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Education Matters

Travel, Read, and Talk to be Ready for School This Fall

July 1st, 2016

By Kiran Malik-Khan

While summer plans may not be a priority at the moment due to the wildfire in Fort McMurray, summer remains the best time for bringing families together. Fort McMurray Public School District (FMPSD) has been communicating with our families since the May 3 evacuation, and here are a few tips for this summer as we get ready to open schools on September 6, 2016.

“FMPSD is recommending that families enjoy time together before returning to rebuild our community,” shares Dr. Brenda Sautner, Associate Superintendent, Education & Administration.

“Alberta has many public attractions for children and families that have been offered to residents of Fort McMurray. Families can access online travel information and services through Travel Alberta.

For students looking to continue studying through summer months, we are recommending online courses through the Alberta Distance Learning Centre –

“Many students are completing school in another location which is helping a return to normal for families. It is important that routines continue and children are kept busy. The most valuable resource right now is parents/caregivers being with their child as much as possible,” Dr. Sautner continued.

In addition, “travel, talk and read may be the best educational strategies at this time. Alberta's public libraries provide easy access to books for children in almost every community. Continue to provide realistic hope and share how people are working hard to get our city ready to return. Parents are encouraged to listen to their child's concerns and be open to talking about our experiences.”

And, while it is important to be connected and stay in touch with friends, it is equally important to reduce the constant stream of images of the wildfire and its devastation.

“Turn off the negative images and turn on the positive ones.  Parents also need to use this time in between to take care of themselves. Take time to walk, read, or sing. Ask for help when needed and remember it’s okay to talk about what you need and how to help your child.  Call 1-877-303-2642 (toll free within Alberta) for mental health advice at any time you have a question or concern. At FMPSD we continue to do what is best for kids and we will have a plan in place for our students and staff for the new school year, including student health and wellness activities,” Dr. Sautner said.

Registration is open for all FMPSD schools. Visit for registration, or additional information. Follow us on Twitter @FMPSD and @DougNicholls2 for real time updates.

Tags: advice, education

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