2019-20 Ward 8 Highlight Edition Part 2
J.R. Wilcox Community School
Natalie Vine, Principal; Laura Collins, Vice-Principal; Louis Mallinos and Sheyla Fisher, School Council Chairs
We want to thank our amazing students, staff, and families for a wonderful year of learning and community building! We can’t wait to see what we do together next year.
School-Wide Learning Buddies: This year, we introduced School-Wide Learning Buddies. Every Day 5 on our schedule, all students met with their buddies. This time provided an opportunity for mentorship, community building, and learning. Some activities were completed by the whole student body, while others were created by individual classes for their buddies. Our first activity of the year included discussions about hopes for the new year. Other activities included problem-solving challenges, and community walks and talks.
Black History Month: Our Black History Month committee of staff and students worked so hard this year to teach history, highlight influential people in the black community, and create and share art. Our Morning News show shared student-made vignettes of moments in history. Our walls were decorated in beautiful artwork. As part of our work on anti-black racism, we are committed to embedding black history and stories and culture all year long in deep ways. We are grateful to our committee for their leadership and commitment.
STEM Challenge Day: This year we held our first STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Challenge Day. Students were grouped in grade level teams to learn about a problem, and then work through the design process to create a solution. They used recycled and found materials to create a prototype and then each team presented their solution to the larger group. It was Dragon's Den - only better!
John Polanyi Collegiate Institute
Deb Blair, Principal; Catherine Chang and Jennifer Kurtz, Vice-Principals; Liza Stern and Jennifer Arp, School Council Chairs
SMR (Science, Math, Robotics): Panthera Tech 6867 is JPCI’s robotics team which is active all year-round. We had a very successful year in both our competitions and our off-season activities.
Over the course of the First LEGO League (FLL) season, members of Panthera Tech visited FLL teams, and mentored them towards success in their competition seasons, by aiding in building and programming their LEGO robots, strategy planning, and researching and putting together their yearly FLL project. In addition to mentoring, Panthera tech also hosted a competitive FLL event for teams to compete in, over the span of a few months, Panthera Tech put together competition fields, set up match lineups, organized a snack bar, and trained team members to referee matches. As a team, we were able to create a fun and engaging environment for the students from 30 elementary and middle schools to compete in and display their hard work.
Nearing the beginning of the 2020 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) competition season, Panthera Tech hosted teams on the practice field in our shop. Teams were able to practice driving and fine tune their robots and code on our to scale field.
Over the weekend of February 28th to March 1st, Panthera Tech competed in the FRC Durham College regional event. Our team arrived at the event with an incomplete robot, and over the course of the 2 days of active competition, managed to build an effective robot that placed 7th overall, getting eliminated in the quarter finals. At the end of the competition we earned the Judges Award, which is awarded to the team that displays their unique performance, or merit.
Our team also hosted multiple CAD (Computer-Aided Design) training sessions led by our mentor Brian Rasquinha throughout the year. By using the online software OnShape, the team is able to effectively learn the techniques of robot designs in order to apply their knowledge into the workforce as well as in FRC. We transferred these sessions to a virtual platform to engage students while at home. The virtual sessions were led by student leader Patrick Burns.
JPCI’s specialized program, SMR (Science, Math, Robotics), provides a wide array of activities for students to participate in and help enrich their learning experience. By giving students a hands-on learning experience, students are able to connect their classes to real world issues. SMR students were able to visit the PACT Community Garden where they used the compost system to produce a worm farm. In the SMR Tech Design classes, students learned how to program robots using the coding language of Java. Students also explored efficiency of robot designs using the VEX IQ systems. The JPCI Tech Support team also booted up, allowing students to troubleshoot and apply their learning in class to provide tech support for teachers and help maintain school equipment. Science classrooms hosted a local Science fair for passionate students to experiment and research in their interests.
COVID-19 Emergency Fresh Food Box: Our friends in the JPCI / PACT Urban Farm have begun a new harvesting season and have been quite busy. I know many of us were looking forward to the weekly farmers markets, but PACT will continue to serve our Lawrence Heights Community by addressing the unprecedented need during these difficult times. They have developed a COVID-19 Emergency Fresh Food Box Program.
