4 photos of what happened in Chapleau yesterdayWednesday, October 24, 2012 by: SooToday.com Staff
Chapleau Elementary and Secondary School celebrates re-dedication and invites the community to a public open house
On Tuesday, October 23, parents/guardians, community members and guests were invited to join staff, students and Algoma District School Board (ADSB) senior administration at the re-dedication and public open house for the Chapleau Elementary and Secondary School.
The school was renovated and upgraded over the summer and now comfortably accommodates the 201 Junior Kindergarten (JK) to Grade 12 students in a learning environment that meets the needs of all grade levels.
Held over the lunch hour to accommodate as many community members as possible, the open house gave visitors a chance to tour the school and see first hand some of the upgrades.
Welcome comments were provided by secondary Principal Ross Hryhorchuk and elementary Principal Lorrie Morley and were followed by a hand drumming group who provided a Welcoming Song for the assembly.
Presentations and speeches repeatedly emphasized the opportunities that are available in the school for all grade levels.
The hand drumming group for instance is made up of students from JK through to Grade 12.
This is one of the great advantages of having a JK-12 school.
Students are able to begin activities at an early age and are able to develop and grow whether it be in arts, sports or academics.
Through the Eyes of a Student was a highlight of the celebration as students shared what they were most enjoying about the newly renovated school.
Primary students Nina and Samantha were excited about the brand new playground for the primary grades which is situated right outside the JK/SK and Grade 1/2 classrooms.
The young students have a sandbox and plenty of green space to run and play, all safely fenced in.
They also talked about how nice it is to see their older family members in the same building.
Grade 8 student Jordan spoke honestly about how he initially was nervous about moving to the high school.
However, he has had only positive experiences and was able to say earnestly that he has discovered that “…change is change and change is strength.”
Grade 9 student Cody looks forward to waking up and going to school each day because “…the school is amazing, it never gets dull and the students and staff are so friendly.”
Grade 11 student Kassie said she appreciates the part she gets to play as a positive role model for the younger students.
“The younger students now have people to look up to and I think the high school students are doing an excellent job of showing parents from the Chapleau Public School that we are responsible.”
The JK-12 school model is new to Chapleau and is proving to be a positive experience for students and staff.
There are common areas and classrooms that all students are welcome to make use of including the aboriginal culture room, the stage and the cafetorium.
There are larger, renovated rooms best suited for high school students like the Student Success Room and the enlarged secondary classroom (which used to be two regular sized classrooms).
And there are classrooms designed just for younger students including the primary wing with washrooms and play areas designated just for these youngsters.
The combined elementary and secondary office area is ideal for allowing principals, vice-principals and office staff to be centrally located and central to building the JK-12 community.
Secondary Principal Hryhorchuk extended his thank you to the Ministry of Education for recognizing the urgency of the situation two years ago and for helping to create a place “…where good things happen and everyone has a place.”
Parent representatives including School Council Chair Dan Williams and Transition Committee member Michelle Martineau, thanked ADSB for the opportunity to participate in both the transition planning and the developing of the concept of a JK-12 school.
They appreciated being kept well informed and spoke of the consultation between school, parents and community and how there was a collective voice at the table as decisions were made.
They voiced their appreciation particularly for the staff of Chapleau Elementary and Secondary schools for all they have done to ensure a smooth and safe transition for all students.
Director of Education Lucia Reece and Board Chair Jennifer Sarlo also expressed their thanks to parents, students, staff, members of the First Nations community, principals and the Mayor of Chapleau.
These groups provided input to administration on areas such as transportation, social interaction amongst JK-12 students, renovations, and layout of the school to accommodate all students.
This was an invaluable resource for ADSB administration.
Director Reece emphasized the TEAM acronym “Together Everyone Achieves More” and expressed her appreciation to all who shared a common vision of bring the school to fruition.
Consultants Elliot Engineering, Met Engineering, ACE Contracting, construction company Quinan Construction and Phillips Haulage were also applauded for their work in completing the indoor and outdoor renovations and upgrades in such a timely fashion, almost all prior to the start of the 2012/2013 school year.
Principal Lorrie Morley captured the essence of the day in her final comment.
“We have all heard the saying ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ Well, I think we all know that it takes a community to move a school!”
Following the speeches and presentations, the approximately 250 students, staff and guests were invited to take part in light refreshments and to tour the school.
The ADSB Regular Board Meeting followed shortly afterwards in the gymnasium.
It included a performance by student Keiko Larocque who sang the song Glitter in the Air (by singer-songwriter Pink) as a ‘fight back’ to bullying.
Keiko and classmate Lauryn Pellow had sung O Canada earlier in the day at the re-dedication ceremony.