The first day of school also means a whole new space for some students in the South Huron region

Students return to class on Tuesday and for some students in the Huron South area of ​​Kitchener, they are entering a brand new school.

Oak Creek Public School will serve nearly 600 students from the area, which has seen significant growth in recent years.

“Standing here, [the area] is still under construction, it’s still in development,” school principal Jeff Johnson told CBC Kitchener-Waterloo. The morning edition.

Johnson said the school welcomes new families who have just moved to the area, as well as other newcomer families. The school also draws students from nearby public schools, including Janet Metcalfe Public School.

“Our school community will be very diverse and we look forward to getting to know them,” he said.

The goal is for the school to also be a “walking school,” Johnson adds, where students walk, ride or cycle instead of taking public transport.

The school has been under construction since the Waterloo Region District School Board received funding for construction in 2018. It is also home to a new daycare center and the new City of Kitchener Community Center.

Kitchener’s Oak Creek Public School is also home to a new City of Kitchener daycare and community center. (Carmen Groleau/CBC)

Johnson said the school board took a modern approach to space design with lots of natural light, wider hallways and a general openness to classrooms and common areas.

Johnson points to some of the key features of the classroom, including flow desks to make it easier to group and move students, whiteboards set to student height, and new flat-screen TVs in the classroom instead of projectors .

“There’s really no ‘front of the class,’” he said, adding that there’s also no desk for the teachers.

“There are workstations for teachers and plenty of table space, but that table space is going to be used to facilitate learning, conferences and small group work.”

Johnson said getting to know his students and their families will be central to building new relationships this year.

“I’m really excited to get started and create this sense of community here in Oak Creek,” he said.