A Look Inside the New Desrochers K-9 School

The first day of school in fall 2017 was a memorable one for the Communities of Heritage Valley. It marked the opening of the new Desrochers K-9 school! Principal Danita Power took some time from her busy schedule to show us around the school. Here’s what we saw:

Building Highlights

  • 2-storey floor to ceiling windows
  • Learning commons (library) is open-to-above with 2-storey windows
  • Bright second storey common area above the library for reading and studying
  • 2 gymnasiums, both with 2-storey floor-to-ceiling windows connecting to an inner hallway/spectators area
  • Upstairs hallway has views to the 2 first floor gyms
  • Carefully selected desks chairs (including standing desks and rockers for kids who like to wiggle) — research shows this improves comfort and learning
  • Industrial Arts shop and woodworking lab
  • Food lab
  • Mobile computer lab
  • Music room
  • USB locker ports
  • Fully private washroom stalls
  • LEED Silver accreditation

Using Nature to Learn

The school is nestled next to the 13 acre forest. Teachers will use the forest to support their units on forests and nature! There’s also a second floor patio where children will learn to garden in planter boxes, out in the sunshine.

Child Care

Hooray! The YMCA child care program at the Desrochers school is now open. Get all the info including rates and hours here.

Pre-Kindergarten Special Needs and ESL Programming

The school offers the 100 Voices program serving students with identified special needs. Students are screened for speech, motor skills, and general ability, and qualifying children receive funding. ESL children who speak their first language at home are also welcome so they can practice English in a school setting. You can learn more about this innovative program in this YouTube video. Parents who are interested in taking advantage of this program should watch for when registration opens in January. There are limited spaces!

Growing to meet the needs of the Communities of Heritage Valley

The school is planned with an expanding community in mind. Ultimately, it can accommodate up to 1,000 students. Wow! Feeder Heritage valley communities include:
  • Chappelle area
  • Hays Ridge area
  • Graydon Hill
  • Paisley
  • Heritage Valley area
  • Heritage Valley Town Centre area
  • Allard
You can check out the attendance map for St. Thomas Aquinas here.

A Big Thank-You...

... to School Principal Danita Power for taking the time to walk us through this wonderful community school!
“We are all very excited and happy to be here building community and developing our own sense of who we are at St. Thomas Aquinas.” — Principal Danita Power