One of the goals of last Friday’s Faculty PD was for curriculum leaders from across all three schools (Junior, Middle and Senior) to begin delving into the mindset and researching the learning behaviours of Gen Z, the generation of students we are currently teaching (born between 1997 and 2012), and who many of us have as children.
The Grade 11 Environmental Science students were in for a treat on Tuesday when they took a field trip to visit the University of Toronto’s Koffler Scientific Reserve (KSR) for an overview of their extensive research centre and an opportunity to gather data firsthand.
In 1973 in Williams Lake B.C., a six-year-old girl named Phyllis Jack Webstad was given an orange shirt as a gift from her grandmother. This was a gift, given in celebration of her first day of school. Little did they know that just hours later that same school would steal not just her orange shirt, but her language, culture, family and so much more. Horrifically, stories just like this were happening all over Canada, as the residential school system was designed to strip these children of everything they’ve ever known.
Last week, Mr. Moorlag's Grade 9 Math students took a break from their textbooks and participated in listening to a livestream hosted by the Ontario Science Centre, featuring Bryan Bellefeuille, Anishinaabe of the Nipissing First Nation.
It's been nearly two years since we held our last Pre-Owned Uniform Sale! It's time to gather any CDS uniform items that are "gently" used and bring them to CDS on Tuesday, September 21st between 8:30-9:30 AM and 3:00-4:30 PM only.
Andrew Bartle is a CDS alumnus from the Class of 2004. He earned his BA (Hons) in Geography at Nipissing University and a B.Ed. at the University of Ottawa. Mr. Bartle returned to CDS in 2011 to teach Grade 9 and 12 Physical Education classes before joining the Junior School faculty as a homeroom teacher in Grades 4 and 5. For the past 6 years, he has taught Outdoor Education to a range of different grades.
There are a lot of faculty and staff updates to share with you this year, including 6 new faculty members, summer wedding announcements and internal staffing changes. Details are included in the attached letter from Head of School John Liggett.
Please join us in welcoming our six new faculty members to CDS!
As the weather gets cooler and the days shorter, why not combine your love of reading with an opportunity to connect with other members of the CDS Parent Community?
Following on the success of our Parent Book Review Evenings last year, we are pleased to continue the Book Review series this year. Join us for a virtual gathering on Wednesday, October 27 at 7PM to discuss The Rose Code by Kate Quinn, The New York Times bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network. Quinn’s latest novel is a fascinating tale that follows three female codebreakers at Bletchley Park during WWII.
This summer we approached our 2021 Portrait of a Graduate videos differently than previous years. In an effort to capture this moment in history, we asked four of our recent graduates to record their answers to a series of questions, including what advice they would offer their Grade 9 self, what education with balance means to them, and their biggest takeaway from attending their last year of high school during a global pandemic.
Grade Parents are an integral part of the CDS community. They assist us in a variety of areas including: communicating messages to their classes from the School and teachers, participating and volunteering with promotion of school events, and assisting whenever needed.
The success of our Canadian athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games was significant, culminating in 24 medals, including seven gold, six silver and 11 bronze, and placing Canada 11th in official medal standings and overall count.
The Country Day School has had four alumni go on to play in the NHL, including Mike Cammalleri ’99, Victor Mete ’16 and Jakob Chychrun ’16. But it wasn’t until last summer that a CDS alumnus hoisted the Stanley Cup. Barclay Goodrow ’11 became the first to do so after he helped the Tampa Bay Lightning defeat the Dallas Stars in the NHL’s Stanley Cup finals last fall.
Mari Pietersen ’22 realized a lifelong dream earlier this month when she learned she was one of only 46 of the country’s top U18 female hockey players selected to participate in this year’s National Women’s Under-18 Team Summer Development Camp Showcase at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary July 29-August 5.
The campaign for the Junior School is proceeding full steam ahead and the groundbreaking took place this week. While the pandemic may have delayed the start date by a year, the fundraising behind the scenes is now at $5.8 million of our $7 million goal. Our builders, Venture Construction, took possession of the Junior School last Wednesday and have officially broken ground on the expansion.
