Torch - Spring 2015

Our Spring 2015 issue includes articles about our wrap-around support team, our Health & Physical Education program, the history behind the Havergal spirit, and more.

H A V E R G A L C O L L E G E S P R I N G 2 0 1 5

PRIVACY OF INFORMATION Havergal College is committed to protecting the privacy of your personal information. Havergal’s Privacy statement is available at

SUSTAINABILITY AND THE TORCH The Torch is printed on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)- approved paper and mailed in a 100% biodegradable bag that is also recyclable. Please help reduce landfill waste by disposing of it in your recycling box.

DESIGN Carol Tsang

CONTRIBUTORS Melanie Belore Heather Colwell Helena Follows Debra Latcham Andrew McHaffie Leah Piltz Susan Pink Brenda Robson Sandra Sualim Carol Tsang Anastasia Wowk


SPECIAL THANKS to all members of the Havergal community who participated in interviews, submitted articles, contributed photographs and reviewed articles.


Canada Post Publication Number: 40050122

The information contained herein may not be published without permission from Havergal College.

Table of Contents

3 4 8

Principal’s Message


Developing Physically Literate Students

10 The Havergal Education— A Confluence of Experience 12 Kate White—A Passionate Educator

15 Institute at Havergal 16 Student Initiatives 18 The Language of Support 21 Giving Ambassadors 22 The Havergal Spirit— 24 Havergal Says Goodbye 26 Community News 27 Old Girls News

Connecting Our Community

Front Cover: Members of the U13 and U14 Swim team practice their starts in Havergal’s 25-metre pool. Inside Front Cover: Grade 3 students study the composition of soil using microscopes in Science class. Back Cover: Don’t Cry Over Spilt Milk is this year’s Grade 12 Communications Technology animation. The film tells a story of Mia, who uses her super-human powers to replace Michael’s chocolate milk after her clumsiness in the cafeteria knocks him over. (Camille Archer, Sarah Burgess, Stephanie Ronald, Olivia Townsend and Daniella Whitelaw)

1451 Avenue Road Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5N 2H9 Telephone: 416.483.3519 Fax: 416.483.6796

Congratulations to the Class of 2015! Celebrate the legacy of this year’s graduating class by making a gift to the Class of 2015 Bursary. To donate, call 416.482.4703 or go online:

Principal’s Message

Message from the Principal

By Helen-Kay Davy, Principal

W hat makes a great school? When we boil down our responses to this question we are left with an idea of ethos or character. The set of values and principles that guide the aspiration of mission and the grandeur of vision all play their part in moulding character. These elements in turn are shaped by those who work, study and play in our community. Indeed it is the character of those who cherish the school that models its spirit and beliefs. In a school like Havergal College that has just celebrated its 120 th birthday, the character of those who have gone before lights the way for the present. From the beginning of its foundation, our school has been about fulfilment through action and taking the road in life to celebrate and extend capabilities and skills. There is a striving for betterment here at Havergal that one sees and feels every day. Last November, we inducted 24 Old Girls into the Hall of Distinction. These extraordinary women have held the torch high and lit the way for the next generation. And the next generation is on that same track— every week groups of different students and individuals share and invite others to join them, whether it is in the promotion of moral courage, participation in the Forum for Change, research into social, medical or environmental issues or discussion about freedom of expression. Engagement could equally revolve around the Model United Nations or debating, dance or athletics. “Building character” is an old-fashioned phrase for something that Havergal College has always cherished and achieved. We talk today of the need for resilience; however, courage has always been a Havergalian attribute and students have long realized that, to quote sir Edmund Hillary: “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”

