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'Both districts should be on the same page': One school district closes schools, another does not


Students were back at class at Evergreen Park School in north end Moncton, N.B., on Tuesday.

But just down the road at École Le Sommet classes were cancelled.

Sidewalks leading to École Sainte-Bernadette in the city’s west end were still covered in snow the day after a big storm.

A few blocks away at Bessborough School, sidewalks were clear and students were heading home for the day.

The Francophone Sud School District cancelled classes in four of its school communities including the Greater Moncton Area.

The Anglophone East School District closed schools in some rural areas and had to delay some bus routes, but schools in the Moncton area were open.

The whole thing is confusing to Stephanie Amos who has three children in the Anglophone school system.

“Both districts use the same roads,” said Amos. “It didn't really make any sense. There was a lot of confused parents this morning, saying, 'is there school or no school?'"

Amos thinks the Anglophone and Francophone districts should be closed and open on the same days.

“It wouldn’t be fair for the French schools to be closed and not the English ones,” said Amos. “Both districts should be on the same page.”

Michael Roy's son is a student in the French school system and didn't have a problem at all with the closures.

On his way to work this morning, Roy noticed several people walking on the roads near a school in his Moncton neighbourhood because the sidewalks were not cleared off yet.

“For anybody out there that's second-guessing or complaining that Francophone schools are closed, I would invite them to walk the streets to get to and from the schools because not everybody has the luxury of a parent who owns an SUV that can take them to school,” said Roy.

Roy added that children should not be walking on the streets on their way to school during the morning commute or anytime.

“If all the streets aren’t open, then school should be closed,” said Roy.

Francophone Sud spokesperson Jean-Luc Thériault said classes were cancelled due to poor road conditions, particularly in rural areas.

“It must be noted that many urban schools bus routes are long roads that are often in rural areas,” said Thériault in an email. “When we make the decision to close our schools or not, we consider these roads that are often not plowed. That was the case this morning.”

Many secondary roads were still not cleared Tuesday morning and more time was needed for the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure to do the necessary work without delaying buses too long, said Thériault.

“In addition, there was still blowing snow and snowdrifts on some roads,” he said.

Thériault added that the district does its best to keep schools open to maximize learning time.

Anglophone East Schools in Sackville, Dorchester, Port Elgin, Shediac, Hillsborough and Riverside-Albert were closed due to road and weather conditions on Tuesday.

Schools in Greater Moncton, Petitcodiac and Salisbury were open at their regular time, but buses were one hour late.

The procedure to close schools for both districts begins before 5 a.m. on days when weather conditions are questionable.

The districts are in close contact with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure supervisors who are out on the roads through the night.

A decision on whether to close schools is made around 6 a.m.

Anglophone East School District spokesperson Stephanie Patterson said the decision to close schools is not made lightly.

“Every effort is made to take into consideration the conditions in all areas of the district,” said Patterson in an email.

Once the decision is made to close schools, parents, students and staff are notified through email alerts and social media before buses begin their routes. Top Stories

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