September 27, 2018
15 students started the school year at RMHC Toronto School
“What floor of the House do you live on Katie?”
It’s a common question new students ask of RMHC Toronto school principal, Katie Doering.
“Because the students live at the House, they think the teachers do too,” she chuckles.
The very question illustrates the special nature of our in-House school.
This month, 15 students are registered in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 9. All of them are children facing a life-threatening illness or their siblings and all of them have been living at RMHC Toronto anywhere from two weeks to 14 months.
RMHC Toronto School, with three full-time educators, enables these children to keep up academically, to make friends and to feel a sense of normalcy in their lives during an otherwise very difficult time.
The first day of school a few weeks ago was like any other school. Students waited outside the doors with nervous excitement. Backpacks were double- and triple-checked for lunches and parents snapped photos of children holding signs announcing what grade they were starting.
“The first week is a special time at any school, and the RMHC Toronto School is no different,” says Katie.
Children love the school.
“I like play and work time,” said a Kindergarten student. “I liked that I get to use toys when I do work.”
“I liked how fun it was to learn,” said another student in Grade 5.
For parents, it offers huge piece of mind.
“RMHC Toronto School allowed us to stay together as a family while allowing us time to spend at the hospital with our other daughter,” said Gillian Hamby, the mother of a grade 6 student who attended last year.
“The School eased my worries about my child falling behind while getting treatment,” said the mother of grade 5 student undergoing cancer treatment.
Last year, the School expanded to begin teaching French and Health, meaning all subjects are now covered. This year, they will also benefit from coding classes, courtesy of a new partnership with Hatch Canada. And, all students from JK to Grade 8 now attend the School from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Donations make the RMHC Toronto School possible, and families are deeply grateful. Thanks to CCL Industries, Citi Canada and the Newlands Family Foundation, as well as recent past donors, the Kavelman Fonn Foundation, Sofina Foundation and the Latifi Family.
Said Claudia Salazar, whose son Pablo took Grade 12 classes at the School while in cancer treatment last year. “I cannot thank the RMHC Toronto School enough for helping me give my son a sense of normality and that not all was lost. Thank you for your support.”
See the RMHC Toronto School in action