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Assumption Family of Schools is hosting an event for families to attend this Thursday, September 21 at 4pm. Come for the food and tour the new middle school facility, along with Assumption high school. Many community organizations will be in attendance and have booths set up as well.
Just a reminder that West Mesh and Open Streets is this weekend! Invite family and friends to Our West End’s community celebration West Mesh and enjoy the City of Windsor Open Streets, all at the corner of Detroit St and Sandwich St W at Paterson Park, from 9am -2pm.
day of school has come and gone and now we’re slowly getting into the swing of
things. Given the extraordinary transition this school year between the new St.
James and the new Assumption Middle School, there have been some inherent challenges
that we can expect every time a change of this magnitude is implemented. Although
it may be frustrating to some parents, I can advise that teachers, principals, support staff and administration are working hard to rectify any issues that pop up.
your trustee, it is my duty to inform you of the status of our schools in the
west-end and to express your concerns to our administration to ensure that your
voices are heard. That is what I’ve always done and that is what I’ll always
continue to do. With that in mind, I intend to provide you with a school status
report, beginning with St. James.
St. James K-6 Catholic Elementary School
main issue I’ve heard to date from families include the heat in the school,
particularly in the gymnasium where our JK and SK students are temporarily
being placed. As you can imagine, it certainly doesn’t help with this heat wave
that we’re currently experiencing. After receiving several calls from concerned
parents, I immediately contacted the principal, Doris Baggio, and others to
ensure that we are doing everything possible to mitigate against the heat. To
date, I can advise that 5 fans have been installed and that a technician has
been working diligently on fixing some A/C issues in the school. I will be attending the school tomorrow morning and will continue to work diligently with Principal Baggio to find solutions to this issue. More to come in this regard.
respect to the construction of the addition, I asked our superintendent overseeing
the project for an update and if there is anything that can be done to expedite
the process. The board received unexpected requirements and layers of approval
such as an archeological study and other ministry approvals. With that in mind,
the actual work on-site for the archeological review will only take a day or
two (according to our superintendent) with a formal, written report to be
provided by the consultant within a week or so. As for expediting the
process, our superintendent has stated that they’ve been pushing on every front
to get a shovel in the ground for St. James and are moving the project along as
quickly as possible. He further stated that typically, such projects take 6 to
8 months just to get through the design and approval process before they are
even sent out for bids from contractors. We are only about 3 and half
months in since the Ministry funding approval on May 19th. The added
twist for St. James is that it is being funded through the full day
kindergarten program (FDK), which required a further Ministry approval to
proceed, this approval having only been received on August 30th.
further stated that the City went above and beyond to get the permits expedited
for the Assumption Middle School and that they are pressing them to do the same
for St. James.
the FDK approval process, the archeological requirement and other factors, administration
is still projecting that the construction will be complete by the end of
November or early December, although they further state that this is an extraordinarily
quick timeline for project completion. Principal Baggio will continue to
inform the community, as will I, on the progress and timelines.
Assumption Catholic Middle School
the intent of not writing a novel, I will attempt to be as concise as possible
in responding to some concerns from parents. First, I would like to refer
parents to the Principal’s report and a brief update from Principal Riberdy on
the state of the middle school by clicking on the link below which sends you
directly to his blog. Please subscribe if you haven’t already.
personally visited the school yesterday to see firsthand the progress and the
concerns expressed by parents. Here is my update in bullet form:
·Lockers are coming soon. They will be placed in a small
corridor and each student will have one.
·Doors on classes and door knobs on some doors will be
installed shortly. Just need the people in to do it after school hours. That's
·For the few rooms that need it, utilities delivered fans to
the classrooms today and they stated that the air conditioners should be
·Caution tape separating the middle school is temporary. An
announcement was made on the first day from the principal at Assumption high
school telling students not to cross that area and there are protocols in place
to ensure that will not happen. The Principal stated that a wall with secure access will be there within approximately two
·Although this is well known, for those who may not know, a new gym will be built for the middle school. In the meantime, students will have phys ed outside, at Assumption HS gym where there's no conflict and at the St. John's gym until the new gym is
built. It will take some time and there will be a courtyard too that will be
built but don't expect that for a few months assuming all goes well.