This program delivers a weekly fresh produce box and premade meals to families in need. Each box contains 3 servings of produce per family member, per day, in addition to a nutritious meal which can be eaten as a family at any time in the week. They will be distributing boxes to approximately 400 individuals for the next 2 months, which will include students from John Polanyi CI, Lawrence Heights MS and Flemington Heights PS.
John Ross Robertson Junior Public School
Deborah Stern, Principal; Michael Moore, Vice-Principal; Lisa Chandler, School Council Chair
Tour of Humanity: We were fortunate to have the Tour for Humanity Bus at JRR this year - a mobile classroom designed to inspire and empower people to raise their voices and take action against hate and intolerance. On Friday, January 31, and Monday, February 3, all JRR students from grades 3-6 had the opportunity to engage in a workshop on the Tour for Humanity bus called “Simon’s Story” aimed at enhancing elementary school students’ ability to become proactive members of society by influencing positive change. During the presentations, stereotypes, racism and prejudice were defined and discussed.
Pink Day: We again celebrated Pink Shirt Day with many students wearing pink to show solidarity with those who have experienced teasing and bullying, particularly homophobic bullying and gender stereotyping.
JRR Community: Not even a COVID19 pandemic could dampen school spirit at JRR. Our teachers’ planned 5 community events from April to June aimed at fostering good mental health and well-being and a sense of community (apart but together). The events were:
- Porch Party
- JRR Poster Challenge
- Stay Strong, Think Positive, Be Happy Rock Party
- Summer Fun Community Scavenger Hunt
- Proud to be Canadian
John Wanless Junior Public School
Peter Boross-Harmer, Principal; Rosa Lio, Vice-Principal; Eric Risen and Heather Halnan, School Council Chairs
During Remote Learning, our staff worked on a message to let our students know that we are missing their faces just as they are missing ours. A video and poster were posted to the school website and a message sent to the community.
During the school year, JW students participated in many fun activities where they could earn House Points. At the end of each year, the House Trophy is awarded to the house that earned the most points. The winning house is traditionally revealed during the final Spirit Assembly. This year, however, Ms. Blaney and Miss Sherwood have come up with a fun way to beat the heat, get some exercise, and reveal the House Trophy winner! The two teachers ran through the neighborhood dressed in the winning house colour!
Joyce Public School
Susan Billington, Principal; Anja Lehto, School Council Chair
The 2019-2020 school year started off in a very exciting way for our Grade 4, 5 and 6 students! They had the wonderful opportunity to go on an overnight excursion to the Etobicoke Outdoor Education Centre - Albion Hills. Our grade 6 students eagerly set off in late September and they came back with wonderful stories to tell the grade 4 and 5 students who would be venturing forth several days later. For many of our students, it was the first time they had been away from home without other members of their families. There was so much learning in store for them as they explored the great outdoors! The students enjoyed walking through the forest where they took their own photographs and later came back to paint watercolour landscapes based on their photos. It was exciting to observe the chickens at the Albion Farm and to have the opportunity to observe unexpected visitors such as a groundhog right outside the window. Everyone enjoyed the evening campfire and it was especially fun to roast marshmallows! This was a wonderful time to make new friends and to build strong relationships among their peers and teachers. The groups came back to Joyce PS refreshed, engaged and excited about all they had learned. What a wonderful way to start the school year!
This year, Joyce PS was chosen to become an OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) School after we submitted a proposal summarizing our commitment to maximizing the learning for our students while they play outdoors at recess. The goal as we embarked on this program was to help our students engage in rich collaborative play where they could demonstrate skills in creativity, divergent thinking and problem solving. Staff participated in learning opportunities and we introduced some loose parts for our students to explore.
