A New Journey for Our School

The St. Michaels University School Junior School has long been known for joyful learning within a culture of excellence. This reputation has allowed our school to grow and to be considered the foremost Kindergarten to Grade 5 program in Victoria. Central to this achievement is the teaching, the students, the community partnership and the physical environment, which have been the cornerstones of the Reggio-inspired approach at the Junior School.

While we love our school and appreciate the continued demand for us from Victoria families, it has become clear that over time our current facilities need to better support our teaching quality and values. As outlined in the Floreat strategic plan, in order to support our ambition to provide the best possible learning environment for our youngest students, we intend to begin a new chapter for our school, with the construction of the Junior School Annex.

In discussion and design for more than a year, the SMUS Board of Governors approved on October 24, 2021, an ambitious plan to build a new two-storey Annex within our existing campus footprint on Victoria Avenue. Assuming we receive a building permit and are successful in our fundraising campaign, the intention is to have our first classes in the Annex at the beginning of the 2023-24 school year.

As Deputy Head of School and Chair of the Junior School Annex Committee, we see the Annex as an exciting opportunity to align our physical spaces with our educational values. In addition to creating six new learning spaces to replace portables and our smaller classrooms, we will create a new Learning Commons (library) that reflects the needs of today’s young learners. Furthermore, we will continue to recognize the importance of the arts to our students’ educational journey, with the creation of a new music room and a new visual arts room

Providing additional space will allow our Junior School to extend, have increased flow to the outdoors, and will mean that many of our existing spaces can then be revitalized and modernized in the ensuing years. We anticipate our current Kindergarten to Grade 5 numbers to remain the same, but the additional space will allow us to offer a Junior Kindergarten program by 2023-24. A Junior Kindergarten program has been long requested by the local Victoria community, and it is a welcome next step in giving children the opportunity to begin their SMUS journey earlier.

Philanthropic support from our community of current families, alumni, alumni parents and friends of the school in the immediate days ahead will be essential to the delivery of this ambitiously timed project. To learn more about the Annex and the opportunity to financially support future generations with a learning environment in which to flourish, please contact Adrienne Davidson, Director of Advancement & Campaigns directly at adrienne.davidson@smus.ca. Fundraising for this project has begun, with some very generous support already received. If we are to open the Annex on schedule we will need to meet the fundraising goals with some urgency, and with your assistance.

As we move forward, we will be sharing more of our plans with the SMUS community. Look out for future invitations to learn more about the Junior School Annex and indeed all of the exciting Campus Master Plan developments at both the Junior School and Richmond Road campuses.

The Journey For Life starts with these first steps.

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