·The walk outside to the cafeteria on the first day was a
decision made by the principal to get students out. Students will not be doing
that going forward, save and except times where the principal decides to have
them out for exercise.
·The school installed a water dispenser so that students can
fill up water bottles. Those students who wanted water but didn't bring
water bottles were given a bottle of water that they can fill up as
needed. A fountain is scheduled to be installed off of the chapel hallway
As I hear more I will keep you informed and I ask that you do
the same so that we can address these issues on a timely basis.
For those who may not be aware, I want to inform you of the general protocol when it comes to addressing issues or concerns. First you should contact the principal to resolve questions or concerns at the school level. If that is not successful, then the next step is to contact the school superintendent, and if that is not successful, you then contact the Director of Education. With that in mind, you can always contact me and I will refer you to the appropriate person.
Lastly, I would like to thank all of the teachers,
principals, support staff and administration for all of your help during this
challenging period. I would also like to personally thank all of the families
who have been patient and understanding throughout, and everyone who has
contacted me with their concerns and questions. As your trustee, it is my duty
to always tell you the facts, even if they are not popular. This is my duty not
just to you as a parent, but more importantly to our students whose education is
in the board’s care. When I was sworn in as a trustee and gave my oath, I knew
that the road ahead would be challenging, but I also knew that the underlying purpose
– the education of our students – is so great that we can overcome these
challenges if we work together and always focus on the big picture. So many of
you have and I am so grateful for that. Thank you.
I've received many questions from residents regarding the status of construction at St. James and Assumption Middle School. The trustees have received periodic updates throughout the summer and have asked questions regarding the same updates to ensure that the projects are moving forward accordingly.
Assumption College Catholic Middle School
There were some delays throughout the process for several reasons with both the Assumption College Catholic Middle School and St. James. However, construction has begun at Assumption and the contractors are working hard to have the school ready for September. The main focus right now is on constructing the classrooms and providing a segregated space for our grades 7 and 8 students. I did a walk-through of the building a few weeks ago and it is very exciting to see what is coming soon. In addition, a brand new gymnasium will be built once the classrooms are complete and the school will have a segregated courtyard too that will really make it a prime destination for student learning, safety and student experience.
St. James Catholic Grade School
The construction at St. James should commence soon. I've written to the Superintendent of Corporate Services who is overseeing the St. James project regarding its status and have yet to receive a response. Once I do, I will let you know. A big bonus with the St. James project is that the Board administration is working with the City to establish appropriate bus-bay and student drop-off areas. Any construction required in these areas will be separately phased and may take some time but the Board and the City are listening to residents and their concerns surrounding pick-up and drop-off issues at the school site. The parking lot will also be expanded to accommodate the overcrowding of cars at the site.
As you may know, students attending the Assumption Middle School will be required to wear uniforms. Recently, there was an inadvertent mistake posted on the school website regarding uniform requirements. It was rectified in due course and the principal, John Riberdy, emailed me and provided me with the following below:
"We've made a correction to the school's website and a synervoice will be going out today to all registered parents at the middle school regarding this issue . Please let me know if you receive any further communication from concerned parents regarding uniforms, or anything else for that matter. I can call them back directly to clarify any misinformation. I've set up a temporary office at Assumption High School to receive phone calls and you can direct parents/guardians to (519) 256 - 7801 (Ext: 2230). I'll return their calls promptly.
Sorry for any concern this may have caused!"
Feel free to call Mr. Riberdy should you have any further questions or concerns.
Theatre at Assumption Middle School
The Board has undertaken to retain an architect for a new theatre at Assumption College Catholic High School. This is exciting news! Trustees have supported the concept of a new theatre that will be a vital addition not only to the fabric of the arts at Assumption, but to the entire school community and the west-end. This is a big win for our community and a much needed resource. I will endeavor to work along with my colleagues to ensure that Assumption receive a well-deserved space for the performing arts. Although it is in the preliminary stages and drawings haven't been commenced as of today's date, I am hopeful that this project will follow the construction of the middle school and make the Assumption site even more world-class than it is today, which of course is difficult to imagine. Administration should be thanked for their courage in moving forward with this project and I want to thank the trustees who've supported it thus far. More to come on this in the future.
