reopened has come and gone and the Fort McMurray Catholic School District and Public School Division are feeling optimistic despite multiple cases popping up.

The FMCSD has seen the majority of these cases as multiple schools have had outbreaks be declared as they’ve seen at least two cases. This included Holy Trinity, Sister Mary Phillips, Elsie Yanik, cole St. Paul, and St. Gabriel.

“These transmissions are all coming from the outside into the schools, so we’re just the bearer of the results of things that happened out in the community,” said George McGuigan, FMCSD Superintendent.

Due to none of the cases happening through school transmission, each has been allowed to remain open. Classes, where there was a case, were forced to self-isolate for up to 14 days and continue their education online.

McGuigan says they never got close to having to shut down any of their schools.

“As long as the community’s doing what it needs to do, social distancing, mask-wearing, hygiene, we’re confident we won’t get ourselves in that situation.”

The FMPSD had a much easier month.

They’ve had one positive case and two ‘fringe’ cases where individuals contracted the virus but didn’t step inside any of their schools while sick.

Jennifer Turner, Superintendent of the FMPSD, they will continue to see cases pop up throughout the school year.

“It’s not a matter of if but when. Our time will come, we will see cases in our schools and we’re doing everything that we possibly can to try and minimize that risk.”

However, she’s confident most, if not all will come from the community.

“I’ve been in all of our schools, some more than one time, and each time I’m seeing students and staff with their masks, signing into the building, making sure they’re available for contact tracing, doing the self-assessment, and sanitizing before they come in.”

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