When students sit down in their seats for the first day of classes at École Arthur Meighen this week, things will surely feel different.

If you haven't heard, École Arthur Meighen will exclusively be a French Immersion school going forward, as all English students from last year find a new home at Crescentview School.

Principal at École Arthur Meighen, Tracy Vanstone, explains that this transition was only possible due to the hard work from the custodians within the school division installing new cabinets, changing stalls, bathroom sizes and more.

"Enormous work has been done by so many people to make this happen. It's crunch time for us; we have been working really hard to get ready for students, families, our teachers, and our educational assistants. So, it's been a really busy and buzzing place."

Vanstone says the summer was all about flipping two entire buildings to fit their new roles as schools.

"It is such a huge change. About 1/3 of our staff is brand new. We just spent some time last week helping our new rookie teachers. We have a mentorship program where we pair them up with a veteran teacher."

File Photo.École Arthur Meighen

The principal says in any given year, the school always has new faces coming in, staff and students.

"We have so many new kids and new families coming over, so the building will not be familiar for everybody," she continues. "Our goal is to really immerse them, so now we're going to see coaching done in French. We're going to see all of our announcements are assemblies in French, so that's really exciting. It gives students a more authentic experience, so we're excited for that.

Vanstone adds that she has felt a little nervous energy from the teachers as they check off every box, getting ready for the year.

"There's just so much to know to get started, but I think the mood is one of excitement and new beginnings. We're ready to go."

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