By Cole Parkinson
The students are back roaming the halls of Hays School and this year there are a few changes to the school inside and out.
Joining the staff for the 2017/18 school year are new principal Tracey Nadeau and teacher Jamie Mack, both making their way from Chamberlain School in Grassy Lake.
While the teaching staff has remained largely the same, Nadeau is happy to see a familiar face in the school.
“We have one new teacher who teaches kindergarten and Grade 1, she also came from Chamberlain so she’s familiar to me, the rest of the staff remained,” said Nadeau.
Hays School has a fairly small student population throughout their Kindergarten to Grade 9 classes and enrollment numbers have been around 60 for the last few years.
This school year looks to be the same with a very small number of new kids coming into the school.
“They’re about the same (enrollment numbers) almost exactly, we have one more child this year then we had last year,” said Nadeau.
While the student population continues to be similar, the school had a chance to improve before this school season started.
Over the summer some new improvements were made to the school’s infrastructure, some of which will be completed during the break next summer.
“We had new windows put in, we’re getting new blinds and we had some work done on the outside of the building to upgrade it, it’s a nice blue colouring on the top of the building,” said Nadeau.
“We had lots of upgrades and we will continue to have some next year because they did half of the windows (the south side) and our north side windows will be completed next year.”
To go along with the new school year means new things being introduced into the class room for the students, while Nadeau says they don’t have any new programs per se, they do have some new things the students can look forward to throughout this school year.
“We don’t have any new programs but we have some new initiatives where we are having a monthly theme for the students, so hydration is this month and they’re working on making sure they have a water bottle, so if you’re drinking water your brain is working better, so just not letting yourself get dehydrated,” said Nadeau.
“The teachers as well are monitoring those behaviours so every month we have a theme and they’ve always had awards that have been given out for different reasons so we’re giving one out for the theme of the month.”
With school in full force at Hays, the students have some events coming up to round out the first month of this young school season.
Hays School will be participating in the annual Terry Fox Run with the rest of Canada on Sept .28, to celebrate the historic “Marathon of Hope” Terry Fox started in 1980.
The school and the entire Horizon School Division will also be celebrating Orange Shirt Day on Sept .28.
The day will celebrate First Nation education and bring some awareness to residential schools and their many survivors.
With a few weeks already knocked off, both staff and students are ready for the long haul of the school season and all of the ups and downs that it brings.