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Catholic and Public School Districts Anticipating Higher Student Numbers

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Catholic and Public School Districts Anticipating Higher Student Numbers

Photo by: Brandon Piper

Enrollment in local schools is on the rise across Fort McMurray.

The Fort McMurray Catholic and public school districts are preparing for more students at their school’s when the summer break officially finishes next week.

Speaking on Fort McMurray Matters, FMPSD Superintendent Doug Nicholls says their elementary schools are really starting to thrive.

Looking at some of the schools, Walter and Gladys Hill is expected to have over 600 students, Christina Gordon at roughly 500, and Dave McNeilly is sitting around 250.

“When you look at three schools alone, they put us over 1,300 and if everything stays the same they will be coming up through K-6 and through 7-12,” added Nicholls.

The numbers are also expected to increase for the district’s three high schools.

Starting this school year, Westwood and École McTavish will be offering Grades 7 to 12. Enrollment in both is expected to be around 700.

Construction on École McTavish isn’t expected to be finished until January.

“The actual size of the school is basically more than double and we could be looking at 1,500, 1,600 student spaces, ” added Nicholls. “That will be needed because of the growth in the community that is currently happening.”

As for the Catholic district, they’re also anticipating their numbers to see a rise this school year.

FMCSD Superintendent George McGuigan tells Mix News they’re expecting a high volume of students at many of their schools.

“The community continues to grow and our enrollment continues to grow, so we’re really pleased with that, that’s a good challenge to have – it’s much better than a declining enrollment.”

McGuigan notes to help with increasing enrollment, they’re moving more portable classrooms to some of their schools including St. Anne and Holy Trinity.

Meanwhile, Elsie Yanik Catholic School is opening up in the Parsons Creek area.

“Anytime we get to open a new school and welcome a new group of students into a brand new facility it’s always exciting,” added McGuigan.

School officially gets started on Tuesday, September 4.

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