December 2016



Natalia Stewart
Message From the Head of Boarding
Natalia Stewart

As we near the holiday season, the Boarding School has started to gear up for the upcoming weeks. On Friday, November 25 we had our annual Boarder Prayers. This Prayers is very special for us because it allows the girls that live in Boarding to showcase what it is like to live among 50 girls and the learning that evolves over time. We heard from two speakers, Kate Lunau in Grade 11 and Risa Iiyama in Grade 12. Both girls have lived in Boarding for several years and were able to beautifully articulate their experiences of being a Boarder at Havergal. Here’s a link to both speeches; we hope that you enjoy them as much as the audience did that day. At Prayers, our Boarders also performed a variety of wonderful music. Isabel Yang played Why Are Flowers So Red? on violin; Katrina Yeung and Alexis Yam sung Adele’s When We Were Young, with the accompaniment of Lois Ifekwe, Ini Seweje and Charmaine Koo; and Sheena McKeever, Carson Mitchell and Karinya Linford sang Rhianna’s hit song Stay. The audience also got to see the remarkable video editing of Claire Lee Jessie Lui, Alexis Yam and Katrina Yeung, who pieced together clips that were filmed by each grade to create an eight-minute Boarding video. The Boarders did a tremendous job in coming together to make a wonderful video – watch it here!

Not unlike past years, we have many Boarders who are involved in the Choir or Orchestra (sometimes both). These girls have been preparing for what could only be described as a magical evening in December: Carol Service. On Tuesday, December 13 at 7 pm, members of the Havergal community will descend on St. Paul’s Bloor St. church in downtown Toronto for an evening of lovely and breathtaking music conducted by Lynn Janes. If you have the time and are in town or around the area, we encourage you to come and see what the girls have been working on over the past few months. You will not be disappointed.

On Monday, December 19, the Boarding School will be hosting its international holiday dinner. We will be asking the girls to submit a recipe of their favorite holiday foods. This can be an appetizer, main course or dessert. Our Food Services team will replicate the dishes as authentically as possible. We encourage you to help by sending the wonderful recipes that your daughter loves so much, so she can experience a taste of home. We will be collecting recipes until Friday, December 9.

For those who are new to Havergal, you will soon be receiving what we call a Boarder Report. It consists of a synopsis of your daughter’s time since the start of the school year, covering highlights and areas to work on. The report is written by your daughter’s Don. You should receive it on Thursday, December 22.

Many of you have questions regarding the holiday departure time and what your daughter needs to do before she leaves the Boarding School. She does not need to completely pack up her room, but we do like the girls to follow the list of departure tasks that we will hand out before they leave. This includes removing items from the floor and on top of desks and book shelves. Most of your daughter’s items can be stored in her closet. Linen will need to be removed from her bed so that the cleaning staff can wash the bed cover. Our wonderful cleaning staff go through student rooms and do a deep clean of the surfaces, which is why we have the girls remove their small objects obstructing surface areas.

Lastly, you will be receiving and email from a company called REACH. We have teamed up with this Boarding software company to streamline sign-in and sign-outs, along with many other tasks that our staff currently report on paper. This system makes it very easy for you to approve overnight stays and leaves that we would normally have you send emails for. Please bear with us as we get this system up and running.

Thank you all for your support in making this another great year in Boarding!


Inside Boarding

Boarders at the Cavalcade of Lights
Cavalcade of Lights
Helen Zhang, Grade 11

On Saturday, November 26, a group of Boarders went to the 50th annual Cavalcade of Lights at Nathan Philips Square. Cavalcade of Lights is a great holiday tradition in Toronto, featuring spectacular fireworks, a skating party and musical performances. This Boarding event was organized by Risa, one of the Junior Dons, and it was a great opportunity for Boarders to go out and immerse themselves in the jolly Christmas atmosphere. We were very excited that Ayana Sumani, our Boarding Captain from last year, joined us for the evening; it was amazing to reconnect with our old Boarding friend! When we arrived, we saw the bright and merry Christmas tree light up in the square and that is when we really felt that Christmas was in the air! As the clock turned closer to 8:35 pm, the start time of the fireworks display, we made our way to Nathan Philips Square with anticipation. When the fireworks finally began, everyone looked into the sky with happiness and cheered with joy. Although the fireworks show was rather short, everyone had a warm smile on their faces because it was amazing to share this spectacular moment with our friends, along with all of the Torontonians! As Cavalcade of Lights marks the beginning of the holiday season, there will be plenty of Christmas events and celebrations in the city, such as the Christmas market at Distillery District. We are certainly looking forward to them!

