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Empowering Through Education by Judianne Jayme

Open houses, open minds –

asking questions that matter to you

by Judianne Jayme

Some of us have moved to new homes. Some of our children are transitioning to a new level of education, such as junior high or high school. Some of our children are attending school for the first time ever, as a nursery or kindergarten student, or for the first time ever in Winnipeg!

There are so many schools that you could send your child to. How do you know which is the best fit for you?

The open house is a celebration of learning in the building, along with your chance to see what sort of programming is available for your child. Perhaps you’re looking for a French immersion setting, or perhaps you want a school that offers ample sports options.

Consider this list as a guide to help you really hammer down what you value in your child’s future school.

1. Before and after-school programming

Before and/or after-school programs offer childcare before and/or after regular school hours. The hours of operation, and fees involved, vary among different schools. It is also important to note that not all schools offer this.

2. Language learning

If you are looking for French immersion schools, there are specific schools that you can apply for. The Seven Oaks division is currently enrolling Grades 1 to 3 for a Filipino bilingual program. For newcomers to Canada, you may also want to ask what they have in place for those children just starting to learn English as an additional language.

3. Lunch program

Will your child stay for lunch, or walk home and return to school after the lunch break? What type of fees and services come with the lunch program at your child’s school?

4. Clubs, sports teams and extra-curricular activities

What opportunities are there for your child to get involved in the school community?

5. School building, staff and school rules

The staff plays a crucial role in your child’s success. What are qualities you look for in a teacher, an educational assistant, and the administrative team? Also, what do you want your child’s learning environment to look, sound, and feel like? Ask about the school’s rules and policies.

Parent tip: Visit with a purpose!

Contact your schools of choice and ask if they are hosting an open house, or even if an administrator is able to show you the school and answer some questions. Use the list above as a guide to pinpoint what qualities you are looking for in a school building, school programming, its staff, and its leaders.

I am pleased to invite you all to visit my incredible colleagues and me as we celebrate our learners at Lord Nelson School’s open house! I am also very pleased to announce, on behalf of the school, that we will also be offering a before and after-school program for the upcoming school year!

Thursday, June 16th, 2016, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., 820 McPhillips Street.

Hope to see you there, and have a great tour of your schools of choice!

Judianne Jayme is an educator teaching sixth grade and a division-wide mentor in the Winnipeg School Division.

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