While it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where it all stems from, Yumi Bognar says she and her family have found there is something different about Halton Hills Christian School, something they didn’t experience at another school.
She has a real hope and belief her son will develop into a confident, responsible and happy young man.
In the one year he’s been attending the Georgetown school, she’s already observed a change in her child, Bognar tells OACS News.
“He’s developed in terms of confidence,” she says. “He almost walks differently, carries himself differently.”
Bognar contrasts this with her son’s former demeanour, when he dreaded attending his previous school.
“Going from anxiety to being really motivated to go to school and enjoying school and being confident, I think that’s a great development that the school has helped him with,” she says.
Bognar says she believes her son will continue to develop in confidence in large part because of the positive, caring environment that exists within the school.
“Starting with the principal, it seems like they are very much focused on providing a very nurturing environment, a very positive environment, and that makes my son feel very secure to go to school, and I think that really makes learning that much more fun.
“The overall feeling is that they all, the teachers, the principal, they all care quite a bit about education in general, as well as their students.”
Bognar says the principal is very accessible, always willing to talk about a problem or whatever needs to be addressed.
“I think overall the caring environment at the school is a real asset,” she says, noting it’s difficult to pinpoint the origin of this caring or why it happens here but not necessarily in other school system settings.
She suggests that the underlying worldview, smaller school size, governance structure and school leadership, especially the principal, likely all contribute.
Bognar adds she has great hopes for the school’s innovative student leadership groups to help shape her son’s sense of responsibility, as well as prepare him for a future career.
Students have to apply to be a part of these extra-curricular groups, indicating what strengths they bring and how they will contribute.
As a member of the team, they then help run various aspects of the school operations, such as recycling or morning announcements, which gives them an opportunity to strengthen their skills in teamwork, collaboration, creativity and innovation, traits that are becoming increasingly vital in today’s workplaces.
Bognar says she is particularly excited about these groups, as well as a number of other extra-curricular activities the school offers.
“The school definitely provides a lot of extra-curricular activity that will benefit the students,” she says.
When the Bognars first applied to enrol their son at Halton Hills, they were concerned about whether he would be accepted, in part because of a learning disorder and mild cerebral palsy.
Bognar says she was hoping and praying the school would take him in and found herself feeling “very happy and relieved and kind of a load off my shoulders when I found out that he was accepted.”
“I was very happy. I had heard a lot of good things about the school so I was very excited to get him involved there,” she says.