On Track to Success Coming to West Windsor!
Lastly, I attended a press conference held by the United Way announcing that the On Track to Success program is coming to West Windsor! This is excellent news for our students who can get a helping hand in not only achieving good grades and graduating high school, but in also receiving grant money towards their education. There is no clearer way out of difficult life challenges than through education and this program is a clear example of that. Thank you United Way Windsor-Essex!!!
I received an email from west-end resident Jerry Gervais who provided me with information on how to donate to the Tecumseh-Brock Sculpture. See the details below and to learn more about this project, see the link below as well.
You should make the cheque payable to the City of Windsor and in the subject line identify that it is for the Tecumseh Brock sculpture. The cheque could be mailed or dropped off at the mailing address below and should be sent attention to either Cathy Masterson or Mike Clement. They can ensure the correct paperwork is filled out to receive a tax receipt and the deposit of the cheque into the correct capital project.
Our West End would like to extend our sincerest Congratulations to
the Executive Director of Life After Fifty, Calvin Little on his upcoming Retirement August 31st, 2016!
Cal was instrumental in supporting the initial pilot of Our West End as a grassroots community engagement initiative, and providing an organizational home for Our West End as a program of Life After Fifty funded by United Way Windsor-Essex County.
There will be a couple of events in his honour for Community organizations and the Life After Fifty membership:
1)Retirement Open House for Community Partners
a.All are welcome – community partners, co-workers, friends, family, are invited to come out and mingle.
Free event Thursday, August 25th 4pm – 7pm @ Life After Fifty East Side Centre
There is a lot going on in the coming months. See below!
1 Campus Discovery Day at the University of Windsor
Thursday August 25th
The day is for residents in the University of Windsor area and West Windsor On Track to Success High School Students. The On Track to Success is a program of United Way helping youth in West Windsor with study skills and opportunities to pursue post-secondary education.
Our West End has partnered with the University of Windsor to bring residents to campus to experience several workshops throughout the day, to learn about the University, its many departments and services.
There will be some tours of the campus, the Nursing simulation Centre, the Library and some performances. Any West Windsor residents can register contact Our West End for more firstname.lastname@example.org
2Campus in the Community Day, with Graffiti removal
Friday August 26th,
approx. 1pm – 4 pm ( to be finalized)
Our West End has partnered with the University of Windsor’s Community Kitchen,
Community Garden and Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) to learn about our neighbourhoods and volunteer to help with beautification projects!
This project orients 40 University of Windsor Resident Assistants Student Employees to the Wyandotte West/River West neighbourhood.
The Resident’s Assistants will tour the neighbourhood and be given an infographic of area resources such as shops, community centres and restaurants.
They will be a resource of knowledge for Our West End neighbourhoods, able to refer to students in residence to businesses, health and social services in our community.
They will also act as a point of contact and information resource to let students know about volunteer opportunities with Our West End, its affiliate groups, or how to get involved in our neighbourhoods.
During the later part, of the day students will provide us with a Youth Day of Caring, helping to remove graffiti near the Human Kinetics building at the California Ave alley way.
This will restore our painting/graffiti removal work we did in 2013.
Please let me know if you would like
your organization listed for potential University Student volunteers.
We hope to build and maintain these relationships with students through annual training of RA’s and volunteer activities, helping students in residence feel like part of our community.
Day of Caring in River West!
3Park Bench Painting at Straith Park,
Tuesday August 30th
9 am –noon (date to be confirmed)
Campbell and Riverside Drive West
This is a Day of Caring with Caesar’s Windsor, Broker Link and Costco employees (approx. 10 employee volunteers total) helping to improve the appearance of our Parks.
See an email I received from Tammy Murray, Community Coordinator at Our West End.
Our West End Neighbourhood Renewal
is looking for West End residents to participate
in an ongoing Safety Committee.
The goal of the committee is to connect residents together to look at areas of concern in the four West Windsor neighbourhoods, and use crime prevention techniques to reduce the opportunity for crime to occur.
