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School playground work being recognized

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The Robert Moore School playground will be the focus of the Rainy River District School Board's recognition of excellence for this month.

The recognition will take place during the board's regular meeting, which takes place tonight at 7 p.m. at the Education Centre here (board office).

A report from Robert Moore principal Donna Kowalski explains the impact of work done on the playground.

“The ability of our students to learn, grow, and flourish in the areas of social, emotional, academic, and well-being is strongly rooted in the environment that is provided not only in the classroom and school but outside on the playground,” Kowalski noted.

She said since the new school was built, many stakeholders have been working to enhance the playground, including the school council, the board, a planning committee, and the students.

An “Ontario 150” grant, Hammond's and Lowey's greenhouses, and a partnership with the Northwestern Health Unit also were cited by Kowalski as things that have helped make the playground what it is today.

Kowalski said student interest and feedback, accessible activities, variety, and the ability for students to self-regulate through both physical and non-physical activities all were considered during the planning process.

The school also decided to alternate recess times, with the junior students going out opposite the intermediate and primary ones.

Kowalski pointed out fewer children on the playground at a time has allowed for more access to equipment, enhanced supervision, and more proactive experiences between students and supervisors.

In addition to the equipment, trees have been planted around the playground to beautify the space and provide shade as they grow.

The report said the next phase of the enhancements is to create a more welcoming front entrance by completing the flower beds outside the front door of the school.

Also on the agenda for tonight's meeting, trustees will:

  • receive a presentation on the Indigenous Education Strategy;
  • hear board reports on the Special Education, FNMI, Bylaw, Parent Involvement, and Policy committees;
  • review four pieces of correspondence concerning the executive compensation program, a possible opioid crisis school protocol, the reporting of school-based EQAO results, and reviewing how students are assessed during EQAO testing; and
  • hear reports from student trustee Lemuel Carradice, board chair Dianne McCormack, and Director of Education Heather Campbell.
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