With the arrival of October, the first month of school has officially ended. On behalf of the entire school team, thank you for your patience and support as we worked to get all of our students off on the right foot. I would like to extend a special thanks to all of our new families. As we continue throughout the year, please reach out regularly and often, if there is anything we can do to help make the year better for you or your child.
The end of September was significant this year, as it marked the first official National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. While “Orange Shirt Day” has been growing in popularity and awareness for a few years now, the sea of orange throughout our community and across the country was unmistakable. During the week, our teachers and students worked together toward a deeper understanding of the generational experiences of our First Nations brothers and sisters – here in the London area and beyond. Thank you to Ms. Janice Nesbitt for her leadership in preparing our students this week. Thank you also to Ms. Alizabeth George-Antone, for helping us and donating the large Every Child Matters flag to our school. Alizabeth is an Indigenous Community Liaison Advisor to the City of London, a member of the Oneida Nation of The Thames and a new Matthews Hall parent this year! We know there is a lot of truth, processing, understanding, and commitment required at all levels of Canadian society to truly achieve lasting reconciliation. We hope, in some small way, that we have contributed to this important national discussion and that our children will eventually become ambassadors of national healing.
The fall in Canadian schools is also marked by the annual “Marathon of Hope” inaugurated by our heroic fellow citizen, Terry Fox. The story of Terry’s illness, determination, and courage continue to inspire a new generation of Canadian students each September. This week, every one of our students and teachers, young and old, joined Terry on his perennial quest by running or walking along the route behind our school to raise funds for cancer research. With your help, little Matthews Hall raised over $11,000 toward this very worthy cause. Thank you to Mr. Whitmill for ensuring the event’s success and to each of you for your financial support!
As October gets going – the first true month of fall – we will prepare for Canadian Thanksgiving, which is only a few days away. This month will go by quickly, as we continue the preparations for our fast-approaching renovations. A large wing of our original school building is soon-to-be transformed into a state-of-the-art Early Primary Learning Centre! You will see some storage containers arriving next week – the first of several ongoing signs that our exciting renovation project is preparing to launch.
Please continue to watch for important updates and special instructions, as October gets underway.
And rest assured that student safety and learning will remain priority Number One, as we welcome the next important phase of our campus master plan.
Best wishes for a lovely autumn weekend!
Ric Anderson, Head of School