New school year

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Vic­to­ria Vanier

It’s

the sec­ond week of classes for the stu­dents of Ayer’s Cliff Ele­men­tary (ACES) and North Hat­ley Ele­men­tary. Steve Weary is the prin­ci­pal of both schools and he spoke with the Stanstead Jour­nal yes­ter­day about the pro­grams and ini­tia­tives go­ing on in those schools.

“”We’re con­tin­u­ing our Healthy School Ap­proach which em­pha­sizes healthy and nu­tri­tious eat­ing. For ex­am­ple, usu­ally on the first day back we give ice cream or Mr. Freezes to the stu­dents; this year we gave wa­ter­melon and the stu­dents en­joyed it,” said Mr. Weary. The Staff at both schools are also work­ing with the Mou­ve­ment Mem­phré to develop noon hour ac­tiv­i­ties to

keep the stu­dents ac­tive. This pro­gram aims to pro­vide a va­ri­ety of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties, not just or­ga­nized team play, and helps to develop lead­er­ship skills in stu­dents at the higher lev­els. “We hope to have those new ac­tiv­i­ties in place by the be­gin­ning of Oc­to­ber,” added the prin­ci­pal. North Hat­ley now pro­vides three pe­ri­ods of phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion per week while ACES can pro­vide four pe­ri­ods per week be­cause they are a big­ger school and be­cause of the avail­abil­ity of a teacher there.

“At Ayer’s Cliff we’ll con­tinue our reg­u­lar as­sem­blies on so­cial skills,” com­mented the prin­ci­pal. About once a week the whole school at­tends the fif­teen minute assem­bly to learn about top­ics such as po­lite­ness, greet­ing peo­ple, play­ground in­ter­ac­tions, pre­ven­tion of bul­ly­ing etc. “We’ve been do­ing these reg­u­larly and we’re pleased with the re­sults and have seen a de­crease in the num­ber of be­havioural in­ci­dents.”

A big ini­tia­tive go­ing on at Ayer’s Cliff is the project to over­haul and im­prove the stage fa­cil­i­ties. “We want to in­stall a pro­jec­tor and light­ing and build a back wall. We al­ready have a new sound sys­tem. We’re hop­ing to have it all done by Christ­mas,” men­tioned Mr. Weary.

The prin­ci­pal was look­ing for­ward to re­ceiv­ing lap­tops from the School Board for his grades 4, 5 and 6 stu­dents at the end of the month.

Any­one wish­ing to vol­un­teer at ei­ther school is more than wel­come, whether a par­ent, a grand-par­ent or some­one from the com­mu­nity with a lit­tle ex­tra time on their hands. Vol­un­teers are needed for var­i­ous things like go­ing on field trips or read­ing to small groups of stu­dents. “With our Guided Read­ing pro­gram four stu­dents go with one adult to read to­gether.” Peo­ple in­ter­ested should call the school of their choice for more in­for­ma­tion.

“Parental sup­port of stu­dent ed­u­ca­tion is one of the keys if not the most important key for suc­cess at school. Our goal is to make our schools hap­pier, more pleas­ant places for ev­ery­one to be. I’m proud to say I’m the prin­ci­pal of both schools; peo­ple of­ten say how well-be­haved our stu­dents are,” con­cluded Mr. Weary.

Stu­dent en­roll­ment has de­creased slightly at both schools, go­ing from 155 to 140 at ACES and from 79 to 73 at North Hat­ley.

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