When asked about the personal qualities and attributes that students see in members of the Havergal community, they came up with many far-reaching characteristics. These distilled down to hallmarks focussed on open-mindedness, an ability for passionate interest, commitment, leadership and collaboration, loyalty and inclusiveness. The list runs on to 70 areas, a testament in itself to the richness of our students’ imagination and empathy. The members of Agnes Hansen House deserve commendation for their thoughts on the values of our school: respect, bravery, responsibility, trust and compassion being brought to the fore in the sailing ship that is their House’s emblem. In the spring, we will be finalizing this work on the school’s values and incorporating them into our work around the Strategic Plan, Havergal 2020 . As we contemplate the conclusion of the school year, one other element that is particular to Havergal attracts attention: the ability to use humour in order to preserve a sense of perspective. A certain lightness of touch is a characteristic of our 2014–2015 Prefects; their shout to “find your jive” has resulted in a sense of fun, which— almost effortlessly it seems—encourages teamwork and integration. This year’s Grads have welcomed and included everyone at carefully crafted intervals to raise all our spirits. And it is surely fitting that it was in this year that we broke a run of defeats against Bishop Strachan School and held high the Hewitt Cup in celebration! Perhaps even more fitting is that the task to lead the rejoicing in this tightly-won victory fell to our School Captain Tessa Buchan. Loyalty, determination, teamwork, confidence and courage: the ethos of a great school writ large on the ice.




1. Grade 4 students investigate the properties of light in Science class. 2. The HC Hockey team wins the Hewitt Cup at Hockey Day. 3. Middle School students participate in the Winter Walk for Homeless Youth. 4. Senior School students prepare for Music Night. 5. Grade 4 students participate in taekwondo as part of the Physical Education program.













6. The Alpine Ski team competes in The Blue Mountains, Ontario.

7. Students wear green & gold to cheer on Havergal at Hockey Day. 8. Gong Xi Fa Cai! Havergal celebrates the Chinese New Year. 9. Members of the Robotics Club work together on skill building. 10. Grade 8 students experience French culture in St. Donat, Québec. 11. Students dress up in their favourite Canadian outfits during Spirit Week. 12. This year’s Father Daughter Winter Ball was an evening to remember.






Havergal’s Health & Physical Education faculty from the Junior and Upper Schools — Top: Ashley Niblett; Middle (left to right): Karen Whitfield, Heather Cameron, Kari Macer; Bottom (left to right): Renata Duda, Andrea Shoust, Erin Cochrane, Jeany Ellis; Absent: Anna Bartlett (currently on leave)


Havergal Profile

Developing Physically Literate Students By Susan Pink, Communications Associate

F aculty in Havergal’s Health & Physical Education (H&PE) department want students to know that they do not need to be all-star athletes to excel in their program, but they do need to be motivated to become physically literate. Teachers design their classes to be inclusive and to limit competition in order for students to learn how to set and monitor their health and fitness goals and to gain the confidence to try a variety of sports, regardless of their fitness levels. In the Junior School, students are introduced to a variety of skills that are appropriate for their age and stage of development in order to help them become stronger and develop more confidence. By the Middle School, students are expected to have a solid foundation of fitness, sports and play in their skill set. “Our students love Physical Education because they value variety and inclusive fun,” says Kari Macer, the Upper School’s Head of H&PE. “We use the Teaching Games for Understanding model that packages sports into families: invasion territory games, net wall games, striking and fielding games, target games and body management activities,” Kari explains. “Once you know how to play one game in a family, with a few tweaks you can easily learn to play another game. For example, if you know how to play soccer, you will know how to play ultimate frisbee or football using the same concepts.” From Junior Kindergarten to Grade 10, H&PE is a compulsory course for all Havergal students. Kari says she is concerned that students who decide not to continue taking H&PE after Grade 10 will not benefit from the very important life skills taught through the program. “Students who are physically active have reduced social anxiety and improved self-confidence,” Kari says. “They are less likely to smoke or abuse drugs and alcohol, and they are less likely to engage in risky sexual behaviours. They are more focused and better prepared to learn and have a better self-image.” In an effort to boost interest in H&PE in Grades 11 and 12, the department offers focused courses that appeal to the interests of a variety of students, including Aquatics, Dance, Fitness, Outdoor Education and Racquet Sports. The department also offers a general H&PE course for those who enjoy participating in a wide variety of activities. “Being active is not just about rolling out the ball and playing. It’s about becoming a thinking athlete,” Kari says. “We want our students to understand strategy and concepts and to make connections between the skills they learn so that they can be successful in all aspects of their lives.”

Being active is not just about rolling out the ball and playing. It’s about becoming a thinking athlete.

