Our mission is to provide quality educational programs that foster academic excellence, honour our Ojibwe language and culture, and provide delivery in safe and healthy environments.
- Low teacher to pupil ratio
- Special Education Resource, Speech and Language Staff, Counselling Services and Occupational Therapy services.
- Daily 40-minute Ojibwe lesson
- Access to our community library, recreation facilities including the ice rink and computer lab
- The M.K.E.S. Code of Conduct is based on the Seven Grandfathers teachings
- Truth (Debwewin), Wisdom (Nbwaakaawin), Respect (Mnaadendmowin), Honesty (Gwekwaadziwin), Humility (Dbasendmowin), Love (Zaagiwewin) and Bravery (Zoongdeewin)
The Mnjikaning Kendaaswin Elementary School (MKES) opened its doors to the first students in 1998.
It had been a vision of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation to have a purpose-built school to educate the children in the community. The school has, and continues to develop, a vision of creating a unique blend of Anishinaabe culture and tradition with excellence in educational attainment. The teacher to pupil ratio is relatively low when compared to area schools. This has enabled MKES the opportunity for small group teaching opportunities.
The school has a full time Special Education Resource teacher, a Special Education Resource Support Worker and many other student support structures. We employ the services of a Speech and Language Pathologist and CDA, who together provide services to students three days each week. MKES also provides Occupational Therapy services and Art and Play Therapy.
Staff and students have access to our community library on a regular basis. The teacher librarian provides programming in the fully equipped computer lab.
The recreation facilities, gym and ice rink, located in the Mnjikaning Arena and Sports Ki (MASK) in the adjacent building, are used by students at the school.
The school is further supported by the Chippewas of Rama Culture, Social Services, Recreation and other departments.
The teaching and learning at MKES is presently based on the Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum frameworks but every opportunity is explored to incorporate First Nation culture and heritage into the school curriculum.
The current school enrollment is 140 students. The students are divided between 10 classes from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8. To support the students of the school, MKES currently has two Early Childhood Educators, 8 Educational Assistants and a Mental Health Educational Assistant. The School employs the services of a Math Teacher, a Physical Education and Health Teacher and a Science/Technology teacher to provide a ‘hands on’ approach to these subject areas.
The school works on a Balanced Day system following the Simcoe County District School Board academic calendar. Students in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 3 are involved in a ‘Reading Together’ program that encourages reading at home.
The students in Grade 3 and Grade 6 take the EQAO assessments. The Canadian Test of Basic Skills (CTBS) is administered in September/October to all students from Grade 1 to Grade 8. These two assessments form the majority of the student, cohort and school assessment data. Each student has an individual tracking sheet that is updated annually to record these assessments and the rate of progress.
The students participate in a full range of extra-curricular activities, basketball, volleyball, baseball, free throw, cross country, floor hockey, choir, hockey, track and field, art and craft among others. We have sports teams representing both intermediate and junior age ranges.
The older students attend Leadership Camp (Mgizi Nawaadaa) for 3 days in September and attend the Aboriginal Camp Choice at Humber College in the summer term. Grade 6 students at MKES host an annual ‘Youth Teaching Youth Day‘ where Simcoe County District School Boards schools are invited to participate in a day’s cultural activities. Senior grades at the school participate in the Heritage Fair organized by the Simcoe County Museum. The students produce displays showcasing their research of First Nation culture, heritage and traditions. MKES is proud to have a Boy’s Drum group and a Girl’s Hand Drum group. Drumming is organized through the Culture Department. Sharing Circles are held regularly in classrooms and facilitated by the Mental Health Educational Assistant.
The students participate in Rama’s Remembrance Day Service and the MKES Choir often performs at local and regional events. Grade 5 students take part in the D.A.R.E. project organized by Rama Police Services. MKES provides opportunities that enhance education and develops a holistic approach to learning.
The school has a Director of Education, an active Parent Advisory Circle that meets monthly and a Community Education Governance Circle CEGC comprised of members who oversee general education in Rama First Nation.
In 2017 the community voted to become part of the Anishinabek Education System (AES) which is independent through a self-Governance agreement with 23 other First Nations in Ontario and the Federal Government. This system offers an Anishinabek approach to learning and more.
The school newsletter is distributed monthly to school families.