Director’s Newsletter – December 2017
Message from the Executive Director – Dr. June Rogers
Hello Students, Staff, Parents and Guardians,
As I continue in my third school year at the Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch (PDSB) I am excited about the work in which the branch is involved. My goal is to continue to focus on student achievement and well-being as well as the Ministry of Education’s four renewed goals for education: Achieving Excellence, Ensuring Equity, Promoting Well-Being and Enhancing Public Confidence. These goals are all interconnected and contribute to the success of school and residence programs.
We have had a busy and productive school year so far. I make it a priority to visit all of PDSB’s provincial and demonstration schools each school year. It is great to see how the schools are advancing in student achievement and well-being, to interact with the students and to learn first-hand more about the excellent initiatives in which the schools are involved.
In October, the Honourable Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education was at Centre Jules-Léger (CJL) to tour the school and to make an announcement regarding the government’s intent to introduce legislation to transfer the governance of CJL to the 12 French-language school boards in the province. As Minister Mitzie Hunter recently announced, Bill 177, Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act, which includes amendments to the Education Act to transfer the governance of Centre Jules-Léger (CJL) to a new consortium of the 12 French-language school boards (FLSBs) has passed third reading and received Royal Assent on December 14, 2017. Letters were shared with staff, parents and guardians about Bill 177 in October, November and December. The legislation establishes a structure that is governed by and for Francophones and gives the CJL Consortium the same duties and powers of a French-language school board, as outlined in the Education Act (except with some provisions specific to CJL’s unique mandate). The changes respond to what the Ministry learned during the public consultations of early 2016 and to recommendations made in 2015 by the French Language Services Commissioner. The current mandate of CJL will not change and the legislation will not affect programs and services offered by English-language provincial and demonstration schools. I will continue to keep you informed as more information becomes available.
As we approach the end of 2017, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the PDSB staff, students, parents and guardians for your continued contribution to improving student achievement and well-being.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the dedicated PDSB staff members who are committed to the academic and social growth of our students and who are responsible for creating memorable experiences and opportunities for achievement. The support and involvement from parents and guardians is also important and contributes greatly to the success of our students, the school and residence. The partnership between staff, students, parents and guardians is an integral part of the school year.
I would like to extend my best wishes for a joyful holiday season. I hope that you have an opportunity to celebrate, relax, and enjoy this time with family and friends. Happy Holidays!
Message from the Superintendent, Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch – Ginette Faubert
I cannot believe how quickly this past year has gone by. It is hard to believe that winter is upon us and the holiday season is fast approaching!
I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on our successes and achievements over the past year at the Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch. We have been busy! We would not have been able to reach our collective goals for our students and families without the tireless dedication and commitment of our wonderful staff. Every day, our teaching staff engage and challenge their students so that they can continue to learn, grow and meet their personal goals. Our support staff members continue to work hard to support and engage our students at school or in the residence program. Our students are thriving, learning and participating, and I continue to be inspired by their drive and determination to succeed. The parents and families of our students are engaged and supportive of the wonderful work we do here at PDSB. I continue to be inspired by the leadership, dedication and passion that exists at PDSB, and I am honoured to be a part of it.
The holiday season is the perfect time to reflect upon our collective achievements and successes. It is important to spend time with loved ones, and to rest and recharge before we embark on another busy and productive year at PDSB. I wish each and every one of you a wonderful, peaceful and relaxing holiday season and I look forward to another wonderful year ahead!
Message from the Superintendent, Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch – Jeanne Leonard
As we enter the fourth month of the 2017-2018 school year and watch the school year quickly move along, I would like to take a moment to slow it down a little and give some thought to who we are, what we do and why we do it. The Holiday/Christmas Season is the perfect time for such reflection and to express appreciation and to celebrate all we have done as a system and all we have been able to accomplish over the years. We also look forward to what’s ahead, none of which could have been possible, without all of you. Regardless of which department or which school you work in, you all contribute to the success of our students and our system. Quite simply, we are a team. It’s a repeated message but one worth repeating.
