Havergal Launches New Strategic Direction
Extended Closure of Campus – Message from the Principal
The holidays are just around the corner and your daughter is excited to see you! As usual, we have a busy few weeks ahead here in Boarding. Many girls are in the choir and are busy rehearsing for Carol Service on December 15. For that event, we will head down to St. Paul’s Bloor Street for 7 pm. The girls are also looking forward to our annual Christmas tree decorating in the Common Room on December 6 and the annual International Boarder Dinner on December 8. They have been steadily contributing food ideas from their home countries to create a delicious menu for all the staff and students to enjoy. Grads will be entertained by the many Christmas parties in their honour over the next few weeks. Students new to Canada have had a brief taste of a real Canadian winter with the dusting of snow we had last week.
It’s a wonderful time of year at Havergal, but the work and busy schedule do not stop. As your daughter leaves the school for this well-deserved break, please make sure she’s using it wisely, which means getting sleep and enjoying good food. We want to make sure that students come back well-rested because it is a long stretch between January and March Break.
As you know, report cards have arrived, which can be a very emotional time for the girls. There will be some unexpectedly high marks, but also some that were lower than anticipated. Know that your daughter is working hard, but there might be some areas in need of improvement. We are here to help. Your daughter’s Guidance Counsellor, teachers or I will have already contacted you if we had serious concerns to discuss next steps and course of action. If you have questions, please feel free to contact any of us directly.
You will also be receiving a Boarder Report from your daughter’s Don the day after she leaves school. The report will walk you through how your daughter is doing socially and emotionally at Havergal and in Boarding. It will touch upon highlights and give feedback on areas of improvement. Again, please feel free to contact your daughter’s Don or myself if you have any questions.
I mentioned above that there’s a big push from January to March; however, there is a small window in February for the girls to breathe over the Family Day long weekend. During this break, the Boarding School does not shut down; however, if the girls are going to stay, it means that they will engage in the planned weekend activity. This year we’re going on a trip to Niagara Falls! The Niagara region has many things to offer. The Falls themselves are absolutely spectacular and there are many neat things to do in town, but most of all the girls will be enjoying their time at Great Wolf Lodge – a hotel/theme park where the girls can have fun on water slides. We’ll be sending out more information and pricing in the new year.
I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday and best wishes to you all!
Assistant Head, Boarding
My daughter Paige has been a student in the Boarding School since the fall of 2012. I am a graduate from the Class of 1983. We have a beautiful 5,000 square foot lakefront home on Georgian Bay just north of Parry Sound, Ontario. We would like to invite the Boarding Class of 2016 to a final getaway over the Family Day long weekend.
We would charter transportation for the two-and-a-half hour drive north on Friday, February 12 at 9 am, returning to Havergal on Sunday, February 14 at approximately 3 pm. We will provide all meals for the girls and look forward to doing lots of outdoor activities during our stay, which may include sledding, skating, snowball fights, gathering around a bonfire and eating roasted marshmallows under fabulously bright stars. In our minds, winter is just as much fun at the cottage as it is in the summer – just add hot chocolate. My sister, a 1981 Grad, would help chaperon the girls during the weekend.
Please RSVP to me at your earliest convenience so I can plan a great weekend for the girls. My contact information is as follows:
31 Sawdust Bay Road South
The creative ways bowling balls could be thrown, slid, pushed and kicked to the pins always amazes me. Along with constant laughter and a music jam that made up for the heavy bowling balls that were attracted to the side gutters and ugly “anti-slip” shoes, it was a great night for all the girls who attended. On Saturday, November 21 a group of us headed to Bathurst Bowling Alley for a night of bowling, music, pizza and boys. Students from St. Andrew’s College (SAC) joined us and it was nice to mingle with some boys as a lighthearted change from our rigorous studying. By the end of the evening, contact details were exchanged, scores were determined, Snapchat stories were uploaded, group pictures were taken and people improved their bowling skills. It was a successful night to say the least!