“ Our H&PE teachers are excellent role models for our students as each of them has a unique set of skills in sports and fitness. “Every member of our team has different strengths and expertise by way of their backgrounds and interests, which appeals to different students and their passions,” says Karen Whitfield, Upper School H&PE teacher. Among Junior School teachers, expertise ranges from field hockey and ice hockey to gymnastics, wrestling, basketball, cross country and track and field. In the Upper School, faculty expertise includes team-building, fitness, health sciences, dance, aquatics, racquet sports and outdoor education. In addition to their teaching responsibilities, each H&PE faculty member coaches a variety of teams in the school’s co-curricular Athletics program. “I am lucky to work with professionals who, like me, take their roles as health and physical education educators seriously,” says Jeany Ellis, Upper School H&PE teacher. “We can teach to our strengths and passions and offer our best to our students.” With a dynamic team of talented and dedicated teachers, coupled with Havergal’s outstanding facilities (which include a superb 25-metre pool, a double and two single gyms, a climbing wall, a Fitness Centre, three sports fields and six tennis courts), our students have the opportunity to get the most out of the H&PE program at Havergal. Working together, this team strives to develop physically literate students who continue to pursue health and fitness throughout their lives.


Heads’ Message

The Havergal Education— A Confluence of Experience

By Mrs. Leslie Anne Dexter, Head of Junior School, and Dr. Michael Simmonds, Head of Upper School

T he Rotunda in the Upper School is a thing of architectural beauty. The interconnected arches and domed ceiling supported by individual pillars create a memorable entrance that is often top of mind when people think about Havergal’s iconic spaces. But the Rotunda is special for another reason: no matter where you stand in the space, even a whisper will echo throughout because the domed structure was built to create confluence—an effect where sound from anywhere in the room joins (like the waters of a merging river) to create one voice. The Rotunda is a metaphor for how we design the academic and co-curricular programs that make up the Havergal education. The faculty and administration work together to achieve confluence by ensuring that all elements of a student’s experience merge to support the Whole Girl, especially when we think about well-being. It is no accident that well-being is so closely associated with wholeness. The Havergal approach to education integrates and connects the interests, abilities and needs of students in ways that encourage girls to seek out new experiences for themselves, both inside and outside the classroom. A student is not simply known as an athlete, a mathematician, a musician or an activist. Every girl is a confluence of her own abilities, energies and interests, which help to form her unique learning fingerprint; her profile is unlike anyone else’s. In this issue of the Torch , Lois Rowe, Vice Principal, describes the approach we use at Havergal to support the individual needs of students. Lois points out that adults must be continually aware that students can face physical, cognitive, mental, social and/or emotional barriers that may impede their development. Her point is made clear by emphasizing the important role faculty and staff play in providing the kinds of supports students need to see through challenges to a successful outcome. In conjunction with those supports, it is critical that the entire Havergal education address another kind of barrier that is often seen in schools—the tendency for people and programs to exist in isolation from each other. At Havergal, our approach is to join

together the distinct parts of a world-class education—the elements of which include: (1) academic programming that promotes a culture of thinking; (2) co-curricular experiences that inspire creativity, confidence and collaboration; and (3) service programs that build empathy and perspective. We ensure this integration by providing time for reflection in all disciplines, programs and activities. From self-awareness and goal- setting to mindfulness and persistence, we help our students to understand their experiences so that they can develop the confidence to overcome obstacles. And our emphasis on social-emotional learning in classrooms, at club meetings, on the stage and in the gymnasium means that girls develop a skill set that will prepare them for future challenges. Another way we build students’ sense of wholeness and well-being is by offering exceptional spiritual and relational experiences. This includes: Prayers, where girls reflect and connect with each other; the House system, where all ages cheer, laugh and sing together; and our diverse service offerings, where students work together to reach out to those in need. We also promote cross-divisional understanding and the sharing of ideas. Faculty from all grades work together in their professional development activities. Our Director of Curriculum & Faculty Development, Seonaid Davis, coordinates the academic program from Kindergarten to Grade 12. And we have an incredible process of learning and reflection in our parent speaker series, where parents, faculty and students come together to explore topics and to build community. The Havergal education is designed to create a confluence of experience and understanding that builds upon our girls’ internal strengths. Blending knowledge, interests and needs in this way prepares every girl for the challenges they will face tomorrow. Across the entire school, from the foundational work that begins in the Junior School, through to the special nature of the Middle School years and into the final stages of the Senior School grades, we prepare our students to graduate from Havergal—and to walk out of our Rotunda—with a whole and healthy self. Where there is confluence, there is wholeness. Where there is wholeness, there is well-being. And where there is well-being, there is internal strength to face our fast-paced and constantly changing world.


