Jennifer Smith (left) and Jenny Guth along with other parents in the community have started a new petition calling for a public high school for Stittsville.
A provincial politician has promised parents that she’ll present a petition to Queen’s Park this week for a new public high school.
Barrhaven MPP Lisa MacLeod met with parents on Friday, and told them that she would raise the issue at Question Period at Queen’s Park. She says she wants a petition with at least two pages of signatures that she can bring with her to demonstrate support from the community. Continue reading →
The Kanata Academy held a groundbreaking ceremony at their new location at 180 Huntmar Road on Wednesday evening. The school is currently located in the Beaverbrook Mall in Kanata and has 104 students from preschool to Grade 12. They’re planning to move to Stittsville by January 2017 and looking forward to being in their own building.
The school will be on a two-acre property that was formerly a house, and before that part of a large farm known as Glen Eden. The academy purchased the property in July 2015 from the stepfather of a student.
(PHOTO: Jennifer Smith (left) and Jenny Guth stand on one of the possible sites for the new school, at the south west corner of Robert Grant and Cope. The two parents have been active organizers in the push for a public high school.)
A public high school for Stittsville has finally hit #1 on the public school board’s priority list.
At tonight’s Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) meeting, parents, trustees, the local councillor and even a representative from Jack Maclaren’s office were all singing from the same songbook. Now we’ll see if the Ministry of Education joins in. Continue reading →
Finally, it’s happened! The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has placed the building of a new public high school in Stittsville at the top of their priority funding list – however this does not mean the Ministry of Education will allocate the funds for this essential capital project. This is where we need the media and the public’s help. Continue reading →
(Photo: The Jude family, left to right: Steve, Mason (8), Colby (6) and Dev. They’re sitting on a Buddy Bench at A. Lorne Cassidy elementary school named in memory of Bryce Jude, who passed away in 2012 after a battle with leukemia. Photo via A. Lorne Cassidy School.)
The family of Bryce Jude helped students at A. Lorne Cassidy school unveil a new “Buddy Bench” named in his honour. Jude passed away in 2012 at the age of 7 after a battle with leukemia.
“It’s nice to know his memory will hopefully live on,” says his mother Dev Jude. The Jude family, including Dev’s husband Steve and Bryce’s brothers Mason and Colby, were on hand for the unveiling on Thursday.
“It has been happy. For anyone who loses a child, it’s always nice when you can remember them. Your biggest fear is that they may be forgotten,” says Jude.
She says that the school originally planned to plant a tree in memory of Bryce until she heard about Buddy Benches being installed at other schools. She credits ALC principal Andrew Canham for his support and leadership to make it happen.
“A tree would have been lovely. I asked the principal: ‘What do you think of this idea instead of a tree?’ And that’s what we did. They painted it red because it was Bryce’s favourite colour – the Sens were his favourite team and they came to CHEO to see him,” she says.
“The rules surrounding this bench, called a ‘Buddy Bench’, are pretty simple. Within a few minutes, any student sitting on the bench will to approached by a fellow student and asked to play. In simpler terms, when you don’t have anyone to play with, you go to the Buddy Bench and a friend will come along to play,” explained Canham at the unveiling ceremony for the bench.
Bryce was diagnosed with leukemia a month into Junior Kindergarten, and ended up missing most of the year while he was getting treatment. He attended school for a few months in Senior Kindergarten, and then started his Grade 1 year when he had a relapse. Although he would never return to school, he continued to do schoolwork from home with the support of his teachers.
Meanwhile, the school community organized fundraising events to help the family. Neither Jude nor her husband Steve were able to work because of the time and travel spent helping Bryce in the hospital. Dev Jude says that they were incredibly grateful for the support from friends and family, and their efforts have inspired her family to continue to give back.
“We’ve formed Refuse2lose, initially formed when my husband and I both could not work. [Friends] did some fundraising when Bryce was sick and my only requirement for accepting it was that we would pay it back in time. We try to raise $50,000 each year,” she says.
The entire family gets involved. Bryce’s brothers Mason and Colby took part this week in the Inside Ride, an indoor stationary cycling fundraiser that raised $120,000 towards Candlelighters, in support kids and teens treated at CHEO who are living with cancer.
Dev Jude’s remarks at the opening ceremony on Thursday:
I’m so excited to be here today. Originally, we were going to plant a tree in memory of Bryce and while this was a lovely idea I was reading in the newspaper about a 2nd grader called Christian who had heard about the Buddy Bench all the way from Germany. He presented the idea to his principal who loved the idea – now these Buddy Benches are being installed all across North America. I believe A Lorne Cassidy is the first school in Stittsville to have a Buddy Bench installed and it’s so very special to our family that this bench is in memory of Bryce. He loved school and even though he wasn’t always at school he had a teacher from ALC come to teach him at home and he loved receiving all the cards and support many of you and your families sent him while he was at CHEO.
Making friends or asking a friend to play can be hard sometimes, especially if you are new to the school or your usual friends are not around. If ever you don’t have a friend to play with during recess or feel a bit lonely, all you now have to do is go sit on the bench.
And then this is where ALL of you get to help – each and every person – if you happen to see someone at the bench – ask them if they want to join in your game or come play. Or maybe just check in with them to see if they are OK.
There was a saying on one of the benches that I loved and said “The only way to have a friend is to be one”. Put your hands up if you think you can be a friend? Great! Each and every one of you will help to make this Buddy Bench work – it’s up to all of you and I am confident you will all do a great job as I see how caring and what great friends you all are.
I know Bryce would be happy to see this bench and I love the fact that his brothers Mason and Colby can have it here during their time at ALC. Thank you all so much for honouring Bryce in this way and enjoy the bench!
ABOVE:The official ribbon cutting took place on Thursday and included students, staff and special guests. Photo via @EscPaulD
The opening of Ecole Paul-Desmarais is a really big deal (“une bonne affaire”) for Stittsville, even if you don’t have kids in the French Catholic school system.
Students in grades 7, 8 and 9 had their first day at the school on Monday after spending the first half of the school year at Pierre-Savarda Catholic school in Barrhaven. Over the next three years they’ll add a grade each year until they’ve done a full transition to a Grade 7-12 school. Continue reading →
ABOVE: Students gather in front of Ecole Paul-D on a tour last week. Photo courtesy of the school.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We asked Joelle Logue to write about her impressions of Stittsville’s new French Catholic high school. She attended an open house on Thursday night along with her 12-year-old son Liam, who’s one of the new students.
February 4 marked the official opening of the new École Secondaire Catholique Paul-Desmarais at 5315 Abbott Street. In a word, this school is: extraordinaire!!
An official opening ceremony with dignitaries took place earlier in the day. My son must have reminded me four times this week that he had to dress nicely on Thursday because VIPs were coming to visit. Continue reading →
Ontario Education Minister Liz Sandals announced $41-million in funding on Friday afternoon for school construction projects in Ottawa, but nothing for a new public high school in Stittsville.
The Stittsville public high school project had been ranked #2 on the public board’s list of priorities for new construction or renovations. It’s been on the board’s top ten list for years. Continue reading →