Monday, 15 December 2014

Happy Holidays !!!!

On behalf of everyone here at Oakville Trafalgar High School I want to wish everyone a healthy and happy holiday!  Merry Christmas !  Please enjoy the next two weeks with family and friends.  If you're not able to connect with family in person I do hope you'll have a chance to grab some quiet, personal time for yourself.  In these days of rushing here and there it never seems like we get the chance to take care of our own health.

Senior Winter Wonderland

Just last Wednesday (December 10th) our Red Devils Council hosted a senior formal for Grade 11 and 12 students.  The night was a resounding success!!!  Not only did the kids look amazing but their behaviour was fabulous as well.  I'm very proud of our senior kids for making great choices and participating in a school-sponsored formal event that went off without a hitch.

The staff that supervised were unanimous in their comments regarding the event.  I feel quite strongly that our success last week will carry forward as we plan for a school sponsored Prom (which, for those new to OTHS, has NOT been a school event for the past 3 years).  I have confidence that many staff will agree this group of seniors has demonstrated their ability and personal responsibility and are more than capable of behaving appropriately at a school sponsored formal event.

Way to go OT !!!  If you have a senior in your home please congratulate them for me!

15th Week Reports

Last week we sent out 15th Week Reports (via e-mail) for any student who was struggling in a class.  If you received a report...thank you for encouraging your son/daughter to follow-up with their teacher in order to ensure a successful completion to that particular course.  We continue to offer lots of opportunities for students to complete work or to receive assistance in advance of our formal exams.  Keep working hard right through to the end of the semester OT !

Happy New Year !!!

As we prepare for 2015 I wanted to share a few reminders about the final month of Semester One. Semester One classes conclude on Wednesday, January 21st.  Exams commence on the 22nd and will run through the 27th.

NOTE:  If we were to receive a snow day during the Exam Block (22nd - 27th) there would be a MAKE-UP Day on Wednesday, January 28th.  A synermail message will be forthcoming in order to remind people of our approach IF inclement weather develops.  Families may also check the board web site for our HDSB inclement weather process (for any winter weather regardless of the date).

Here are some key dates for the next couple of months:

January 5         School resumes
January 8         Parent Council Meeting
January 22       Exams Begin
January 29       Exam Review Day
January 30       PA Day
February 2       Sememster Two begins
February 13     PA Day
February 16     Family Day Holiday

Friday, 5 December 2014

The Holiday Season is approaching !!!

As we approach the holidays I want to extend my best wishes to all OTHS families for a safe and healthy holiday season.  On behalf of my family (and from the staff here at school) I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Regardless of your faith the school holiday period provides a wonderful opportunity for family and friends to enjoy time together.  I trust you will have the chance to relax, un-wind, un-plug (!),  and even re-connect with loved ones over the holidays.  If you are travelling to visit relatives, or for a family holiday, safe travels.  We look forward to seeing everyone in the new year.

...before we depart however....

15th Week Reports:

As we approach the final third of our first semester we will be e-mailing reports home to parents of any student who currently is struggling to complete any course.  If a student currently has a grade of less than 60% a 15th Week Report will be emailed home on Friday, December 12th.

These reports are sent home with two thoughts in mind: a) give parents a heads up that their child is struggling in a particular course; and b) to provide us with 3-4 weeks in order to support the successful completion of all course work.  This support is coordinated through our Student Success Teacher (Ms. Miles) and includes input from classroom teachers, parents, and students.

Here at School:

Needless to say the student's are getting excited about the upcoming holiday break.  Before we get to the 19th of December however there are lots of activities underway both inside of class and around the halls.

Many classes have begun Performance Tasks (a major assessment  piece) that are included in the determination of the final 30% of a class grade (in combination with the final exam).  Other classes are continuing with course work, tests, and assignments right up to the 19th.

Our Red Devil Council (and other Clubs) are coordinating activities in the hallways that help support charities locally as well as around the province.  It's great to see our students thinking of others and demonstrating such leadership around the building.

Our winter sports season is well underway as well.  Hockey, Volleyball, Basketball, and our Ski and Snowboard teams are practicing and competing throughout the week.  I'm hearing great things from our coaches and hope to get into the gym and arena to see the students in action soon.

