MASSTOWN – Chiganois Elementary School has not been far from Judy Kennedy’s mind this summer.
Despite being on summer vacation, the Bible Hill resident has been consistently working towards the beginning of a new school year. Kennedy said that’s not an uncommon sight for teachers because preparation is an ongoing process, often one that begins even before the end of the previous school year.
“For me there’s nothing stressful about a new school year. It’s all about preparedness … as soon as I get my (September) assignments in May, I’m starting to prepare,” said Kennedy, who teaches Grades 2 and 3 at the Masstown school, and has been a teacher for more than 30 years.
In addition, the educator has embraced continuous communication with other teachers and brought to life ideas that germinate throughout the summer. Most recently, Kennedy has spent countless hours, days and nights, on weekends and even holidays, in the classroom getting the physical environment ready for youngsters to begin school next Thursday. Teachers officially return on Tuesday.
“Teachers are passionate about life-long … student learning,” she said, adding “the excitement children bring to learning never changes. It’s always exciting to start another year and to be personally motivated … it feeds you and the children.”
Kathy Weatherbee, Chiganois’ principal, said while there is a lot of joy welcoming the children back to school, educators are also mindful of challenges, particularly relating to ongoing provincial education cutbacks.
“Cutbacks are difficult but nothing is impossible. The challenge is trying to rise above (any) negativity,” said Weatherbee.
“It’s involves scheduling, responsibility and dealing with fewer resources” in more innovative ways as well as continuing to partner with community organizations and other schools. One example is when Bass River Elementary School closed its doors permanently in June. Chiganois elementary then came into possession of the former school’s desks and chairs.
Weatherbee added another aspect of a new school year is sometimes nervousness from children or parents. She suggested some simple tips to help ease the transition, including “trusting the school, asking questions, having communication between home and school, and being enthusiastic because it’s contagious.”
Chiganois elementary is expecting 210 children to attend the Primary to Grade 5 school next week. That is an increase of students compared to June when there were 193 youngsters. There are an estimated 15 teachers at the school as well.
Did you know?
- Anticipated enrolment for schools throughout Colchester County is currently based on last year's numbers and sits at about 7,000 students.
- Updated figures should be available at the end of September.
- There are an estimated 435 teachers in Colchester County.
- Schools in the county boundary include:
Bible Hill Central elementary
Bible Hill East Court Road elementary
Bible Hill junior high
Central Colchester junior high
Cobequid district elementary
Cobequid Educational Centre
Great Village elementary
Harmony Heights elementary
North Colchester High School
North River elementary
Redcliff Middle School
South Colchester Academy
Truro junior high
Upper Stewiacke elementary
West Colchester consolidated
Winding River consolidated