Bluewater Coast Elementary School, or BCES, is small community elementary school comprised of approximately 140 JK—Grade 6 students, their families, and a staff of about 18 adults. We are the Huskies, home to students from the villages of Zurich and Hensall, as well as students from many rural parts of the Municipality of Bluewater. We take pride in welcoming many parent and community volunteers to our school, and in hosting local groups in our facility.
In the 2019-20 school year, we are continuing to focus on the 4Cs and 1P promoted by our Board’s Strategic Plan: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and problem solving. We all work together, collaborating to solve problems as critical thinkers and learners. We focus on and foster creative and innovative ideas. BCES has committed to becoming a more collaborative, 21st century learning environment. We understand that evolving technologies, such as iPads, Chromebooks, Smart Boards, etc., are critical learning tools that can assist us in accessing and transforming information for communication purposes.
This year, in support of our School Improvement Plan for Student Achievement and Well-being (SIPSAW), staff will be participating in math-based Professional Learning Communities. We continue to dig deeply into math pedagogy, particularly the works of Dr. Alex Lawson, so that we can assist our students in numeracy skills and learning. Of course, we will continue to work on literacy as we always have. Another focus of our SIPSAW will be to promote student well-being and social skill development through a multitude of student leadership and learning opportunities within the school. We are excited to have community partnerships, such as the Huron County Health Unit, Rural Response for Healthy Children, and our Mental Health and Addictions CCAC Nurse who share great resources with us.
In every classroom, we accept and celebrate the diverse gifts that each child brings to our learning environment. Each of us feels a sense of belonging, has a social support network, and an academic purpose together with our classmates. In an equitable and inclusive classroom, we all get what we need, not necessarily the same thing, and we work together as learners, friends and classmates. We are Huskies, who practice teamwork and perseverance each day, in both our learning and our play, so that we can accomplish our goals in a culture of respect.
Finally, we are a school that freely shows our appreciations for others. We are a TRIBES trained school, but we also practice the Social Thinking program developed by Michelle Garcia-Winner. We use the language of appreciation, allow people the right to “pass,” talk about what the group plan is, explain how eyes are like arrows, expected and unexpected choices, etc. We proudly display our Peace Tree in the front foyer, as a symbol of our commitment to a peaceful school where everyone is valued and respected.
On behalf of all our Huskies, I invite you to experience Bluewater Coast Elementary School!
Christina Van Poucke