Message from our Superintendent

Good afternoon,

Our hearts are full. We could not have been more excited to see all of the smiles under masks this week!

Thank you all for helping make our staggered entry to the 2020/21 school year a success. We are all partners walking through these times. As I visited schools this week I saw the excitement of coming back to school.

Whether you have chosen to be part of our Virtual Learning Academy this year or are joining us in the classroom, you are always part of the Fort McMurray Catholic Schools family.

The success of the school year, like any year, is dependent on us all as a community. There are several ways we can help each other and work as a team. Please continue to model good pandemic behaviour and help lead us through. Please wear your mask when you are out in our community and please physically distance from others when possible. We will be modelling and guiding these behaviours in our schools every day in all grades.

I was pleased to see so many of our students wearing masks this week. Even in our kindergarten to grade 3 classes our estimate is over 85% of our students are wearing masks. We will continue to educate our youngest on the importance of mask wearing by practicing this when students leave the classroom to common areas in the school. Thank you parents, for the education you are doing at home. It makes a huge difference for us.

As stated in our Fort McMurray Catholic School Division Relaunch Document in our section on the Use of Personal Protective Equipment (Masks), non-medical masks will be used in all shared and common areas such as hallways and on buses. “At the discretion of the teacher, non-medical face masks are not routinely required while students are seated in the classroom and working independently.”

Please continue to speak with your child at home about wearing masks when you are out, staying physically distant from others and generally staying safe. Please remind your grade 8-12 children, if they leave the school during lunch, to wear their mask when entering a business establishment, physically distance, be respectful and courteous.

Thank you to all for doing the AHS Daily Checklist each morning before coming to school. As our Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Deena Hinshaw said in early August, “Simple steps save lives and can slow the spread.”

I would like to take a moment to thank our staff in the Fort McMurray Catholic Schools family. You have worked through these trying times with grace and compassion. From pivoting to off-site learning, to rebuilding Father Turcotte School, to helping create our Virtual Learning Academy and Sacred Heart Outreach program, the amount of work has been immense, the amount of time has been short. The dedication and capacity of our team has been outstanding. I am proud to stand with you. Put your trust in God and have faith.

Take care and God bless,

George McGuigan

Superintendent of Schools