#reunionwithayana #boardingcrew #squad


Boarders at Ripley's Aquarium
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
Lois Ifekwe, Grade 12

Ms. Stewart, Ms. Denis, three Junior Dons and about five other Boarders set out on Thursday, November 17 to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada to explore our underwater friends. We set out in the evening, so when we arrived it wasn’t very busy and there was room to roam. To start, we went to the last show of the evening featuring a stingray and hammerhead sharks. As they were being fed, we learned interesting facts about sharks and stingrays. Moving on, we walked through the jellyfish display to visit the interactive skunk cleaner shrimp. It is a versatile little shrimp that works diligently to clean dead skin and nails; we were able to dip our hands in their tank and feel them clean without harming or stinging. There was so much to see but very little time; we went through the Canadian Waters exhibit, Rainbow Reef and the Dangerous Lagoon walkway, which goes through a tunnel surrounded by 2.5 million litres of water. We treated ourselves to snacks and turns on the slide in the food court, then headed to the gift shop for some souvenirs before making our way back to Union Station.


Boarders at Halloween
Grad Haunted House
Alexis Yam, Grade 12

On Halloween, the scariest night of the year, the Grade 12 haunted house was in action! Screams and laughter echoed through the halls of Havergal. As a Grad myself, I can confirm that this was challenging work. We had to plan the plot, the decorations, the makeup, the costumes and the acting. It was hard to gather everyone and organize it with so many interesting ideas from each Grad. I took on the role of makeup and costumes and it was quite stressful. We ordered special Halloween makeup such as scar wax and thick blood to have the most realistic outcome. After successfully setting up and getting everything ready, we started the haunted house at 8 pm.

Although it was an optional event for all Boarders, a lot of girls and Dons showed up ready for a frightful adventure. Each group was tasked with figuring out a password from small clues hidden in each room in order to be allowed out of the haunted house. The girls wandered around the music tower and worked together to piece the clues together. There were successful scares and creepy scenesmy favourite part was the room with someone playing soft, ghoulish tunes on the piano while a ballerina danced and glared at the girls stopping by. Everyone had a fun and horrifying time at the Grad haunted house.


Boarders at Halloween Haunt
Halloween Haunt
Alex Couch, Grade 9

Upon arriving at Canada’s Wonderland and making it through the long security lines (which was an adventure in and of itself), I immediately realized that, as someone who scares alarmingly easily, it would probably be best to find a buddy before exploring Halloween Haunt. I therefore became a permanent fixture on my friend Isabel’s arm.

The atmosphere in the park was thrilling and frightening at the same time. There were intermittent screams of terror throughout, and the excitement in the air for Halloween was almost tangible. On multiple occasions as we made our way through the park, convincingly dressed zombies swooped on our path and did an extremely good job of scaring us. On one particularly notable occasion, as we ordered poutine, a clown took advantage of our turned backs to scare us. My heart has never raced so fast.

Isabel and I only managed to visit one haunted house due to the fact that the first one’s gory scenes of butchered bodies were about all I could manage. We did, however, spend quite a while on various roller coasters. Ms. Stewart and Ms. Denis, as well as Tyra, Alexis and Lois, visited several haunted houses during the evening. I’m not sure how they did it. Alejandra and Jasmine seemed to be on the same page as Isabel and I, and visited children’s rides for the majority of their visit. I’m excited to return next year, to once again be terrified by a poutine-line-lurking clown.