In the Rotunda (left to right): Michael Simmonds, Ella Braun (Grade 6), Tessa Buchan (Grade 12), Ella Pantalone (SK) and Leslie Anne Dexter


In the Junior School Learning Hub: Kate White with Grace White (Grade 1) and Maya Rao (Grade 6)


Junior School

Kate White—A Passionate Educator I n August 2014, Kate White joined Havergal College as the Assistant Head, Junior School. Kate is a passionate and dedicated professional with senior administrative experience in many educational portfolios as well as more than a decade of classroom teaching experience in Can you talk about your role and how it fits with the overall goals for the Junior School? In my role as Assistant Head, I imagine how every girl in the Junior School goes through her day. What will challenge her? What will

working with students on an announcement for Prayers, supervising intramurals, getting ice for a student who has bumped her knee or supporting students, faculty, staff and parents with any number of personal or professional issues. No day is the same and that is how I like it. What has been your favourite Havergal tradition and why? While Harvest Festival, the Christmas Concerts and the Halloween Assembly all come to mind, I would have to say that the tradition I have enjoyed the most is Prayers. The opportunity for our community to come together three times a week to share messages, sing together and talk about values has been such a pleasure. Prayers is a priority here; it serves to make us feel a part of something bigger than ourselves and helps our students to grow spiritually— an important part of their growth overall, regardless of their own personal faith. What has surprised you about Havergal so far? I am impressed with the genuine care, compassion and knowledge of the faculty and staff at Havergal. While our meetings are often full of laughter, the professionalism that I have witnessed is outstanding. It is exciting to be part of a team of educators who are so engaged in research and current with best practices. For example, some of our professional development sessions this year have focused on ways to better integrate subjects across the curriculum and to develop consistent problem-solving strategies in mathematics. CONTINUED >>

independent school settings. As a member of the administrative team, Kate brings the voice of students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6 to leadership teams that set and evaluate strategic and operational goals for the school. She contributes to the provision of a rich and diverse student life and to the development of co-curricular experiences that are age and stage appropriate and promote a healthy body, mind and spirit. Kate’s connection with Junior School students is described as supportive, authentic and joyful. Working with the Head of Junior School, Leslie Anne Dexter, Kate ensures the Junior School is a welcoming and safe environment. Kate has very quickly grown to understand Havergal’s unique culture and what makes the school such a special place in which to learn and grow. We asked Kate a few questions about her Havergal experience. What attracted you to the Assistant Head, Junior School position? When I first saw the position posted, I remember thinking: “This sounds like my dream job!” Havergal’s reputation for excellence, tradition and innovation was already firmly established in my mind. As I started to do more research on the school, it became clear that the position was the perfect fit for me. In particular, the Culture of Capability was so closely aligned with my own views on education and child development.

inspire her? Who will she connect with? Why is she here? What is her experience at Havergal? In my prior positions, I was both an administrator and a classroom teacher in the Primary and Junior divisions, so I am quite familiar with the needs and concerns not only of elementary school faculty and staff, but also of the students and their parents. Children are naturally curious and have the capacity to make a difference wherever their passion leads them. Our role as educators is to help set the academic, social and emotional foundation for them to do just this. Moreover, as administrators it is our job to foster a positive school climate so that teachers feel inspired to do the same. One of the things that I love most about my job is that no day is typical! There are certainly things that are on my calendar that I can count on doing, allowing me to engage with students and to collaborate with colleagues. This includes visiting classrooms, meeting with faculty and staff and leading Prayers. These experiences allow me to get a sense of what is going on in the school and give me a better understanding of the day-to-day operation of the school and the history behind all that happens here. Much of my day is also spent addressing situations as they come up. This can be anything from Can you describe a typical day?