The Senior Management Team, along with our students, parents, guardians and community sincerely appreciate the job you do every day ensuring the best possible educational experience for the students we serve. We know it’s not always easy. We also sincerely appreciate our students, families and the community for their ongoing support and partnerships. Collectively, we are a very diverse community and with that we are fortunate to have among us many skills, talents, gifts and leadership at all levels of our organization. All of which have been shared over the many years of our existence with one another and most of all with our students. Together we make things happen and we all have roles in the realization of our goals.
On a personal note, I am particularly grateful to all of you for the daily support of me in this role. I am humbled and proud to work with such a fine team. I look forward to continuing working together with you all to ensure that provincial and demonstration schools remain vibrant and continue as a much-needed option for the students we serve.
May the holidays ahead be peaceful and enjoyable. Spend time with those you love doing what you love. Thank you again for all you do, for our students and their families that we serve, and enjoy this special time of the year.
Heather Gibson, Assistant to the Superintendents, accepted a secondment to the Ministry of Education, Student Achievement Division as an Education Officer effective December 11, 2107. In this role Heather will have the opportunity to lead curriculum policy development in support of the development and finalization of the American Sign Language course for second or additional language learners.
Dr. Stephen James was the successful candidate in the Chief Psychologist, PDSB competition. Dr. James has worked with PDSB as a Psychologist for 10 years. In that role, he was a member of the Association of Chief Psychologists of Ontario School Boards, and participated in the subcommittee for standardizing the diagnosis and identification of learning disabilities throughout Ontario. He has a doctorate in clinical psychology with additional training in services for children and adolescents. Dr. James is a registered clinical and educational psychologist. He is registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario, and he is a member of the Ontario Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Canadian Society of Clinical Hypnosis, and Mensa.
Tina MacCauley-Gray joined the Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch in the 2017-2018 school year as Principal of Sagonaska Demonstration School. Tina was previously a Principal with Sacred Heart Catholic School in the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (ALCDSB) and she has over twenty years of experience in education. Tina’s teaching background is primarily in special education and she has three years of experience as a teacher at Sagonaska Demonstration School. She has also held various principal and vice principal positions within the ALCDSB.
Sheila Rees was the successful candidate for the position of Vice Principal, Ernest C. Drury (ECD) Elementary School for the Deaf. Shelia has experience in this position as she was the acting VP for ECD Elementary School for the 2016-2017 school year. Prior to that Sheila held various leadership positions including Educational Coordinator for ECD Elementary and Secondary Schools and Special Education Resource Teacher (SERT) for ECD Elementary School.
Cindy Smith was the successful candidate for the position of Principal of Ernest C. Drury School for the Deaf, Elementary and Secondary programs. Cindy has previous experience working at ECD having worked as the Principal of ECD Secondary School, System Principal, Vice Principal, Educational Coordinator and Teacher. Most recently Cindy held the position of Principal at Rosemount Family of Schools, Section 23 and Alternative Education Programs within the Waterloo District School Board.
Linda Wall was the successful candidate for the position of Principal at Robarts School for the Deaf. Linda has been the acting Principal of Robarts School since 2015 and was the Vice Principal at Robarts from 2013 to 2015. She began her teaching career at Metro Toronto School for the Deaf before teaching at ECD Elementary School for twelve years.
