Rosemère, October 19, 2023 –The Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board (SWLSB) is extremely pleased to announce the that the Sainte-Agathe Academy proudly inaugurated its new innovative outdoor classroom yesterday.
Initiated by an elementary teacher and a Community Development Agent who envisioned an enriching outdoor educational experience for students, the project faced numerous challenges, including the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite initial setbacks, the school persevered and started with a first grant of $12,975 from Fondation Tremblant in September 2020. The Ministry of Education then funded the remainder with a $48,076 grant.
Finally, after COVID setbacks, in November 2022, the school team met with the Material Resources and Transportation Department to reorganize and bring this dream back to life. The result is not just an outdoor classroom but, a testament to the power of community collaboration.
“This outdoor classroom is about getting back to the basics and hands-on experience. The project reflects a commitment to providing students with a sanctuary for relaxation and an immersive learning environment. The outdoor classroom and learning spaces, accessible year-round to students from pre-K to Secondary 5, represent Sainte-Agathe Academy’s innovative approach to reducing anxiety levels in its students,” said SWLSB Chairperson, Paolo Galati.
“We must also underline the importance of all contributions, whether through financial support or offering invaluable time and effort. This was a labour of love and proof that small schools can accomplish big things,” concluded Mr. Galati.
Sainte-Agathe Academy’s outdoor classroom stands as a symbol of resilience, community, and the transformative power of education. Embracing the outdoors as a classroom not only expands the physical learning space but nurtures a sense of wonder, curiosity, and connection with nature. In the open air, students cultivate knowledge, as well as a profound appreciation for the environment that surrounds them.
With a workforce of more than 2,000 employees, the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board is the third-largest English school board of the Province of Québec and boasts a graduation rate of 88.3%. Its territory comprises the administrative regions of Laval, Laurentides and Lanaudière. The school board provides preschool, elementary, secondary and adult education, together with vocational training services to over 14,000 students in 35 schools and 4 centres. It also offers business training services.