A Little About Us
The Leo Baeck Day school is a Reform Jewish Day school that offers a Kindergarten to Grade 8 program. As an accredited International Baccalaureate World School (IB), ours is a child-centred environment where students are encouraged to think critically about the world around them and make positive choices. We are thrilled about, and grateful for, our new campus. Leo Baeck students are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to grow and learn in a facility and community that has so much to offer. We are excited our students will begin classes at the Arlington site in the fall of 2012.
The Arlington/Cedarvale Community
We are very happy to be part of this beautiful and vibrant community and are working, and will continue to work, with our neighbours to ensure a strong and lasting relationship. An important part of that relationship is ensuring our plans for the School are communicated and transparent to the Community. To this end, members of the Leo Baeck team have walked the Cedarvale neighbourhood, knocking on doors and introducing themselves to neighbours, dropped off written material about our School, attended social gatherings with neighbours, and participated in two Community meetings hosted by City Councillor Joe Mihevc. The first such meeting was held on January 23 and the second on April 3, 2012. We were especially pleased to witness, first-hand, the incredible community support we received at the April 3 meeting. There, we presented our plans for the School and received thoughtful and encouraging feedback. For those who were not able to attend the meetings, here is an overview of what was presented:
Arlington is a dynamic facility which will provide our School with room to enhance the type and breadth of programming we provide for our children. We want the community to benefit as well, and our plan is to share our School building with our neighbours to enjoy. If Community members have a club or sports team that needs a home or a place to hold meetings, we are happy to discuss this. Enhancements the Community might utilize include:
- Seminar rooms for classes and meetings
- Large double gymnasium with a new floor
- Art studio with natural light and space
- Drama studio
- Music studio complete with practice rooms designed specifically for vocal and instrumental learning
Play Area for Younger Children
We love the natural environment Cedarvale Park affords us all. As such, together with the City and a landscape architect, we are designing a beautiful, outdoor, environmentally friendly and safe play area directly behind the School. The play area will be designed for younger children (in that the play area across the road is designed for older children) and comply with all of the City’s safety and environmental requirements. The cost of this wonderful new play space will be borne by the Leo Baeck Day School. However, we welcome and encourage the entire community to enjoy it.
Multi-Purpose Sport Court
A fun, multi-purpose sport court will be located behind the school. The court’s surface will be safe and environmentally friendly. Like the play area for younger children, the sport court will be paid for by the School but available to the Community as well. Ideas about what sports are best suited for the sport court are warmly welcome.
Q: Is City money being used to build these play areas?
A: No. As we mentioned above, Leo Baeck is paying for the construction of the play spaces. Unfortunately, there is a misconception that taxpayers’ money will pay for these areas. This is false. It has always been the case that the Leo Baeck Day School is paying for these improvements, at a cost of approximately $500,000.
Q: Is the City giving the School anything in return for paying for these play spaces?
A: No. Children need a place to play and we want to provide something beneficial to our students and all of the children in the Community.
Q: Why can’t you put a play area on your own property?
A: There isn’t much land around the School and little space for play areas. We have proposed play areas not just for our students, but for the entire Community to use and enjoy.
Q: Will a fence be erected around the softball diamond?
A: No. We heard your concerns during the January 23, 2012 Community meeting and have taken that suggestion off the table.
Q: What will the fence look like around the play area and sport court?
A: We are working with the City and our landscape architect to ensure fencing is safe and secure without compromising the natural environment.
As mentioned above, an important part of any strong relationship is communication and transparency. If you would like more information about our School and our plans or have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact our Head of School, Eric Petersiel. Eric can be reached at: email@example.com