New School and Residence Staff
Amethyst Demonstration School:
- Alishia Ellis – Teacher
- Craig Quenneville – Teacher
- Justin Sherwood – Teacher
- Lauren Thompson – Student Support Counsellor
- Meghan Warwick – Student Support Counsellor
Centre Jules-Léger Provincial and Demonstration Schools:
- Chantal Merizzi – Student Support Counsellor
- Ryan Perry – Teacher
Ernest .C. Drury School for the Deaf:
- Annabelle Grundy – Teacher
- Sarah Fredericks – Teacher
- Helen Pizzacalla – Occasional Teacher
Trillium Demonstration School:
- Ina Bhalla – Special Education Teacher
- Anna Cifani – Special Education Teacher
- Benjamin Dick – Student Support Counsellor
- Avalee Dowlath – Student Support Counsellor
- Mary Evans – Special Education Teacher
- Martine Fornoville – Special Education Teacher
- Alexandra Menard – Student Support Counsellor
- Richard Parker – Special Education Teacher
- Kevin Pickett – Special Education Teacher
- Brittany Stark – Student Support Counsellor
Sagonaska Demonstration School:
- Amanda Allison – Teacher
- Karen Bailie – Teacher
- Mackenzie Best – Teacher
- Joel Chambers – Student Support Worker
- Joanne Ferguson – Teacher
- Jeff Hockett – Teacher
- Jennifer Kotsovos – Teacher
- Wendy O’Neill – Teacher
- Karen Tetlock – Teacher
- Jeremie Nolet – Student Support Counsellor
Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf:
- Chantal Noseworthy – Educational Assistant
W. Ross Macdonald School:
- Chantelle Gallaugher – Supply Aquatics
- Heather Gunter – Aquatics
- Brad Wettlaufer – Student Support Counsellor
Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch – School Updates
Amethyst Demonstration School
Principal: Karyn Bruneel
Amethyst has had a great start to the year so far. In September, all new and returning students arrived and got to know each other at school and in residence. The school did a lot of assessment so that students were aware of their starting points so they can also see their incredible growth. This year Amethyst implemented a new fluency routine into the daily program to further support literacy gains. This was an idea inspired by our sister school Sagonaska in Belleville. Amethyst visited them last year and connected with this strategy in order to make it their own. They also took away from that trip an appreciation for the Math Game Plan they had invented and were using. The focus of our School Improvement this year is on supporting our students to become independent and creative problem solvers and the Math Game Plan will be a big part of this improvement effort.
Amethyst students spent a beautiful day together as a whole program at Fanshawe Conservation Area for the Fun Day of cooperative games. The Me to We club went to We Day in Toronto. In October the students celebrated Thanksgiving and held their first Student Led Conferences to tell the school team and their parents about their learning and interests and their Individual Education Plans. Students also celebrated Halloween in costumes with a great dance in residence. The Me to We club held the “We Scare Hunger” food drive and collected almost 400 pounds of food!
In November Amethyst completed the progress/midterm reports, worked with School Council to identify parent learning needs and had the Registering for High School Parent Information Night. Amethyst also had the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario present at the School Council meeting.
Students have participated in a cross country meet and a Tcoukball tournament and volleyball are just around the corner. In November, Dr. Daniel Ansari visited Amethyst staff from Western University to help staff learn more about how learning disabilities can impact Math. This was a great day of learning. Amethyst resource consultants have been out supporting schools through the application process and have been hosting Assessment Tours at Amethyst for students who are applying. Amethyst has also been out to a number of schools and boards to provide learning workshops.
Perhaps most impressive this year is the incredible job Amethyst students did presenting at a Professional Development conference held for many of the area’s First Nations school staff. Amethyst has started up a new partnership with some of the federal schools in the area. Antler River School invited Amethyst to present about the impact that learning about Grit and Growth Mindset has had on Amethyst students and how the school implemented this focus on these key indicators of student success. Four students stood up in front of 60 teachers and principals and told their stories and how they have changed as learners. Amethyst had another seven students join the work virtually through video. They did an incredible job and were very well received. The workshop they presented was a huge success and the school is so proud of all of the students!
Many more exciting things are planned for this year including the Rock and Roll Band that has just started up. The school has only just begun to Work Hard, Be Nice, and Believe in Ourselves at Amethyst. It has been a great start!
Residence Manager: Janet Smye
The students in the Me to We club at the Amethyst school challenged everyone in the school and residence to scare hunger through an exciting “We Scare Hunger” food drive campaign this fall. Students were inspired to do something in their community after attending “We Day” in Toronto on September 28, 2017.
