Friday, 27 February 2015

Semester Two is underway !!!



Greetings OT community.  First, please accept my apologies for the delay in a new post.  With exams and then start up I've been negligent in getting back to a blog update.


FEBRUARY

The first few weeks of Semester Two are wrapping up and I've been quite pleased with the smooth transition into a new semester.  Outside of the expected adjustments to some schedules.....and a few last minute staffing hold-ups... all classes are well underway.

NEW STAFF - OTHS welcomes a few new staff members this term.

 Mr. Lameck Zingano is joining staff (Grade 10 History).  Mr. Zingano joins us from the Peel District School Board where he has been an Occasional Teacher for the past year.  Mr. Zingano brings with him an extremely strong academic background (continuing work on his PhD in Anthropology) as well as a wealth of personal experience from his global travels.

Ms. Tara Mehlenbacher joins us following stops at Lester B. Pearson and Garth Webb Secondary School.  Ms. Mehlenbacher is teaching History and Career Studies with our Grade 10's.  I have worked with Ms. Mehlenbacher in the past and I know her students will benefit greatly from her enthusiasm and experience.  Our school teams may also benefit as Ms. Mehlenbacher has past experience coaching a variety of sports teams as well.

Ms. Sabrina Sibio has joined our staff this semester to teach both Civics and Food and Nutrition.  Ms. Sibio has been working up at Iroquois Ridge HS and we're very pleased to have her join our Canada and the World Department.

Returning to OT following a brief stint in Milton is Ms. Jesslin Tan.  Ms. Tan taught at OT last year and she is returning to work in our Math department again teaching a Data Management class with our Grade 12 students.

Two brand new Teachers have also joined our staff this semester.  Ms. Michelle Liou and Ms. Ellen Cruz are brand new staff members.  Ms. Liou is working with our Grade 11 Biology students and Ms. Cruz is teaching Grade 9 Core French.


What's new in Staff Development???

Last week during our school PD Day all staff had the opportunity to participate in a Living Library activity that was tied to our school goal of advancing staff understanding of equity related issues.  The Living Library provided all staff a chance to sign out a person for a small period of time !!!  During that time staff were exposed to a different perspective on OT and the educational system.  Some of our Living Library Books were students and parents while other members of the community volunteered their time to share their stories with our staff.

During other sessions staff viewed the video The Danger of a Single Story .  Following the video staff discussed how this related to their work with students at OTHS, and the variety of stories each of our students experience every day.

While others were watching and discussing the video a third group were having a chance to connect with our Special Education and Student Services departments to review policies and procedures around working with students who are struggling in school.  While we have great students it's nice to know that our staff are continuously working to assist any student in need.

The afternoon also provided staff an introduction into our Mentoring Morning plan that was held on Tuesday, March 17th.  All OTHS students spent time with staff discussing another focus of our School Improvement Plan - Resiliency.  We will be hosting three Mentoring Mornings this semester all focused on an area of student need (as identified by staff earlier this school year).  As many parents will agree developing resiliency (for any struggle or challenge) is an essential life skill and we recognize that school presents many opportunities to work on improving resiliency in our students.

School Life

Over the past few weeks OTHS students have been experiencing great success in a variety of adventures.

Congratulations to three of our Grade 12 students for their victory in the SAS Big Data Challenge!!!  Duncan U., Mark J., and Daniel P. were the big winners....receiving as a prize a cheque for $1,000.00 (payable to the school)!!!!  Great job guys.

Congratulations also go our to Jakob N. and Maegan O. for their second place finish in the McMaster University Math contest.  Awesome job!

In ARTS NEWS.....congratulations to our Improv Team who - just this week - finished second in their regional competition.  This success means that our Improv Team is heading to the Provincial Championships coming up later this month.

Athletics update.  This past week our Senior Girls Volleyball team defeated White Oaks to move on to the Halton Championship for AAAA schools (schools with more than 1,200 students).  The girls have had a great season to date and we're looking forward to the Halton Finals.

In Boys Hockey the guys enter the playoffs in second place.  After a strong regular season the team has high hopes for the playoffs.

Key Dates Ahead

February 25     Superfire Assembly (Gr.9+10)
March 11         5th Week Reports e-mailed
March 14         March Break begins
March 26         OSSLT (Literacy Test)
March 26         Parents' Night