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Campion receives the Premier's Award for Accepting Schools
St. Edmund Campion Secondary School receives the Premier's Award for Accepting Schools for their dedication to increasing student voice, parental involvement and building community partnerships
On May 8, the Ministry of Education announced that St. Edmund Campion Secondary School in Brampton was chosen as a recipient of the 2017-2018 Premier's Award for Accepting Schools.
The Premier's Awards for Accepting Schools are awarded annually and recognize schools that have demonstrated initiative, creativity and leadership in promoting a safe, inclusive and accepting school climate.
St. Edmund Campion Secondary School is being recognized for its effort towards creating a new sense of identity and culture for the entire school community.
Using the school's Catholic virtues as a foundation, St. Edmund Campion built a new, inclusive and self-aware identity through the following initiatives:
- Campion Social Inclusion Group: This student-led group promotes the inclusion of all people and has "We All Belong" as its motto. The group promotes an anti-bullying message in which acceptance and a celebration of differences is seen and not just discussed. The group partnered with staff to facilitate the "Myths of Mental Illness" awareness campaign.
- Campion Speak Up Student Leadership Group: This leadership class was created to educate students about social justice and give them leadership skills to "give back" at the school, local, and global community level. The group reached out to local non-profit, "Bullying Brave" for training on what it takes to get involved, while staying safe. The group worked with the school's social worker to identify healthy relationships and created a "Speaker's Corner" where students can share their experience of being a Canadian.
- Youth Empower Students for Mental Health (YES4MH): Students partnered with Peel Public Health and other schools across the region to establish the YES4MH Initiative. YES4MH focuses on promoting mental health, reducing the stigma of mental health and preventing substance misuse. A symposium with students, parents and staff was held to debunk mental health myths.
The changes have helped many more parents/guardians to get involved at the school. The school's Catholic School Council grew from seven parents to 20 parents/guardians, two students, two teachers and the school's administration at all meetings.
A partnership with a community centre boosted student enrolment in after-school programs and provided part-time student jobs. Parents/guardians are encouraged to apply for grants and run "Parent Connections" nights.
"Our school community is honoured to be recognized for our efforts by the ministry," said Peter Cusumano, principal. "We are so glad that our message of inclusivity and civil discourse has been given the opportunity to reach others across Ontario through this recognition."
Additional information on the Premier's Award for Accepting Schools can be found on the Ministry of Education website.