Tuesday, 20 October 2015

The leaves are falling.....

As the leaves begin to turn....and start to fall, we can be thankful for many things including: the last glimpses of warm sunshine; the beautiful fall colours; and even the Blue Jays run to the playoffs for the first time in 22 years!

Here at school we're thankful for many things as well.  Last week we celebrated our Honour Students with a breakfast and an inspirational presentation by Dr. Dave Williams - Canadian Astronaut, Doctor, Scientist, and CEO of the Northlake Medical Centre in Newmarket.  Not only did Dr. Williams share some incredible stories with our students I'm certain he left many in the crowd imagining greater possibilities for themselves in the years to come.  Key themes in his message included dreaming big dreams, goal setting, perseverance, and maintaining a growth mindset.

Thank you to Dr. Williams for sharing his experiences and for inspiring OT students.

Last Wednesday evening we hosted our annual Excellence Night recognizing Subject Award recipients, Duke of Edinburgh winners, Top Achievement by Grade, and other Awards of distinction.  It was wonderful to recognize the tremendous success of so many students.  Congratulations to the entire family of our award winners.....it's a journey for the whole family.

5th Week Reports

As we conclude 5 weeks of school staff will be completing 5th Week Reports for any student who is struggling to achieve in their respective classes.  Typically these reports are issued for students with grades lower than 60% however - because it is so early in the semester and a true picture is still being developed - staff will complete reports for any student they believe has not demonstrated proficiency to this point.

NOTE:  Whether or not you receive a 5th Week Report it is important to note that 80% of the semester remains in front of us.  There is a great deal of time to address any concerns and to significantly impact achievement over the months to come.

Parent's Night

Oakville Trafalgar HS will host our Semester One Parents' Night on Thursday, October 22nd.  We believe that an 'early' parent event is beneficial for all stakeholders as early communication around challenges/concerns/etc. is necessary to ensure a positive outcome for students.

This will be a busy night.  We usually have a very strong turnout and so I would ask for your patience.  If you are not able to fully connect with a staff member please make direct personal contact  (via e-mail message) to set up a mutually convenient opportunity for a more extensive conversation around your child's performance, etc.

On the 22nd our format is as follows:

6:30-7:30   Informal Conversation -  a 2-4 minute opportunity to say hello, introduce yourself, and to catch a quick update on your child's efforts over the first 5-6 weeks of school.  This is NOT a formal interview.  It's more about putting a face to a name, and for getting a brief update.  Please do not ask multiple questions at this time.  These sessions are held in a very public space (Cafeteria, Atrium, Library, etc.) and are not meant to be a time to share detailed information.  While our staff have been instructed to be brief......extensive line-ups develop when any family asks detailed questions at this time.

7:30-9:00   Formal Interviews - a 10 minute time period where parents and staff more fully discuss a student's work over the first 6 weeks (in a more private setting).  Again, it may not be possible to fully address concerns and questions in this time period.  Should that occur we ask that parents and staff make arrangements for a follow-up interview at their mutual convenience.

Thank you for remembering that there are many parents......and we all would like an opportunity to review our child's progress......and only so many minutes available.

Upcoming Key Dates in October

October 13     Photo Re-take Day
October 14     Post Secondary Fair (Gr.11 + 12)
October 15     5th Week Reports
October 22     Parents' Night
October 22     U.S. College Info Night (this event will be held ahead of our Parents' Night and will take place in the Main Gymnasium commencing at 6:00 p.m.)

RDC Events in October/November

October 21          Back to the Future Day
October 26-30    Octoberfest Activities all week

Thursday, 1 October 2015

So long September !!!

So long September....

Was it really four weeks ago that school began???  It seems like September has flown by and things have settled in to a fairly smooth rhythm of classes, clubs, and other activities.  As we reach the end of our first month of school I do want to share a few observations:

a)  I'm continuously impressed by the energy and passion of our students

b)  Thank you to all parents who have made generous donations to our Parent Council this fall.  Stay tuned for updates on the projects that will be underway this year.

c)  Despite the uncertainty around our labour situation I am very pleased that OT staff have jumped in to their classes and to many clubs and activities so that school life can remain a vital part of the school experience for OT students.

With that in mind here are some important dates in the month of October.


October 1st       Parent Council Meeting
October 6th       Parent Connections Meeting
October 7th       Excellence Night
October 8th       Honour Breakfast
October 9th       PA Day
October 14th     5th Week Reports (mailed home*)
October 22nd     Parents' Night

Celebrating Success

Some highlights:

Congratulations to a number of our students who (once again) captured the Ontario Sailing High School Regatta Championship!!!  The team consisted of A. Thayer, S. Joakim, L. Bruce, and M. Nott.  Liam Bruce captured 1st overall and Max Nott was 3rd overall - way to go guys!

This past summer L. Pennyfather had amazing success at the Canadian Championships.  Lucy was a member of two Gold Medal Winning Crews as well as being a winner of two Silver Medals as well.  Lucy was a member of the Gold Medal winning U17 C-4 500m crew as well as a member of the Gold Medal winning U19 C-15 500m crew.  Her Silver Medals came in the U16 K-1 1,000m (an individual honour) as well as in the U19 C-4 500m event.  Wow!!!!  Congratulations Lucy.

IWALK 2015

Hey OT - October 5 – 9 is International Walk to School week !!!

IWalk 2015 is being celebrated with students and families being encouraged to choose walking & wheeling for the school journey. Walking and Wheeling prepares the brain to learn.  Exercise means the heart beats faster and increases blood and oxygen flow through the body, including the brain - essentially waking it up!  Now students are more prepared to learn something new or recall or build on previous knowledge.  Start each day by combining a healthy breakfast with active transportation choices and be on the way to better grades before school even begins!

Please join Oakville Trafalgar High School as we participate in making our community more pedestrian and bike friendly – and don’t forget to smile at your neighbours on your trip – it’s contagious!

Stay tuned for more updates to follow....