There have been a lot of recent changes to Our Lady of the Angels Catholic School (OLA).
The former middle school had a complete makeover this summer, turning into a suitable school for younger students. Just under half of the St. John XXIII students moved over to OLA to become a new elementary school.
The goal for the new staff was to not only move the younger students in, but to change the feeling of the entire building.
"We had to really come in and take a look at it from a little kid's eyes," explained Mme Pamela Gravelle, principal of OLA.
Many small changes were made to the school to achieve the younger feel. Murals that portrayed the crucifixion of Jesus were repainted to be more age appropriate.
Some of the school's lockers were taken out and converted into coat hooks.
Transitioning has been bumpy but manageable for the staff. While no major issues have arisen from the move, some small details were overlooked.
One of the school's portables was moved over to St. John Paul II. It wasn't until the school year started that the staff realized the outdoor speakers were attached to that portable, so students could not longer hear the outdoor bell.
"We needed to get the speaker back. After that we could hear the bells. The kids were not very excited about that because their recesses were now just a little bit shorter, since they could use the excuse of not hearing the bells and spent a little bit more time outside."
The kindergarten hallway doesn't have a door, since that was also part of the portable. For now, the student just use the front entrance.
The school has also needed to get small items back, like remotes for classroom projectors and paper cutters, that were accidentally packed up and taken to St. John Paul II in the move.
"Just little things like that, totally unintentional. When you're told to pack up, you pack up."
All the EICS schools have been working closely together to fix any of these problems.
Gravelle said that overall student response has been very positive.
"One of the things that they said is that it is quite and it's peaceful and the pace is slower. There were just so many kids in one building, that they feel a lot more at peace and just a little bit more relaxed."
The school's current population is 185 students. Before the move, St. John XXIII held over 400 students.

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