As we draw this year to a close, we are reminded that music has been at the forefront throughout this pandemic. Whether you listened to it, played it, or created it, music was a calming and constant presence that we all have been very thankful for.
A special virtual Grad Rally took place on Tuesday for the GYs. The students were invited to connect with each other remotely using different forms of technology provided by ALIVE Outdoors - through their Connectival Online Programs.
At the end of April, selected Grade 4, 5 and 6 students wrote a national math contest. We have waited a long time and the results are finally in. Along with the winners, we would like to take an opportunity to recognize everyone who participated. These students worked hard in their preparations to be able to put forth their best effort on contest day.
Although they will always be Cyclones, after another far from ordinary Grade 12 year, our intrepid and resilient grads are about to become Golden Gaels, Falcons, Gryphons, Mustangs and Tritons, at universities and colleges across Canada and beyond. In total, 28 different institutions have made the list of destinations for our GYs, including some traditional favourites and first-time destinations.
On May 12th, all of our Middle School students and one Junior School student were given the opportunity to participate in the University of Waterloo’s Gauss Mathematics contest. This is a one-hour long multiple choice contest that provides students a chance to strengthen their problem solving skills by engaging with problems that cover the scope of the curriculum and beyond.
In honour of Pride Month, CDS raised the Pride Flag on Tuesday for the first time in its history. Michael Cherny from the Class of 2008, Ms. Geneva Winterink, Simona Tiberio-Leung ’21 and Katya Harbauer ’21 from the Inclusivity Barbershop club were on hand to celebrate our school's continued commitment to diversity and inclusion.
It’s a long standing tradition to give GYs a separate and final bow on the CDS stage. At last week's final assembly, the GYs who have participated in both the drama curricular and extra- curricular program will get to have a virtual final bow. Watch the video.
The Grade 12 drama class have worked hard on both creating their own theatre company, Collective Collision Theatre Company, and writing their final performance.
Although Sophie Hudson received a lot of interest to play university hockey south of the border, she wanted to play in the highly competitive Canadian university hockey system and chose Queen’s University. According to Sophie, her decision feels just right.
Queen’s Women’s Hockey Coach, Matt Holmberg, first reached out to the Aurora forward in spring 2019 when she was playing Junior hockey in Toronto. That fall, he toured her around the Gael’s sports facilities and stayed in frequent contact thereafter.
In our assembly last Thursday, Middle School students were lucky enough to be joined by alumna Julia Garbe '17, who, during her time at CDS, was heavily involved in the then-fledgling robotics program in the Senior school. She joined us to talk about her university studies, her current internship with Apple, and how some of the choices she made along the way brought her to where she is now.
GradX is the Grade 12 Art Exhibition which takes place each May in celebration of the culminating year of students in the art program. The show is a collaboration of art works created by the Grade 12 art class and provides them with an opportunity to display their works to the public.
Thanks to the perseverance of Co-editors Maria Ivoditova ’22 and Danyal Hakeem ’22, and their Faculty Advisors, Ms. Hudson and Mr. Fanni, the second edition of the revamped Eversley Register is now in print.
The Grade 12 music class has been working hard on a project throughout the third term. They would have typically presented a live concert, but due to many restrictions and obstacles, this was not to be.
Therefore, the students embarked on somewhat of a musical journey, incorporating all that our music technology programs have to offer. What resulted was a great deal of innovation and creativity in the form of individual podcasts. The students were presented with several tasks. It first began with choosing a solo piece, with piano accompaniment, which they thought they might be able to perform in their annual ISU concert.
On Wednesday April 7th, seven highly motivated Senior School students participated in the annual Euclid math contest. This is the most challenging of the University of Waterloo math contests and is offered to students at the Grade 12 level or below. It is a 2.5 hour, paper-only contest containing 10 questions that require clear explanations of how answers are obtained with the use of proper mathematical form.
Since last year’s Summer Reading Club was such a success, Mr. Fanni will be hosting the Summer Salon again this July for keen Grade 10 and 11 students interested in reading important, relevant and compelling works.
