Category Archives: Holidays

Saturday Hallowe’ens Are The Best!

If you know anyone in the elementary teaching profession, the day of the week on which Hallowe’en falls can make a huge difference in what gets accomplished in a classroom for the first few days of November.

This year (Saturday Hallowe’en) is the perfect setup. Costumes, assemblies and parties take place on the Friday but there isn’t the huge excitement of the actual day of Hallowe’en yet because the trick-or-treating happens on Saturday night. Students who stay up later and eat more candy than usual are usually not the most focussed individuals on their spelling lesson the next morning but with a Saturday Hallowe’en, there is a good 36 hours before everyone is back in school. This holiday will be way scarier for teachers and students in 2016, however. Hallowe’en falls on a Monday and we will need the whole week to get our sleep schedules (and sugar levels) back to normal!

Tomorrow will be lots of fun as usual and Monday will see everyone back in the swing of things for the first of two short weeks (Mid-Autumn Holiday November 6-9).

Chris Starkey
Administrative Principal
Mentor College / TEAM School

PS: Don’t forget to turn your clocks back on Sunday morning! We appreciate punctuality in our students, but getting to school an hour early on Monday morning would not be a great way to start the week!

This is Canada After All

I have some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that next week it finally looks like we are going to see a daily temperature without a minus sign in front of it. 2015 was the coldest February on record and I don’t remember an entire year of indoor recesses in the past 25 years that could match the number this February.

The bad news is that the Weather Network has predicted that it will be mid-April before the thermometer gets us back closer to “average”. Their #1 meteorologist Chris Scott says that heavier-than-usual snowfall and the fact that over 80% of the Great Lakes are frozen mean that the spring melt will take longer and give us colder temperatures past our next long weekend (Easter).

There is a silver lining in this; our Grade 5 students will hopefully get a really long and bountiful sap season up at the Outdoor Education Centre as temperatures stay low in the evenings and creep up into the positives during the daytime! And just like our OEC teachers have reminded me to look positively at the weather we have been given, I know that many of you are using the next two weeks as a way of either embracing, ignoring or fleeing the cold. Some are heading south to thaw out their fingers and toes and our HS Take Action Group will no doubt get some warmer weather in India on their trip! Some are staying closer to home and taking in some of the local attractions and still others are embracing the weather and doing some outdoor activities that they have been putting off (because who wants to go skiing when the windchill is minus 30?!).

No matter where you end up, I hope that you are able to spend some family time and to ensure that your children recharge their batteries for the final term of academic and extra-curricular activity. After all, there are only 56 school days left once we come back from the Break!

Chris Starkey
Administrative Principal
Mentor College/TEAM School

Know What Do To When It Snows!

As you know, this weekend marks our Mid-Autumn Holiday (no school Friday or Monday) and just like the first sighting of a robin is a sign of spring, this weekend (for our schools) is the first sign of winter. The second sign of winter here at Mentor/TEAM is the appearance of the “Snow Day” link on our websites (go check it out right now if you like).

We have three different types of “Snow Days” at our school. The first type (or “full” Snow Day, if you like) occurs when the weather conditions are such that we need to close the schools for the day. The second type (or “partial” Snow Day) occurs when our school buses are cancelled for the day due to inclement weather but our schools are open for those who are willing and able to come.

The third type is not an actual Snow Day but is what I like to call an “It Is Snowing Day”. This usually starts the afternoon before with a zealous Weather Network host who mentions the phrase “storm of the century” and by the time classes end, everybody is planning on how they are going to spend the day off only to wake up the next morning to a “light dusting” of snow.

Snow Days are rare but they do happen so here is a handy guide on how to get this information:

1) the Snow Day link on the websites is the very first place to be updated (you can’t imagine the number of times that this page gets refreshed on a snowy morning!)

2) the second time we publish the information is via a special weather bulletin in the email newsletter…if you are reading this message, you will be informed.

We will also send out messages on our Facebook and Twitter feeds but these messages will simply point you to the Snow Day link. We do NOT contact any radio or TV stations nor do we inform any internet news sites about Snow Days.

Have a relaxing long weekend and “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow”!

Chris Starkey
Administrative Principal
Mentor College / TEAM School

A Little Bit of Summer Left!

It was nice that there was a bit of autumn weather last week as it reminded those of us who weren’t ready for “back-to-school” that it was time to start thinking about trying on the blazer and seeing if the gym shoes still fit.

We have been busy at the schools getting ready for the 2014-15 school year. Last summer, we renovated a couple of classrooms and the front gardens at TEAM School and this year, it was Mentor College’s turn to have some construction noise. The Primary Campus and about two-thirds of the Main Campus have a new roof and next week, the parking lots at those locations will be getting spruced up and ready for you to drop-and-drive starting on September 3rd.

There will be another “before school starts” email update next week before we get started on the new school year. There is still a bit of summertime left, so get outside and enjoy it while the weather stays warm!

Chris Starkey
Administrative Principal
Mentor College/TEAM School

Wishing Everybody A Great Summer!

I was interested to hear from a few of you after my musings on “the last day of school” last week that your children actually were not looking forward to last Friday because they were going to miss school, their teachers and their friends over the summer. And from the litres of tears shed at the end of the Grade 8 graduation dance, it seems as the end of the Mentor/TEAM school year was more bitter than sweet for the Class of 2014. I don’t know what these families do when it comes time for the grand finale of their backyard fireworks show on Canada Day…do the kids throw a bucket of water on the burning schoolhouse?!?

On Tuesday, we said a final good-bye to our Grade 12 graduates of Mentor/TSS as they celebrated their prom. They were not as melancholy as the kindergarten students about the end of the school year as they are all looking forward to the next chapter in their academic lives and the independence of post-secondary student life. For oldtimers like me, though, it was sad to see the last of some long-time students who are coming from families of three (or more) students. Brianna is the last of the three Ananthans to graduate from the school and her family has been a huge supporter of the school for many years; Dad gives us a ringing endorsement in our promotional video and Mom has been at every Marauder volleyball, soccer and rugby game I can remember. Not to be outdone, the Begna, Bogoje, Marchioni and Santelli families are sending their second (or third!) “babies” off to university in September. And finally, there are five (by my count) families who will have one less body in the van to school next year as one of the Boyds, Harringtons, Iabonis, Sharps and Whytes starts a family tradition for their brothers and sisters to follow.

So whether you have one child with us or a whole vanful, I hope that this summer will be a relaxing one for you and your family and that we will see you once again in September. On behalf of Mr. Philbrook, Mr. Macdonald, the principals and staff, I thank you for giving us the privilege of working with your children and with you, the parents, this past school year and hope that this summer will provide you with many memorable moments with your family.

Chris Starkey
Administrative Principal
Mentor College/TEAM School