Junior School

What do you hope students experience in the Junior School? I believe deeply in the capability of our students. The ability to be self-aware is critical in each child’s development. Why? Students who are able to identify their strengths and challenges as learners, set achievable goals and self-reflect are better able to take responsible risks, to be flexible in their thinking and to exude confidence in all that they do. We hope the Junior School is an environment in which students can try out a number of things, ask questions, make mistakes, see the humour in situations, develop healthy relationships and learn. Moving forward, what areas will you be focusing on to support students in the Junior School? Working with Leslie Anne Dexter and the administrative team, we have many exciting initiatives in the works for next year. We are looking at ways to further define the

Havergal experience in the Junior School and to make greater connections between clubs, House, the Student Institute Team, Prayers, athletics and intramurals. One of our greatest strengths is our community, and we want to do everything we can to build upon this. Can you define what “Havergal College” means to you? What I love most about this school is the careful blend of long-standing traditions and innovative approaches to education. There is a real sense of confidence that comes from being an educational institution for 120 years! Our strong history gives us a solid foundation to ask why we are doing things and how our values are connected to everything we do. I feel privileged to be able to share my passion and expertise with a community that not only asks young women “What will you do?” but also supports them with concrete opportunities to put their thoughts and ideas into action.

Investing in Education—Havergal Chair of Teaching & Learning

To investigate the range of their possibilities, Laura will work with teachers who are interested in these methods, as well as with Learning Teams and teachers who already use these varied tools in interesting and effective ways. She also plans on having discussions with students to determine which methods they find most fruitful and to identify nuances of application that make various teaching strategies most effective for them. She will fully examine the many varied ideas and initiatives we currently use, identify those that are most useful to us and most beneficial for students and make them as accessible as possible for the widest range of teachers.

Professional development is the R&D (research and development) of education. It provides teachers with the opportunity to gain new knowledge, to explore innovative concepts, to share learning with colleagues and to advance the practice of teaching. A member of Havergal’s faculty gains the opportunity to take on a leadership role in enriching the life of the school as the Havergal Chair of Teaching & Learning, an opportunity made possible by an investment from Michael and Heather Gardiner who established an endowment at the school in 1998. Since then, the appointees to this position have focused their research on a diverse range of topics (for more information, visit ).

Havergal Chair of Teaching & Learning: September 2015 to June 2018 Congratulations to English teacher Laura McRae on her

appointment as next year’s Havergal Chair of Teaching & Learning. As the Havergal Chair, Laura will explore ways to promote a culture of thinking in the classroom by bringing together the rich range of initiatives (such as Harkness Dialogues, Cooperative Learning and Project-Based Learning) that we already have at Havergal College. In this role, she will also consider how we might enhance the effectiveness of these initiatives to enrich our students’ learning.


Institute at Havergal

“What Kind of World Do I Want?”

By Ann Peel, Director, Institute at Havergal

In response to the guiding question underlying the Institute’s mission, “What kind of world do I want” and “How will I contribute to that world?” students demonstrate originality and passion. Ethical leadership is a long-standing Havergal commitment. Our students understand the importance of aligning their action in the world with their values. They also understand that leadership is a learning opportunity that starts with their courage to ask challenging questions. This year, Irshad Manji’s guidance helped us to understand the importance of asking questions with an open mind and being genuinely curious to learn. She taught us to have faith that we will all learn from our questions and not to let our fears of asking a difficult question keep us out of the conversation. It is important for young women to understand that conformity, although comfortable, can often hold one back, and that “standing for nothing” can demonstrate a lack of commitment to ideas. This issue of the Torch features some of the dozens of projects Havergal students have initiated to contribute to the world in which they want to live.

Free to Be Should I say what I think? Yes. Standing for nothing is a cop out. After Irshad Manji’s visit to Havergal in October, the Free to Be Group thought students needed the opportunity to have the difficult conversations her work supports—the ones that are usually avoided. They decided that the first conversation they would ask at their event was: “When should we limit freedom of speech?” Their goals were to open minds, to learn how to have difficult conversations, to learn how to give and take offense and to raise awareness of patterns of conversation at Havergal. Through this after-school event, students delved deeply into these issues and learned how to facilitate a complex conversation, how to invite different viewpoints and how to develop techniques to demonstrate an open mind.

