2014 CAE Recipient Profile - Orono Public School

Mission Statement: ‘Together, the caring staff and school community of Orono P.S. will provide a safe and stimulating learning environment for all students’.  Motto-2014-2015-Orono Partnership TEAM- Together Everyone Achieves More

Orono P.S. is located at 171 Church Street in the village of Orono.   We serve the village and surrounding rural communities.  The community is made up of a richly diverse population. Family members are from the agricultural, industrial, business and professional sectors.  Parents and community volunteers share interests and expertise by getting involved in special events such as Fun Fairs, Movie Nights, Class Trips, Special Lunches and community parades.  Students from the local secondary school are provided co-operative placements in our school throughout the year.  Each fall, during the first week of school, the whole school walks to the Durham Central Fair in Orono to take part in a variety of activities related to farming.  In December, a special tea with student entertainment is held for the seniors in the community.

The school staff includes ten Teachers, one Early Childhood Educator, one Child and Youth Worker, one Educational Assistant, one Secretary and one Head Custodian.  They are committed to the implementation of the Ontario Curriculum and are focused on school improvement and increasing student achievement. Steady gains have been made in Reading and Writing scores in EQAO.  SMART goals and Teaching and Learning Critical Pathways have been used to share strategies and best practices to support our students.  The staff provides students with a variety of co-curricular activities which include academics, arts, athletics and service/leadership opportunities.  Shared decision making supports our continuous progress towards excellence.  Students also are involved, as they contribute to yearbooks which have been entitled, TEAM-Together Everyone Achieves More- 2008-2009, Leading By Example- 2009-2010, Creating a Healthy School-2010-2011, Soaring to Reach our Goals-2011-2012, Excellence at Orono Public School- 2012-2013 and Going For Gold-2013-2014. 

At assemblies, students are recognized for Literacy/Numeracy progress as well as contributing to a positive school climate.  Character traits such as respect, responsibility, honesty, integrity, empathy, fairness, perseverance, courage, initiative and optimism are emphasized.  Learning skills such as self-regulation and goal setting are also discussed.  Several of the staff are trained in the process of TRIBES.  Spirit days, anti-bullying programs such as, Model Me Kids, Kelso’s Choices, I Care Cat and Fill Your Bucket support a positive school culture.  Special groups such as a Boys’ Group and Rainbows provide intervention for those children needing further counselling. 

Each Monday Morning we bring the entire school together for community building in our Learning Commons located in the centre of the school.  Students come from the Early Learning Room, Pod B, (Grades 1 and 2) and Pod C, (Grades 3,4,5 and 6).

School budget priorities are determined using the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board’s Area of Emphasis and are aligned with the school’s improvement plan.  Technology including the purchase of SMART Boards, Ipads and Math and Science Manipulatives have supported learning goals.  Parent Reaching Out Grants and Metro Grants have subsidized special events such as Mathletes, Handwriting Without Tears and Healthy Lifestyle Events. 

The school embarked on the Excellence Canada Journey in 2008-2009 receiving Green Leaf Status.  In 2012 Blue and Red Leaf certification was attained as well as Silver Recognition in the CAE Program.

Parents are our first partners.  The School Community Council is heavily involved in school improvement, fundraising and the provision of extra-curricular events for the students.  A Parent Restorative Practice Group meets when necessary to give input on the Community, Culture and Caring goals.  The school is proud to have expanded their community partnerships to include The Durham Child Nutrition Project and Breakfast For Learning, which have financed a School Snack/Breakfast Program.  Other partners noted are Big Brothers, Big Sisters, YMCA, Masons Child Identification Program, Royal Canadian Legion, Orono Times, Terren’s Wellness Centre and  The Ganaraska Forest. Participation in the Terry Fox Run, UNICEF, Food Drives, Grandview Kids, Jump Rope For Heart, MS Society, Purple Day for Epilepsy, St. Baldricks Foundation and Memory Project have provided students with first hand experiences in service learning. Grades 3-6 have also been involved in community projects in association with the ‘Who is Nobody’ program sponsored by the Rotary Club.  Through application to the Centre for Individual Studies we have been able to offer after school programs in Sign Language and Spanish.

One of our most significant partnerships is with the Durham Region Health Unit.  We have networked to provide Food Tasting Events, Health Fairs, Resiliency Workshops and displays.  We have received Healthy School Recognition for six consecutive years.  There is a cooking/baking club held at the school and a PROPS (Peers Running Organized Play Stations) Program. 

Conserving the environment is a priority at Orono P.S.  We have joined with the Ganaraska Forest/Oak Ridges Moraine team and have planted trees in two locations over the past two years.  The Orono Horticultural Society has also given us assistance with our gardens and we have received accolades for our school gardens through the Clarington Blooms Contest.  The school has won the Board’s Earth Hour Challenge the past two years.

Well-being of staff and students is emphasized.  Planning for special staff dinners, fitness clubs, and school wide breakfasts bring us together to celebrate healthy life styles.  First aid training has been offered for staff on site.  Creating a school page for the board’s Equity and Diversity Calendars each year is a highlight.  Students are engaged about learning about other cultures and are taught to accept diversity.       

At Orono P.S. we value all input.  Several surveys are sent to a variety of stakeholders and there is ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of our school programs. Reflection forms are provided to staff on a regular basis.  A suggestion box is available in the front foyer of the school.

We have a ‘family feel’ and aim to develop caring citizens who will understand their importance in contributing to our global society.