J W Gerth Public School opened its doors for the first time to students on September 2, 2008. Our school is named in memory of Bill Gerth, a former Director of Education at the Waterloo Region District School Board from 2003-2006. Bill was an outstanding leader who always had the students’ interests at heart and based all of his decisions on what was best for them.
It is with this in mind that we developed the mission statement:
Where Students Come First-ALWAYS!
Our school is located in the growing community of the Doon South area in Kitchener. The interior of the school was inspired by the painting “The Red Maple” by A.Y Jackson, a member of Canada’s Group of Seven artists. The colours are warm and inviting and make for a wonderful, welcoming learning environment. Out front stands a red maple tree, a gift from the staff at Brigadoon Public School, as half of their student body left to attend J W Gerth PS.
We are also lucky to have a YMCA Child Care Centre attached to our school, complete with a safe separate play area for all children who attend.
Our school welcomes JK-6 students and we have approximately 557 students. Students at J W Gerth PS come from many different countries and enjoy learning about the diverse backgrounds of our student body.
JWG is a TRIBES School
Our school is a TRIBES community. All staff have been trained to use the strategies and agreements, which help to build a positive sense of community, school climate, interpersonal and social skills, as well as providing teaching strategies that address the various learning styles of our children. The students, as well as the staff of J W Gerth Public School, follow the four TRIBES agreements: Attentive Listening, Appreciation, Mutual Respect and Participation. Students from J W Gerth PS will attend Doon Public School for grades seven to eight and move on to attend high school at Huron Heights Secondary School.
At J W Gerth PS we are privileged to have an amazing staff who are positive, dedicated, engaged and student-focused. Not only do they provide excellent academic experiences for our students, but also willingly devote many hours of personal time to provide the students with extracurricular opportunities. Our support staff is also second to none and works by the “students come first” motto as well.
Parents and Community
The School Council meets on the last Wednesday of the month, starting at 7:00 in our school library. Staff and parents work together to make decisions, which will enhance and promote a safe and happy environment that is inclusive of all individuals in our school. We are fortunate to have a community of positive parents who are involved in our school. We welcome new members to our School Council and hope that our new parents will join us.
We have a large number of technology tools for student and staff use (i.e. ipads, ipad minis, Chromebooks, computers, data projectors and document cameras, digital recorders)
We also provide the Early Learning Program for Grade 1 students, and EMPOWER for Grade 2/3 students . Opportunities for enrichment are offered as well. Our Special Education Resource Staff also provides wonderful support to students, parents and staff and work closely with all to ensure success for all students, regardless of their learning needs.
There are many opportunities for students to become involved in extracurricular activities here at JWG. Music and sports activities such as primary and junior choirs, junior bucket drumming, primary running club, junior basketball, and primary and junior soccer are just a few of the activities in which our students can participate. We encourage our students to come out and join in these fun activities and learn new skills and make new friends.
Safe Schools Initiatives
At J W Gerth Public School our Code of Behaviour is based on the four TRIBES Agreements:
Participation: Right to Pass
Appreciation: Use Put Ups
We also believe in ‘Bucket Filling”, where we treat others with the same respect we wish for ourselves and know that when we don’t, we empty our own ‘buckets’ and those of others.
We also believe in and promote a Growth Mindset, believing that by trying difficult tasks and making mistakes, we actually can grow our learning capacity. If you want to hear more, google Growth Mindset. It is amazing how it will affect how you view new tasks and skills.
At JWG, we have full-day kindergarten, Grade 1 -6 French Immersion, as well as 1-6 English classes.
Facilities and Resources
J W Gerth Public School is a beautiful building built with children in mind. The large windows allow for natural light to flow through the whole building. All of the classrooms at JW Gerth PS face the playground, providing an enjoyable view for everyone inside.
The classrooms are formed around pod areas that are used as shared spaces for various learning activities. The school is a two-story building that includes an elevator for those requiring assistance. The library is located on the second level and is a beautiful open space with lots of windows. We have a large double gymnasium with a folding wall to allow two classes to have their own half.
There is a large outdoor play area for children to use while on break with 4 creative elements for the children to enjoy. Our “Wolves’ Wonderland” schoolyard has been ‘greened’ through the hard work of the Greening Committee and has gone from a bare yard to one of beauty with trees, rocks and creative play elements. Landscape Ontario was very generous in its donations of trees, rocks and the labour to plant the many donated trees.
School Success Plans and Initiatives
The staff at J.W Gerth Public School are all involved in developing the School Success Plan for each school year. Our focus is on helping all students improve their communication across the curriculum, which is consistent with the WRDSB’s goal. Consistency in assessment, evaluation and reporting practices amongst the grades is encouraged and practised by staff. Collaborative planning of units and professional dialogue about the success of all students is ongoing. Our School-Based Team meets weekly to discuss concerns and develop short term, targeted goals for students with extra needs so that we can ensure success for all.