The students set a goal of collecting 600 pounds of food for the London food bank. The Amethyst Me to We club members are demonstrating to everyone in the school community that they need to get involved in any way they can to help those who are less fortunate.
Amethyst students are part of a social movement through organizations like Me to We, which is challenging them to make a difference in any way they can. It has been crucial in student’s development to allow them to take part in activities like We Day. It is exciting to have had a group of students in the school who were putting into practice the skills that are worked on each and every day.
Centre Jules-Léger (CJL)
Acting Principal: Joël St-Louis, CJL Provincial School
Play is a learning tool and is often at the center of innovation and creativity. It provides opportunities to learn in a context where the child is the most responsive. People have recognized and admitted for a long time that learning in children is closely related to play, particularly problem-solving, language acquisition, literacy, mathematics and the development of social, physical and emotional skills.
In the photo below, we see children play “Mathable”. It is a cross number game essentially focused on the results of mathematical operations formed on the game board. It can be described as Scrabble with numbers. Learning the rules of this game led to group work related to the creation of a poster with reading strategies that the students glued on the reference table in the classroom.
With the tools at their disposal, the students took pictures during the learning process and then the pictures were transferred to the virtual environment “Google Classroom”. From their cloud account the students can access all the documents and work they did or that they will have to complete, alone or in a group. Through the pedagogical process they went through, these students develop 21st century transferable knowledge and skills and show us that the virtual learning environment can be individualized in the context of the classroom to meet their special needs.
Principal: Manon Provost, CJL Demonstration School
Starting in November, selected classes of Centre Jules-Léger had the opportunity to participate in a special project entitled “Auteurs-Écoles.” The special project consists of pairing a professional writer with a teacher with the aim of engaging students in various writing activities. Not only will the students meet the author and read their published work, they will also be guided in writing a story that will be published by a publishing house (CFORP). The students will be involved in every step of the writing process, from brainstorming and writing, to revising and editing. The author will make regular visits throughout the year to guide the students in publishing a story they can be proud of. This is a great initiative to promote reading and writing with students who have severe learning disabilities.
Residence Manager: Richard Gosselin
On November 2, the Centre Jules-Léger residence program welcomed students, parents, guardians and staff to the “haunted house.” This has been a biannual tradition since 1989 and countless hours go into organizing this Halloween classic that the students love to participate in.
Many alumni take part in this event including a few “ghosts” who have been haunting CJL for years. There are 22 characters including current students, alumni, friends and employees. The show lasts 3.5 hours so that all 70-75 characters can go through the house and everyone says this is a lifetime memory!
Ernest.C. Drury School for the Deaf
Principal: Cindy Smith
So much has been going on within E.C. Drury (ECD) schools and on campus that it’s difficult to highlight just one or two. ECD is working towards embracing and respecting diversity and inclusion and believes that when students feel welcome and accepted they will succeed academically. Opportunities for students to build community and foster acceptance helps each of our students reach their full potential.
The new Spartan League was launched in November at the high school. Students have the opportunity to earn points by getting involved academically, athletically and as leaders and participants within the school community. With a little help from the healthy competition between the Years (Class of 2017 vs Class of 2018 for example), students are getting involved! The first Spartan League reward event went to the Spartan’s Senior Volleyball Team who came out victorious at the recent tournament in Belleville. Although small in numbers, the team was mighty under the leadership of Coach Kathie Russell.
Fundraising events such as the Craft Sale and Elf on the Shelf Car Rally provide opportunities for students to give back to deserving families and support important community events like the Deaf Teen Conference.
In the Elementary School, the THINK initiative reminds students of the power of words and encourages each and every one to be kind to one another and become problem solvers. ECD has a number of THINK helpers in the intermediate wing that foster the sense of community and celebrate successes.
