Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Brookland Elementary students start at temporary schools after Cape Breton flood

'It's going to be a cozy Cape Breton welcome I'm sure,' at new schools squeezing in displaced students

By Colleen Jones, CBC News Posted: Oct 19, 2016 12:42 PM AT Last Updated: Oct 19, 2016 12:54 PM AT
It's back to school for 321 displaced students from Sydney's Brookland Elementary School after the Thanksgiving Day storm caused massive flooding in Cape Breton and major damage to the building. 
The students are temporarily attending Harbourside Elementary and Shipyard Elementary while Brookland undergoes extensive repairs and cleanup.
Grade 5 student Aidon Munroe, along with hundreds of schoolmates with colour-coded labels indicating which bus they take, waited outside their damaged school this morning to board school buses taking them to their temporary classrooms.
"It signifies that I am on the pink bus," he said.
Aidon's parents, Tricia O'Neill and James Munroe, walked with him to catch the bus. Their house on St. Peters Road is in one of the worst hit areas of Sydney.
The house they loved has a "no occupancy" sign posted by the front door.

Important step toward feeling 'normal' again

As they waved goodbye to Aidon, they said the day is an important step toward feeling whole again.
Because of the stress involved in being in limbo these past eight days, school staff will be keeping an eye out for any students suffering from anxiety in the flood's aftermath.
But for Aidon, today is one of excitement and new beginnings. What he's looking forward to the most is typical for a 10-year-old boy.
"Just seeing all of my classmates and friends again," he said.
Out on the sidewalk in front of Brookland Elementary, principal Joyce Lively directed the lineup of kids to ensure each student got on the right bus.
With an additional 321 students squeezing in, Lively said space will be tight but manageable at the temporary locations.
"It's going to be a cozy Cape Breton welcome I'm sure," she said.


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