A couple of Key Dates coming up:

Wednesday, December 10th - Senior 'Winter Wonderland' Formal

OTHS and Red Devil Council are hosting an 'off-site' formal at Otello's (Royal Windsor and Ford Drive).  This is the first school sponsored event in a few years and I'm very hopeful that everyone has an excellent night.
We have set some clear expectations for our senior students for this event.  Not surprisingly there will be no tolerance of any drinking of other drug related use at a school event.  We have also told students that Limousine services are prohibited.  Limo service should be reserved for Prom only. Otello's is in 'our neighbourhood' and as such should not require hired transportation.  I recognize that this may be a slight inconvenience for parents however we believe this will assist with making the event a more successful one.
Thank you to all parents for helping to reinforce these basic expectations around school sponsored events.  We're looking forward to a great evening.

Thursday, December 11th - OTHS Music Presents - Snowy Serenade

Our music students will be sharing their musical talents on the 11th with an evening of music here at the school.  I'm looking forward to seeing the talents of our kids under the direction of Mr. Clarke and Ms. Chow.  We've been hearing great things and are expecting a terrific show.

Early Dismissal on December 19th

As in previous years we will be dismissing students 90 minutes early on the 19th.  All classes will take place however periods will be shortened and a different order will be followed as well (Period 1, 2, 5, 4, and 3).  Look for a synermail message to go home with the specific details.  The final period of the day will end at 1:20 p.m.  If you have any questions please check the school web site as the schedule for the day will be posted (by December 12th latest).

Thank you.


Early signs of winter!

(NOTE:  My apologies.  This post is very late !)

Hello OT.

Now that the leaves have all (mostly) hit the ground many of us are looking ahead to colder weather and the impending snow!  As a result it is a good time to check in with a couple of reminders around the winter season but before we get to that.....we do have some important information to share with all families.

Recent events have helped all Canadians focus more closely on the role of our Armed Forces and the risks they endure in the name of our country.  With Remembrance Day approaching we will have another opportunity to reflect and give thanks to the men and women who gave their lives for us, in the name of democracy and freedom.  As an individual with family members who served, and are serving, in the military I feel a responsibility to take time to pause, and reflect on their sacrifice for me, my family, and for Canada.

Ms. Muzzatti's students will be performing a dramatic presentation for all OTHS students on November 11th and we will all be taking time out for a moment of quiet reflection at 11:00 a.m.  I look forward to experiencing an OT Remembrance Day Assembly for the first time.  As the only Oakville High School to have an in-school memorial (to those OTHS graduates who lost their lives in service to Canada) we are fortunate to have such a moving reminder of the sacrifice of generations past.

Mid Term Report Cards

On November 14th report cards will be distributed to all students.  Report Card time will provide all families a chance to follow up on the meetings held back in early October and to check the progress of their child at the mid term point in Semester One.  If any parent has concerns or questions around the report cards I would ask that you please contact the Teacher in question (via email or phone) at your earliest convenience.  Regardless of the grade appearing on the report card there is always a chance to make significant improvements in a course.

Senior News

Late November is also the time of the year that our senior students begin to finalize their post secondary planning.  It is natural that a student will experience increased stress as a result of their multitude of choices.  Mr. Pope and his Student Services team are available to assist students in their decision making.  Please don't hesitate to contact the school should you have any questions about how you can best help your son or daughter navigate the next few months.  While the final date for submission to the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC) is early in January I strongly encourage all students to use a self-imposed deadline of December 17th for completing their on-line application.  For students considering out of province applications please make certain you are following the application deadlines set by the various colleges and universities (many of which are January to early March).

Winter Reminders

a) please drive carefully in and around the school.  A little extra patience helps us all.
b) please check the HDSB web site for any news around inclement weather and school closures
c) it's ok to insist that your child wears a coat to school!!!  As a parent of a teen myself I know they think they know ... (a lot) but we know they haven't mastered every skill just yet!
d) please let us know (in the main office) if you know of a family that is going through a difficult time.  Thanks to the generosity of the community we are able to help out in times of need.