For most kids in Ottawa, it was the first week back at school. (Hope it went well for everyone!)
My daughter is just in daycare/preschool and she’s been there off and on throughout the summer so not much changed over here this week. She did get a new backpack and has two new teachers, but other than that, it was business as usual.
But…this time next year she’ll start junior kindergarten and I too will be labeling, lunch packing and leading the little one to the bus. Until then, the man and I are thinking about which school she’ll attend.
Many parents move to the suburbs to access better schools; however, there are actually quite a few great schools in urban Ottawa. We haven’t decided anything yet, but I’m pleased with the options available to us. In fact, if you look at the numbers, the schools with decent reputations are fairly well-distributed across the city.
In November 2007, CBC did a series of fantastic pieces on York Street Public School in Ottawa’s Lowertown neighbourhood. I’ve mentioned this school before because I was a big fan of its playgroup. At the time of the series, York Street was the lowest ranked school in the city, according to the Fraser Institute. It’s come a long way since then and is now ranked in the top 25 in the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.
However, as most parents and teachers will argue, the Fraser rankings aren’t a good reflection of a school’s greatness. There is a lot more that goes into a great school beyond test scores, such as parental involvement, the community, the teachers, the principal, resources, the facilities, programming and of course the kids themselves.
I suspect York Street has a little of that going for it as well…
I remembered reading the series and finding it really interesting and figured it would be a neat thing to share in honour of “back to school.”
Here’s the series from 2007: Miracle on York Street (CBC)
Here’s a more recent piece on YSPS from 2013: Principal for a Day (CBC)
P.S. PPP also has a big list of Central Ottawa Child Care and School resources.