Havergal Launches New Strategic Direction
Extended Closure of Campus – Message from the Principal
Dear Parents and Guardians,
First term has come and gone and Canadian winter has arrived in Toronto, bringing chilly days and hot chocolate nights. Many girls returned from their Christmas holiday refreshed and ready for the New Year. Our new Boarders have now hit their stride and have settled into the groove of Boarding and Day Schools. It has been a wonderful year so far and we are looking forward to the next term, which will be a busy one.
For those of you who are looking to keep your daughter in Boarding during the February long weekend (February 16-19), we will be offering a French Canadian tour!
Day 1: Our journey will start early Friday morning with a pick-up from Havergal College via chartered bus. Boarders will travel to Ottawa and spend the day doing activities including ice skating on the famous Rideau Canal, touring Parliament and strolling through Byward Market. If there’s time, they will also hit up the Museum of Natural History. The chartered bus will then continue on to Montreal, arriving at around 10 pm.
Day 2: Wake up in Montreal. Breakfast will be followed by activities like exploring the Notre Dame Basilica. The group will depart at around 2:30 pm and head to Quebec City for more activities like snow tubing and the Winter Festival.
Day 3: On Sunday, Boarders will wake up and partake in a guided tour of the city with museums and a walk around the iconic downtown district. There are some optional places to go that Ms. Fraser and Ms. Vivas will discuss with the girls.
Day 4: On Monday, the group will depart for Toronto, arriving back at Havergal at around 9:30 pm.
The trip will be around $620. This includes transportation, hotel, food, insurance and basic spending money. Ms. Fraser and Ms. Vivas will be accompanying the girls on the adventure. A letter and tentative itinerary will be coming to your inbox soon, along with forms for you to sign should you wish to send your daughter on this great adventure! We will need to know your commitment by Friday, January 26.
The start of the new year brings much anticipated activities like semi-formal dances. Our Grade 11 and 12 semi-formal will be next week, on Friday, January 26. The girls are excitedly buying their dresses and gearing up for the big night. One thing I like to remind parents and guardians about are the pre-parties, which some of the girls may be interested in attending. Many of those parties will inevitably include alcohol. A reminder to anyone attending these events that they will need permission form their parents or guardians and myself. We do not tolerate alcohol at Havergal and a check will be done at the start of the evening when students enter the school for the dance. They will be asked to leave if a staff member deems they are unfit to attend the dance and parents will be notified.
An unsanctioned semi-formal has been organized for Grade 9 and 10s in April. As our Head of Senior School, Gillian Martin, has stated in her letter home to parents, this is not an event that is organized or supervised by Havergal. Parents should be wary and asking a great deal of questions before condoning attendance. Historically, this has been an event that has lacked structure and opened up an opportunity for students to partake in drugs and alcohol, particularly at the pre-parties. The same rules that apply to the older students apply to Grade 9 and 10s: permission has to be given by parents or guardians and the Head of Boarding before they can attend (whether they have purchased at ticket or not). Please make sure that you have a good conversation with your daughter before allowing her to attend.
Our annual student elections are coming up in April. Formal roles will be posted in mid-February and meetings will begin shortly after that to verbally explain the election process to students. Our Boarding School has a rigorous election process for Boarders who want to be considered for positions within Boarding. The girls will apply with a formal application for the position(s) they want. They will then go through an interview process and, finally, those who are selected will be put on the ballot, to be voted on by the Boarding community. We instill this process to give the girls experience preparing for an interview and for us to know that those who are applying are serious about the role. The Boarding positions take work and commitment; they are rigorous and time-consuming but grant a great deal of skills as well as personal and professional development. We are looking for students who want to make a difference in our community and help it grow. We know that some students will face disappointment throughout this process, but it is not unlike real life.
Our current leadership team will be sitting down with perspective candidates to explain their portfolios and involvement in their roles starting at the end of January. We encourage all who are interested to attend these meetings to get a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities. Dates will be posted in the Boarding School and announced at our Family Announcements next Monday.
Day School positions will be posted mid-February and meetings will be announced by Ms. Wade and Mr. Nichols shortly. We highly encourage our Boarders to attend those meetings and apply for the Day School positions they are most interested in. These opportunities are a great way to become more involved in the community and gain greater leadership experience before attending university. Please look for notifications and emails about this process through Dr. Simmonds’ weekly message in the next few weeks, as well as from Ms. Wade and Mr. Nichols.
I wish everyone joy and happiness for this New Year. Please do not hesitate to email me any questions you may have regarding any of the above.