On Monday, November 23, the Tao and Cole Boarding families went out for a surprise event. After a journey up Avenue Road, we finally arrived at the famous Yogurty’s frozen yogurt shop, which is extremely well known to almost all of the returning Boarders. As about 24 teenage girls entered and crowded the tiny shop, I noticed fear, excitement and nervousness on the cashier’s face. With some girls never having tried Yogurty’s prior to this event, the experts in the room took it upon themselves to help others with their decision making. When all of the cups, chairs and mouths were filled, there was silence all but for a split second before we noticed the questionnaires on our tables prepared by Ms. Tao and Ms. Cole. Though we groaned at the thought of doing work, we all agreed that some of the questions, when discussed among the tables, led to some great conversations. Overall the trip was a success; after all, there was frozen yogurt involved.
For Boarder Prayers this year on November 23, the theme was community and a real candid view of Boarding. As I stood in front of the podium to deliver the opening prayer, I saw the faces of 900-plus students, faculty and staff brighten up. After my prayer, Tiffany Conolly, a Grade 12 student in her third year at Havergal, gave a speech about how she was welcomed by her Boarding “sisters” as a new student and how she integrated herself into life at Havergal. She presented a slideshow showing some aspects of Boarding, such as compulsory study hall and in- and out-of-school activities. The Saturday morning and afternoon before Prayers had been spent filming a short video based on the ABCs of Boarding life that was shown to students. Each letter showed a different side of living in Boarding. Considering this was my first experience at Boarder Prayers, I’m looking forward to making many more memories.
The do-it-yourself (DIY) jewellery making was a really nice experience. I got to spend time with my friends from Boarding and make awesome jewellery. We made beautiful bracelets and everyone loved them. It was a bit challenging when I was making the loops for the bracelets, but the more I made, the easier it became. So many people complimented my bracelet not knowing that I was the one who made it. I’ve always enjoyed DIY projects and this was one of my favourites. I love that the bracelet that wraps around your wrist a couple of times and I try to wear it as often as possible. I would love to do something similar to this again.
December 8: Boarder Holiday Dinner
December 14: Brazilian Farewell Dinner
December 15: Carol Service
December 17: Boarding School Closes at 6 pm
January 3: Boarding School Reopens at 12 pm
January 7: Mandatory Surprise Outing
Perhaps I’ll always be the girl with something to say,
Maybe I’m not the bravest, as of today,
Maybe I find it hard to get up and speak,
Wisdom and courage is still all I truly seek.
But as the weather gets colder,
And as I get older,
I still have so much to say,
So as I sit and write,
Please hear my plight.
The world is changing.
Paris; my home was attacked a few weeks ago,
I’m still not sure. I still don’t know.
Why all the violence? Why all the hatred? Why did so many people have to die?
Because they didn’t share the same beliefs.
Because we couldn’t all live in peace.
So many human lives just sacrificed.
And for what? What gives another person the right to take a life?
All I can do is pray to God for the strength to make it through this time of strife.
I can’t apologize for the words I have written today.
All that we can do is pray.
#Pray for Paris. #Pray for the world.
So that’s it. That’s what I have to say.
Our Boarding community and Maki family welcome Diane to Havergal this year. There are many reasons why we love Diane. She is warm and friendly to all girls in Boarding. We feel her caring nature when she greets us with her cheery smile and a hello in the hallways. Many family members have commented on her optimistic and adventurous approach to challenges and fun.
Recently, Diane celebrated her first birthday away from home and had a blast doing something different and making plans with new friends. We are so happy to have celebrated with her!
Diane is easy to talk with and she shares openly with all members of our community. We are fortunate to hear her piano playing and she lets us know when she is having a tough day and that she could use a hug. She’s also a really excellent giver of hugs. Diane works hard in her academic life and on the weekends, you can find Diane studying in the Resource Centre. She enjoys good food and relaxes with friends by going out for dinner. We can’t wait to see what adventures Diane will get up to in the new year. I hear that she might want to cook for us in the school kitchen. Lucky us!