An exciting new partnership between the St. Clair Catholic District School Board and St. Clair College will improve educational opportunities for students of both organizations. Under the new partnership agreement, a shared learning apace has been created in a Full Day Kindergarten (FDK) classroom at St. Ursula Catholic School in Chatham, which will serve as a lab school for the college's Early Childhood Education (ECE) students.
"This new shared learning space in a classroom setting will offer real hands-on experiential learning for our ECE students," says Mark Benoit, Chair, School of Academic Studies for the St. Clair College Chatham Campus. "We are pleased to be able to offer this unique educational opportunity to our ECE students, thanks to our on-going partnership with St. Clair Catholic."
"Through this successful partnership, we hope to develop further student pathways and connections to the college for both elementary and secondary students in our Catholic schools," says Dan Parr, Director of Education for St. Clair Catholic. "We also see opportunities to support further learning for our FDK teaching teams, not only at St. Ursula, but across the district."
The shared space model will bring more than 60 first and second year ECE college students to the FDK classroom this year. The classroom is furnished through funding from the college and through community donations. The project is a reality thanks to the vision and collaboration of St. Clair College Professor Brenda Huff and Brenda Corchis, Coordinator - Elementary Curriculum and Early Years Lead with St. Clair Catholic.
In the photo, helping FDK students to cut the ribbon officially opening the new shared learning space are (L-R) Dan Parr, Director of Education, St. Clair Catholic; Laura Callaghan, Superintendent of Education, St. Clair Catholic; Kelly VanBoxtel, Principal, St. Ursula Catholic School; Ashley Lalumiere and Kari Maw, First Year St. Clair College ECE Students; St. Clair College Professor Brenda Huff; and Mark Benoit, Chair, School of Academic Studies, Chatham Campus, St. Clair College.