For the past 3 years, Joyce PS has been involved in the planning stages of a school yard rejuvenation project! This year, we worked through the Master Planning stages of the consultative process. Student, parents, staff and members of the community have all been part of the process. We have already had the garden beds prepared for planting and an outdoor classroom seating area has been installed. Another highlight this year is that we had a new basketball court created for our students. We are now looking forward to the further revitalization of our school grounds in the coming months.
Lawrence Heights Middle School
Juliet Sesanker-Daniel, Principal; Wendy Banhan, Vice-Principal; Khairiya Ahmed and Kisa Hamilton, School Council Chairs
The first three pictures highlights Mr. Saunders and Ms. Kelly with the Grades 8 classes to the Art Galley of Ontario and to the Meridian Arts Center. Both trips were related to the learning goals of providing students with experiences to think about social justice issues in a global context.
The first trip was to the Art Gallery of Ontario. They were interested in the Maori artist Lisa Reihana's installation in response to an 1800s artistic piece,"Les sauvages del la mer Pacifique". As the grade 8s were looking at Indigenous Issues in Canada 1850-1890, this exhibit provided them with more information about Indigenous people's lives in a more global context.
The second trip was solely grade 8A students to the Meridian Arts Center for the Nelson Mandela exhibit - Struggle for Freedom. The students appreciated learning about Nelson Mandela’s struggle for freedom.
The last picture is of our students at the Tim Horton’s Camp. Since 2010, Lawrence Heights Middle School has partnered with the Tim Hortons Children Foundation to take students to a Leadership Camp. The camp is located in St. George’s, Ontario and it completely free for 60 students and 12 staff members. The students visit the camp for 3 nights in the fall and 3 nights in the spring each year. As part of the project, students are required to plan a social justice action project.
Over the years, we have raised money and awareness for Food Banks, Homeless Shelters and the Terry Fox Foundation. The focus of the camp is to develop life and leadership skills and support group growth and connection, which provides the building blocks for youth engagement. The program values include Goal Setting, Peace, Relationships, Teamwork, Challenge, Responsibility, Motivation and Reflection.
In addition, the camp supports student’s wellness and mental health because it provides them with an opportunity to experience a rural life style. We have had over 25 students participate in the five year leadership program as many students have visited places like Kentucky, USA, Manitoba, Alberta and Quebec. The objective of this is to provide students with a two week camp experience over the summer free of charge, to allow them to develop their skills and talents.
Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute
Aiman Flahat, Principal; Stephan Bibla and Ruth Kelly, Vice- Principals; Liz Hanson, School Council Chair
Wellness at Lawrence Park CI: The LPCI Wellness Council and our Student Wellness club have jointly striven to promote a caring school culture with a focus on mental health and well-being through educational, equitable and inclusive events and activities throughout the year. The Wellness Committee (Administration, Teachers, Guidance Counsellors, School Psychologist, Parent Representative and Student Leaders) meets monthly to address topics, discuss strategies and partner with the Student Club to launch activities. The student Wellness Council meets weekly, under the guidance of Ms. Angela Papanicolaou, to:
- Talk about wellness issues and challenges facing LPCI students
- Plan activities and events that strengthen the wellness message
- Coordinate the annual Wellness Week for LPCI`
Over the years The Wellness Council has launched a variety of events and activities including: the sale of “Be Well” bracelets to fundraise, cookie-grams with kindness messaging, mindful eating cupcake competition, December ‘smiles’ bulletin board, running Zumba and Yoga classes, making stress balls, continuing with our Mindful Moment – a time dedicated each day in the classroom to reflection, promoting Walk (or bike) to School Month in October, celebrating Bell Let’s Talk, Pink Shirt Day, and Wellness Week (Kick-off assembly and a week full of free health and wellness activities), free tea on Friday mornings before classes start and so much more!
Major events that we celebrated this year at LP:
- The Terry Fox Fundraiser – we raised over $4800! (September).
- Wellness Fair – Health and Wellness community organizations and Lawrence Park’s school supports came together and provided a fair that all students attended. Students had access to a variety of helpful supports and resources (November).
- LP’s Annual Charity Week – money was raised to support the Chai Lifeline charity. The Wellness Council ran a cookie decorating booth (November).
