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 Jamie Pettit
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From: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 4:43 PM -0400
Subject:Falcons Soaring at East Ridge
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Bluewater District School Board trustees joined board and school administrators, students, local dignitaries, community partners, architects, and a Ministry of Education representative for a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, October 13, 2017 to formally declare the opening of East Ridge Community School in Owen Sound.

Image of Principal Mason unveiling the new East Ridge Falcons logoTo compliment the occasion, classes and staff filled the auditorium afterwards for a program emceed by Principal Burke Mason.  Speeches and best wishes were shared by Board Chair Ron Motz, Trustee Marg Gaviller, Director of Education Alana Murray, Superintendent of Education Lori Wilder, Ministry of Education representative Jennifer Brown on behalf of Minister of Education Mitzie Hunter, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker, and Owen Sound Mayor Ian Boddy.  This was followed by the introduction of an Indigenous poster highlighting the Seven Grandfather Teachings by M'Wikwedong Cultural Coordinator Glenn Trivett, an additional ribbon cutting on the stage to declare the official opening, and closing remarks from Vice-Principal Kevin Wilson.  To wrap up the ceremony, Principal Mason awed the crowd with the unveiling of the fantastic new Falcons logo.  A group of very talented student drummers led by teachers Deanne Hallman and Laura McFarlane then took to the stage for an outstanding musical offering, which amazed and inspired those in attendance.  It was a positive and heartfelt way to end a Friday afternoon.  The sense of school spirit in the auditorium was overwhelming and served as a clear indicator that students and staff are already embracing and establishing new traditions in their new school community.  

East Ridge Community School began its history this past September after Owen Sound and area students from junior kindergarten to Grade 8, including those in French Immersion, were consolidated on the reconfigured site of the former OSCVI.

Bluewater’s strong community partnerships have also ensured additional program opportunities for young learners at the revamped facility.  Through a partnership with the YMCA of Owen Sound Grey Bruce, East Ridge is home to the new Owen Sound YMCA Early Learning Centre for toddlers and preschoolers, and the YMCA Before and After School program for school age children.

The County of Grey and Keystone Child, Youth and Family Services, worked collaboratively with Bluewater to locate an Ontario Early Years Centre at the school as well.  Parents and caregivers can attend programs in the centre with their infant children.

“Congratulations and best wishes to our students, staff, families, and partners as they begin an exciting future together in their wonderful new facility.  We look forward to the traditions, successes, and all that is yet to come at East Ridge,” says Superintendent of Education Lori Wilder.

“Students, families and staff are settling in nicely and really taking ownership of their new school community at East Ridge.  With the official cutting of the ribbon, our Falcons are free to soar as high as ever as we continue to create an exceptional and exemplary learning culture for the Owen Sound area,” says Principal Burke Mason.
 
An open house at East Ridge Community School for members of the public will occur at a later date with details to come.  



Group photo image of BWDSB trustees and staff, students, local dignitaries, community partners, architects, and a Ministry of Education representative standing behind the red ribbon at the East Ridge entrance prior to the ribbon cutting
Image of students cutting the ribbon as BWDSB trustees and staff, local dignitaries, community partners, architects, and a Ministry of Education representative observe Image of Principal Mason at the podium with BWDSB trustees and senior staff, students, local dignitaries, community partners, architects, and a Ministry of Education representative seated closeby on the stage
Image of Principal Mason speaking at the podiumImage of Chair Motz speaking at the podiumImage of Trustee Gaviller speaking at the podiumImage of Director Murray speaking at the podiumImage of Superintendent of Education Wilder speaking at the podiumImage of Ministry of Education representative Jennifer Brown presenting to Principal Mason at the podiumImage of MPP Walker speaking as he holds up a student drawing of a bird at the podiumImage of MPP Walker presenting to Principal Mason at the podiumImage of drums on the stageImage of Mayor Boddy speaking at the podiumImage of M'Wikwedong Cultural Coordinator Glenn Trivett speaking at the podiumImage of large poster on the stage featuring the Seven Grandfather TeachingsImage of Vice-Principal Wilson speaking at the podiumImage of Principal Mason holding up the new East Ridge Falcons logo