It takes a village

aug26Over the past month, I have highlighted the work of the staff in our building who have worked tirelessly to prepare for our opening next week.This week was full of highlights for myself, but the one that stood out was the opportunity to watch our staff envision our learning spaces. Staff talked, dialogued, unpacked, set up, moved, took apart, set up again, offered each other feedback…they envisioned what our learning spaces could be. Like artists, they looked at the canvasses of our spaces and began to develop masterpieces for learning. Our canvasses are always fluid based on the needs of our learners. Part of what will be so exciting is to watch how our spaces evolve over this year. Once again, I extend my appreciation to our team of teachers, Education Assistants, Office staff, caretakers, child care provider staff and Designated Early Childhood Educators who have put so much time and energy into preparing for next week. Please take a look at our twitter feed for just a few examples of that amazing work. I am most grateful for what is a truly wonderful team of people.

I also want to take time to thank those teams who worked hard “behind the scenes”, including:

– Our architectural team IBI group that helped design the school our students are about to enjoy.

– Our board’s Planning Department spent many months working with many stakeholders to plan our school before any shovel broke ground.

– The various contractors and building teams who helped construct our school since July 2013.

– The municipality of East Gwillimbury and the Town of Mount Albert who approved the construction and permits for our school.

– Our Board’s Plant Services department for their countless hours meeting, inspecting, cleaning, moving items in, out and all about.

– Our board’s Purchasing Department for all of their support in purchasing the wide variety of materials that you will soon see in our school.

– Our board’s Human Resource Services Department who support with the hiring of our wonderful team.

– Our board’s Finance Department who oversaw our initial capital start up orders and budget.

– Our Board’s I.T department for their amazing work on our technology infrastructure.

– The team who oversees new school construction in our board.

– Our school trustee Loralea Carruthers for her support over the past several years as we moved from the initial proposal of a new school for Mount Albert to a special visit on site just this past week.

– The work and support of our area superintendent Chris Sarellas and the Senior Team of our board.

All of the teams and individuals mentioned above count for hundreds of people who have worked to help make our school possible. I welcome all of us to take the time to thank those who have helped to make this possible.

Finally, to the town of Mount Albert itself a heartfelt thanks. Your support, enthusiasm, excitement and celebrations of this event mean a lot. Congratulations on this exciting moment.

Indeed, it takes a village to raise a child; ours is a large and dedicated one.

All that is left are our students themselves to join us. To each one: welcome.

When our students join us next Tuesday, September 2, 2014, they will help make all the hard work worthwhile. No longer will it be about dreaming, wondering or imagining.

Next Tuesday, our journey truly begins in full splendor.

What do we want our story to be?

You have a role to play in shaping it and in telling it. We look forward to having you join us and we begin our new school year.

For me personally, this is one of the most exciting moments in my career in education. I know it is also so very exciting for the community of Mount Albert.

Next Tuesday, let’s enjoy the moment together.

And so, now, are we ready?

Oh, yes!


Mr. Collins


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