Friday, 1 April 2016

April updates...



While we await warmer weather, and endure April Showers, semester two moves along.....


Last night we had a very strong turnout for our Semester Two Parents' Night.  I trust that everyone made it home before the torrential downpour?  If you were unable to attend last night, and have concerns around your child's progress to date, please don't hesitate to contact (via email) a staff member directly in order to arrange a meeting (face-to-face or via telephone/email/etc.).

Some key dates in April include:

April 5th       Parent Connections Event
April 8th       PD Day - staff will be at OTHS working on Board and OT School goals
April 14th     Parent Council Meeting
April 22nd    PD Day - this is a 'system' PD Day.  Staff will be involved in Subject Based
                      groups at a variety of High Schools across the region.
April 29th     Mid-Term Report Cards


What's going on at school?


Mathematics Success - Today I received some amazing news about our Mathematics stars.  OTHS has finished THIRD in CANADA on the recent Cayley Mathematics Contest!!!  Congratulations to all of the students who wrote the contest - and to our top three scores from Scott Yu, Jianru Ren, and Javan Jiang.
This is OT's highest standing in the Cayley Contest in recent memory.  Congratulations to our Mathematics Department as well for this outstanding achievement.  Of the top 8 finishers, only OT is located East of Calgary.  All of the other top 8 schools were from the Western provinces (interesting).



Opening Exercises -  Starting on Monday, April 4th we will be making a very slight adjustment to our opening day process.  There will be NO change to our start and end times of the day.  We are moving the daily announcements from 8:15 (right after O'Canada) to the start of Period 2.
We believe this adjustment will improve in-school communication and hopefully have a positive impact on reducing late arrivals to Period 1.
There is no impact on bell times for period 3, 4, or 5.


Spring Sports Season - Tryouts have been on-going for most spring sports for the past couple of weeks.  While teams have been indoors for the most part we're all hoping the weather continues to improve and we'll be on the fields shortly.
We're excited to be fielding a Baseball Team this year (for the first time in a number of years).  The team is a Varsity Team with students from Grade 9 though 12 eligible to try out.  Ms. Preiner is the staff sponsor for the team this season.

For students interested in Tennis - look for information later this month on tryouts, etc.

OT Arts - Our Music students continue to prepare for Nationals - in Ottawa - at the end of the month.  We're very hopeful for a tremendous showing and know that the experience will be a tremendous one for all OT Musicians as the hosts always provide a great variety of musical experiences for the students.

Thank You's 

Parent Council - If you are in the school please take notice of our re-modelled Atrium.  Over the March Break PHASE ONE was completed - all carpet was removed and replaced by high-end flooring material that is both much nicer to look at and much easier for our custodial staff to clean and maintain.  Thank you to all parents who contributed a donation to our Parent Council.

Approximately $14,000.00 was applied to phase one.  Stay tuned for more information from Parent Council as we work to complete Phase Two and Phase Three.

Phase Two includes both the painting of all railings in the Atrium (black) and the installation of additional bench seating for students.  Right now the students mostly 'lean' or sit on the walls of the 'garden areas' and we'd love to provide bench seating (both for aesthetic value and practical use).

Phase Three of the Atrium is the most costly improvement of the three.  Parent Council (and School Admin) would like to completely re-vitalize the look of the Atrium with a floor through ceiling re-painting effort.  A pre-project estimate placed the cost at approximately $30,000.00.  Naturally this  expense is significant.  Parent Council is considering a fundraising effort to assist/complete this work.

Stay tuned for further information later this spring.

Winter Coaches and Parent Supervisors - Thank you very much for all staff and parent supervisors who generously donated their time and expertise over the Winter Season.  Without their commitment we would be hard pressed to offer the variety, and fullness of program, for students in the school.

As I have shared previously we are still challenged to find staff supervisors for all possible teams and clubs.  Don't hesitate to reach out to the school if you might like to be involved.  While the commitment is significant the rewards are plentiful.  Parents/community members may contact either Mr. Gruber or myself to explore opportunities here at OTHS.


Looking Ahead

The months of May and June are very busy in the life of a student.  It is never too early to begin thinking about commitments as we enter this final 8 weeks of the semester.  Specifically:

a) PROM - Thursday, May 19th.  Senior Prom at Liuna Station.
b) 15th Week Reports - Friday, May 27th.  In-danger reports for struggling students.
c) Final Exams - begin Wednesday, June 22nd and conclude on Monday, June 27th
NOTE:  These dates will appear different to many senior students as we (previously) have always started exams on a Thursday!
d) Commencement - Wednesday, June 29th


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