St. Mary’s prepares for new school year

Principal Jerelynn MacNeil said enrolment is similar to last year at 155 students.

The new school year is just around the bend now, with classes starting next week. At St. Mary’s Catholic Independent School staff and teachers are getting prepared. Principal Jerelynn MacNeil said enrolment is similar to last year at 155 students.

The school has some new additions as well.

“We have a brand new computer lab, all laptops with Window 8,” she said, adding that it was a direct result of work done by the school’s Parent Support Group, which donated $25,000. The story was covered in the Townsman back in April. “It takes a while to get it up and going, but it should be affective next week actually.”

MacNeil said this year they are working on themes of self-regulation and mindfulness. She said these incorporate being aware of the things around you, whether they be responsibilities that you have, your demeanour towards others or other things that are asked from you, such as homework and chores.

“You know, if you’re asked to do something, can you self regulate and do it or do you need someone to step in and direct you or do it for you,” she explained. “It’s kind of bringing an awareness to children about what they’re age appropriate responsibilities are.”

She said there is also a parent component which means to educate parents on what are appropriate expectations of children at different ages.

This is the first year they are putting a real focus on the themes, and plan to continue it next year to see how it goes.

The school has a daycare and after school program that is filling up, but she said there are still a few spaces in the daycare, which is for three years and up.

“We’re super excited, it should be a great year,” she said. “We’re so lucky to have the work done her over the summer.”

The building is Power Smart energy efficient and had two new high-efficiency boilers put in over the summer.

“We spend lots of time in staff meetings, looking at goals and reviewing what we did, taking feedback from community, teachers, kids, and looking at how we can change it for next year and improve it and do it better and also meet needs that we see emerging,” she said.