The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board is in the process of creating a plan for the future of St. Michael Catholic School and Nicholson Catholic College communities.
In May, parents/guardians, students, staff and community members were asked to complete a survey and answer the following question:
What are the most important things we need to consider as we work together to create a plan for St. Michael Catholic School & Nicholson Catholic College?
Thank you to all participants who shared your feedback. The Board has reviewed the responses and would like to address some of the main comments/questions and concerns that emerged from the survey data.
Transition of students
- Students at St. Michael Catholic School and Nicholson Catholic College already have a relationship, as the schools are side by side. Secondary students often volunteer at the elementary school and work with younger students in leadership and mentorship roles. We are excited to continue this partnership.
- Students at St. Michael Catholic School and Nicholson Catholic College will have opportunities to contribute to shaping how indoor and outdoor facilities may be best utilized to enhance school life experience for students in Grades 7 to 12.
- Throughout the 2020/2021 school year, both schools will be committed to enhancing this partnership and prepare students for the Fall 2021.
- Mental health and wellbeing and creating a sense of belonging is key to support students in this process. Students affected by this change will have opportunities to share their thoughts on how to best meet their needs in this process. Parents and Guardians will also be consulted. The Child and Youth Workers at each school, the Pastoral Care Coordinator, educators and central staff, including a social worker will support this planning process to ensure age-appropriate strategies and considerations are in place for a positive transition process.
Space at Nicholson Catholic College
- Nicholson Catholic College is currently at surplus capacity and is able to accommodate increased enrolment.
- Grade 7 and 8 students would have their own separate space, with separate washrooms and classrooms in one area of the school.
- NCC and St. Michael will engage in a process for gathering student and community voice on the development of a larger and more spacious campus style playground with a range of flexible use spaces. This exciting initiative involves community partners and the design process will take place in the 2020 – 2021 school year.
- Space concerns in the building of St. Michael Catholic School will be alleviated by moving grade 7 and 8 students to NCC. This will allow for expanding programming opportunities for students in Kindergarten to Grade 6 by utilizing newly available space in the 2021 – 2022 school year.
Integration of Grade 7 and 8 students
- St. Michael will, in future years, determine ways to celebrate the achievements of students in Grade 6 as they leave St. Michael to join the NCC family.
- Grade 7/8 students from NCC will be given all opportunities to participate in elementary athletics and experiential learning opportunities, the same as all of their peers in K-8 schools.
- Grade 7/8 students in both English and French Immersion programs will benefit from access to specialized facilities and resources for science, technology and arts program opportunities that are available within Nicholson Catholic College.
Programs for all students
- Expansion of the French Immersion Kindergarten program, and by extension all programs from Gr. 1 - 6 for French Immersion students will provide access to more families requesting admission to the St. Michael Catholic school community.
- The creation of French Immersion programming in addition to the current Extended French program will be offered to students culminating in Grades 12.
- This transition will ensure NCC's viability for years to come, as the school is currently at surplus capacity.
- This transition will also include facility enhancements to NCC, which will benefit all students.
Come Alive Outisde
- In addition to this transition, ALCDSB is excited to announce that the board has once again partnered with “Come Alive Outside," which is a program that creates the opportunity for teams of post-secondary, secondary and elementary students to work together with landscape professionals to design and build engaging outdoor learning environments.
- This partnership will allow for enhancements to the outdoor area at St. Michael Catholic School and Nicholson Catholic College.
- This is the third time that ALCDSB has partnered with Come Alive Outside. The Board has worked with this program to enhance the outdoor space at Archbishop O'Sullivan Catholic School in Kingston and Georges Vanier Catholic School in Belleville.
The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, St. Michael Catholic School and Nicholson Catholic College communities are committed to providing families with updates as we continue to work together to ensure the best in Catholic education for all students.
Updates and information on this transition will be shared with all families and staff through SchoolMessenger and will be posted on school websites.