Boarders at the Cinderella Ballet
Risa Iiyama, Grade 12

On Friday, November 18, Kate, Alejandra, Risa and Ms. Curtin had the opportunity to watch Cinderella, a production of the National Ballet of Canada, one of the most famous ballet companies in the world. Cinderella was performed at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in downtown Toronto, located near Osgoode Station. The Four Seasons Centre is a beautiful theatre where opera from the Canadian Opera Company and ballet from the National Ballet of Canada are showcased.

National Ballet of Canada’s production of Cinderella was not only beautiful, but also unique. Instead of romantic tutus and traditional ballet costumes, a variety of beautiful clothes, mainly from the early 20th century, were used. For example, female dancers wearing 20th century style costumes stood en pointe and walked in a way that women with high heels would. Furthermore, the production entertained the audience with the incorporation of humour. Cinderella’s two stepsisters were hilarious throughout the story and when Prince Charming was searching for Cinderella, he travelled around the world to find her. Overall, Cinderella was a wonderful production. We hope the Boarders enjoyed it and liked spending time in downtown Toronto.


Carol Service
Upcoming Events

December 7: Grade 12 & Staff Dinner & Music Night
December 10: Nutcracker Ballet
December 13: Carol Service
December 19: Boarder Holiday Dinner
December 21: Boarding School Closed for the holiday season, until January 8

Mia Xing
Poetry by Mia Xing
Boarding Vocab 101: Roommate

Roommate /ˈro͞om’māt/ (n.)
A person you share your 15 square meter room, your snores, your laughs and cries, your food (sometimes shared involuntarily) and your dreams with.

Roommates are fun things to have, and some might say that when it comes to roommates, Boarders have been bad choices since the beginning of time… Here’s an itemized list of the “wrong roommates” one could encounter in a Boarding career.

  1. Messy floor.
  2. Blasts music constantly.
  3. Laughs at you when you are lifeless and studying for a math test.
  4. Says “no” when you ask for chocolate for the second time in 5 minutes.
  5. Brings up an assignment due the next day that you forgot about right before you go to sleep.
  6. Claims that your stuffed animal loves her more.
  7. Talks you into everything. Example: eating a double chocolate cookie after working out.

But at the end of the day, roommates are beings of awesomeness and fuzziness. They might be too quiet or too loud, might think your favourite music genre sucks, might think her celebrity crush is better than yours, but if you say “goodnight” they will always reply, if you want to Laugh Out Loud they will Roll On The Floor Laughing with you, and if you want to cry, they will always tease you, and then hug the life back into you.



Health & Wellness Update
Sharon Miller & Bonnie Best, School Nurses

In anticipation of the annual audit that Toronto Public Health does of our students’ immunization records, we have been reviewing all of our Boarding students’ records. Some of the records we have are very difficult to read because they have been sent electronically or because they are not in English. If this is the case, we will notify you and ask that you send us a more legible version of the record in the near future.

Ontario law requires that students be vaccinated against certain diseases in order to attend school in the province. There is a specific schedule of immunizations that must be followed. We are in the process of going through all of our Boarders’ files to make sure that the girls meet all these requirements. Many of the girls are due for boosters of Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertusis. Others require meningitis, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) or varicella (chicken pox) vaccines. We will be in touch should your daughter need any of these shots.

Many of the girls are asking if they can get the Gardasil vaccine which protects against cervical cancer. There are free clinics offered by Toronto Public Health that the girls can attend, but unfortunately, there are no more appointments available at the free clinics for the month of December. These clinics provide the original quadri-valent Gardasil vaccine. There is a new version of Gardasil that protects against nine strains of HPV. This one is not free but can be purchased with a prescription from our school doctor. It costs approximately $175 per shot and a series of three is needed. Should you decide that you would prefer the Gardasil 9 vaccine, the school nurses can administer it.

Flu shots and FluMist are still available in the Wellness Centre. It’s not too late to get this important vaccination!

As always, please contact us should you have any questions or concerns.

Happy Holidays!