Shingwàkons Public School Welcomes Students to 480 Cope Drive

Shingwàkons Public School Welcomes Students to 480 Cope Drive
Posted on 02/01/2023
Shingwàkons Public School Welcomes Students to 480 Cope Drive

On January 10th, Shingwàkons Public School opened the doors to its permanent location at 480 Cope Drive in Stittsville, welcoming close to 600 students from kindergarten to Grade 5.

As the kids walked in the door, there were “oohs” and “aahs” amid excitement to explore everything the new space has to offer. The two-level school, which began construction in September 2021, features a Makerspace/Library, outdoor classroom, meeting spaces, 20 regular classrooms, 8 kindergarten rooms, and a Daycare Centre. Classrooms and common areas have movable furniture, sit/stand workstations, and writable surfaces, giving students the flexibility to collaborate and learn in different ways. 


Pronounced shing-gwa-kons, the school name, meaning “little pine,” comes from the Kitigan Zibi dialect of the Algonquin language and was chosen following a consultation in the spring of 2022. The name is rooted in the belief that the pines in the Algonquin Territory are some of the strongest, straightest and tallest. Their branches are longer facing the east, welcoming each new day as a new beginning. They are a resource and can be used for sustenance. “Little” reflects the young learners attending this school who will grow stronger as they learn and discover.

In this video, Algonquin Elder Albert Dumont shares reflections and a poem about the meaning behind the Shingwàkons Public School name:

Throughout the year, students at Shingwàkons have engaged in conversations about the name’s significance and built connections to Indigenous Knowledge in their daily learning. Several classes have worked with the OCDSB Indigenous Education Team on personalized land acknowledgements, and morning announcements include discussions about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action for Canadians.

As students and staff settle into their new space, they continue to focus on building relationships with one another and the local community. In early February, Shingwàkons Public School will welcome parents and guardians for an open house. The school is looking forward to launching its Learning Commons, which will be a flexible space where students can gather to collaborate, question, problem-solve, innovate, and create. Students are also busy working together to select the school colours and mascot.


When we set out on this journey in February of 2022, we had in our minds “Innovate, Connect, Inspire - Seize the Opportunity!” All of our decisions, from the furniture to the use of common spaces, centred around this idea. We wanted our school to be a space where students were challenged to think creatively, inspired by both their educators and the environment. It is an honour to see it all come together. Thanks to everyone for making this possible. - Principal Todd Thompson
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