Principal's Message

Principal’s Message 

In the Spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, we acknowledge that we are living, learning, and playing every day on the unceded and unsurrendered territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin nation. 

I am honoured to have joined the Lady Evelyn community as your proud principal in February 2022. Words that describe our school include: innovative, collaborative, equitable, creative, kind, welcoming, project-based learning, empathetic, cross-curricular activities, community, “feels like home”, sense of belonging. 

Our school focus is to create a safe and caring environment that allows all students and staff to express themselves confidently and be celebrated for all aspects of their identities. We believe that students need to experience a true sense of belonging, rather than “fitting in” to an existing system. Student voice and creating the spaces for each student to achieve their full potential are foundational at our school. The Indigenous, Equity, and Human Rights Roadmap and Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action underpin the work that we do. We believe that resilience is built through community and that trusting relationships and the value of parent/school/student collaboration are integral in supporting our students. We imbed the OCDSB Character Traits and Exit Outcomes in our daily learning. We are actively seeking to learn, unlearn, and identity and disrupt barriers that are inequitable. 

Since 1905, our school has been a cornerstone of the Old Ottawa East Community. Our school has seen thousands of students, faculty and parents pass through its doors.  The school was completely rebuilt in1993 and is known for its beautiful classrooms, natural light, oversized hallways and common learning areas.  As you enter our school's main foyer you will be met by our central gathering area "Rotunda."  This rotunda is a circular area built around a working sundial embedded in the floor. A skylight crowns the top of the building, and natural light streams down through all three floors. We have a beautiful single gym with a stage for drama presentations.  Outside, our students enjoy a yard that includes a "soy" turfgrass area to play, an updated play structure, basketball and four-square areas as well as a pergola with benches for a quiet reading or art area.

Our school (kindergarten to grade 6) follows a "balanced day" timetable with all subjects taught in English, except Core French.  Our day begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. with three large learning blocks of time, two nutrition breaks and two recess times.    

Lady Evelyn Alternative is one of 4 (Kindergarten to Grade 6) Elementary Alternative Schools in the OCDSB.  We welcome students from the downtown core.  While we follow the Ontario Curriculum, we focus our school practices on the  7 Tenets of the Alternative Program which include:  Cooperation & Teamwork, Innovative Approaches, Balanced Student-directed & Teacher-directed Learning, Multi-age Groupings, Integrated Curriculum, Family & Community-centered School Environment, and Ongoing Assessment and Evaluation.

Lady Evelyn Alternative is fortunate to have an active School Council, Breakfast Club, school sports and clubs. We also have an amazing third-party daycare in the building, Rainbow Kidschool. 

In closing, I would like to share quotes by Lady Evelyn herself, a current Lady Evelyn parent, and Richard Wagamese.

“My idea of a happy world… sharing truth and beauty and the intense delight of being alive because they belong..” - Letter from Lady Evelyn Grey - October 7, 1945

“Not only is Lady Evelyn Alternative our local school, it’s a wonderful choice for our family. Families and community members are so involved within the school that it creates a bright and welcoming environment. That environment of warmth is echoed by the teachers in the classroom. The Alternative school concept allows our kids to complete all of the same work and qualifications as other students in the OCDSB, but in a way that appreciates that kids learn in different ways and walks a balance between teaching our kids and allowing them to complete tasks in a way that intrinsically helps them map their own success. It’s this type of skill that will serve our kids well in the future when responsibility and self-awareness will be so important to their growth and impact on society.” - Submitted by a Parent at Lady Evelyn Alternative School

“From our very first breath, we are in relationship. Relationships never end; they just change. In believing that lies the freedom to carry compassion, empathy, love, kindness and respect into and through whatever changes. We are made more by that practice.”  - Embers (Wagamese, 2016).

We look forward to having you join our Lady Evelyn Alternative School family! 

With gratitude,

Kim Esdaile


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