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Snapshots of Excellence September - October 2019

In preparation for the start of the school year, there was a bustle of activity and preparation in late August as staff prepared schools and classrooms to welcome students for the first day of school. Pic 1 (group of 3) – Harwich Raleigh Public School in Blenheim is ready for students Pic 2 – King George Public School in Chatham is looking forward to welcoming students back to school.
Throughout the Board, our education workers demonstrate an ongoing commitment and dedication to providing positive and safe learning environments for our students. Pic 1 – Lakeroad Public School in Sarnia. With the assistance of Enbridge Gas, some of the stairs in the school were decorated with inspirational sayings, such as “We belong” and “We Are Family,” and math activities, as learning spaces are not just limited to the classroom. Pic 2 – Lansdowne Public School in Sarnia custodial staff made their school sparkle in preparation for the first day of school.
The first week of school brought students and teachers back together and kicked off many activities and clubs: Top left: HW Burgess Public School students were welcomed into Grade 3 with specially designed t-shirts. Top right: A staff member shows their excitement of the first day of school at Errol Village Public School in Sarnia. Bottom left: Sharon Drummond, teacher at Winston Churchill Public School in Chatham is prepped and ready on her first day of school. Bottom right: Chatham Kent Secondary School track & field members get together to begin practice for the season, as many athletic activities got underway in September.
With the school year now underway, fall brings many extra-curricular activities for students: Pic 1 – Bright’s Grove Public School in Sarnia – Students had an opportunity to collaborate and learn about monarchs and their migration. Pic 2 – Lambton Central Collegiate Vocational Institute in Petrolia hosts a senior girls basketball game against Great Lakes Secondary School.
Throughout the school year, our schools support students’ mental health and well-being through visual reminders and examples of promoting mindfulness and positive school environments. Pic 1 – Naahii Ridge Public School in Ridgetown - Display of morning greeting choices to say ‘hello’ to a friend. Pic 2 – Mooretown-Courtright Public School in Mooretown – Students created a ‘kindness’ bulletin board with ideas on how to show kindness to others.
The warm weather invites many outdoor activities for students to participate in – from daily learning to special events: Pic 1 – Thamesville Area Public School in Thamesville – Outdoor classroom learning; students were challenged to find ways to sort items based on shape, color, and whether you can eat it or not. Pic 2 – Tilbury District High School students participated in the Terry Fox Run/Walk.
Throughout September and October, students participate in many different activities, from sports to food drives: Pic 1 – Grand Bend Public School track and field Pic 2 – Brooke Central Public School in Alvinston food drive (they raised 670 lbs of food for the Farm Credit Canada food drive)
On September 30th the LKDSB joined school boards across the province in commemorating Orange Shirt Day to acknowledge and honour the survivors of residential schools, as well as the children and young people who never returned home. Pic 1 – Rosedale Public School in Sarnia – Grade 3 students made buttons to wear on Orange Shirt Day. Pic 2 – North Lambton Secondary School students in Forest posed for a group photo demonstrating a sea of orange shirts.
Pic 1 (group of 3) – Lambton Kent Composite School in Dresden – To further students’ learning about Indigenous histories and perspectives, LKCS Grade 9 art students had an opportunity to raise a teepee, with the guidance of LKDSB’s Indigenous Education Lead Minogiizhgad. Pic 2 – McNaughton Avenue Public School in Chatham – On Orange Shirt Day, students learned about Indigenous culture, histories and perspectives through outdoor activities.
LKDSB students, along with students from surrounding school boards, spent a day at Bkejwanong Walpole Island First Nation forming relationships with the land each other, as part of the LKDSB’s ongoing learning opportunities for students. As per the LKDSB’s commitments to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action as they relate to education, students throughout the Board visit local First Nations to further their understanding, education and awareness.
On October 4, LKDSB celebrated Staff & Volunteer Appreciation Day. This is a small example of the dedicated staff and volunteers who make our schools a great place for students, families and visitors.
Colleges and university visits have begun, as we encourage senior students to think about the next chapter in their education. We are continuing to set the bar high for our students and provide information about the variety of post-secondary school options available to them: Pic: Alexander McKenzie Secondary School students in Sarnia visit College Days at Lambton College to explore their options.
Pic 1 - Math and STEM learning activities are an ongoing focus at our schools. Students at Queen Elizabeth II Public School - Petrolia learned about graphs in math class. Pic 2 – More than 80% of LKDSB students participated in Student Vote Canada 2019. In advance of the federal election, students at 53 LKDSB schools cast an estimated 7,354 ballots to voice their opinion on who should be the next Prime Minister of Canada. Student Vote is a unique learning opportunity for elementary and high school students to participate in civic engagement and practice informed citizenship. At Lakeroad Public School in Sarnia, students participate in setting up polling stations and voting.
