School is back in business at Manitoulin Secondary School. The new Grade 9s are getting lost on their way to class, the bathrooms, the main office, and their buses (and so are some of the older students). The office is catching up on all the volunteer hour forms that have been coming in, the timetable changes and new registrations. Even though students miss summer vacation, it is good to see familiar faces, get back into routines and welcome new people.
MSS welcomed several new staff members to the school. David Wiwchar, vice principal; Matthew Gatien, English/art teacher; Chris Grabb, head custodian; Grace Debassige, First Nations social worker; Robin Debassige, aboriginal support worker; and Shawna Rajotte, attendance counsellor.
There are lots of exciting activities getting started, even in the first week of school. There are tryouts for girls senior and junior basketball, boys senior and junior volleyball, cross country, curling and golf. Those who are looking for non-athletic activities have plenty of options as well. The MSS Minute is looking for an editor, photographers, columnists, freelancers and a webmaster. Artastic Fusion is starting to organize events for this year. Reach For The Top is looking for their trivia team members. There was also a meet and greet in the Three Fires Confederacy room with the new student support counsellor, Grace Debassige and Elder-in-Residence Josh Eshkawkogan. The staff are in the early stages of planning the school musical.
The entire school has gone Google Apps For Education. Google Apps For Education (GAFE) is a core suite of productivity applications that Google offers to schools and educational institutions for free. Every student now has an email, which they can use for their entire high school career. This email also gives students access to Google Apps, which includes Google Drive, where they can save all of their school work online, access it from any computer, and share it with their teachers. Students can collaborate with each other on any device, no matter where they are on the Island. Another feature of Google Apps For Education is that it saves paper because assignments can be distributed to students electronically.
The education system is more stable this year, and students and staff are excited for the plans and possibilities of this school year.
‘Til next time, stay golden, Mustangs.