École Boréal is reopening after spring break.
The school in Abasand has been closed since last May due to damages sustained in the wildfire.
Most of the displaced students have been attending École McTavish this school year.
Assistant Superintendent for the Conseil Scolaire Centre-Nord Giselle Bourque tells Mix News they consulted with parents and students before deciding to reopen.
She says students and staff have already been back to the school.
“Three weeks ago we didn’t have desk or materials, we were just planning to move. But we had tables and activities planned for them. They were so happy to be there, actually some were very disappointed they couldn’t go back the next day.”
She adds they decided to move back this school year instead of September because they knew the Public School District needed that part of École McTavish very soon.
“It’s been fantastic to be at McTavish school. I just thank the other school board, the staff of the school and their students for how welcoming they’ve been to our students.”
Bourque says around 115 elementary students will be returning on the 18th.
École Boréal is the last school in the community to announce its reopening.
Father Beauregard, Good Shepherd and Beacon Hill will reopen in the fall. Elsie Yanik will open for the 2018/19 school year.
Francophone Association Expected To Return A Week Later
Meanwhile, the L’Association Canadienne Francaise d’Alberta, Regionale de Wood Buffalo is planning to move back to their old facility at the school on April 24th.
Over the past few months, they’ve been using a basement suite at Unifor Local 707A.
Director of the Francophone Association Angelina Gionet tells Mix News returning is both exciting and a new challenge.
“Moving is not that easy but at least we know it’s a good thing and we can go back to where we were before, there is lots of joy behind it.”
Before they can move back, they need to get an inspection done for their daycare facility. Gionet notes getting the daycare up and running will be their first priority.
“We have to make sure it’s a full service in place because this is the most important, all the services we offer are important.”
She adds there is lots of work that needs to be done before they can go back to full operations. Gionet adds they’re waiting for the day when the francophone community will once again have a spot to be together and have fun.
– With files from Jaryn Vecchio
Listen below to hear the full conversation with Bourque and Gionet.