- Health and Wellness conference at the Rotman School of Management- students attended workshops run by senior business leaders, mental health advocates, medical professionals, and industry representatives to raise awareness and to discuss the impact of mental health on the Canadian Economy (November).
- Bell Let’s Talk - Bell donated towards mental health initiatives in Canada by contributing 5¢ for every applicable text, call, tweet, social media video view and use of their Facebook frame or Snapchat filter (#bellletstalk). The Wellness council invited students and staff to drop by the display case at lunch to write a positive message or take a picture with the Bell Let’s Talk frame. We also ran the Bell Let’s Talk video all day, which donated 5¢ per play (January).
- Pink Shirt Day campaign –an annual movement that began 12 years ago in Nova Scotia when a grade 9 male student was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school. Since then, schools across North America participate in this movement by wearing pink on this day (February 26th). Staff and students wore pink to take a stance against bullying. We also held a free food reception at lunch for everyone to participate in.
- Documentary Assembly for Screenagers. All students watched the documentary called “Screenagers” which explored the link between screen time of handheld devices and social media and how mental health is impacted through those outlets. The documentary was well received by staff and students.
- Wellness Week – usually this major event starts at the beginning of May and includes a kick-off assembly followed by a week of free events, including a BBQ. Due to Covid-19 we had to alter our plans. The Wellness Council set up a Google Classroom where they posted last year’s assembly along with other resources and activities for students participate in.
Lawrence Park CI Equity Conference: Lawrence Park’s Equity Council put together a day-long conference called ‘Voices for Change’ in February 2020. Students from LP were joined by peers from Forest Hill, North Toronto and Northern to learn and share their experiences around equity issues in the their schools. Dr. Jill Andrew was the keynote speaker and helped to kick off the conference with her inspirational words and experiences. Student leaders from LP lead engaging workshops around a variety of topics including wellness, discrimination and LGBTQ+ issues.
Lawrence Park CI - Virtual Classics Conference: Each year, in May, the Lawrence Park’s Classics Club attends the Ontario Student Classics Conference for four days at Brock University. This is an event that we, as a club, prepare for all year, entering in everything from academic events to a Chariot Race, a classically-themed Fashion Show, an Archaeological Dig competition and many athletic events. This event brings the members of our club together into a community where we don’t just work towards the Conference, but we give an opportunity for students with quite different interests to meet and become friends. So, you can imagine our disappointment and sadness when this year’s Conference was cancelled due to COVID-19.
However, while our event was cancelled, the Classics Club wasn’t finished for the year. As we settled down to our period of social distancing, the club executive was determined to maintain touch with our friends in the club, running a movie night, some fun quizzes and, eventually, culminating in holding our own Virtual Classics Conference, May 29-31st, 2020.
This Virtual Classics Conference was conceived and run by our Classics Council. It was a mix of live events (through Zoom) and asynchronous events which were submitted to our Google Classroom. This included creating contests, including questions (sometimes quite difficult ones, too!) and, generally, scheduling the whole weekend. They included competitions like oral mythology, a Kahoot Latin vocabulary, a costume design contest, live workshops about our Fashion Show and Archaeological Dig competitions and fun events like land swimming and even a draw (badly) like Mr. Snider contest.
Ledbury Park Elementary & Middle School
Kari Hudson, Principal; Andrea Gillard, Vice-Principal; Jason Rosen and Rachel Silver, School Council Chairs
As we reflect on Ledbury’s 2019-2020 school year, we extend congratulations and appreciation to our students, staff and families for many special learning opportunities that took place.
One of our ACADEMIC goals this year was focused on teaching students problem solving methods in Math, through open ended questions with the support of technology. We are very grateful to our SAC who continue to prioritize building up access to technology to achieve access one to one tech device per student. We had all classes participate to achieve these goals through our school wide Problem of the Month, Kindergarten through Grade 8 before Remote Learning began. The problem of the month questions and solutions were posted outside classrooms. We continued discussions in our weekly professional grade team weekly meetings to engage our staff in sharing what worked and what will work better as next steps.