ECD had an excellent turnout for the final ASL Parent Workshop. A collaborative event involving parent volunteers, staff and students from both elementary and secondary as well as Resource Services provided the backdrop for the final celebration including activities and performances by the students, and a presentation on Student Achievement for the parents.
Finally, the ECD Community is looking forward to the Holiday Dinner on December 21, 2017. This event is usually quite well attended and students and their families have the opportunity to join together before the school break. The afternoon begins with the high school Talent Show followed by a delicious dinner in the Dining Hall. The night is capped off with an exciting performance by young budding actors and actresses in the Junior School Auditorium.
Acting Residence Managers: Brianna Harvey and Sherry Anderson-Eacrett
ECD residence continues to thrive in developing an inclusive environment and community for both the day and residence students. There have been a number of activities since the start of the school year including indoor soccer, volleyball, drop-in movie nights, and bowling.
The biggest and more recent event for students was the Halloween party. Thank you to all who participated in the Senior Residence Halloween Party! The group enjoyed a fantastic feast of spider hotdogs, monster meatballs and creepy cupcakes. The Halloween spirit was high and excited as all the ghouls, ghosts and characters participated in games and a movie. Thank you to all participants for your wonderful cooperation and positive attitudes!!
Robarts School for the Deaf
Principal: Linda Wall
The intermediate and the high school classes have been working together almost every day for approximately 20 minutes to increase students’ math skills. This is in addition to their regular math period. The students work on solving problems and doing complex mathematical computations (according to their individual math levels).
The junior classes have been working on anti-bullying strategies, including role playing different scenarios as Robarts works towards maintaining a positive school climate and mentally healthy environment.
Sagonaska Demonstration School
Principal: Tina MacCauley-Gray
Sagonaska School and residence are enhancing student achievement by embedding Executive Functioning (EF) literacy throughout the school and residence. Staff spent the PA day building EF literacy and developing feasible techniques for EF-based instruction, feedback and assessment in school and residence. Laurie Faith (Activated Learning Teaching Approach) spent the PA day with staff as school and residence collaborated to support student achievement through data analysis, purposeful instruction of EF strategies, and tracking of student success through the Individual Residence Plans, (IRPs), Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and learning skills.
Residence Manager: Ian Flynn
The Student Support Counsellors in the Sagonaska junior boys residence have started a couple of new ideas. The students are working on three weekly goal areas that must be completed on a daily basis. The span runs from Friday morning until Thursday the following week. For each goal area completed every student has the opportunity to earn three bingo dabs. When a student completes a line they are able to pick a prize out of the awesome treasure chest that was created by a Student Support Counsellor.
Every Thursday evening the students have a celebration of success and each student gets to encourage their peers about their week. It also gives students the opportunity to accept feedback and learn about what they need to work on. This program started the second week of school and each week the expectations of the students increase.
Also new in the junior program is that every evening the students do not use electronic devices between 6:00pm and 8:00pm. This has been great to promote social interaction and healthy living! The students really enjoy interacting with each other away from the digital world.
Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf
Principal: Janice Drake
Many exciting things are happening at Sir James Whitney (SJW) School for the Deaf. SJW has expanded programs to follow ministry initiatives including, play-based and inquiry-based programs to increase students’ critical thinking skills.
SJW students had the opportunity to visit one of five art galleries in downtown Belleville. One of the students signed the guest book for the Belleville Artists’ “People’s Choice” exhibit, another student was drawn to a realistic rendering of clouds reflected on water and two students celebrated finding an abstract work of sheep. It took a lot of careful observation to find this mixed media artwork.
The high school English and drama department attended a production of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare in Stratford, Ontario. They toured the costume warehouse and met up with a Deaf actor, Elizabeth Morris who shared her experiences working at Stratford. Students are now working on their own production. It will be performed on campus after the winter holidays.
