Renovations continue at the new St. Basil Catholic Elementary School and work behind the scenes in creating a dynamic school community is ongoing as well.
Joe Chilelli, who will be Principal when the school opens in September, gave trustees of the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (HSCDSB) an update on what has been going on to make the consolidation of four schools — St. Ann, St. Bernadette, St. Pius X and St. Theresa — into one as smooth as possible.
“All four principals of the schools involved in this consolidation have worked very hard with our superintendent to ensure that everyone — students, staff, parents and all of our partners — is ready for what will be an exciting time this September,” said Chilelli.
Chilelli and his fellow principals, Donna Carricato, Fil Lettieri and Christine Durocher have each taken the lead on various initiatives and activities pertaining to the preparations for the school’s opening in September. A report and a video presentation to trustees outlined the numerous events that have taken place for over a year to create a strong community feel.
Students from all four schools helped in creating a logo for the new St. Basil. The student body of all four schools had the opportunity to get to know each other through play days. Staff have been meeting at various times, including Professional Activity Days, to prepare for the move. Parents from the four school communities have been included in various activities and have been invited to an art night to get to know each other better. Discussions with partner groups on how programming and services will be delivered at the new St. Basil have also been ongoing.
“I applaud everyone involved in the formation of the new St. Basil. Everything that has taken place to date confirms that the school is not just a great learning facility, but a Catholic community that will build on what these four great schools already offer,” said HSCDSB Superintendent of Education, Maria Esposito.
The new St. Basil Catholic Elementary School will be offering a number of unique programs.
A French Immersion Program, beginning in kindergarten, will run alongside the regular English programming. The Indigenous Education Program will focus on teaching the Ojibway language and First Nations, Métis and Inuit culture. The school will also host the elementary component of the HSCDSB Hockey Canada Skills Program.
“We are very excited about the possibilities the new St. Basil will offer our families. It will be a spectacular learning space with much of the credit going to everyone who has assisted in making the transition as smooth as possible,” said HSCDSB Director of Education, John Stadnyk.
Construction continues inside and outside of the school with a variety of improvements, including air-conditioning and a large capacity for technology learning. The new St. Basil site will also be home to a stand-alone day care facility operated by Child Care Algoma .