Friday, 12 February 2016

Semester Two is underway!!!



Greetings OTHS Community!

Well, we've moved through our first week and things are quickly settling into a rhythm here at school.  While some cold weather has arrived it's great that we've not seen much snow.  Should any terrible weather pass through parents are reminded of the HDSB Web Site where school closure information would be posted.

EXAMS and MARKS - and REPORT CARDS

Once again OT students performed extremely well on their final assessments and exams.  Students in all grades have achieved excellent results.  While there have been some struggles we'll be sure to connect with those students and provide support to help them get back on track.  We are fortunate that this is not a significant challenge however our goal is for "every student" to be successful.

Report Cards were distributed to all students today during their period 5 classes.


DECA SUCCESS

This past week a large contingent of OT students participated in a regional business competition.  All OT students did well however we had two students who performed beyond our expectations.  Congratulations to Steven Han and Eva Hong for finishing in the Top 6% of all competitors.

As a result of their finish Steven and Eva have qualified for the DECA International Competition scheduled for Nashville, Tennessee later in the spring.  Wow!  Way to go Eva and Steven.

Thank you also to Ms. Bottema, Ms. Farqharson, Mr. Preston, Ms. Burton, Ms. McNichol and Mr. Pearson for their support of our students.  Our Business Department is outstanding - and their support and encouragement (and time) is very much appreciated.


LITERACY PREP

All of our OSSLT students (Grade 10's primarily) wrote a practice test this week.  This is in preparation for the provincial graduation requirement later in March.  The practice test does allow us to identify any students who may require some additional preparation for the test, and we will be coordinating extra assistance for students in the coming weeks.

If your child has been identified as a student who may require additional preparation you will be notified by our Literacy group.  If you do not receive any notification it has been determined that your child is in good position to write the test without further assistance.


SCHOOL LIFE

Now that we're back into classes....it also means that sports, music, drama, and other club activities are back in full swing.  Regular season games are winding down and the playoffs are just around the corner.  Good luck to all OT teams as they push toward the playoffs.
Spring is also a time for Music and Drama competitions and as such we have many artists and performers working toward their goals as well.  Stay tuned for updates on future music competitions, Sears Drama dates, and Improv events.


STUDENT SAFETY

#1  Coyote Update - We continue to work with the Town and Regional Police around any Coyote sightings.  Thankfully there have been no recent encounters.  Last week a representative from the Town spoke with OT staff around Coyote/Community challenges.  One of the primary challenges for all community members will be to be vigilent around issues like: garbage; feeding Coyotes; and our reaction should we encounter a Coyote.  Thank you for doing your part to ensure that you are not feeding (or leaving food out for) Coyotes and that you do not encourage their 'comfort' around human beings.  As we learned, Coyotes are singular creatures (aside from a partner).  They do not naturally seek out human interaction.  It's only when we condition them to expect food from us, and when we do not make an encounter uncomfortable for them,  that they will interact with people.

#2  Student Drivers - while our weather has been great so far.....please remind your son/daughter that driving to school is a privilege and that they must be careful on our neighbourhood streets and in the school parking lot.  As you might expect excessive SPEED is what we observe most often.  It doesn't take much to cause an accident and I know you'll share my concern that all drivers (parents, staff, and students alike) take care in and around the school.


COURSE SELECTION for 2016-17

Even though we've just begun semester two it is time to begin selecting courses for next year.  This week our Guidance Department met with all returning students and outlined the course selection process for this year.  As in previous years students will be selecting their courses online using MyBlueprint.  All students are familiar with this software and should have no issues selecting courses online.  Parents are encouraged to engage with their students to ensure that the proper courses are selected.  Please pay close attention to selecting the correct Grade AND LEVEL (Academic and Applied for Gr.9 and 10 + U, M, O, or E for senior students).
If this process is generating concerns or questions please contact the Guidance department as soon as possible.  Students and parents may also contact other teachers to enquire about appropriate course selection as well.  While our Student Services staff have the overall view of HS many of our subject specialists have valuable insight as well.


As we begin the Family Day Weekend I want to wish everyone a fantastic long weekend and hope that you are able to find some time with family and friends.

All the best.

John