A first for Ledbury this year was that our students collaborated in the first Ledbury Robotics club and participated in a competition at John Polanyi high school. It was a wonderful learning experience of collaboration, building Lego robots with tasks to complete and compete against other schools. The intermediate students put forth admirable efforts working through the challenges and accomplishing this together. The skills of communication, collaboration, trial and error, researching how to program the Lego robots to fulfil the challenges, will be helpful skills in future endeavours.
In addressing our WELL BEING Foci, we are grateful to students and parents who assisted by instilling positive student announcements and other Kindness initiatives wherein, students were all thinking and sharing positive messages to help create an even kinder culture at Ledbury. Throughout the year, Well Being Wednesday spirit days helped focus all staff and students to think positive and present thoughts towards others and for themselves. Self-regulating one’s thoughts and aligning them to positive actions, creates a calmer school atmosphere while conditioning everyone to practice positivity to create better habits.
Within our focus on EQUITY, our professional learning community staff meetings with grade teams focused on streamlining lessons with a Universal Design of Learning or UDL. We began and continue to engage in conversations around implicit bias, and privilege to create greater consciousness around inclusive teaching practices at Ledbury. This involves courageous ongoing courageous conversations to disrupt thinking to build open mindsets, and an inclusive approach to all we do at Ledbury.
Ledbury hosted one of the assistant Raptor’s coaches and an equipment manager to mentor students through typical professional skills and drills and teach them about taking care of oneself, about striving to achieve personal best goals and the management of sports equipment. Our primary students learned a lot from this wonderful opportunity.
Staff held lunch ‘n learn tutorial sessions with our students to prepare them for The Hour of Code in December to help explain that anyone is capable of learning basic computer science skills. There is a global movement that reaches across the world to challenge millions of students across the world to learn more about the field of computer science.
As we all experienced the Covid19 Pandemic together by learning Remotely after March break, we all adapted, learned about our personal resiliency and communication in a virtual world. We missed our daily contact with all our learners, staff and families and appreciate the student and staff spirit initiatives that kept us all positive, smiling and connected.
We are blessed to have such a vibrant SAC with many volunteers heading up a wide range of committees and events, constantly supporting through fundraising opportunities and always being positive partners to build student and staff capacity. SAC organized many fun events for students and families before the March break. They sold boxed cards as a new fundraiser this year, along with weekly pizza lunches. The SAC in conjunction with the Principal, Vice Principal and staff, work together to purchase necessary resources to supplement items that are identified as helpful tools for student learning.
With a focus on continuous learning and growth for all stakeholders, we are positioned to continue to go deeper with our teaching and learning, to improve opportunities for every student. We hold high expectations, and continue to reflect on best practices as educators for all our students at Ledbury. We thank our Trustee and Superintendent for their valued support and encouragement during this unprecedented time. We look forward to sharing updates about TDSB’s next steps for learning in September of 2020.
McMurrich Junior Public School
Colin Pinkney, Principal; Lisa Issenberg, Vice-Principal; Kathleen Allan, School Council Chair
1) McMurrich Jr. PS is proud to celebrate inclusivity and diversity. The 2019-2020 school year is when the LGBTQ2S+ Connects Club was formed. The club is comprised of students and staff that engage in conversations about creating awareness of issues to highlight within our community. The club has been so well received that members continue discussions in our remote learning environment!
We have filled our library with resources that focus on the ism’s and have overwhelming support from members of the McMurrich School Council that have formed a Parent Pride Committee. The committee has planned events and consistently shares resources within our learning community to enhance understanding and to learn about Pride and Anti-Racism work.
We proudly raise the Pride flag on our outdoor flag pole year round to show that McMurrich is committed to creating a learning environment where everyone feels empowered and supported.
2) The Remote Learning Environment has proven that even though we are not in the same physical space we have remained united as a dynamic school community.
