Back 2 School: Checking in with administrators
Before students and even teachers get back to school many others are hard at work preparing classrooms, offices, cafeterias and more. One of those people is Daniel Belanger, principal of Trafalgar Elementary.
Belanger has been the principal at Trafalgar since 2021, prior to this role he served as principal at Douglas Elementary for three and a half years. As an administrator, he is experienced at creating a welcoming environment for students and staff to develop and learn. “Administrators prepare all the materials so they are ready in the classroom for teachers. Making sure that a Kindergarten class doesn’t have the materials for a grade five class.”
For the first week, classes are the same as the previous year because, like many schools, one of the big logistical challenges is understanding what final enrolment numbers will be for the school year. Over the summer, many students and families move in and out of the school’s community which changes how classrooms look in the fall. “There may be a similar number of students leaving and enrolling, but if many of the students leaving are in same grade it can make things more complicated” Belanger explains.
There are some programs that have more movement than others. “At our school, we have three different programs. English programs have more students coming in and out, which leaves a lot of fluctuation to adjust for, but the French entry point is Kindergarten and Grade 1, so it’s more stable and consistent,” says Belanger.
While it is sad to see students and staff leave, an exciting part of this process for the Trafalgar principal is meeting the new faces he will get to know throughout the year. “It is great welcoming the new families and new staff. Especially at the beginning of the year, there is a lot of emphasis on this.” Belanger adds, “I am excited to work with a completely new resource team in collaboration with my new vice-principal, Madame Kateryna McNicol.”
As the first week is now underway, Belanger and his team are finalizing teacher assignments and confirming which students will be in which classrooms. For the staff and students all over the District this time of the year will always be a busy, but it remains a time full of optimism and excitement.