Head of Boarding
Boarding is a place where girls from different countries and backgrounds come together to create a comfortable and diverse community. Each and every one of us brings a unique aspect to Boarding, but something we all share is the love of food. As the biggest foodie in Boarding, I am extremely thrilled to be the Special Dinners Junior Don this year! My role consists of planning and hosting special dinners such as the Chinese New Year dinner, Valentine’s dinner and more! Something very exciting I do throughout the year is work with other Boarders to plan meals that represent our home countries. A few upcoming events that girls will be hosting are the Caribbean, Mexican and Japanese dinners. These unique events are not only fun and delicious, but are also educational because there are so many stories and interesting facts behind the cultural dishes. So far, we have hosted the Thanksgiving and the International Christmas Dinners. The International Dinner is my favourite because we celebrate the end of the year with our teachers and friends while eating dishes from countries that Boarders are from. With a community full of diverse, energetic and hungry girls, I am excited to work with everyone on our special dinners this year!
Greetings and welcome back from a wonderful holiday season! Living and working at Havergal College this year has been a journey—one of personal and professional growth. Being responsible for the overall welfare of 52 teenage girls is no easy feat, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Although I have previous experiences in residential life, the girls at Havergal bring a lot more vibrancy, joy and energy to my time and experience here. I also work with a great team of people and the support and guidance they provide me helps me ensure that I give this back to the girls and the rest of the community. It’s been two eventful and lively terms so far, to say the least, and I am excited to be a part of what lies ahead within our Boarding School.
“To not procrastinate!” – Catherine
“To accept and appreciate myself for who I am, write more poems, stop procrastinating.” – Charmaine
“To have more sleep and less dreams, unless they are good ones.” – Sherry
“To drink more water!” – Ms. Fraser
“To exercise more.” – Osuare
“To get back to self-practicing yoga, travel more and cut back on sugar!” – Ms. M.
We would like to remind all of our readers that in the next month, students will be preparing for the upcoming Election Season! We encourage all girls to try out for these positions if they have any interest in becoming a student leader in our community. There are many great opportunities to be involved in school life, where one can form new connections and make a difference.
I was born and raised in the old town of Shanghai for almost 15 years before coming to Havergal. Though there are fancy skyscrapers in the new town on the east side of the Huangpu River, which divides the city in two, the old town is famous for its exotic and historical building clusters. In the mid-nineteenth century, lots of European merchants came to Shanghai and established their own settlements along the west side of the river, which now is known as the Bund and also called the “world Expo of architectures.” Since then, Shanghai has become the financial center, the most fashionable city and one of the economic engines of China.
I tossed and turned in my bed on the night before my first day of Havergal because I had lots of butterflies in my stomach. During my first Prayers, I didn’t even bow my head until my buddy whispered to me to do so. I was late for all of my classes because I kept getting lost in the school. However, with help from my buddy, my Boarding sisters and other girls, I have made more friends and learned more about the curriculum. Gradually, I have successfully integrated myself into the Havergal way of life. Now I play “Flappy Golf” with friends after lunch and have had my first snow fight, attended Carol Service and whispered “gotcha” to others in the hallway. They are all wonderful moments during my first term at Havergal.
January 20: Hide and Seek Tag
February 3: Kahoot/Quizzes/Games
February 10: “Why I Love You” Books
February 24: Salon Day
March 9: Flower Letters
She picks up her pens that are scattered across the table and stuffs them into her worn blue pencil case. The clock ticks twelve Midnight and her sight lingers on the freshly printed choreography that perches on her stack of medical notes on the mahogany table. The choreography was arranged for her friend who lives a life of dancing she wished she had. A long sigh escaped her lips as she gathered her binders and books with helplessness seeping from her eyes.
Year after year of scholarships and an entire family of doctors dictated her future. Of course she was capable. A longstanding 98% average gives her the golden ticket a lot of students wished they had, it is only the choice between Cambridge and Harvard. With grandparents as owners of the largest medical company in the industry and parents as top-tier neurosurgeons, she realized that her fate is set in stone. There is no way she can pave her way out of her predestination peacefully.
Dancing is her passion: sleepless nights in dance clubs, peculiar ways to sneak out of the house carrying her heels, and to find her way back in before sunrise. Those were the best days of her life. Yet what can she do?
She gazed through her eyelashes and stared at the medical terminologies on her notes. Wishing her fate was as complicated; not this blunt, straight line like the edge of paper; a fate that even she herself cannot bend. Maybe that is why she loves dancing, all the spins and twirls, bends and leaps; she felt when she was dancing as if she made all the turns she couldn’t make in her life. Her fate is one that she either follows or breaks, but she dares not break it, or does she?