Orangeville, ON | Grades JK - 8 | Shortlist
My children got along fairly well, considering my son is on the spectrum and my daughter has learning difficulties. Socially this area is harder for both of them, but I feel the school handled things very well for them. Next year my daughter wants to sign up for chair stacking duty and this year she was in her class play with the role of a bird, she really enjoyed that. Behind the scenes there, was some in-class bullying that did cause some anxiety for my son because he is on the spectrum. But I think he handled himself fairly well, the school was there to support him during those times. In any school, this will always be a problem, but I feel OCS took the time to hear our concerns and helped us find the right solution to the problem.
OCS has approximately 100 students. This is the perfect size to have programs and sports teams and yet still feels like a small school where everyone is friends. One thing we have loved about OCS is how the big kids look out for the little kids. This has been a great thing for them. They also have a reading program where the older grades read to the younger grades. My daughter's reading buddy made her some adorable pictures and she loves to share about her reading buddy with us at home. Our kids have made lifelong friends at OCS and will continue on to high school with some of them too. There is a sense of community among the students and opportunities for parents to get to know each other at different fundraising and school events throughout the year such as the BBQ, yard sale, Golf Tournament, pie-baking bee, and various field trips.
My children developed new, and also strengthened existing relationships with students at OCS quickly when we joined. When you walk in the door of the school you see a list of responsibilities that have been assigned out to students for a given time frame - allowing them to engage not only with their friends but also with other students and families. I have found that the parents are connected as well with quick calls or text messages to ask about kids hanging out together, going skiing, youth group, etc. This has really helped in securing these relationships allowing them to hopefully reach beyond their years at OCS. I appreciate that the school is not too big, and especially that all children (regardless of gender and age) are encouraged to play safely together. My children come home and talk about games played on the playground - they played TOGETHER with their friends (SK, GR5 and GR7). In our old school these children were physically separated and never saw each other until bus time. My Gr. 7 son's friends high five my SK daughter in the morning and say good morning to her by name - we love that!