Within the remote learning environment, classes have continued to support differentiation and student success with a focus on mental health and well-being of all students. Students have had opportunities to take part in wellness activities on-line and have showed their enthusiasm for staying connected with their teachers and classmates.
McMurrich has participated in many Spirit days remotely that have engaged and connected our community. Some popular Sprit days have included, but not limited to the following: Dressing Up as a Favourite Character from a Book Day, Numbers Day, Earth Day, and many more.
The remote learning environment has shown that McMurrich students have improved their digital literacy skills and have used various technological platforms to support their learning and development.
3) As a certified EcoSchool, McMurrich has continued to engage in inspiring activities that build leadership skills for students. Our school community values the environment and has demonstrated that taking meaningful action can address many environmental issues in a positive way.
Our Eco Club has been committed to meeting bi-weekly to initiate Waste Free lunches, creating posters to create awareness about the importance of environmental issues, explaining Waste Audits and making informative announcements school wide.
McMurrich has eco-friendly classrooms, is fully engaged in the OPAL program and has had a growing number of students participating in our outdoor garden. Staff, students and parents/guardians have voluntarily taken responsibility for the care and management of our outdoor space. Many students and their families began the planting process at home and are planning to transplant their grown plants in the McMurrich planting bin. We look forward to various plants being displayed in the front of our school!
These are just a few of the great things happening at McMurrich Jr. PS!
North Preparatory Junior Public School
Andrew Paladino, Principal; Steph Rogers and Aubrey Freedman, School Council Chairs
1) Students in our grade 6 class had a wonderful opportunity to participate in a group art activity to create a multimedia mural about Hana Brady that explored feelings, ideas, and issues from a variety of points of view. This was all part of the Hana’s Suitcase Student Art Project and International Holocaust Day. The class was also able to attend a webcast with students across the TDSB to discuss the story behind Hana’s Suitcase.
2) In the fall of this past school year our Grade 5 and 6 students had an opportunity to visit the Toronto Island School for 3 days and 2 nights. This was the trip that students had been waiting for years to happen! It was a fantastic opportunity to explore nature so close to the city. Students learned about the island ecosystem, built campfires, went on nature walks during the day and night. They visited the haunted light house and went bike riding among the many great activities on offer to the students.
3) In early October North Prep. school had some special visitors from South Korea. We were fortunate to host a delegation of teachers and principals from Gyengsangnamdo Office Of Education. The group of educators came to learn how we do things in Ontario. I was most pleased to show them our great community school. It was a positive experience for both groups. As an added bonus, students from a Korean school and North Prep. became penpals.
North Toronto Collegiate Institute
William Mack, Principal; Kathleen Pyper and Annamaria Mazzaferro, Vice-Principals; Jess Hungate, School Council Chair
The North Toronto student newspaper, Graffiti, published four thought-provoking issues this year. The team, which has won numerous Toronto Star publishing awards in the past, had to change their meeting style this year to accommodate distance learning and Zoom conferencing! A new experience for all involved! Thanks to Mr. Zohar and Mr. Silver for their constant support and inspiration.
To commemorate the milestone of North Toronto’s 350 graduates, 25 teachers and 5 school council members delivered a Grad Gift, including a congratulatory lawn sign, NT slides, a Grad Bear and card to the home of each graduating student. It is important to continue to honour the important celebrations during this time in any way we can! Congratulations NT Class of 2020!
During lunch time at NT, all three gyms were in demand for intramurals and sports clubs. The North Toronto Athletic Association organized and supervised leagues for borden ball, basketball and ball hockey starting in October and finishing up in March. The basketball league was so popular that junior and senior leagues were devised so the three gyms could accommodate the demand especially among the junior students. The badminton, basketball, table tennis and archery clubs met weekly with large groups of students eager to develop their skills and have fun competing with their friends.
