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About Our School

December 15, 2017

About Our School


Hello!  Welcome to Golden Learning Centre


Golden Learning Centre Public School is located in the mining community of Balmertown, Ontario.  Golden Learning Centre serves the communities of Balmertown, Cochenour, McKenzie Island, and the northern side of the Chukuni River subdivision.

Our address is:

Golden Learning Centre
16 Mine Road
Balmertown, ON
P0V 1C0
Phone:  (807) 735-2088
Fax:  (807) 735-3127

School Hours

The school day is organized in the following manner:

School day begins                 8:20
Morning Nutritional Break        10:00 to 10:25          
Afternoon Nutritional Break     12:05 to 12:55
Day ends             2:35 pm


Golden Learning Centre was built in 1991, combining Cochenour Public School and Balmertown Public School.  Although over 20 years old, Golden Learning Centre has maintained a look of ‘newness’.  This purposeful maintenance can be credited to our capable maintenance staff consisting of Dan Berlinghoff, Jennifer Cunningham, Janice Poje and a school culture that promotes pride and responsibility for everyone to do their bit.  This combined effort resulted in a facility award in 2008-2009.  Visitors and newcomers to Golden Learning Centre often comment on the overall condition and cleanliness of our school.

The Library is a large, welcoming space used for student activities, school council meetings, and community meetings.  The gymnasium is used for school sports, concerts, and school wide productions.  Community groups such as Scouts also use the gym on a weekly basis.  The Northwest Health Unit uses our centrally located gym for flu shot clinics.  Golden Learning Centre also has a mini lab adjacent to the library.  Literacy resources are centrally located in the Bookroom.

In addition to regular classes, our school houses a childcare facility and a community toy library and Early Years Centre, which are administered by the Municipality of Red Lake.  The municipality is also responsible for the ice rink and shed located on school property.

Enrolment and Staffing

Total enrolment as of August 30th , 2016 is 165 students from FDEL (Kindergarten) Year # 1 to Grade 8.

Golden Learning Centre has 8 classroom teachers, 1 SERT, 1 FSL teacher, 1 half-time Music teacher and a teaching Vice Principal.

Kindergarten A – Mrs. Sylvia McFee

Kindergarten B – Mrs. Fiona Baranesky and Ms Christine Brown ECE

Grade 1/2 – Ms Candace Wiwcharyk

Grade 2/3 - Mrs. Colleen Borup

Grade 3/4 – Ms Cathy Parsons and Mrs. Erin Zavidil

Grade 5/6- Ms Heather Skedgel

Grade 6/7 – Ms Jennifer From

Grade 7/8 - Ms Katherine MacIver

FSL - Mrs. Erin Zavidil

Music  - Mrs. Maureen Reid

Education Assistants - Ms Peggy Polson, Mrs. Leana Badiuk, Ms Lori Pond

Lunchroom Supervisors -Mrs. Margaret Rousseau, Mrs. Tara Badiuk and Ms Pauline Boivin

Caretakers – Ms Jennifer Cunningham and ms Janice Poje

Maintenance -Mr. Daniel Berlinghoff

Library Technician - Ms Lana Williamson

Administrative Assistants – Mrs. Pam Bulawka and Mrs. Nancy Hay

Vice-Principal and Special Education -  Mrs. Doris St. Jules

Principal – Mrs. Debra Geary

Programs Supporting Students

Staff and community support a wide variety of extra curricular activities including soccer, cross country running, volleyball, basketball, track and field, travel clubs, dances, bi-annual school wide production, cross country skiing, and breakfast club.  Service learning and volunteerism is also woven into the fabric of the Golden Learning Centre culture.  Initiatives such as the Red Lake Homeless Shelter, Jump Rope for Heart, MS Read a thon, Terry Fox Walk, care for our environment and Grade 8 volunteer hours all contribute to the well-rounded education of our students.  We even have a student created monthly newspaper! Many of these initiatives have come about because of student initiative and voice.

Golden Learning Centre’s school council is very supportive of students. Our school council consists of 8 parent members and 2 student representatives.  School council is very productive meeting the needs of students.  In past years, school council has organized an author’s visit, staff appreciation, and a ‘career day’, where students explored a number of careers related to the trades and the environment.  School council has a number of projects in the works for the future. Updating old playground equipment has also become a priority.

Programming and Curriculum Highlights

Golden Learning Centre’s school improvement planning is a school wide event, with input from staff and students.  Our school improvement plan aligns with the Board Strategic Implementation Plan and Provincial educational goals.  Our school wide focus is to improve literacy and numeracy achievement for students to be prepared for the 21st century employment and citizenship.  We are also committed to early identification of at risk students, academically, socially, and emotionally.

At Golden Learning Centre,  students who require the attention of a caring adult are paired with a teacher/EA mentor who is responsible for “connecting” with that student on a regular basis.  Our at- risk students are reviewed monthly at in-school support team meetings.

Our learning focus continues to be on the reading/writing connection, comprehension strategies, oral language, and problem solving in mathematics.  We continue to focus on assessment as a tool to engage students in their own learning and improvement of learning.  Our professional learning is supported by all teachers as a means to learn more about increasing student achievement.

Golden Learning Centre is also committed to providing students with authentic and relevant teaching and learning experiences.  We endeavour to connect our students to the real world and the issues that evolve daily.  Currently Golden Learning Centre is expanding our commitment to caring for our environment. Last school year Golden Learning Centre completed our journey into becoming an Eco Certified School for the fifth year!  Although this is a huge challenge, staff, students and school council are committed to continuous improvement in the areas of waste management, energy consumption, and greening our school grounds.  An in-school Eco Team meets monthly to provide direction to the school as we maintain our certification.  This initiative is supported by the Municipality of Red Lake,  Chukuni Waste Management/Vermi-com posting, and Communities in Bloom.

At Golden Learning Centre we also believe that our students need to develop the use of technology as a learning tool.  GLC students in for every grade four to eight classroom receive a netbook and three Ipads are in each of the grade one to three classrooms. All classrooms also have SMART boards too! Our comfort level with emerging technology and its benefits continues to grow.  Our teachers communicate with parents using email and our website is updated frequently.  Most of our school news and events are posted on our website.

EQAO DATA – 2014 – 2015 DATA  (based on participating students)

Primary Junior