September 28, 2011

Welcome Centre Hosts Open House for Newcomer Families  

The District School Board of Niagara is proud to serve students of all different cultures, faiths and backgrounds. Newcomers to the Board represent 52 different languages from 85 different countries. Each student is warmly welcomed into their new school community by caring students, teachers, administrators and support staff. Before reaching their new schools, many newcomer families find the services offered by the DSBN’s Welcome Centre to be an invaluable source of support.

On Wednesday, October 5, the Welcome Centre will be hosting an open house for newcomer families at the St. Catharines Collegiate. Beginning at 5:30 p.m. the open house will introduce families to Ontario’s public education system and the numerous supports available to them throughout the Niagara Region. At the event, newcomer students will share their personal experiences and success stories as they became part of the DSBN family. Award winning Canadian children’s author Rukhsana Khan will provide the evening’s keynote address. A portion of the evening will be presented in multiple languages.

“The Welcome Centre provides a number of valuable services to assist newcomer families in making a successful transition to public education in the Niagara region. The centre’s friendly staff and inclusive atmosphere helps families feel right at home at the DSBN,” says Carol Germyn, Superintendent of School Support Services.

In addition to school registration, newcomer families can access other important services such as:

  • Support in making a successful transition to school in Niagara
  • A copy of the DSBN’s Welcome Guide for Newcomer Parents. It is available in a number of different languages.
  • A parent interview and student assessment to identify the necessary language supports for students
  • Information about the DSBN’s English as a Second Language program
  • Assistance from a settlement worker

With the beginning of a new school year, the Welcome Centre has been a busy place. Since August, over 110 students have registered for school through the centre. Opened in 2007, the Welcome Centre has helped more than 1,000 families register their children with the DSBN.

The Welcome Centre is located inside the DSBN’s Education Centre at 191 Carlton Street in St. Catharines. “We encourage parents to book an appointment with the centre by calling 905-641-1550 ext. 54152. Booking appointments saves time for families, especially when a language or mathematics assessment is required. A teacher needs to be present for the assessment and that needs to be scheduled in advance. Calling ahead ensures that staff are prepared to help when you arrive,” says Brandie Lancione, Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Consultant.

View the event invite.

Event Details: 

Date: Wednesday, October 5th

Time: 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location: St. Catharines Collegiate, 34 Catherine Street, St. Catharines L2R 5E7