Principal's Message

August 30th, 2021

Welcome to General Vanier Public School!

We are a small but mighty school with Kindergarten to grade 3 classes. We are an English only site with a bilingual Kindergarten and a daily Core French program for our grade one, two and three learners. We also have a Primary Special Needs classroom.

I am honoured and privileged to have this opportunity to introduce myself and share my enthusiasm about being your school’s Principal for the third year. Before coming to General Vanier in September 2019, I was the Vice Principal and Acting Principal at Blossom Park Public School. The first 12 years of my 27 year education career was in Toronto (Scarborough) before moving to beautiful Ottawa in 2005. I have taught in all three divisions (primary, junior and intermediate) as well as in Special Education (LST/LRT) and as an Instructional Coach for both school boards. Learning and supporting the learning of others is an ongoing passion!

This September General Vanier is coming back to school after a year of pivots from in-person to virtual learning. Most of our students will be returning to in-person learning with only a few continuing with virtual learning at OCV.  Our website has a welcome video that explains and outlines the safety guidelines we have put in place to ensure the safety of our students and staff. It is the same video we used last fall as the OCDSB is advising we adhere to the safety standards for the first month to ensure the ongoing safety of our students and staff as well as secure in-person learning and avoid a transition to virtual learning.

Each new school year often brings with it new staff. This school year we welcome back Megan Verbeek who joins Peggy Manion in the front office as our Office Administer Assistant ensuring our students and community are well taken care of.

We welcome back Laurie Burns from her OCV teaching assignment last year and she is excited about resuming her role as our English Kindergarten teacher.  We also welcome Virginia Penner who will be a part of our Kindergarten French teaching team. Rayna Czuczor is returning as our Designated Occasional Teacher (DOT). We welcome Hannah Plamenig who is filling a Long Term Occasional position behind Samantha Haines who will be continuing to support the learning of students attending OCV. Deborah Anderson is our new Librarian Technician who replaces our beloved Elizabeth Gabriel who has begun her retirement journey in June, 2021. Afaf Salman joins our amazing Educational Assistant team this year for full days! Finally, Nick Poirier is our new Chief Custodian and has been working hard throughout the summer to ensure our building is clean and ready to receive our students and staff.

This year’s School Council executive members are Catherine Burke (Chairperson), Christine Leger (Secretary) and Bonnie Oakes-Charron (Treasurer). Although many of the wonderful events our School Council usually manages cannot take place under the COVID restrictions, the council continues to meet virtually each month to discuss ways to bring the community and school together to support the success and achievement of our students.

I believe that student well-being and academic achievement are mutually supportive. This year, our staff will be learning about and using the resource, The Third Path: A Relationship-Based Approach to Student Well-Being and Achievement by Dr. David Tranter.  This resource will help us to ensure all students feel safe, welcome and included. This year, our staff will be focussing on the Safety, Regulation and Belonging Paths. As educational researcher Alfie Kohn states, “If children feel safe, they can take risks, ask questions, make mistakes, learn to trust, share their feelings, and grow.” When parents and the school community work in partnership, a safe, inclusive and welcoming learning environment is created for our children. We look forward to building these strong partnerships with you to support the learning of all our students.

I am so grateful for your support and look forward to meeting you and your children as we work together to foster the development of respectful, caring, responsible, anti-racist and self-directed learners.

Sincerely,

Christina Rathier

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