École Waterford Springs School official openingSeptember 24, 2021 Announcement, Community, News Story, School Activity
Amid the sunny skies of late September, Winnipeg’s newest school, École Waterford Springs School, officially opened to serve the growing communities of Waterford Green, Castlebury Meadows, Castlebury Springs, and Northwest Farms. The doors have been open since January and already there are 730 students enrolled with 173 in the French Immersion program. The school, which cost $21.9 million to build, is 76,400 square feet and able to accommodate up to 800 students. It is organized into two distinct blocks connected by a two-story Student Commons space that forms the heart of the school and defines the main entrance.
Guests, both in-person and online, were greeted by Principal Manuel Silva. The Grade 3 class started the official opening using the hand gestures to sign language O Canada, accompanied to the music of the anthem. Connie West-Buck, cultural support teacher and traditional advisor at Children of The Earth High School in attendance to offer an Indigenous blessing on this exciting day for the community. The building houses students from Nursery to Grade 8 English and Kindergarten to Grade 8 French Immersion, as well as the Bumper Crop Early Learning Centre Inc. with capacity for up to 74 infants, toddlers and preschoolers. The daycare also offers a Before and After Program in the school for up to 30 students.
“When you walk into École Waterford Springs School the first thing you will see is a warm and inviting common space marked with a beautiful morning star. This space was designed in collaboration with WSD Knowledge Keeper, Myra Laramee,” shares Principal Manuel Silva. “Looking up you will see the sculpture that represents the Indigenous cultures within Manitoba, designed by local Indigenous artist KC Adams.” The school has incorporated the Seven Teachings of Indigenous Peoples and prominently displays these values at the entrance wall of the school. The school’s unique name was selected in February of 2020 by a committee of parents, students, staff and community members.
Grade 5 student Evan Solis expressed his feelings about being a student at the new school.
“It feels nice being so close to home, and it only take a couple of minutes to get here. It feels cool making new friends because we came from different schools and didn’t know each other. Every day, the new faces are starting to look more familiar,” said Evan. “Being able to see the new school being built was insane. Being the first group of students to attend the school is awesome. Everything is brand new, clean and organized – and we even got to vote for our own school mascot – the Foxes.”
The addition of École Waterford Springs School was years in the making. The property was purchased by the Winnipeg School Division in 2016 in anticipation of the growth and change coming to the area. In 2021, the WSD is celebrating 150 years of learning and its 79 schools, 32,752 students and 4,587 full-time employees. WSD is delighted to add the students and staff of École Waterford Springs School to its ranks and provide a learning environment that fosters the growth of each student’s potential and the equitable opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and values necessary for meaningful participation in a global and diverse society.