September 6, 2011
Cloudy skies and cooler temperatures couldn’t do much to quell the excitement as public elementary and secondary schools across Niagara opened their doors to welcome students and their families to the 2011/12 school year.
The Niagara landscape was awash in smiles as students and their families arrived at school, reconnected with old friends and introduced themselves to new ones. Teachers, administrators and support staff also featured wide grins as they navigated through busy school yards warmly welcoming new and returning students.
Once they crossed the threshold of their schools, students arrived in bright, beautiful classrooms expertly prepared by teachers with many engaging learning materials and educational activities. “This is the best time of year, I’m really happy to be back with all my friends,” said one eager student as he crammed his over-sized backpack into his new locker.
Part of the reason that such excitement exists is the DSBN’s commitment to student success. Everyone at the DSBN, from teachers and principals, to support staff, senior administrators and trustees is dedicated to creating positive outcomes for students.
Here are just a few examples of the supportsthe DSBN has in place to help make this a successful year:
- Parents and students new to Niagara are invited to make an appointment with the Welcome Centre. The staff can help you start the year off on the right foot by indentifying schools closest to you, helping with the registration process and assisting parents to access language support.
- Parents and caregivers interested in giving younger children a head start in their learning are invited to visit one of the DSBN’s four Parenting and Family Literacy Centres. These new centres give parents and children an opportunity to learn and play in a safe and stimulating environment. They’re free to attend and snacks will be provided.
- Students in Grades 7-10 can now get help with their math homework online. Through the DSBN’s Homework Help network, students can get free, real-time math tutoring by certified Ontario teachers. Click here for a brief video explaining the program.
- Many schools now offer the Full-Day Early Learning Kindergarten Programs. Through these programs, four and five year old students will develop socially and emotionally while building a strong foundation of language and mathematics skills. Students also engage in healthy physical activities and the arts. Learn more here.
Adding to the excitement of the new school year, September 6th marked the opening of two new public schools in Niagara. In Virgil, students celebrated the coming together of two school communities at the new Crossroads Public School. Sitting on eight acres of land, Crossroads now serves the Virgil and Colonel John Butler communities. While eager to explore their new surroundings, students were also excited to learn more about all the environmental features of their new school. Crossroads incorporates a number of environmentally friendly features, including solar panel technology and water bottle filling stations which track the number of bottles which would have ended up in landfills otherwise.
In Welland, 124 students began their journey to post-secondary education at the DSBN Academy. The school, designed to support for first generation college and university students, will serve students in Grades 6 and 7 this year, but will eventual grow into a 6-12 school. Expressing his enthusiasm for the coming year, Principal Tom Reynolds says “we’re building a culture here where every student truly believes they can attain a post-secondary education. We look forward to supporting our students and helping them achieve to their full potential.”
DSBN Academy in Welland
Crossroads Public School in Virgil