Children’s Rights Club Marley Melbourne believes that children’s rights matter.

“I think that if more children knew about their rights, they would probably be more confident in themselves and their choices,” Marley says (Grade 5). “It is important that adults encourage children to know their rights and for governments who have agreed to the declaration of children’s rights to live up to their word.” Marley will be working with one of Havergal’s community partners, Grenoble Public School, to initiate a Children’s Rights Club to educate students on their rights and the importance of standing up for them.


Institute at Havergal

Junior School Student Initiatives

When asked, What do you care about? many Junior School students expressed a deep concern for this big, beautiful Earth.

Zoe Safran (Grade 4) focuses her energy on the conservation of lions.

Caroline Vesey , Sarah Hunt and Ava El-Ayari (Grade 4) are passionate about sea turtles.

Lulu Deluca , Katie Sievenpiper and Eliza Brown (Grade 4) are passionate about conserving the Northern White Rhino.

Tara Prole , Aniela Stanek, Mackenzie Pabbies and Katarina Dlacic (Grade 3) have been researching the preservation of milkweed and its importance for monarch butterflies.

Kaitlyn Daley (Grade 2) and Callia Newall (Grade 3) care about the health of our planet. Both of them have created special projects that investigate the effects of litter and pollution and ways we can all help preserve the environment. Kaitlyn made a poster that was posted around the Junior School.

Jennie Morris (Grade 5) has been learning about Heart to Heart, an organization that aims to bring Israeli and Palestinian youth together at a Canadian summer camp. With the support of friend Lily Jilesen Hancock (Grade 4), Jennie bravely called one of the organization’s leaders to ask some of her burning questions about how the camp works.

Jennipher Polygenis and Danielle Stavropoulos (Grade 5) were inspired by reading about Malala Yousafzai and the state of girls’ education in Pakistan. They decided to host a trivia game to educate their classmates about this topic.

Jessica Yi (Grade 3) has been researching the debate around de-extinction genetics, and claims that scientists could revive species such as the dodo bird or wooly mammoth.


Upper School

Music to our Ears This year at Havergal, four students responded to the question What kind of world do you want? with harmony. Each in their own way, these students brought music to different corners of the city.

Vanessa Koo Vanessa wanted to bring music to individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia. She reached out to a few local care homes to see who would be interested in having Havergal students play for their patients. From that, project 147 Elder came to life. On February 4, Vanessa and nine other students travelled to 147 Elder to play for the patients there. Once the group began to perform their pieces, Vanessa noticed the impact they were having almost immediately. Patients started to conduct the musicians and were moving and responding to the music they were hearing. The experience that Vanessa and the group had was so powerful that they’ll be going back to perform in the spring.

Orli Silverberg Orli had an idea—what if she could combine her love of classical music with her passion for volunteering at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital? On January 27, in the middle of a snowstorm, Orli and six of her peers did just that. Once the group began to play for their audience of children, parents and caretakers, Orli could feel the impact their music was making. There was a positive reaction and joyful applause from the kids and parents. Orli will once again be performing at Holland Bloorview in the spring.

Anna Hardie & Sophia Matthews Anna and Sophia wanted the opportunity to perform for patients who are suffering from Alzheimer’s. They wanted to bring their love of music to those who could greatly benefit from it. Their passion and drive has led them to team up with Vanessa Koo, and the students will be performing together at 147 Elder in the spring.


Havergal’s wrap-around team includes (from left to right): Angie Holstein (School-Based Social Worker), Heather Johnstone (Head of Guidance) and Cheryl Mackinnon (Learning Support Specialist, Junior School)

The Language of


By Lois Rowe, Vice Principal

A t a recent whole school faculty meeting, Kevin Walsh, an Upper School Science and Physics teacher, concluded his presentation to the teachers by sharing an image that illustrated how he had come to understand the individual students who make up his class. It was a simple illustration with a powerful meaning. He had created a class made up of a series of stick drawings of girls. On each stick drawing, a number of water glasses were drawn; the amount of water in the glasses varied within and between the individual students. The glasses represented the many different needs of the individual.

