Division News

Division News

Q&A for students, parents and staff impacted by Fort McMurray and area wildfires

Posted on June 16

Updated June 16, 2016

1. Which Northland schools are closed? 

Anzac Community School, Bill Woodward School, Father R. Perin School and Fort McKay School are closed for the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year. 

2. Northland is encouraging its students affected by the Fort McMurray and area wildfires to register in a school.

Students displaced from Fort McMurray and surrounding communities due to the wildfires are encouraged to register in a school to continue their studies. For further information, please click on the website link https://education.alberta.ca/alberta-education/school-authority-index/.

Students can also complete courses through Alberta Distance Learning https://www.adlc.ca/fort-mcmurray-students/

3. When will the schools be inspected?  Has anyone from Northland School Division been in the schools? 

Our insurance adjusters completed assessments in the following locations: 

  • Tuesday and Wednesday, May 17/18, 2016: Father R. Perin School and teacher housing (Janvier)
  • Thursday, May 19, 2016: Fort McKay School
  • Friday, May 20, 2016: Anzac Community School and Bill Woodward School 

4. When will staff be allowed access to the schools?

We will advise staff when they are able to access personal belongings from the school. 

5. When will I be able to move into a teacherage? 

All the teacherages will be cleaned by Saturday June 11, 2016, so tenants can start to move in Sunday June 12, 2016. There maybe some odds and ends that will need to be remedied after tenants move in. For example, the attic insulation was removed and will need to be replaced.

Note: Some of our housing in Anzac and Janvier will be closed from Saturday June 18th - June 23rd to smoke seal the attics. Housing Coordinator Christy Jellett will be contacting staff who are affected by phone or by email. If you have any questions please contact Christy at 780-618-6378 or christy.jellett@nsd61.ca. 

6. What is happening with refrigerators in the teacherages?

Refrigerators and freezers (if the freezers were not dealt with by the tenant) will be removed from the unit by the cleaners.  New refrigerators will arrive within the next 7-10 days, then installed by Northland maintenance staff.

7. Is the water safe to drink in Anzac?

Tenants in Anzac are reminded not to drink the water - the community is under a Boil Water Advisory. When that is lifted, the cleaning company will flush the lines.  The water is suitable for cleaning and bathing at this time.

8. Who can I call if I have any questions about my teacherage?

If tenants have questions, they can contact:

Darcy Magee
Senior Project Manager
Premier Fire and Flood Restoration
email:  darcy@pffr.ca
phone:  780-203-1035

9. How do I make an insurance claim?

Teachers are asked to contact their insurance companies to start content claims. The teachers insurance companies can contact:

Darcy Magee
Senior Project Manager
Premier Fire and Flood Restoration
email:  darcy@pffr.ca
phone:  780-203-1035

10. Are these students exempt from writing Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs) and Diploma Exams? 

Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs)

The following Northland schools have been exempt from PATs due to the Fort McMurray and area wildfires:

  • Bill Woodward School
  • Father R. Perin School
  • Fort McKay School 

Diploma Exams

The following Northland schools have been exempt from writing Diploma exams ddue to the Fort McMurray and area wildfires:

  • Bill Woodward School. Alberta Education will remain in contact with Northland School Division to assist all affected students.

Students will receive an exemption without having to fill out an application form (it will be done for students by their schools). In other words, affected students do not need to do anything to receive this diploma exam exemption.

Students can still decide to write the diploma exams if they so choose. Where possible, schools will be expected to accommodate such requests. If students would like to write an exam at a Special Writing Centre, they, their parents or their school can contact exam.admin@gov.ab.ca or call 780-492-1400.

11. I am a Northland staff member who has been impacted by the Fort McMurray and area wildfires. What kind of supports and counselling services can I access? 

We are concerned about the welfare of all of our staff and want to remind you that support and counselling services are available through our Employee and Family Assistance Program provider Homewood Health. They can be contacted at 1-800-663-1142 or visit the Northland School Division website for more information http://nsd61.ca/information-for-staff/employee-and-family-assistance-program

Homewood Health - Experiencing a Traumatic Event

Homewood Health - Supporting Employees Affected by a Natural Disaster

Homewood Health - Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event

Trauma and Healing Information Session for Fort McMurray Residents and First Responders
Wednesday, June 8th  6:00-8:00 PM

The purpose of this workshop is to provide support and information for any individuals who have been directly impacted by the Fort McMurray wildfires.


12. My child has been impacted by the Fort McMurray and area wildfires. What kinds of supports and counselling services are available for my child?

Parents can access the following resources:

13. How will student marks be determined? 

All students in schools impacted by the closures will be placed in the next grade when school re-opens. Year-end report cards will be distributed in August and marks will be based on achievement prior to school closures.