Global Awareness Moves Walter Gretzky Elementary Students to Action

A group of Grade 6 students poses outdoors

When Grade 6 students at Walter Gretzky Elementary returned to school this year, news reports of hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires abounded. During class discussion, it become clear that students were aware of how these situations were impacting children in the affected areas, and wanted to help other kids going through a tough time as a result of these tragic events.

After brainstorming many ideas, students decided that a donation to the Red Cross would be the best way to support relief efforts, and they began to plan methods for raising funds. A September heatwave brought an opportunity to sell freezies as a way to earn some money, and a fundraising campaign took shape.

“Each and every student played a part in the campaign, from writing announcements, to speaking on the PA, to distributing freezies, collecting funds and totaling profits,” said Stephanie Perreault, one of the Grade 6 teachers at Walter Gretzky Elementary. “We even found ways to integrate the fundraiser into math, language, and social studies lesson plans.”

What truly moved Perreault was students’ motivation and willingness to help.

“They didn't do this for any personal gain or reward; there was no promise of special treats or pizza parties if they reached their goals,” she said. “They did this out of the goodness of their hearts and an understanding that helping others as best we can is the right thing to do.”

Community is an important pillar in Grand Erie’s Multi-Year Plan, and an awareness of how our actions can build global communities to enhance learning experiences is a part of that.

“When we completed this effort, one of the students put her hand over her heart and said, ‘what we've done, well, it makes me feel good inside,’” said Perreault. “I'm not going to lie, it was a pretty cool thing to hear from an 11-year-old.”

June 7, 2016

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Re: Report of an incident and suspicious male in the Ryerson Heights area

In the interest of community safety and to best ensure the safety of our students, the Brantford Police Service has provided us with information about the report of an incident in the Ryerson Heights Elementary School area.

On Monday, June 6, 2016 at approximately 4:55 p.m., three primary school students who were at the after-school program at Ryerson Heights School on Dowdon Ave, observed a man outside of the school fence line acting in a suspicious manner. The man was described as holding a sharp object in his hand, which possibly was a knife. The man was reported to have had blood on his hand. The man did not approach the students, however made some negative comments to them before walking away from the area.

The man was described as white, 40-50 years old, with a bald head and wearing a black t-shirt.

Police are continuing in their investigation. Anyone who has information regarding the potential identity of the man or may have witnessed the event is urged to contact Detective Laureen Bird of the Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit at 519-756-0113 ext 3001.

To help ensure the safety of our students, please talk to your child about what to do if a ‘stranger’ or ‘strangers’ approach them for any reason. Teachers will also review safety protocols in class about how to stay safe in the community.

Click here for more information about street safety.

If you have any questions, please contact me.


Jane Goldspink

Principal (Acting)

Bus Incident

On February 29th, 2016, during the Grade 3 Swim to Survive Trip, the bus was pulled over by police at Conklin and Blackburn. The police had received a report about the driver's abilities. The bus company sent another bus to bring the students back to the school. The students were supervised by the teachers until they met up with their parents. An investigation was carried out by the bus company and communicated by the transportation department. I can tell you that outside influences, such as substances, were not a factor in the driver's abilities. The bus company will take their own action. The driver will not drive for our school moving forward. I am sorry that this happened to our students on their trip. It was upsetting for them and their parents as they waited. Please contact me with any concerns.

Thank you. Mrs. Clara Anderson

Santa Visits WGES

Santa made a special visit to the students of WGES. Students and staff made Christmas crafts and celebrated the season with our Adoptive Grandparents from John Noble Home. Thanks to the School Council for organizing this event.