Blackburn Cuts The Ribbon As Wazoson Public School Is Officially Open

Although students have been attending the school since January, Wazoson Public School is now officially open.

The Ottawa Carleton District School Board held a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday.

Holding the scissors was Donna Blackburn, the local trustee who fought to get the school built in Half Moon Bay.

“I am so grateful to the staff and students of Wazoson for making the official opening such a memorable and exciting event,” Blackburn said. “I am also thankful to our Director of Education, Dr. Pino Buffone, OCDSB Chair Lynn Scott, and Councillor David Hill for joining us.”

When the doors opened in January, Wazoson was a building welcoming students for the first time. On Thursday, it was clear that Wazoson has become its own community, with students beaming with pride over their new school.

“We were all impressed with the school choir and the student ambassadors who provided tours to guests,” Blackburn said. “The parents in attendance were beaming with pride.”

OCDSB Director of Education, Dr. Pino Buffone, joined local OCDSB trustee Donna Blackburn at the school’s opening.

The name for the new school was chosen following consultation through the spring of 2023 with students, parents, staff and members of the Half Moon Bay community. Additional input was provided from a member of the Indigenous Education Advisory Committee along with an Algonquin Elder and an Algonquin Knowledge Keeper.

“Determining the name is a significant step in framing the school culture we would like to create,” said Janis St. Germain, principal of Wazoson Public School, when the name of the school was announced. “We want our school to be a safe, caring and nurturing environment for children to thrive. An Algonquin-named school also sends an important message of our commitment to reconciliation and learning about the rich knowledge, history and culture of Indigenous peoples.” 

Pronounced wuh-zoh-sohn, Wazoson is the Algonquin/Anishinaabe word for bird’s nest. A nest is a safe place to nurture the young. Birds of all types, sizes and shapes begin life in a nest. As there is a place for all those different kinds of birds in the natural world, there is also a place for every student in our school. Wazoson Public School aligns with the OCDSB Strategic Plan of social responsibility and well being and embodies care and belonging to our community. This name encourages engagement and connection with the natural world around students.

“The OCDSB is very appreciative of Education Minister Stephen Lecce and funding from his ministry,” Blackburn said. “We look forward to further working with him to ensure the accommodation needs of our growing community are met.”

The new JK-6 school located at 989 Kilbirnie Drive in Barrhaven is dual track English and Early French Immersion. It opened with just under 650 students.

Featured Image: OCDSB trustee Donna Blackburn cut the ribbon to officially open Wazoson Public School.