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Welcome to Week 23 and the final week of February!  This weekend’s sunny weather and mild temperatures were a good reminder that Spring is coming.  I hope you had an opportunity to enjoy the sunshine amidst the excitement of the Olympics on television.
 
This is “Free the Children” Week with a focus on building awareness around the issues in Kenya, as well as other topics, including indifference and making use of our voices.  As you travel along the third floor of the school, you will notice life-sized silhouettes of a chicken, goat, and a well meant to draw attention to facts surrounding issues of water and sanitation, employment, and poverty in Kenya.  The fundraising efforts will go towards the needs in Kenya.  The week’s activities are highlighted in the respective dates section below.  Thanks to Maureen McAndrew and student leaders Nicole Caguiat, Jan Cruz, and Stephanie Sarmiento for the efforts they put into planning for this week’s events.
 
Our graduating students will begin having their pictures taken this week in the Office Conference Room.  Thanks to Paulette for scheduling the photos.
 
This Wednesday is our seventh WARD session, and the last time that you will receive a prepared lesson from Jen Hayes.  The final WARD session will be the final evaluation in May.
 
We will end the week with two scheduled days that were specifically selected by the calendar committee to provide departments an opportunity to promote their courses during this time of course selection.  Furthermore, these days should be used to help students prepare for the Units 11 and 12 Target Dates.
 
A huge thanks to all the new staff that arrived early last Tuesday to prepare the Staff Pancake Breakfast.  It was a great start to the week, and we appreciate the efforts of Tawnee, Anne Marie, Sal, Christa, Patrick, Mark Morra, and Lisa Weathers.  You can cook breakfast for us anytime!
 
Thanks to Mary Louise and Peter for preparing such a meaningful Ash Wednesday service and assembly.  The words used during the liturgy were very thought-provoking, and the assembly left a clear message of the importance of almsgiving during our Lenten journey.
 
Congratulations to Peter Petrasek for organizing a most successful ThinkFast for our students, and thanks to all the staff who helped make the event possible through leading activities and supervision including Christa, Wendy Jones, Eileen, Cathy Schwan, Ryan, and Lisa Weathers. 
 
Meteorologist Rene Brunet will be returning to Ward in the afternoon of March 5 to work with the Grade 10 Science teachers.  He will be covering a variety of topics focusing on the earth’s atmosphere and factors that influence climate.  If you would like to participate in this training for personal or professional use, please email Karen Heisz so she can make arrangements.
 
The Junior Boys Basketball team ended their very successful season last Monday in a tough game against Blessed Mother Teresa.  Congratulations to the boys and their Coaches Anne Marie Davies, Susanna Smith, and Lisa Weathers. 
 
Congratulations to our Senior Girls Volleyball team who advanced to the quarter finals after defeating Loretto College.  They will be hosted by Bishop Allen on Monday.  Good luck to the girls and Coaches Artkin and Dever.  Mary Ward will be host to the top four senior girls teams who participate in the seeding tournament on Tuesday.
 
Thanks to all staff who participated in professional development sessions, or took our students on trips last week: Dave Emer and Melissa Largo’s THJ2O1 and TDJ3M1 trip to the Auto Show, Matt, Jen Hayes, Maria Scarano, Pamela, and Lucy’s participation in the Grade 10 retreat, Derek, Maureen Collie, Lynda, Karen Erle, Mary Louise, Violet, Mike Kennedy, Susanna, Bogdan, Sandra, Angela Zabana, and Kara’s participation in the Student Success Conference, and Dana’s trip to the University of Toronto Gifted Conference. 
 
Thanks, also, to the staff that remained behind and covered areas to allow these events to happen.
 
Monday, February 22 is Day 8.  We will follow an Extended TA schedule to facilitate Course Selection Distribution.  All TAs have received the necessary material to be distributed to their advisees.  We appreciate TAs using this time to review the material and the steps required to register for the 2010-2011 school year.  Please remember that only current grade 9, 10, and 11 students should receive the course information.  Any of your grade 12 students who hope to return for a 5th year will be reviewed at a later date.  If you have any questions, please see your SBAT counsellor. 
 
Sal, Joanna, and some Educational Assistants will travel to Vaughan Mills Centre with the Special Programs students.
 
Before leaving for the day, be sure to stop by the Den to lend your support to the Junior Girls Volleyball team in their quarter final game against Jean Vanier.  The team and Coaches Harrison, Powell, and Saran appreciate the support.
 
Tuesday, February 23 is Day 9. We will follow a modified schedule with a 2:30 dismissal to facilitate the Staff Meeting in the library.  Our school will be host to a telebroadcast on Our Youth At Work.  Rob Ellis will be presenting on youth health and safety in the workplace at Francis Libermann and JPII and Mary Ward will satellite the presentation from 9 – 10 a.m. in the Cafetorium.  Any teachers interested in bringing their students to the presentation should have made arrangements with Derek. Mary Louise, Lee, and nine IDC students will participate in the Stop the Stigma Training.  The Special Education department are involved in IPRCs and the New Staff will meet at lunch in the Guidance Conference Room for their lunch and learn session with Admin.
 
Free the Children will host a bake sale after school.  All baked goods will have labels highlighting facts about Kenya to raise awareness of their poor living conditions.
 
Please stop by the Den after the staff meeting to cheer on the Badminton Team as they host Jean Vanier.  The team and Coaches Albert, Largo, and Valiulis appreciate your support.
 
Wednesday, February 24 is day 10.  We will follow an Extended TA schedule to facilitate WARD #7.  Free the Children will host a Civvies Day for a $2 fee.  Wendy Jones and selected students will travel to St. Eugene to present on Black History Month.
 
Express Yourself will host a session focusing on Hope from 4 – 6 p.m. in the library.  Students and moderators from other TCDSB schools will also be involved.
 
Thursday, February 25 is a Schedule A day and Unit 11 Target Date.  Free The Children will host the Vow of Silence with over thirty students participating.  The participants will wear a symbol on their clothing indicating they are expected to remain silent for the entire day.  IPRCs continue and Halyna will facilitate the writing of the Waterloo Mathematics Contests beginning at 9 a.m. in room 302.  Please refer to Halyna’s email for the list of students participating.  Maureen McAndrew and the Social Justice students will participate in The Empire Club of Canada’s presentation of In from the Margins:  A Call to Action to End Poverty featuring Senator Art Eggleton.
 
Friday, February 26 is a Schedule B day.  Free The Children will give all staff and students another opportunity to “give your 10” for the 10 by 10 Campaign at lunch.
 
That’s all folks. Enjoy your week!