The Grade 5 and 6 Public Speaking finals were held on Monday, May 17th. This was the 13th annual competition held in our Junior School. Competitions were conducted using the Google Meet platform. Mr. Liggett, Mrs. Wildberger and Miss Belch judged the final competition.
On her day off last Friday, Nicole Damianidis ’22 hosted a Girls in ICT (information and communications technology) conference with six other impressive female panelists to discuss the gender digital divide. It was free and open to girls in Grades 7-12, and with very little lead time, Nicole’s 90 minute conference drew nearly 50 attendees interested in learning more about technology and STEM.
Over the past few weeks, two of our GY students received exciting news that they have been awarded significant scholarship awards based on their academic accomplishments, combined with a strong commitment to student life demonstrated through community leadership, volunteer service, and a passion for the arts or athletics.
Among many of the genres taught in our English courses (including satire, science fiction, social realism, bildungsroman, etc.), the Gothic in particular is used to turn our readers towards the shadows cast by the familiar ideas, values and epistemologies that structure the status quo.
Earlier this week, John Liggett informed the community about Director staffing updates for 2021/2022, including news that Joanne Belch, Susan Scott and Sheldon Rose will be retiring at the end of the school year.
We will also be saying goodbye to two beloved teachers in the Junior School: Lori Pella and Suzan Lyn.
For Middle School avid readers, a new online club has emerged this term. The MS Book Club has been in full swing since February. Every Wednesday, our Middle School students are transported to a galaxy far, far away where they get lost in the magic of books.
At the end of April, the Middle Schoolers challenged their creativity and knowledge of the French culture in a hands-on, culture-exploring week. The Grade 7s were tasked with creating a representation of the French culture from all around the world - la francophonie, while the Grade 8s were invited to recreate a famous monument in France. The creativity was magnifique!
On April 23 and 29, The Country Day School competed in an Ontario-wide mock trial tournament hosted by the Ontario Bar Association and the Ontario Justice Education Network. Each team consisted of 6-8 students with 4 lawyers and 2-4 witnesses. The students prepared to present both the prosecution and defence sides of a criminal case, which this year was for assault causing bodily harm. In the case, the teams had to prove or disprove that the defendant pushed another person down a flight of stairs during an argument. The teams are given points for their legal argumentation and for how well they portrayed their roles as lawyers and witnesses. The additional challenge this year was that the tournament was held in front of actual judges via Zoom video conferencing, similar to how actual criminal trials are being held now due to COVID restrictions.
For the past five years, Arts Society King (ASK) has invited CDS to participate in a student art exhibit featuring artwork from the three King Township Secondary Schools. The goal of this initiative is primarily to celebrate the talented young artists within the King community. It has also presented an opportunity for students to participate in a professionally-executed art exhibition, thereby offering our young artists recognition, encouragement, mentorship, a positive art experience and more. The event has truly grown into a community-based celebration of youth art.
The Grade 12 World Cultures class was a new addition to the slate of courses offered at CDS this year. The course examines aspects of culture and identity with multiple opportunities to look at significant contemporary issues.
Last Friday, Henry Xiu ’22 and Kevin Liu ’21 participated in the first-ever virtual independent school Chess Tournament organized by our very own Mr. Jason Jugoon. In addition to CDS, Appleby, Crescent and UTS signed on for a total of 16 competitors. Henry (Team Captain) and Kevin placed 9th and 8th respectively, but Appleby swept the podium.
The Grade 12 World Cultures class was a new addition to the slate of courses offered at CDS this year. The course examines aspects of culture and identity with multiple opportunities to look at significant contemporary issues.
A major part of the course is a social action project. Students identified an area of equity, social justice or cultural diversity in which they were interested. They researched their topic and developed a plan for an initiative that would foster change in their area. The students not only developed critical thinking and organizational skills, but they emerged with a feeling that they have helped promote positive change no matter how big or small.
Congratulations to all of our student performers who put forth a fantastic show for last week’s spring Coffee House. More than 20 students submitted video performances, including piano solos, duets, a modern dance number, a surreal MTV-style video, and some fabulous artwork with musical accompaniment. As well, quite a few successfully dazzled the audience with their newfound video/sound editing and mixing skills!
