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Heart of Wolseley celebrates 100
There are two ways to get into the news. One is when disaster strikes. The other is when an important community institution celebrates its existence for 100 years. Laura Secord School, in the heart of Wolseley, has had a lot on its plate this year.
The school made news across Canada at the beginning of the school year when construction materials caught fire on the school grounds, and the school had to be temporarily closed.
Extensive renovations were undertaken around the clock to repair damage to the building before it reopened two and a half weeks later. Since then, staff and students have been able to focus on the task of celebrating a very important birthday.
Just like any centenarian, there is a lot of life to cover.
Currently, Laura Secord is a highly sought-after school, well-known for both its academic and arts programs. Some might say that it has taken on the flavour of the neighborhood where it is located.
Principal Heather Stanus is very proud of the school’s reputation and achievements.
"I think the school is a wonderful blend of parents and the community," Stanus says. "People really stand up and express their values in this community. Its a really positive environment!"
"This year the students did a huge project on human rights, which we called Through the Eyes of a Child. Each class worked on defining one human right, completing a variety of projects and artwork to demonstrate how fundamental it is to each of our lives."
Laura Secord offers three program streams — English, French Immersion, and the Alternative Program, which has been around for 20 years. "At the time, it was a very new, child-centered focus. Since then other programs have adopted many of the strategies used in the Alternative Program," Stanus says.
An example of that are the large table groupings that can be seen in the school. Many classrooms have more than one grade level, another influence of the Alternative Program, which group students in grades 1, 2 and 3 together, as well as those in grades 4, 5 and 6.
To take a proper account of all that has happened at Ecole Laura Secord School, through the years, current students have been investigating what life and school was like through the decades since the school opened its doors. They are using different technologies and creative arts to bring its history to life. The students have been enjoying bringing older fashions and activities out of our community history and are presenting vignettes of what it has been like to grow up in the neighborhood.
"We are honouring a century of excellence in education," Stanus says.
Terese Taylor is a Wolseley-based writer.
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