Innovation & Empowerment

A Journey at Great Lakes Public School

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Our School

Rich in diversity, Great Lakes Public School is a K-8 school with almost 800 students. It is a community comprised of first generation immigrants who have arrived in Canada with hopes, dreams and aspirations for themselves and their children. With 27 languages spoken at home, we consider ourselves representatives of a global community. The majority of our parent community does not speak English at home, but they place a high value in their child's education. In 2014, Great Lakes was rated ‘Somewhat High’ on the Social Risk Index, with 60% of the school population being English Language Learners (data from Research, Accountability and School Success Planning Document). The community perspective of educational practices comes from previous experiences from their countries of origin, which emphasized rote teaching, worksheets, spelling tests, and hours of homework.



At Great Lakes, a cohesive staff of 50 teachers has embraced the challenges of teaching a diverse community of learners. Administration, teachers, and parents have formed a partnership to create a safe and caring environment where students feel welcome. According to a recent survey, over 90% of our parents believe that their children feel safe, are treated fairly, and that the school respects each others' differences (data collected from the 2013-2014 “Your Voice Counts” Peel Survey).

Teacher Learning

Staff actively seek out new learning opportunities. Professional Development (My Learning Plan, school board created PD), reading educational articles, participating in book talks, and using social media (Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube) are some of the ways teachers are accessing new and innovative ideas.
Great Lakes Tech

Teacher Implementation

Administration encourages risk-taking by teachers. Staff in return, feel comfortable in trying new teaching and learning practices, and encourage students to do the same. Great Lakes strives to ensure that all students feel empowered in their learning process. With collaboration between administrators, teachers, and students, Teachers provide students with the opportunities to gain confidence, take risks, and be in charge of their own education.

Teacher Sharing

With each success, teachers excitedly share their ideas and reflection to the school community through Edu-conferences, Lunch-and-Learns, presenting at staff meetings and professional development sessions, and Collaborative Inquiry.
Ken Spencer Number Talk Video

Teacher Leading

Great lakes staff are frequently asked to share their knowledge and experiences with other schools, school board representatives, the Ministry of Education, and the community


Teachers are continuously learning and adding to to our school by enriching their teaching with the most up to date and innovative practices that they find from sources within our school, within the board, and within the world. Our administration has created a safe and collaborative environment for sharing our new learning which has increased the teacher capacity at our school exponentially.

Promising Practices in Mathematics Learning and Teaching - Play all

At Great Lakes, we recognize the important role that our parents and community play in student success. Parents are seen as valuable partners in their child's learning. Over the last few years, Great Lakes has held several special nights where students, parents, teachers, and administrators connect and have meaningful conversations about learning. Through various teacher initiatives in our community, we are able to strengthen relationships with parents, empower students, and make a difference in our community.


Some of the highlights of teachers sharing at our school are included below.