As you know, today marks the 51st anniversary of Earth Day. Spending time outdoors in nature has always been a cornerstone of a CDS education. In spite of having to celebrate our second Earth Day in a row in lockdown, our Outdoor Ed teachers are pulling out all the stops to continue to inspire their students to become stewards of the Earth, even if it’s from their backyard.
During the month of March, the Middle School Council wanted to find a unique way to give back to the community. Coffee Cares was an initiative started to thank local healthcare heroes. The goal was to collect as many gift cards as possible for various coffee shops (Tim Hortons, Starbucks, etc.) to deliver to the ICU and COVID-19 unit at Southlake Hospital in Newmarket.
The Grade 1s had a wonderful visit with some interesting insects during a live virtual field trip to the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory this week. The children went on a tour of the greenhouse and had an up close experience with fluttering butterflies and four different insect friends. Some of the insects they met were Jenny the Malaysian Jungle Nymph, Mr. and Ms. Madagascar Cockroach, Millie the Indonesian Millipede and camouflaging Owl Caterpillars.
The King Heritage & Cultural Centre (KHCC) has been doing some very inventive things this past year while their doors have remained closed due to COVID restrictions.
Perhaps the most exciting is forging a relationship with a local software company, Treasured, Inc., resulting in a free virtual exhibit titled Stories of King, featuring interesting and lesser-known tales from the Township.
In recognition of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 7-8, Mr. Downer’s class took part in an activity put on by Liberation75. The class got to hear the renowned Holocaust historian, Deborah Lipstadt, speak about antisemitism past and present during class on Wednesday morning. Dr. Lipstadt is a professor of Holocaust Studies at Emory College in Atlanta and well known for winning a libel case against Holocaust denier, David Irving, in 2000. She is also a historical consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.
This week, our Grade 6s had a very special visitor, Jose Torrealba. Jose is currently in his 4th year of a five-year program at Western University where he is pursuing a double major in Business and Computer Science at the Richard Ivey School of Business. As a CDS alumnus, he introduced himself by showing a picture of his graduating class from 2017 and went on to speak to the Grade 6s about Financial Literacy.
Senior School students heard from a special alumni guest at Monday’s Assembly. Michael Cherny ’08 joined them virtually to talk about making the decision to live his truth and his long involvement in championing diversity and inclusion. He urged students to live authentically and to never apologize for who they are, that others in the CDS community will always be there to support them.
As Director of Middle School, I am fortunate to observe our middle-schoolers as they interact with their teachers in the classrooms. Despite the challenges presented this year, our commitment to the Arts is unwavering and during this week's Middle School assembly, Ms. Barbanchon shared with the students her end of term Middle School visual art showcase.
It should come as no surprise that CDS basketball stalwart Carly Magarelli ’21 will continue her play this fall as a Varsity Blue. The point guard has run the show on every CDS basketball team she has taken the court with, leading her team to two CISAA titles in the Senior School before an injury and COVID abruptly ended her high school basketball career.
The CDS Auction has historically been referred to as the “best annual event in King.” First held in 1974, this unforgettable event has consistently raised upwards of $200,000-$250,000 in recent years, for a running total of more than $6.1 million dollars over 46 years. More importantly, it has become a CDS community tradition that everyone wants to be a part of.
The Social Justice team has been bringing joy to frontline healthcare workers and seniors over the past month.
CDS is helping Fatima Manshadi, owner of the Maple Teahouse & Bake Shop in Aurora, to make lunches for frontline workers at Southlake Hospital. This week, the ER nurses will be receiving chicken kebabs from Fatima thanks to the funding done during our last dress-down day. Members of the Social Justice Club wrote personal thank you notes that will accompany each hand-packed lunch, expressing our gratitude and appreciation for all of their hard work.
Schomberg resident and first-time author, Robin Leacock, spoke with our MS English classes and Grade 12 Writer's Craft recently about his newly released book, Evolo, a young adult science fiction novel.