Oriole Park Junior Public School
Neil Quimby, Principal; Andrew Smith and Kate Bardyn, School Council Chairs
Celebration of Global Play Day: Oriole Park Public School participated in our very first “Global Play Day” on February 5, 2020. The goal of this event is to restore unstructured play and invite children to take the reins for the day, as they play, explore, create, imagine, and collaborate. Because we were new to the event, we decided to experiment with the process in a half day format. And, wow, were we ever surprised! The children had a blast with this event, bringing in an amazing variety of toys, games, and creative resources for a fun-filled afternoon together. There is no question that we will be partaking in Global Play Day again next year - and there is no doubt our students will be eager and excited for an entire day devoted to unstructured, self-directed play!
Oriole Reads Live: School-wide events in the library learning commons are an essential part of our literacy programming at Oriole Park. While transitioning into online learning, we wondered how these events might continue in a digital space. As such, we launched “Oriole Reads Live” with ongoing reading sessions for students via Twitter and GoogleMeet. We also used these platforms to collaborate with authors, inviting them to share recently published books in fun and meaningful ways with our students. In addition to weekly themed readings such as “We Read Canadian,” “Read with Pride,” and “Read Indigenous,” Oriole Reads Live has welcomed six authors and illustrators with diverse backgrounds to share a love for literacy with our students. We look forward to continuing these unique opportunities for connection and learning in the future.
Online Learning : Now, it is impossible to share highlights from the 2019-2020 school year at Oriole Park without discussing the school closure. As the staff and students departed at the end of the day on March 13, there was no way to know that it would be the last time we were all in the building together as a school community. Despite the challenges of distance learning, we are extremely proud of our accomplishments, commitment, and dedication to making the best of the online experience. From Google Meets to Spirit Days, virtual field trips to digital recess, our staff and students have connected, shared, communicated, and celebrated every single day of the school closure. We are inspired by our community’s creativity, resilience, and pride.
Way to go, Oriole Park!
Spectrum Alternative Senior School
Shona Farrelly, Principal; Brandon Culakovski and Wanda Bozzo, Vice-Principals; Ellen Berrey and Todd Leach, School Council Chairs
Art Café: Grade 8 students presented their Independent Art Projects at Art Café in December. The night celebrated all Spectrum students and their artwork. It was attended by families, staff and administration and catered by the School Council.
Royal Canadian Legion Literary and Poster Contest: For the fifth year, Spectrum has dominated in the Royal Canadian Legion Literary and Poster contests for Leaside, Branch 10. In the November 2019 contest commemorating Remembrance Day, Spectrum students won first, second, and third prizes in all four categories: poetry, essay, colour poster and black/white poster. The four first prize winners moved on to compete in Zone, and District divisions winning five additional awards. As always, we are so proud of the wonderful writing and art that went into all entries.
Community Circle & Spectrum Inaugural Student Council: The grade 7s participated in a twice-monthly community circle, where various topics were discussed. The community circles gave each student a chance to be heard by their fellow classmates and share their thoughts and feelings, which are normally not discussed in an academic environment. It allowed the class to create stronger bonds through their shared experience.
Spectrum and Davisville started their inaugural year of their students’ councils. The Davisville-Spectrum Students’ Council had representation from each class of both schools. They successfully ran two spirit days and organized one for each month. Spectrum Students’ Council broadened their scope by successfully running their own two spirit days and working towards advocacy points for the betterment of the student experience. The graduation subcommittee designed the graduation sweaters for the grade 8 class.
West Preparatory Junior Public School
Manny Da Luz, Principal; Leanne Bellec, Vice-Principal; Shaughnessy Dunnell and Jessica Ungerman, School Council Chairs
West Prep had an exciting 2019-2020 school year with many highlights! Here are just some of the events that we had this year where students, staff, parents and our community came together.
Author Visit: West Prep was honoured to welcome Christina Minaki, author and educator, who is a strong advocate for the rights of women, children, and people with disabilities.
She shared her personal story and perspective with our students regarding perseverance and strength in overcoming prejudice. Both students and staff were humbled and inspired by her positive message.
First Lego Robotics League: We would like to congratulate all the members of the West Prep Wolves First Lego League Robotics team for their amazing season and performance at the 2019/2020 City Shaper FLL competition.