Sagonaska students and staff joined SJW during the annual Terry Fox Run/Walk/Wheel event and together the schools raised over $500, demonstrating how much the team supports a good cause. SJW also supported the OPP and local police fundraising event, Give Where You Live that brought them together for a renewed dedication to help the local community, families and charitable organizations. The OPP stopped by during their two-week cycling event and shared their positive message of hope to students across Hastings and Prince Edward Counties. SJW demonstrated awareness and shared information with others about The World Federation of the Deaf’s theme for the 2017 International Week of the Deaf. The 2017 theme was Full Inclusion with Sign Language! The theme describes that full inclusion of Deaf people is possible when sign language is recognized and used widely within our society.
Residence Manager: Ian Flynn
Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf residence activities are once again in full swing! Swimming, volleyball tournament practices, and special seasonal activities like pumpkin carving and Christmas shoe box packing are all underway.
One of the popular residence-wide activities is the monthly food contest in which pods compete to make a winning dish based on a particular theme. The dishes are tasted by “judges,” including managers, nursing staff, and whoever else may be up for a treat! Past themes have included “something red” (Valentine’s Day), chicken wings, chili, and “something green and healthy” (St. Patrick’s Day). SJW residence kicked off this year’s first competition in October with an “apple dessert” theme in honour of the fall season. Junior students went to a local orchard to help pick the types of apples needed in preparation for the contest.
When the big day arrived, the judges had a mouth-watering array of dishes laid out in the Social Room: Dutch apple pie, chocolate apple pastry, apple coffee cake, apple lemon pie, and apple “fries” with caramel sauce. Congratulations to our senior girls, whose Dutch apple pie stole the hearts of the judges! All of the dishes were so good that one judge commented it was like being in a gourmet restaurant!
The residence team is anticipating the next competition – pumpkin theme. What a great way to get everyone together, while learning about cooking. A special thanks to Christine O’Hara and Mary Sheahan for facilitating these events.
Trillium Demonstration School
Principal: Desiree Smith
Jermaine Williams was chosen to take part in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario Model Parliament. He was one of the 107 students chosen from across Ontario to take part in this event! This year’s Model Parliament will be held in Toronto from February 21 to 23, 2018.
Thank you to Mr. Parker for encouraging students to pursue their interest in provincial and federal governance. Jermaine will be representing the Brampton West – Mississauga riding.
“The Legislative Assembly of Ontario Model Parliament is an educational program designed for civic-minded high school students in Grades 10 to 12, who are interested in current events and provincial issues. This unique educational experience will bring together 107 students, representing each of the province’s ridings, for a three-day Model Parliament Program in Toronto. Students will have the opportunity to meet key figures in Ontario’s parliament as well as learn about the history of the provincial legislature and the legislative process through workshops and presentations. Students will also have the opportunity to forge new friendships and meet like-minded students from across Ontario. Through the Model Parliament Program experience, youth from across Ontario will gain a stronger knowledge of the province’s parliamentary practices and traditions while participating in an authentic experience that will teach them the value and importance of our democratic process.”
Acting Residence Manager: Brianna Harvey and Sherry Anderson-Eacrett
Trillium is in full swing for residence programming. The students have all dived into their formal social skills workshops and recreation programs. The first phase of the program is focused on Learning Disabilities (LD) Awareness. Focusing on topics such as:
- How does my brain work?
- What’s my learning style?
- How to best advocate? and
- How to manage ADHD and Anxiety?
Students are now in the second tier of learning how to develop effective communication skills in a variety of different programs including Creative Expressions, New Perspectives, Peer Mentorship and Etiquette Factory.
In Creative Expressions workshops they are focusing on developing emotional self-awareness and core values. Students completed a project titled “Welcome to my World”. The students are asked to create a legend of important values in their lives such as family, school, friends, and leisure and create a land mass for the importance of each.
The New Perspectives program challenges students to take on new perspectives in their daily lives. Emphasis will be placed on increasing student’s ability to recognize the importance of time and place, positive decision making, self-awareness and strengths and empowerment. Students will learn and practice these skills during the program by engaging in: group discussions and scenarios, role plays, and multimedia activities. The goal for students during this round of social skills is to develop a greater sense of self-awareness by understanding their emotions and exploring their personal impact on others. Students are focusing on exploring their self-awareness by identifying their emotions and the reasons behind the feelings.
