Elementary Program

Sir James Whitney is a place that values the past and embraces the future. Home, student lodging, school, and community work together to give our students nourishing, stabilizing roots and wings of optimism for expanding and exploring the world.

“Strive & Succeed” is our school motto.

Our school is often a pre-service learning space for people who want to work in the field of education for Deaf children. Often their comments are that they are impressed by our students’ positive attitudes, relationships/behaviours and quest for learning. From Kindergarten through Grade 8, students are encouraged and supported to maintain their confidence and curiosity while building their literacies, knowledge, skills, and understandings of ethical choice making. Rights and responsibilities are kept balanced. Each student has the right to a healthy self-identity, a supporting community, and a challenging education. They also have the responsibility to strive and succeed to the best of their abilities.

Education Program

The Elementary School Program provides a full day program for students from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 8. We follow a bilingual model where American Sign Language and English are languages of communication and study.
We adhere to the expectations of the Ontario Curriculum for Elementary Schools.  Each student in our school has an Individual Education Plan (IEP). Courses are accommodated or modified according to the individual learning strengths and needs of students.
Our students benefit from the American Sign Language (ASL) Curriculum developed within the Provincial Schools and respected worldwide. All elementary students participate in ASL classes and also have the opportunity for ASL tutorials if indicated.

EQAO Grades 3 and 6 Assessment

The EQAO literacy and numeracy assessment is written in Grades 3 and 6

ASL Assessment

All our Elementary students participate in the ASL-PA.  This assessment identifies a student’s proficiency level in ASL and guides educational programming. Results of the assessment are used to:

  1. Make decisions about the kind of intervention a student requires related to the development of ASL.
  2. Determine a student’s cognitive and linguistic readiness for English reading and writing.
  3. Establish a baseline for a particular student’s ASL and English expectations and program.

Social and Emotional Growth

Character Education is a strong focus of the Ontario Elementary Curriculum and a strong focus here at SJW.  Our students are enthusiastic about attending such a historic school. There is a lot of spirit in our hallways.

For the past few years, our campus, student lodging and school, has collectively been involved in a Positive Behaviour Supports Program that we call PAWS (Positive Actions Will Succeed).  Students’ positive behaviour is encouraged and rewarded both on an individual and group basis.  To learn more about this program, visit our PAWS page. 

Several staff members are trained to do Restorative Justice. This practice is used to solve major conflicts and restore trust and friendships. The language and concepts of Restorative Justice are used daily in helping students to process even small disagreements.

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