As we enter the holiday break, I find myself thinking a lot about the importance of community connections. Here in Grand Erie, we are a community made up of many other communities. This is what makes us who we are and what guides us to foster and celebrate inclusive school communities to enhance everyone’s learning experiences and ensure Success for Every Student.
Grand Erie is a community of schools. In these unique school communities, we’ve had a busy fall. We welcomed our new Kindergarten students, and supported our new Grade 9 students as they transitioned into secondary school. Our fall sports schedules got underway as soon as students came back to school in September. Clubs started up, and many school events took place. As we moved through October and November, there were fall fairs, graduations, awards assemblies, and concerts. We held a ground-breaking ceremony for the new elementary school currently being built in Dunnville, and we celebrated our new four classroom addition at Thompson Creek Elementary School. This new space provides extra room to bring two school communities together as one, after Anna Melick Memorial School closed last June. We also held a wide range of parent events to engage them in the learning of their children.
As a system-wide community, we held Remembrance Day events to honour those who have served and continue to serve our country. We took part in Treaties Recognition Week, and we came together to show our support for Orange Shirt day in the spirit of reconciliation. As we entered the holiday season, across our community, we gave back through toy and clothing drives, donations to local food banks and by supporting local families in need. It’s truly inspirational to witness the spirit of giving in our schools and all of our board sites.
To support our community of families, we hosted the School Council Start-up Session in October and we welcomed back our Grand Erie Parent Involvement Committee (GEPIC) with new members and a new Chair. They continue to do great work in supporting school councils across our system.
As a community of staff, we continue to come together for professional learning to support our own development and that of our students. We participated in United Way fundraisers to support the community agencies that support our students and families. We also participated in staff wellness events and student activities.
Our Board of Trustees is also a community. Once again, this fall was busy in the Board Room. Trustees attended events across the system to show their support and to participate in activities along with staff and students. Earlier this month, the annual Board Nomination Meeting was held. We congratulate Trustee Greg Anderson who was elected as our Board Chair for 2018, and we welcome Tom Waldschmidt to the position of Board Vice-Chair.
Recently, we posted the Director’s Annual Report which provides an overview of 2016-17. It’s a great reflection on the year that was and highlights stories from our many communities that make up Grand Erie. I encourage everyone to take a look at the report on our website at granderie.ca.
I would encourage all of you to reflect on the communities that impact your life and in this season of giving, how you contribute to those communities. I wish all of our Grand Erie staff and communities a wonderful holiday filled with the peace and warmth of the season.