Conestogo Public School – Home of the Colts
Conestogo Public School is located in the village of Conestogo, a small community in Woolwich Township, five minutes northwest of Waterloo. Some of our students live in Conestogo and walk to school while many travel by bus from one of the surrounding villages: Bloomingdale, Maryhill, West Montrose, or Winterbourne.
The current Conestogo Public School opened in 1904 as a two-room schoolhouse housing students from grades one through eight. During the 1950s and 1960s two additions were added to the structure. In 2003, an addition was completed and students from Winterbourne Public School were moved to Conestogo Public School. In 2020, the most recent renovation work included a brand new gym floor, a new office area including Principal’s office, some changes to classrooms, and the addition of air conditioning to a number of classrooms.
There are approximately 210 students at Conestogo Public School in 2021-22, including students in the Remote Learning program. Most of these students will attend Conestogo for their entire elementary school career. The majority of our students head to Elmira District Secondary School for high school.
Our Staff and Academic Programs
The Conestogo Public School staff of 23 is a talented and dedicated group of individuals. Our teachers deliver quality programs to our students and bring their own unique interests to the classroom to enhance educational programming. Strong classroom learning is enhanced by instruction from specialists; many of our teachers hold additional qualifications and specialist designations in their areas of expertise. These include areas such as French, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Reading, Special Education, Guidance, and Visual Arts.
In addition to the quality programs delivered in our classrooms, we have several programs that enhance student learning. Strong Start (Letters, Sounds, and Words), and our Home Reading program help our youngest students become better readers. In the past, we participated in the Tutors in the Classroom / Kids2Learn program and a co-op program with EDSS.
Special Education Programs
At Conestogo children with special learning needs spend most of their time working in the regular classroom. There are various itinerant WRDSB teachers that work with our students. Sometimes children are withdrawn from their classroom and work with our Special Education Resource Teacher in the Resource Room (Room 13). We have some specialized programs to support reading such as Early Literacy Intervention (ELI), Empower Reading and Corrective Reading. Our Educational Assistants help individual and small groups of students inside and outside of the classroom. Some of our students attend weekly area enrichment classes and in-school enrichment students participate in blogging and differentiated instruction in their classrooms.
Facilities and Resources
Our building is a combination of the historic and the new. The original two-room school house (circa 1904) has been added to three times over the past 100 years or so; most recently our primary pod was attached. We have 10 classrooms within the building; the portables are not used this year and will be removed. There is a Special Education resource room, a gymnasium, a library, a technology shop (not being used during the current pandemic) and an art/music room (also not being used yet this year). We have one of the largest schoolyards in the Waterloo Region District School Board! Our playground has two creative playground structures, a primary play area, a full size soccer field, a basketball field and a ball diamond. We have a lot of mature trees, a fabulous shaded bench and an outdoor classroom. Many of the trees on our property are beyond the century mark in age.
In a regular school year, there are opportunities for our students to get involved in extra-curricular activities at Conestogo Public School. Our grade seven and eight students have been able to play on school teams, competing against students from other schools. Our teams have participated in Girls’ and Boys’ Volleyball. Junior and intermediate students were able to join a running club in the fall and spring. All of our students had opportunities to participate in the Forest of Reading Program. This book club gives students the opportunity to read fiction and non-fiction books at their own reading level. Many of our students take on leadership roles within our school. Students in grade eight volunteer as members of our Leadership group. Other students can become bus patrols, classroom helpers, pizza helpers, recyclers, helpers to Kindergarten students getting on the right bus daily and take on other jobs within the school.
The Conestogo Public School School Council is a dedicated group of parents determined to enhance the educational experience of Conestogo’s children and encourage a sense of community within the school. The School Council usually meets on the second Wednesday of each month.
Over the years Council fundraising has provided money used to directly benefit our students. Money is used to support our literacy programs, provide equipment for our school yard, support special guest speakers and performances and provide funds to purchase technology. In addition, the School Council promotes, supports, and plans school community events such as our Meet the Teacher evening and Fun Fair in September.
There are several parent committees that look after such things as fundraising, safety and school gardens. In addition, sub-committees are struck to help out with special concerns and special interest parent nights.
Our students and families are very generous. Conestogo students participate annually in the Terry Fox Run, and Jump Rope/Hoops for Heart. We collect food and clothing items to donate at Christmas and also collect supplies for the Humane Society.