When the school year begins on August 30, students in Kemptville, Merrickville, Smiths Falls and the surrounding area will have access to a totally renovated facility and an enhanced art program at the Kemptville campus of École catholique Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys.
The Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) made the announcement today at an event involving area policy makers, community partners, parents and students.
Renovations began in mid-June and will continue until mid-August. The Kemptville College facility will open its doors to students on August 30 for the first day of school. It will take more than a coat of paint to get the interior of Fraser Hall ready to meet the needs of students in junior kindergarten to grade 6 and provide the space they need to thrive in a 21st-century learning environment.
The CECCE also announced a partnership with the Ottawa School of Art to provide an enhanced art program at the Kemptville campus of École catholique Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys.
According to Director of Education Réjean Sirois, “The CECCE is very pleased to be partnering with the Ottawa School of Art for this first-of-its-kind initiative to create an artist-in-the-school program. Both institutions recognize the importance of integrating arts into the curriculum and each student’s learning process as a pathway to acquiring essential high-level skills and fostering academic performance and success. The arts nurture creativity and innovation, which are valuable skills in any field.”
“During recent consultations, parents, staff and community members who took part in a visioning exercise focused on the importance of integrating the arts into the curriculum,” explained Johanne Lacombe, CECCE Chair. “The Kemptville community expressed its desire to ensure that children have access to meaningful opportunities to celebrate their French language and culture through self-expression and positive experiences available to them in the school and the arts community, and with this partnership, the CECCE is responding to that desire,” she added.
President of the board of directors Clayton Powell said, “The Ottawa School of Art (OSA) is extremely pleased to be working with the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est to present this unique artist-in-the-school program. OSA is the second-oldest art school in Canada, and our motto is “Teaching art to everyone”. This program will help us achieve that goal in a new and unique way. We have been very impressed with the CECCE’s enthusiasm for and commitment to the ideal of enriching education through the arts. OSA shares the CECCE’s belief that children’s education is richer and more profound when they are able to include art activities as part of their learning process. This is an exciting partnership for both of our organizations, and we look forward to working with the students of École Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys (Kemptville campus) during the upcoming school year.”
In December 2015, the CECCE announced plans to open a new École catholique Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys campus in Kemptville for students in junior kindergarten to grade 9 by the beginning of the 2016 school year. As higher grades are added in the coming years, the school will eventually accommodate students all the way from junior kindergarten to grade 12.
With one location in Merrickville and another in Kemptville, École catholique Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys will be able to provide better service to families in those communities, Smiths Falls, and neighbouring communities.
With over 22,000 students in 41 elementary and 11 secondary schools, as well as its school for adults, the CECCE is the largest Canadian network of French-language schools outside Quebec.
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