Walsh Public School

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Walsh Public School
Walsh Public School; opened March 1960 (photo taken November 2006)
Walsh Public School is located in Southern Ontario
Walsh Public School
Walsh Public School
Location in southern Ontario
933 Regional Road 3[1]
Simcoe, Ontario, N3Y 4K1
Coordinates 42°45′50″N 80°23′25″W / 42.763785°N 80.390176°W / 42.763785; -80.390176Coordinates: 42°45′50″N 80°23′25″W / 42.763785°N 80.390176°W / 42.763785; -80.390176
School type Public, Elementary school[1]
Religious affiliation(s) none
School board Grand Erie District School Board[1]
School number 586110[2]
Principal Dirk Matthys[1]
Grades JK-8[1]
Enrollment 334 (January 2016[2])
Language English
Colour(s)           Green and white
Team name Whirlwinds

Walsh Public School (formerly known as Walsh Area Public School) is a French Immersion dual-track Public elementary school that is located in the hamlet of Walsh in the municipality of Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada. Children of this school go to the Thompson Auditorium for Monday morning assemblies and special events. The school has portable classrooms for extra classes. Graduates generally continue their education at Delhi District Secondary School, Valley Heights Secondary School or Simcoe Composite School. The school has flat terrain and the infamous Walsh Public School fog has delayed many track and field events in the past.

Courses taught at Walsh Public School are art, geography, Canadian history, English, mathematics, music, environmental studies (junior grades), science (intermediate and senior grades), sexual education (prior to 1996), Quest (peer pressure), and VIP (values-influences-peers).


Walsh Area Public School was constructed in 1959 on an open-field site along the north side of St. John's Road, between the Turkey Point Road and Young's Creek. It opened in March 1960, a four-room school that culminated a five-year consolidation effort that merged four one- and two-room elementary schools within five miles of the village: Walsh, Tisdale, Elmwood and McKnight.[3] The guest of honour at the official opening in September 1960 was Education Minister and future Premier John Robarts. Expansion of the public school came in three phases over the next 15 years to achieve its current configuration. It also had its name shortened to Walsh Public School.

The children of Walsh Public School were involved in an attempt to break the Guinness Book of Records for reading on January 26, 2009.[4]

Until circa 1995, Walsh Public school allowed children to borrow Mad Magazine from the library's magazine department. Hockey Digest along with Sports Illustrated for Kids could also be borrowed from the library's magazine rack. In fact, one student was fascinated with hockey that he borrowed a book in 1992 and didn't return it until circa 1994. Also established in the 1990s were the VIP program that teaches children about responsibility and peer pressure and the Quest program that teaches children about the teen years and social life in general during the students' high school years. In the year 1994, the entire school switched from ARCNET to ethernet which made network access faster to students who did not have to attend homeroom in a portable. Key Bible Club plays a role in developing the morals and principles of Walsh Public School students.

During the start of the 1995–96 school year, the library was converted into an Internet lab where seventh grade and eighth grade students used it primarily for research with the supervision of the librarian or a nearby teacher. Prior to this school year, the library only had one computer that was strictly for research purposes. While it was capable of reading any media in the CD-ROM format, the system only had MS-DOS version 5.0 and Windows 3.1 for its choice of operating systems. However, the summer of 2002 would bring an addition to the front of the school to hold the junior kindergarten, senior kindergarten and first grade students that used to attend Lynedoch Public School. Lynedoch was shut down after the water system was damaged beyond repair.

In September 2011, a new French Immersion program was introduced. By 2019, the school will be a full dual-track school, with both an English and a French Immersion program operating from grades JK through 8.

In September 2013, Walsh Public School started to provide an all-day kindergarten program.[5]



The name of the Walsh Public School athletic teams is the Whirlwinds (they were called the Wolverines in the 1990s). The school competes in basketball, baseball, soccer and track and field (through intramural events and the county meet in Tillsonburg).

The most notable Track and Field day occurred in the year 1996 when a special education student won third place at the relay. Temperatures that day reached 20.6 °C (69.1 °F) excluding the humidex and wind speeds were at an acceptable 8.15 kilometres per hour (5.06 mph).[6]

Nature walkway[edit]

Established in the year 1995, Walsh Public School has a special walkway in the primary/junior end of the schoolyard where visitors and students who are supervised by their teachers can view nature. It is for classroom purposes only and is considered out of bounds during recess. People from outside the school must report to the office (to admit themselves as guests to the school property) before being allowed to use the nature walkway.

Walsh clap[edit]

During the 1990s, Walsh Public School had a special clap used in Monday morning assemblies that was a giant clap with the hands joining together once instead of multiple times. This was to protect the hand from the fatigue of having to clap the hands repeatedly. As of 2008, it is uncertain whether the Big Walsh Clap is practiced at assemblies.

Autism culture[edit]

A relaxation room (dubbed the Snoezelen Room from the Dutch words snufflen – to seek out – and doezelen – to snooze) has been installed on the premises to relax hyperactive children in addition to children on the autistic spectrum who unintentionally disrupt their classes. They often return to their classroom after a few minutes of relaxation in this sensation-filled room without having to visit the principal for disciplinary measures. Soft music is constantly played in the room while children with special needs can either touch or hear calming sensations.[7]

As of the 2015-16 school year, 25% of the school's population suffers from some form of disability which may require the use of the Snoezelen Room.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e "School information". Grand Erie District School Board. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  2. ^ a b "Walsh Public School (586110)". Elementary School Profile. Ontario Ministry of Education. 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2016-03-24. 
  3. ^ Boughner, Elizabeth (1967). Tweedsmuir History of the Walsh Community, 1790–1965. Walsh Women's Institute. 
  4. ^ Record-setting Reading attempt at YouTube, accessed May 8, 2012
  5. ^ Full-day kindergarten at Ontario's Ministry of Education, accessed February 18, 2012
  6. ^ Traditional Walsh Public School Track and Field Temperatures at The Old Farmers Almanac
  7. ^ 'Snoezelen Room' offers place to relax at The Simcoe Reformer, accessed November 23, 2012
  8. ^ Percentage of students with special needs at Compare School Rankings

External links[edit]