This will include: training residents how to do safety audits, talking to neighbours about crime prevention, helping to connect your neighbours to our projects encouraging the use of porch lights/reporting of crime, planning safety projects and prioritizing where our next clean-ups/beautification efforts will take place.
● participate in and/or plan beautification efforts such as neighbourhood clean-ups, graffiti removal and community murals.
Recent Neighbourhood Safety Accomplishments:
We have removed graffiti and created a community mural in the Bridgeview neighbourhood, painted a Community mural in Mic Mac Park in Sandwich Towne, held Crime Preventions Town Halls at the University of Windsor with residents and students, and for Seniors and community members at Life After Fifty.
Our Clean Ups have spanned over 52 West Windsor blocks in St. James Marlborough, River West/University of Windsor, Bridgeview and Sandwich Towne neighbourhoods and we are planning more of each of these community beautification projects!
See a message from Principal John Riberdy of the Assumption Middle School commencing this September:
advised that on Thursday, June 2nd,
a “Town Hall” meeting will be held at Assumption College Catholic High School
to discuss the implementation of the Assumption College Catholic Middle School
programme. The Town Hall meeting will
take place at 6:00 pm in the
cafeteria. There will be a brief slide
show presentation about the programme, which will be followed by an opportunity
for parents/guardians to ask any outstanding questions that they may have. We hope to see you there!
Please see an email I received from the parent council chair regarding volunteers needed for June 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
"June 2nd, 3rd and 4th the Assumption parent council will be selling parking spaces in our parking lot for the OFSSA track and field event being held at the University of Windsor. There is a potential HUGE profit to be made with 2700 athletes coming into town. We need to staff two payment booths and 3 barriers for Thursday and Friday, and two payment booths on Saturday. In addition we will need parking lot attendants to ensure people are parking in the right places and not blocking others in. We would also like to sell water and snacks to the THOUSANDS of people that will be around that weekend. There will be spaces for volunteer parking in the lot.
We NEED your help. This is the time for everyone to come together and make this happen. Please ask other ACS families you know to lend a hand as well. Times before drop off and pick up on Thursday and Friday are especially needed!!
You've probably read the series put on by the Windsor Star this past week featuring Sandwich Town. If you haven't, you really should, it's excellent. You will learn about all of the amazing things happening in Sandwich Towne and also learn about the looming issue with the Ambassador Bridge Co. I've pasted the links below in chronological order for your convenience.
Today, the Supreme Court of Canada heard the submissions from the City of Windsor and the Bridge Company and will render a decision sometime in the future (hopefully sooner than later).
I am hopeful that the SCC will provide justice to a neighbourhood that has been for too long a victim of one man's financial ambitions.
I received an email from a west-end resident notifying me that his partner's car was broken into last Friday. They live by Riverside Dr. W. and Askin Ave. Please keep a lookout and always notify police if you experience or see anything suspicious.
I've received several calls from concerned parents and residents around the St. James area. I've met with the Principal of St. James and together with the St. James Parent Council, we've brainstormed some ideas to help alleviate some of the traffic concerns around drop-off and pick-up times at St. James.
The issue is also being addressed across the region with a joint city and school board committee. I look forward to seeing the results of that committee and how we may be able to apply their recommendations to St. James.
St. James is a neighbourhood school and as such, was never designed for the amount of car pick-up and drop-off currently being experienced. We must encourage more walking to and from school to not only help alleviate congestion, but as a healthy alternative for parents and their children.
There have been many questions regarding administration's final recommendation released last Tuesday. Please see the link below to view the final recommendation, timelines and guidelines for public input regarding the ARC proposal. I encourage you to please provide your input pursuant to the process guidelines so that trustees have all of the information they need from the community when making their final decision.
In addition, several members from the school board are hosting a 'non-ARC' town hall this Wednesday at 7pm at Assumption high school (likely in the library room -- will confirm shortly) to discuss the final recommendation and address any questions or concerns you may have.
Lastly, there is a delegates meeting on March 1st at 7pm at Assumption where you can express your concerns directly to the trustees before they make their final decision on April 5.