Congratulations to Alexandra Azrilyant '23 and Briana Mascan '23 for qualifying for DECA Internationals this year with their Entrepreneurship Start-Up Business Plan written project and presentation. They will be competing (virtually) against approximately 20,000 other competitors from around the world in April.
In honour of the incredible women in our community and around the world, we recognized International Women’s Day this week. Student Council members, Ashley Munro ’21 and Erica Campagna ’21, created this video shown at Senior School Assembly featuring members of our community sharing the names of the women who they find most inspirational.
While it wasn’t the same as stepping off the bus at McGill, Carleton or Western, only to be greeted and toured by 10 or 15 familiar faces, our Alumni made a herculean effort to paint an insightful picture virtually for our GY and Grade 11 students on what university life is like, even in the midst of a pandemic.
Jen Weening, Technology Integration Specialist: Middle & Senior Schools
Last week, Ms. Stefanescu's and Ms. Weening's Communications Technology classes were lucky to welcome Matt Mendelsohn, a professional photographer based in Northern Virginia, as a virtual guest in their classes as they began their study of photography. Matt's photography experience stretches from covering the Gulf War, the White House, and professional sporting events in his career as a photojournalist to celebrity portraits, weddings, and photo essays. He is also a gifted writer who has turned some of his unique experiences into beautifully-written essays, supported by some of his photos.
Today, students in the Junior School participated the Take Me Outside Day initiative. Learning was taken beyond the desk and four walls of the classroom and all classes were encouraged to use the great outdoors as part of their day and engage with our beautiful campus and nature.
Exciting News! This week, Grade 6 students began to build robots for their robotics project. We used Lego Mindstorms Kits and followed instructions really closely so that the bots came together the way that they should.
Our GYs and Grade 11 students have been invited to join Mr. Huckvale and a number of other SS faculty members and Alumni for a premier CDS event - the first-ever virtual University Tour to be held on Tuesday, March 2 at 4:00 pm.
Peter Johnson joined the Junior School Outdoor Education faculty in September. He has a BA in Psychology/BSS Criminology from the University of Ottawa and B.Ed. in Junior/Intermediate Division from the University of Toronto. Mr. Johnson has more than 20 years of educational experience teaching science, geography and history as well as an extensive background instructing young people in outdoor settings. He has taught in the Durham District School Board and at an independent school in Toronto.
Please join us for an informative discussion on Diversity & Inclusion featuring CDS parent Tamara Estabrooks on Monday, February 22nd at 10:00 am on Zoom. This is a free webinar open to CDS parents, friends and family members. We will share the link with you on Sunday for you to pass along.
A Speech-Language Pathologist by profession, Tamara is also the author of Perfectly Peach, a children's book she co-authored 10 years ago. She and her friend Vicky created this book in response to some of the questions their children were asking about colour, race and acceptance. Their ultimate goal was to bring colour to all children's lives and make them feel accepted and loved for who they are.
Avery Benlolo ’21 had just finished her afternoon class online, when she checked her emails and learned she had been accepted to her first choice - Queen’s Commerce. A little while later, she received a second email informing her that she was a recipient of a prestigious Queen’s Chancellor Scholarship; the same coveted award her eldest sister Lexi won three years ago.
On Monday, our Senior School students were treated to a virtual presentation by CDS alumnus Dr. Hartland Jackson '02. Hart has been working in breast cancer researcher for the past six years at the University of Zurich and recently moved back to Toronto to launch his own research lab at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute in Mount Sinai Hospital. He is also participating in an antibody test trial having contracting COVID-19 back in March.
Today in Ms. Hudson's Grade 12 Writer's Craft course, the students were treated to a virtual presentation and discussion with Joseph Amenta, a queer filmmaker and artist based in Toronto. Joseph's work focuses on empowering the most marginalized in LGBTQ communities by telling their stories with empathy.
CDS Junior School staff, students and their families answered the challenge to share stories together on February 3rd by participating in WORLD READ ALOUD DAY! This global literacy event is celebrated in over 173 countries now and the numbers continue to grow.
Last Saturday, three Grade 11 students Tawana Ngorima, Nilou Doust and Lauren Neil participated in Carleton University’s virtual SOAR Student Leadership Conference.