learning in other fields, to delineate its role relative to other community health and support providers and to provide a structure of support for the many complex needs of students. A wrap-around team describes the collaboration of school faculty and staff members who provide support to students with known challenges— physical, cognitive, mental, social and/or emotional—they might face. Common in the field of mental health, a wrap-around team supports an individualized plan for a child or youth and their family to achieve a positive outcome. At the centre of the team is one school staff member who is responsible for coordinating the work of the support group. Depending upon the grade, House and residential status (Day or Boarding), this person is either an Assistant Head (Junior or Middle School) or a Guidance Counsellor (Senior School). CONTINUED >>

students who are prevented from being their ideal self because they may be facing physical, cognitive, mental, social and/or emotional barriers or bottlenecks. Supporting a student to knock down a barrier or to navigate a bottleneck increases her capability as a student in a classroom. Looking to professions beyond those common in schools, there is language that is useful in framing the way a school can find its place in supporting the many needs of students beyond developmental growth and curriculum content. Although the specific terminology may be associated with a particular field of support (like mental health) or a specific diagnosis (like a concussion), the language and its meaning has broader applications. Through adopting and adapting certain language and its meaning, Havergal College is able to take advantage of the

Pictorially, it conveyed the message that everyone has a unique set of needs. Some of these needs are filled while others are not. If we, as teachers, are able to name the needs of our students then we validate their worth and water is added to an empty glass. That student now feels honoured and known. In an ideal world, classrooms would be occupied by students who are fully open, attentive and receptive to the thinking and learning possible within the space and time of a class. Through positive, constructive and supportive interactions with the teacher and with their peers, through differentiated strategies for all learning profiles and with an accessible curriculum, all students would thrive in every class. All glasses would be full. This is the ideal; however, the reality is quite different. Classrooms are complex spaces. In each class, there are individual


“ “ The individualized needs of the student determine the makeup of the wrap-around team. It may include the Head of School, Vice Principal, School-Based Social Worker, the school’s Registered Nurse, one of Havergal’s two Learning Support Specialists, a Form Teacher or Teacher Advisor or Havergal will continue to enhance our educational program and be a forward-looking institution that places the student at the centre of everything we do.

Response to intervention is a model of support for students who are at-risk or who have identified academic or behavioural needs. There are three tiers of support. Tier 1 builds upon the idea that all students benefit from deliberate and differentiated strategies in a classroom setting to enhance their academic skill set. Classroom assessments allow teachers to individualize instruction to meet the specific needs of students. Students who continue to experience challenges despite support in tier 1 are moved into tier 2. Tier 2 provides some students with supplemental support, either in or out of a classroom setting, which is targeted at addressing or monitoring a specific challenge. When a student does not respond to tier 2 intervention, she is placed in tier 3. Tier 3 support is for the few students who need a more intense and individualized approach to their learning. Academic support for students in this third tier is guided by an Individualized Education Profile (IEP) and requires diagnosis and recommendation from a psychologist or clinical service provider, such as an occupational therapist. These examples of the language of support are useful for Havergal in and out of their original context. A wrap-around team model establishes roles and expectations for those in a support capacity within a school. A return to learn approach ensures that consideration is provided for all domains of needs when a student is facing a challenge. A tiered response to intervention approach ensures that students who require individualized interventions are identified and supported. This approach is as relevant

to students with mental health challenges as it is for academic skills deficits. Similarly, a return to learn plan provides an effective structure for any student who is recovering from any illness—physical or mental. By continuing to review research literature on effective multi-domain support both within and beyond the education sector and by incorporating these strategies, Havergal will continue to enhance its educational program and be a forward-looking institution that places the student at the centre of everything we do. Over the past five years of working within our strategic plan A Culture of Capability , Havergal has deepened its understanding of the Whole Girl—her strengths and her challenges. A significant strategic goal of the plan was investing the time and energy required to ensure that Havergal had the expertise to meet the needs of all its students. We have now hired the right people who, in collaboration with those who were already in place, have developed a sound practice of providing support appropriate to an educational institution. Our students are the beneficiaries of this combined expertise, receiving it in the right form and to the degree required to address their unique needs. The development of a fully-functioning student support program at Havergal has been a significant and rewarding undertaking. This can be summed up so beautifully by Mr. Walsh’s message to our teachers: “Students are complex individuals who have a variety of needs to be met. As an educational institution, our ability to assess and meet these needs can have a profound effect on their lives.”