Opportunities like this provide our students with the ability to explore their innovation, creativity and collaboration skills. We are proud that they received the Judge’s Award for their avant-garde idea of retrofitting TDSB's schools with a stair/elevation system which would allow accessibility for all to our aging buildings, supporting students, staff and visitors. Well done team!
Bingo Night: Our dedicated Parent Council hosted another successful Family Bingo Night, bringing together our families in a fun evening outing. Thank you to all of our students, volunteers and their families who joined us for a great evening together!
At West Prep, we always look forward to coming together as a community to build relationships, learn and celebrate success! Go Wolves Go!
Winona Drive Senior Public School
Thelma Sambrook, Principal; Craig Silvera, Vice-Principal; Stephanie Ayers and Charlene Cressman, School Council Chairs
Winona Winter Music Celebration: On December 18th, we held our annual Winona Winter Music Celebration. Hundreds of guests turned out to hear our student groups perform a wide selection of engaging musical numbers, including songs of the holiday season. There were dynamic performances by our string ensembles, ukulele club, bands, and choir groups. Families enjoyed the opportunity to sit back, relax, and hear their students’ musical talents at their best.
Winona Spirit of Caring & Sharing: During the month of December, Winona students participated in numerous activities that promoted student engagement, school spirit and inclusion. As part of the month of activities, Mr. Ferron’s French Immersion students focused on engaging fellow students in a campaign to give back and help others. They lead a school-wide food drive for a local food bank. With the support of students and staff, Mr. Ferron’s students proudly delivered five grocery carts full of food the day before the winter break to a local food bank.
Doors to Black History: In February and March, Winona staff engaged students in curriculum that focused on our Black Community here in Canada and in North America. Teachers’ engaged students in numerous cross-curricular activities to improve students’ knowledge and understanding of Black History, and the positive contributions of members of our Black Community. As a culminating activity each class selected a time period in the history of the Black Community in Canada and North America to share and educate the rest of school community. In each homeroom, students selected and invested in documenting on the door of their classroom an important historical period, place, person and/or event in black history. Following the documentation stage, student leaders engaged all classes in a focused learning walk where students from each class shared their knowledge and expert learning with other members of the school community. This in-depth structured curriculum investment provided students with much needed time to reflect on the importance of Black History and the contribution of Black People in our community.
Yorkdale Secondary School & Alternative Learning Centre
Eric Dallin, Principal; Carol Doucette, Vice-Principal
At Yorkdale, we serve the “whole” student and like our slogan says: “We believe in your success!” Our team of caring teachers and support staff will always be there to support both the academic needs and well-being needs of our adult students using an equity lens. Our EdVance program serves students aged 18 to 20; our Adult program and specialty programs serve students aged 21 plus. All pathways are offered (university, college, workplace, apprenticeship). We welcome students from all over the city including new Canadians!
We pride ourselves as a school that doesn’t just offer courses. Student well-being is at the forefront. This takes on so many forms which includes counselling, tutoring, lunch & learns, nutrition programs, sports & clubs, West 38 performance lab, foyer events, assemblies, guest speakers, field trips, and whole school events that bring the whole community together. Even during the COVID-19 school building closure, we have continued to support our students remotely in both academic and social/emotional needs.
Some of our more notable events outside the classroom this year included Unity Day, all Adult schools soccer tournament, our winter holiday festive assembly (talent show), our ski trip to Mt St. Louis Moonstone, Mental Health Week (done remotely), and the year-end graduation (done remotely).
We started a new “Green Industries” program in February. We had a beautiful space set up with hydroponics growing plants. Unfortunately, the pandemic had to cut things short. On our Instagram account (@yorkdalealcss), you can see the antics/videos of our Dragan mascot at work! If you search “Humans of Yorkdale” on Facebook, you can read about the stories of some of our students. Some of our specialty programs include PSW (Personal Support Worker), Child Care Assistant, Hairstyling, Business I.T., Personal Trainer, Introduction to Health Care, and Co-operative Education. There is something for everyone at Yorkdale! Go Dragons!