New Brunswick schools take in Fort McMurray students
Dozens of students back in New Brunswick after wildfire destroyed family homes
A few dozen students from Fort McMurray are now studying in New Brunswick schools after being driven from their Alberta homes by a forest fire.
The Anglophone East School district has enrolled 10 students from Fort McMurray in its schools, all from kindergarten to Grade 8.
- Fort McMurray parents displaced by fire encouraged to enrol children in local schools
- Fort McMurray evacuees could return home stating June 1
Anglophone West received 20 students who are enrolled in 11 schools. Francophone North East has two students, both in Dalhousie.
"This time of the year in the month of May is not an easy time to transition so coming from Fort McMurray back to New Brunswick is a difficult transition for children at any time," said Greg Ingersoll, superintendent of the Anglophone East School District.
"Those are definitely serious things for any child to go through."
Ingersoll said the Fort McMurray students were formerly from the Moncton area but had moved to Fort McMurray with their families.
They were forced to return to Moncton by the wildfire that forced the evacuation of the city of 80,000 and destroyed many homes.
Jacob Donahue's family had been living in Fort McMurray for eight years before being forced to move back to Moncton.
Even though transitioning into a new school close to the end of school year might be difficult, the 13-year-old is taking it pretty well.
"Everybody was really welcoming and accepting and the curriculum was pretty easy, so I'm a little laid back in school and it's very relaxing and I love it here."
Jacob is in Grade 8 and finds the curriculum behind that of his old school in Fort McMurray.
He also said his previous school was more technologically advanced than the one in Moncton. However, he prefers the teaching style of his current school in Moncton.
"I think the explanation of the curriculum is a lot better here and the teachers do a lot of one-on-one instead of the zone of the class, so that really helps me in the curriculum."
Jacob's mother Paula Donahue, said her son is pretty adaptable.
"Just getting in some kind of normalcy in getting up in the morning and going to school is good for him because otherwise he would probably be pretty bored," she said.
Although some Fort McMurray evacuees are returning starting June 1, Donahue's mother said they might stay for the entire summer as the air quality in Fort McMurray may not yet be of good enough quality for children.
- In an earlier version of this story, Anglophone East School District superintendent Greg Ingersoll was quoted as saying some schools in Fort McMurray were destroyed by fire. However, no operating schools were destroyed.May 30, 2016 10:41 AM AT