September 3, 2013

Excitement in the Air as DSBN Rings in the New School Year  

Gauthier FamilyThe old saying that “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” certainly held true for Misty Gauthier as she dropped her children off at their new school for the first time.

Thankfully, Diamond Trail didn’t disappoint.

“It looks beautiful. Awesome,” said the smiling mother of two outside the DSBN’s newest school on Southworth Street in Welland.

Gauthier’s two daughters Morgan, Grade 4, and Lauren, who’s entering Grade 6, came to Diamond Trail after spending the previous school year at a school outside the DSBN.

However, when Gauthier saw all the opportunities her family would have at Diamond Trail, she wanted her kids to be a part of it.

“The girls will have so much opportunity to use technology here. They’re really excited about that,” said Gauthier.

“They’re also looking forward to using the new library, they’re both big readers.”

The school’s expanded and enhanced library is the result of a unique partnership with the Welland Public Library Board. The library will give students access to even more learning resources while also providing access to the public.

Since the build was announced, Principal Simon Hancox said there’s been a great deal of anticipation about the opening of the new school. “We’re so pleased to be able to welcome students and parents to Diamond Trail today. This is the start of a great school year,” he said.

Although the opening of a new school is always a reason to celebrate, DSBN students across Niagara had many reasons for being optimistic about the coming year:

  • In Fort Erie, the recently renamed and renovated General Vanier officially opened its doors under its new identity as Peace Bridge Public School. Peace Bridge brings together students from Vanier, Fort Erie Elementary and Rose Seaton Public Schools. Principal Cindy Kohinski said they’re looking forward to “building a new school community as the Peace Bridge Polar Bears.”


  • The Vineland Public School community continues to grow. On September 3, Vineland welcomed students from Campden, Jordan and Maple Grove Public Schools. Students will continue to learn, share and grow at Vineland until a new school is built on the current Vineland site. Principal Lorne Gretsinger said they will be building a community that “goes beyond bricks and mortar.”


  • It’s an eventful year for students at the DSBN Academy. The school welcomes its first group of high school students as they continue their journey towards attaining a postsecondary education. In order to accommodate its high school contingent and growing enrolment numbers, Tuesday also marked the first day for the Academy inside its new home on Louth Street in St. Catharines.


  • Dalewood Public School began its first year as the dedicated home for French Immersion students in North St. Catharines. Student Achievement Leader Kelly McDonnell said the new school structure will have many benefits for students. “Students will have more opportunity to practice and refine their spoken language skills by communicating with their friends in French. This new structure will also allow staff to better collaborate, learn and share best practices,” said McDonnell.


  • The DSBN’s youngest students have more opportunity than ever to take part in Full Day Kindergarten. Sixty-five DSBN public schools now offer the program to 4 and 5 year old students, helping to give them a head-start in their learning.