Students were challenged and inspired to develop their leadership skills through informative and interactive workshops and presentations. Speakers included current Carleton students, alumni, and even Martin Luther King III, all of whom raised the question, what does leadership mean to you?
Please join us for the next Parent Association Speaker Series Zoom webinar on Monday, February 22 at 10AM. This month's topic is Diversity & Inclusion: Let's Have a Conversation featuring Tamara Estabrooks.
Tamara is a CDS Parent and Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist, in private practice in King City, ON. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, she has worked for over 20 years with children in both public and private school settings.
Courtney Taylor, Middle School Guidance Counsellor & Learning Strategist
This morning, the Middle School gathered for their usual Thursday morning assembly, this week with an emphasis placed on mental health. The messaging focused on the importance of talking openly about our mental health and that it is OKAY to talk to someone we trust if we, or someone we love, may be struggling.
As a society we talk openly about our physical health - if we catch a cold or break a bone. The conversation should be just as natural for us to talk about our mental health and how to go about receiving treatment and support for it. However, mental health isn’t as obvious and is often concealed, yet equally as important.
In honour of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Wednesday, our Senior School students heard from Max Eisen in Monday's virtual Assembly. Mr. Eisen shared the story of how at the age of 15, he and his family members were deported to Auschwitz in spring 1944. He went on to lose more than 60 family members in the Holocaust, but made a promise to his father that he would bear witness to what happened should he survive.
Vanessa Chychrun is not only an accomplished golfer, Country Day School Class of 2020 Alumna and Aurora resident, but now a first year student studying Astrophysics at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Golfers won’t be surprised to learn that continuing her education at “The Home of Golf” played a massive role in her decision to attend.
Last week we witnessed a pivotal historical event take place in Washington, DC, with the inauguration of VP Kamala Harris as the first female, the first Black woman and the first person of South Asian descent to become U.S. Vice President.
We encourage you to check out some of the interesting enrichment opportunities for MS and SS students listed on the CDS Student Services Centre website. Some of these opportunities start next month, while others will take place over March Break.
The following are remarks by Dave Harvey, Director of Academics, from Monday's Academic Assembly.
Good morning, and welcome to the first Academic Assembly of 2021. The general theme of this Academic Assembly is How to keep your act together when it seems your world is falling apart. In difficult times like these, it’s easy to feel defeated, and more than a little fatalistic about how to see your way through to the light at the end of this seemingly endless tunnel. It’s important, though, to remember that there is light at the end, that this, too, shall pass.
In Ms. Moonan's Grade 10 Canadian History class, the students are currently wrapping up a unit on the 1920s. Throughout the unit, they learned about the economic roar, analyzed the laws surrounding Prohibition, learned about key Canadian events, and acted in character as they engaged in a physically distanced speakeasy icebreaker activity.
The CDS Parent Association is pleased to present well-known parenting expertsDr. Robert EvansandDr. Michael G. Thompsonfor a free Zoom webinar -Parenting in a Time of COVID- on Monday, January 18th.
There is no harder job than being a parent. Nothing else touches so much of a person so deeply or unpredictably, and there is no training for it. With COVID, the pace of life has accelerated, media influences have intensified, and things are less predictable.
At today’s Middle School Assembly, I asked the students and the teachers to work out what these are …
The answer is ‘bum warmers’, and ‘bum warmers’ are used to warm the muscles of cyclists before a race. The extra warmth means the cyclists can start one hundredth of a second faster than their opponents.
It is with great sadness that we share news that Dr. John Mollard, former CDS parent and Board Chair from 1988-1990 (having served on the Board from 1984-90), passed away peacefully on December 25, 2020 surrounded by his family. John and his wife Jane's four children, Peter, Andrew, Megan and Chloe, all attended CDS.
Anne Wellnhofer joined the Middle and Senior School Outdoor Education faculty in September. She has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies (Hons) in Environment & Resource Management, Biology and Geography from the University of Waterloo, and a Diploma in Education from Bishop’s University. Ms. Wellnhofer most recently comes to us from Greenwood College School where she taught science and geography.