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Principal's Message 218
Principal's Message
Principal’s Message

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students:

The release of this quarterly newsletter coincides with the distribution of the mid-semester report card.  Please do not hesitate to contact your son/daughter’s teachers with your questions about your child’s achievement.  The mid-semester report card includes a Response Form.  The Response Form allows your son/daughter to assess their strengths and set goals for improvement.  By setting realistic goals, students are more likely to achieve success.  Please review your son/daughter’s response form with them and sign it.  Completed Response Forms are due back to homeroom teachers by May 2.  The completed Response Forms are official documents that are part of a student’s file.

Our Wildcats are coming out of winter hibernation.  Here are a few highlights of Semester 2.  

In February, twenty-five Grade 9 French students travelled to the village of St-Donat in the heart of Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains.  The four-day trip allowed them to experience “skimmersion” – learning to ski or snowboard from French-speaking instructors.  The village, located near Mont-Tremblant, is ideally situated for this type of educational experience.  While there, students also learned about local wildlife and ecology while cross-country skiing, traditional Quebecois legends, and learned to snowshoe – all while practicing their French listening and speaking skills.  

Spring sports have started, and we have over 150 Wildcats involved.  Our spring sports include Junior Girls’ Soccer, Senior Girls’ Soccer, Girls’ Flag Football, Ultimate, Boys’ Baseball, and Midget, Junior and Senior Track and Field. 

Congratulations to Kelly Graham!  Kelly was one of 20 York Region students to receive a Give Back Award during National Volunteer Week.  The Give Back Awards are an annual cash prize donated by Magna International and the Neighbourhood Network organization to graduating students for their exceptional contributions to fellow students and citizens as well as for their ongoing dedication to community involvement.  Thank you to Kelly for her contributions to our community and for being a positive role model and exemplary representative of the school!

The Dr. G.W. Williams Secondary School has applied for candidacy to become an International Baccalaureate World School and offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.  Applications for the Williams’ pre-IB programme will be available in Fall 2016 for those students starting in Grades 9 or 10 in September 2017. 

Williams will continue to be a comprehensive high school that serves all students.  The school intends to add the IB Diploma Programme to the wide range of programming options that it already offers.  More details will be available later this spring.

Some Music students will travel to Austria and Italy from May 13 to 22 this year.  These students will perform in some schools and community centres in addition to learning about the contributions these two countries have made to classical music and Western culture.  Highlights of the trip include Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, the castle in Salzburg (Mozart’s birthplace), the Stradivarius Museum in Cremona, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence (home of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus), the Vatican Museums, and the Colosseum of Rome.  When they return, students will certainly be able to apply many of their trip experiences to the work they are doing in their classes at school. 

As a reminder, when students are signed out of class by a parent/guardian, the student cannot remain at school.  Recently, some parents signed their son or daughter out of class so that their teen could work on a school assignment in the school library or cafeteria.  If students are at school, they are expected to be in class.  If students are signed out, they must be off school property.  

A P.A. Day has been added for all York Region District School Board elementary schools on Friday, May 6, 2016 and secondary schools on Friday, June 3, 2016.  Now, all YRDSB schools will have a P.A. Day on these two dates. 

You can see the full updated school year calendars on YRDSB’s website:

These additional P.A. Days are mandated by the Ministry of Education. On these dates, teachers will be taking part in professional development on provincial education priorities identified by the Ministry of Education.

Policies and procedures govern the operation of the Board and our school. To ensure they remain current, the Board reviews policies and procedures on a regular cycle. Seeking feedback from staff and community members, including parents/guardians, is an important part of the review process. 

All policies available for comment are posted on the Board website along with information about how to provide feedback. Some policies currently available for comment include:

· Anaphylactic Reactions (comments due by August 25)

· Respectful Workplace and Learning Environment (comments due by August 25)

· Environmental Responsibility  (comments due by January 2, 2017)

· Appointment of Community Members to Board Committees (comments due by January 2, 2017).

To learn more, visit

Students’ Council is finalizing the details for Prom 2016.  Prom will be held on Thursday, June 2 at Borgata Wedding and Event Venue in Woodbridge, and the theme is A Red Carpet Affair (i.e. Hollywood).  Tickets are already on sale on School Cash Online and they are limited in number.  To buy a ticket, each Grade 12 student under the age of 18 must have a parent/guardian sign the expectations form (found on the school website).  All school policies are in effect during Prom.  Please note:  the school does not organize any pre- or post-Prom activities; school chaperones are present only for the Prom dinner and dance at Borgata. 

Final exams will be here before you even know it!  Please pay attention to the exam schedule outlined elsewhere in this newsletter.  Make sure that your son/daughter does not schedule interviews, work, trips, appointments, etc. during these times. 

This year, our Graduation ceremony will be held on Wednesday, June 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Magna Centre on Mulock Drive in Newmarket.  Only students who have completed all graduation requirements (including all community service hours) are recognized at the ceremony.  Graduates who wish to participate in the ceremony must pay their graduation fee by May 24 to the main office.  Guests requiring accessibility accommodations must inform the school in writing by May 2.  All community service hours must be submitted to the Guidance office by May 24.  Final results from any private school credits to be counted toward graduation must be submitted to our Guidance office by noon on Friday, June 24. 

A list of awards for graduating students is available in the Guidance office.  Have your son/daughter pick up information and an application form right away.  Applications for awards are due by May 24 or earlier.

We would like our communication to be accessible to all.  If you know of someone who does not have internet access, please let the main office know so that we can provide them with a hard copy version of the newsletter. 


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