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Fieldstone School:
The Our Kids Report
Grades JK TO Gr. 12 — Toronto, ON (Map)


Leadership interview with Leanne Martin, Fieldstone School

Highlights from the interview

  • Fieldstone is not just about the learning of academics. Academics are very important to Fieldstone, but we also really teach for lifelong learning. So we also have to make sure we include our social growth and our emotional growth and character traits.

  • Our school culture is happy, unique, and inclusive. All of our kids get along to some degree. It flourishes on kindness for everybody, acceptance of everybody, and just including everybody. It's cute because they will say, ‘Ms. Martin says you don't have to be best friends, but you have to be friendly.’ It's a culture that is really connected. It's a really welcoming, inclusive, happy community. The parents are very open, honest, and transparent. I think the same for teachers and admin, we really have an open dialogue with consistent communication. Parents know they can send us an email and we will get back to them. And if they have a time-sensitive issue, they know that they can call the office staff, and our office staff is amazing too.

  • For the core subjects, the curriculum is just so unique and engaging. As a teacher, you can't really ask for much more than to be able to teach a curriculum you really enjoy learning yourself because as a teacher, I always teach myself first and I was loving it. I'm like, ‘I wish I had done this in Grade 1. I wish I'd done this in Grade 3.’ I was really looking forward to getting a solid curriculum that could benefit my students.

  • We have a lot of students recently that have come to the school for a better social group. Friends that will be kind always will include them always. We have students that really strive for inclusion, for kindness, being part of a team, and also allowed to be unique. We're a really safe space for that. Students that are really interested in learning more, being challenged further, and being part of a smaller group where they can be part of a team excel at Fieldstone School.

  • I love spending my day with our students. They come to our school and they say, ‘My goodness, your students are so polite, they're so engaged and kind.’ I always say how lucky we are to have the group of children we do, and supply teachers can attest to that. And we also, when we do go to sporting events, have the referees always comment on how welcoming our kids are.

  • A student that lives the values of the school is definitely the student that always remembers that they can learn more and that they can trust themselves and what they're capable of. That's really important for our school. We are here to help. We don't expect perfection, we expect effort, and we support effort. And also their character is what I call top notch. So their manners are in place. They're following the school rules, the class rules. They're looking out for their friends. They aren't doing something they shouldn't be doing.

  • Alumni are good role models for the students. Alumni often are invited to come and be part of our special events that our students put on. The alumni have attended special events like the end-of-year barbecue, or they've come to the welcome barbecue and just talked about the school and their experiences. The alumni like to come back and visit, especially to see their teachers, which I love, and to see if there's any way they can help students that are there now with the decisions for the future.

  • When we have two students who have had a disagreement or misunderstanding or are just not getting along, we prefer first to talk to them individually, get both sides of the story, and then we will meet with the teachers and get their insight. We will follow up with the parents about the situation and what we're going to do as next steps. Then I always have a follow up meeting. It keeps them accountable, too.

  • The growth I've seen over the many years I've been at Fieldstone is consistent. We always have students who surprise themselves, teachers who just continue to excel at what they do. I love the fact that when we change with the times, we are always looking for what is best for our students and our teachers. My own personal growth, I love that too.

  • The students know to come to my door and that it's always open and I can always get someone to cover my class to still be that assistant head, that admin role to a student in need.

  • We try to have no surprises for our teachers. They love the class sizes, the small class sizes and being part of a small family, and that works for a lot of people. Because we connect so quickly and we're all there for the right reason, which is what's best for the kids.

  • For a student who comes to our school, our first step is always to let them know they belong. So it's, ‘You are welcome here, we're happy you're here. How can we best support you?’ I've seen them be able to continue to move forward. So for a student that might be that they need some accommodations or modifications to their academic expectations. Another student, it might be that they need some more social support because they might be on the shy side or they're unable to verbalize what they really need in the moment.

  • We're on a beautiful campus, a former Toronto District School Board school, and we have a lovely park nearby that we've often used for a mini field trip. We would rent space at the hockey rink nearby and we would get a group of kids together to go play hockey or just to skate, which was really nice. I think overall, we have students coming from all over Toronto, really, but the majority of them are local students.


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