It is my honour and privilege to be appointed Principal of Bernie Custis Secondary School for the remainder of this school year (2020-2021). I am grateful for the opportunity to have served as your Vice-Principal since the school’s opening in September 2019 and I am proud to continue the vision first shared by our school’s first Principal, Angela Ferguson and Vice-Principal, Brian Goodram and our exceptional staff and students.
At Bernie Custis, our students are centred and their voices have shaped our school culture and values. Our BCSS Culture Code, embodies the values of what it means to be a BCSS Tiger: Seeking to Know each other; Including all our students in engagement; ensuring our students feel safe so they can participate fully in their learning. With these values, our school will continue to creatively provide exceptional programming to all students. We strive in our commitment to remove the barriers of oppression and racism, so our racialized and marginalized students have equitable experiences and learning opportunities.
Although this school year has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am confident of the many efforts our staff and support staff have made to ensure the safety of our learning environment as outlined by Hamilton Public Health Services and the HWDSB. Our students can safely return to school through the Adaptive Learning Model and to school routines that fosters student well-being and achievement.
In our next steps as a school, I am excited to share some new programming initiatives that will continue to build a positive school culture and encourage our students to think critically and explore their learning:
- Additional experiential learning (new not-for-profit SHSM)
- Make Program – An integration of learning with Math and Science courses
- The offering of Afrocentric courses (Writer’s Craft and Equity)
I invite Parents, Guardians and Care-givers to continue to find detailed information about the school by subscribing to the school website and to join our School Council, where you can provide your input and perspective. You are also invited to call the school if you have any questions or concerns. I believe in collaboration with students, staff and parents/guardians, we can support our students’ towards thriving and succeeding.