Four 11-week-old puppies visited grade three classes at Pope John Paull II, St. Louis School, and École Ste-Marguerite Bourgeoys to help relieve student stress during EQAO testing.

“I hope it just brings them a little bit more joy on a day that we know can be a little bit tough on them because they’re stuck in the classroom all day writing EQAO.” said Mental Health Lead, Sue Devlin.

The inclusion of puppies during EQAO testing was a partnership between the Kenora Catholic District School Board and It’s A Dog’s Life, which is a local dog fostering and adoption network.

“I thought it was nice they they did that. There’s a lot of work in the test and the puppies calm me down,” said grade three student Lily Johnson from Pope John Paul II.

“The puppies have been visiting the schools over the past four years. Since then, there has been an effective change in how students are handling the testing,” said Sue Devlin.

“We shifted the lens of EQAO and now we’re hearing they’re excited for it because now they get to spend time with the puppies. We’re glad we’ve taken away some of that stress often associated with EQAO,” added Devlin.

Join us in celebrating these three schools for ensuring student mental health and wellness is a priority.