Students had the opportunity to play an alternate version of musical chairs where the rules are blatantly unfair. The purpose of the activity was for the students to explore how it made them feel to be treated unfairly or to be a bystander in the situation. The students then watched a social experiment video that involved a customer saying rude comments to the grocery bagger who had a disability to see how other customers in line would respond. The students split into smaller groups to discuss the different perspectives of the individuals in the video.
Peer Mentorship workshops are aimed to help students define their roles as peer mentors. The goal of the program is to assist students in identifying what qualities they possess that would contribute to being a strong peer mentor and developing effective communication. Students had the opportunity to identify the skills and values required to be a mentor, to learn about what active listening is and to research and complete a final project that demonstrates peer mentorship that involves all members on a large scale.
The Etiquette Factory is designed for intermediates and is a step-by-step, daily program developed and founded by Monica Irvine. The Etiquette Factory has lessons that focus on simple etiquette practices that range from “basic etiquette” to specific etiquette rules such as being polite, proper behaviour for kids, table etiquette, and integrity. Teaching methods were integrated from the Creative Conflict Solving for Kids program that included making agreements, debriefing, completing energizers and fulfilling Initiatives.
W. Ross Macdonald School
Principal: Dan Maggiacomo
Everyone’s on board! WRMS is very excited to be a part of the Duke of Edinburgh award program. This award is given to young people in many nations around the world and all of WRMS grade 9 students are enrolled in the bronze level and have the option to continue on to silver and gold.
Students challenge themselves in the areas of service, skill development, physical recreation and an adventurous journey. Teachers, counsellors and administrators all influence the students along the way by being award leaders, assessors and facilitators. Besides the most obvious benefits of any award (e.g., applications and resumes), receiving the award demonstrates a willingness to set goals and achieve tasks, ignites passion and increases motivation, and instills confidence and self-worth.
“The Award empowers young people to discover hidden talents, develop untapped leadership potential, make a difference in their community and explore the wonders of the great outdoors.” Dukeofed.org
At the “Kick Off” event, students broke off into groups with iPads and created collages demonstrating the activities they could be involved in to achieve the award.
Residence Manager: Emily Ricker
A Cherished Tradition at WRMS – The 47th Silver Cup Football Game
Like most high schools in Ontario, the beginning of the school year means the start of the football season. At WRMS forty seven years ago, the Senior Residence Supervisor, Mr. Willem Huner adapted and developed rules for the First Annual Silver Cup Football Game played at the school. This cherished tradition continues today.
Students who are blind and low vision either play as linesmen or ball carriers. When running with the ball, the ball carrier will say “hut, hut, hut.” This allows the defensive players to locate the other players and touch them.
Students and staff from all departments within the school and residence are involved. A play by play booth is set up to allow the students to follow the action. There are staff who step in and coach for both the Football and Spirit Squad Teams. A veteran team of staff became the grounds crew and created a Football Field of Dreams. Students are involved in all aspects of this event beginning with the pep rally, making team banners, singing of the National Anthem, and the post-game BBQ.
Whether the students are involved in the game as players, as a member of the Spirit Squad, or as fans, all students have the opportunity to experience high school football. Students, their parents, guardians and staff all look forward to the Silver Cup at the beginning of each school year and develop a sense of school pride and genuine school spirit.
This year, the Jets won the game over the Bills and captured the 2017 Silver Cup!
Congratulations to all involved!
~The Silver Cup Committee 2017~
Dr. June Rogers
Executive Director, Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch
(905) 878-2851 ext. 214
TTY: (905) 878-7195 ext. 214
Superintendent, Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch
(905) 878-2851 ext. 237
TTY: (905) 878-7195
Superintendent, Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch
(905) 878-2851 ext. 213
TTY: (905) 878-7195 ext. 213