On October 21, the Alexander Mackenzie Secondary School (Sarnia) courtyard reverberated with the sound of drumming as the medicine wheel was formally dedicated. School board and First Nation representatives were present for the proceedings and all gathered around the wheel, which was a joint project of the Construction and Horticulture classes.
On Tuesday, Oct 22 the Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario (ISWO) announced the launch of their new online portal for the Standing Bear Indigenous Youth Leadership Program (Standing Bear), at Wallaceburg District Secondary School. Standing Bear is a leadership program for Indigenous youth (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) between the ages of 14 and 24, residing in Ontario; the program consists of a core Indigenous component and six elective streams, to align with youth interests and needs. The Standing Bear program is currently offered at WDSS, led by Ojibwe/Native Studies Teacher Zhahwun Shognosh (right).
A $20,000 donation by the Municipality of Chatham-Kent has allowed St. Clair College and the Lambton Kent District School Board to create a unique partnership involving students in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program and Kindergarten students at Winston Churchill Public School. A classroom was donated by the school board to be used as an early learning lab and the municipal funds were used by the college to furnish the room. A grand opening ceremony was held on Oct. 30. The program focuses on building positive relationships between the children and the college students. Up to 15 kindergarten pupils are brought into the ECE classroom with their educators to interact with the college students. The scenario is then rotated, and the college students head over to the kindergarten classrooms to work with the children.
Many thanks to the Noelle's Gift foundation for their donation of $64,000 to the Lambton Kent and St. Clair Catholic district school boards. This generous gift supports local students and families in need. Noelle’s Gift funds are used to purchase eyeglasses, clothing, food, medicine and medical equipment for students in need. The Noelle's Gift charitable fund was established in memory of Noelle Paquette, a former Kindergarten teacher with St. Clair Catholic, who passed away in January 2013.
Great Lakes Secondary School Principal Jim Stewart shows off his form in the finished fitness and wrestling space.
On November 1, Chatham-Kent-Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls, Mayor Darrin Canniff and representatives from the Lambton Kent District School Board hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of the $3.56 million renovation and expansion at Chatham Kent Secondary School, which is funded by the government of Ontario. The renovation and expansion will improve school facilities and upgrade equipment, as well as expand the cafeteria to accommodate an increased student population. The renovation includes a refreshed façade to modernize and improve natural lighting. The LKDSB will also be expanding the busing zone to accommodate more buses and improve student safety. We are hoping to begin construction in the spring of 2020 and the work is expected to be completed during the 2020-21 school year.
Representatives from Foresight International and the New Taipei Board of Education recently visited LKDSB. Foresight is a strong partner and friend of the LKDSB. Many staff from LKDSB have had the chance to visit Taiwan and learn about ongoing International Education opportunities. The LKDSB was presented with a token of thanks for welcoming 15 students from New Taipei City Board of Education for a three-week program. Partners from Foresight International joined LKDSB International Education staff for a few days to discuss upcoming projects, including: student exchanges; sending teachers and principals abroad for summer ESL camps; and Co-op experiences. From left: Caroline, Kirsten Ramsay, Wayne Fan, Principal Mo, John, Tony and Cal McCabe.
The LKDSB commemorated Treaties Recognition Week on November 4-8, joining school boards across the province in promoting education and awareness about treaty rights and treaty relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Ontario. The understanding of Wampum Belts was the focus this year. Pic 1 – Dawn Euphemia Public School (Dresden) students learn about the importance of treaties and then designed their own wampum belts on paper. Pic 2 – Gregory Drive Public School (Chatham) students create a treaty for the school; agreeing on what it means to be a ‘grizzly’.
On November 6, Grade 9 students visited various local workplaces during Take Our Kids to Work Day. Students had an opportunity to explore a variety of professions by job shadowing their sponsor to observe the workplace skills required at the particular business, institution or agency. Pic 1 – A student learns about welding in a Chatham area workplace. Pic 2 – A student spent the day at The Pinery Provincial Park in Grand Bend.
King George VI Public School in Sarnia held a special unveiling ceremony on November 5 for Col. Chris Hadfield’s Canada Walk of Fame Hometown Star. Col. A pre-recorded video by Col. Hadfield was played during the event at his former alma mater and the celebration included students singing some of Hadfield’s songs and stories about the astronaut's life.
Across the Lambton Kent District School Board, schools commemorate Remembrance Day to honour Canadians who served during times of war and on peacekeeping missions. Throughout the LKDSB, flags are lowered to half-mast today in recognition of Remembrance Day. Pic 1 – North Lambton Secondary School (Forest) band plays at the Cenotaph service in Forest. Middle Pic – Merlin Area Public School (Merlin) remembrance day service. Right Pic – Errol Village Public School (Sarnia) bulletin board with student poems and artwork.