Havergal Launches New Strategic Direction
Extended Closure of Campus – Message from the Principal
Spring has finally sprung here in Toronto. The trees are blooming, the grass is green and our students are counting down their final weeks to summer. The last few weeks have been more than eventful, with Senior Music Night and Founders’ Day, where the Havergal community got to say farewell to our beloved faculty member Lynn Janes, Head of Music, before she retires at the end of the school year. The dwindling winter weeks have led to spring athletics tryouts, for which many of our Boarders are participating on teams, as well as family outings and other Boarding School events. Our most watched event this year was the student leadership elections. Of course the elections are exciting for all. For many it ends with happy outcomes, but for some it was not the outcome they were looking for. It is always a great teachable moment for those girls who do not get elected for the positions they want; they are still able to contribute to the community in other ways and support those who were elected. It is a test a character and resilience that we hope the girls will remember as they go through life.
We are extremely proud of all the girls who ran for positions this year. So many girls in the Boarding School were elected to the school. We have girls who will be leading our Poetry, Mandarin and Philosophy Clubs to name a few. We also have our Junior Don team for next year. A huge congratulations to Osuare Atafo, our Boarder Prefect for the 2017-18 school year. We are all very proud of her. Osuare has contributed greatly to the community over the past three years. Her character and integrity are exceptional and we all look forward to working with her. Junior Dons will need to be back for Wednesday, August 30 to start their training. A separate email will be sent to parents shortly with the details.
As you are aware, summer holidays are just around the corner, which means to get there, the girls need to leap one last hurdle: exams! Many of the Grade 11 and 12s who are writing APs are already on their way to prepping as those exams are coming up shortly. Between AP and regular exams, we have our final few events of the year. On Monday, May 15 we will hold our annual year-end dinner, where we will say goodbye to members of our Boarding family for the summer, to our Grade 12s, who will beginning their university or gap year journeys in September, and to the four other girls who will be leaving us this year. The farewell dinner is a bittersweet night for all of us, but we hope that all Boarders leave Havergal with many great memories and experiences.
The last day the Boarding School is open is Friday, June 16, which is also Graduation Day. We encourage Grade 9 and 10s to depart soon after their last exam, as many seniors usually have longer to go and need the quiet space for studying. Please let us know if you require your daughter to leave later then 24 hours after her last exam. Grade 11 and 12s have many events scheduled in the last few days before Graduation. You will see in Veracross that our Candlelight Ceremony and Boarder Parent Tea are on Thursday, June 15. The Candlelight Ceremony is for Grade 11 and 12s and the Boarder Tea is just for Grade 12s. The girls are welcome to stay in Boarding after exams are over to attend these events.
I wish you all a happy spring!
Boarders enjoyed a Japanese dinner in the dining room on Tuesday, April 18, with the goal of introducing them to Japanese cuisine (other than famous sushi). A menu was created by Risa and Yuko, our Boarders from Japan, and included Japanese-style beef curry, karaage, tempura, kimpira gobo, pickles and green tea ice cream. To prepare for the dinner, some Boarders helped in the kitchen and had the opportunity to cook with Food Services staff and each other. All the dishes were delicious and Risa and Yuko were happy to be able to share a part of their culture from their home through food.
If I had been told a year or two ago that I would be going to a restaurant that is in complete darkness, I would have laughed. One, I was completely scared of being in the dark, and two, I was a very paranoid tenth grader. However, in March I got the chance to go to O.Noir with four Grade 9s and four other Grads. O.Noir is a restaurant where the staff is blind and the customers get to experience a small glance at what it is like to be blind in a restaurant, because they eat their food in complete darkness. I was nervous, as were the other Boarders. Questions like, “How do you eat in the dark?” “How would I see my water or drink?” “What if I need to use the bathroom?” were running through my mind. We took transit and walked into the restaurant that was located underground, to eliminate natural light. We were given the menu in a dimly-lit reception area, then introduced to our server. At this point we were about to go into the darkness and my nerves were on a high. Our server guided us in by hand-to-shoulder and sat us down. In the wait between sitting down and getting our food, we Grads and Grade 9s bonded. It was probably the longest conversation I had held with any of them, which I really appreciate. There was a point during the dinner where we overheard that it was one of the guest’s birthdays and we wished them a happy birthday and sang the birthday song to them. It was the most spontaneous thing I had ever done and I would love to do it again.
May 15: Boarder Farewell Dinner
May 15: Last Boarder Hip Hop
May 18: Caribbean Dinner
May 20: Canada’s Wonderland
May 22: Picnic at Branksome Hall
May 26: Prom