another individual who plays a supportive role. Essential to the success of this team is keeping it small, knowing when outside expertise is required and having these resources in place, and—most importantly —adhering to the expectation of confidentiality related to the personal information inherent in this work. Return to learn is a phrase that has been used to describe a plan to support a student diagnosed with a concussion as she manages her recovery and academic expectations. The plan takes into account the various aspects of what it means to be a student, from timing the return to class to the amount of time the concussed individual should spend on homework. In this plan, a student increases her engagement in learning as her recovery progresses is measured by a physician. It reads like a prescription. One of the strengths of a Return to Learn plan is that it recognizes that challenges are experienced in the physical, cognitive and sensory domains, and it accounts for an incremental increase in engagement in each domain. It also acknowledges that although the inherent social and emotional implications of recovery may elude a defined plan, providing tailored support for these challenges is as important as the academic- related plan.


Advancement & Community Relations

Giving Ambassadors

By Louise Yearwood, Executive Director of Advancement & Community Relations

The focus of our program is participation rather than total funds raised; however, increasing participation in fundraising means that the school raises more funds with which to deliver and enhance its exceptional educational program. And, due to the success of our Junior School Giving Ambassadors this year, next school year we hope to introduce this component of our Annual Giving Program to the Upper School with the introduction of Upper School Giving Ambassadors. The Havergal website has an area dedicated specifically to this program that tracks the participation by grade: JSGiving . We encourage Junior School parents to visit it weekly to discover how their child’s grade is doing. We thank all those families who have shown—and continue to show—their support for Havergal’s Annual Giving Program with their yearly donations. And we especially wish to thank our Junior School Giving Ambassadors for so generously giving their time and their treasure to promote and support our Annual Giving Program.

Every generation of Havergal students has benefited from the vision and generosity of past supporters. Each year, through our Annual Giving Program, we encourage all members of our community to advance our culture of philanthropy by supporting the school’s strategic initiatives to ensure our students’ success. Havergal’s Annual Giving Program lies at the heart of the school’s fundraising efforts and each year we look to increase our levels of participation across all constituent groups. In fall 2014, we launched a new component to our program in the Junior School—the class Giving Ambassadors. Now, every Junior School grade not only has a Grade Representative but also a Giving Ambassador to help nourish our culture of philanthropy here at Havergal. These Giving Ambassador parents have had a major impact on donations from Junior School families to Havergal; since the inception of the program a few short months ago, the participation rates have increased dramatically across all Junior School grade levels.

Junior School Giving Ambassadors (from left to right): Michael Newton, Heather Colwell (Senior Development Officer), Annette White, Leslie Anne Dexter (Head of Junior School), Heather Partridge, Kevin Daley and Martha Simmons. Absent: John Carrique



The Havergal Spirit— Connecting Our Community

By Susan Pink, Communications Associate

Since Havergal’s founding in 1894, school spirit has been thriving. When First Principal Ellen Knox and her staff opened the doors of Havergal on September 11, 1894, seven Boarders and 31 Day students were proud to be a part of Havergal’s first group of students. The initial vision for Havergal College was conceived by a group of men who saw an opportunity to start an Evangelical school for girls—the first established in Toronto. It did not take long for Havergal to gain a positive reputation, which was evident as enrollment continued to increase steadily over the years. Word of mouth concerning the positive aspects of a Havergal education spread quickly, and those connected to the school felt proud. This spirit and pride continues to live on today—120 years later—in those who have strong connections to the school and to its outstanding community. The Havergal spirit is not always outwardly displayed; however, it is often demonstrated inwardly through involvement and connection with the school. “I used to say to the girls that it’s not only the rah rah bit that shows the depth of school spirit. It is each person’s involvement in and feeling of connection to Havergal and the people who are a part of the community that make a true and lasting spirit,” says Brenda Robson, who has worked in various roles at the school since 1963, retiring from a distinguished teaching career as Dean of Students in 2005. “Members of our community really care about the institution and its history. They are proud of Havergal and that, to me, is the type of spirit that we’ve always had since the founding of the school. There’s a difference at Havergal—a quiet pride, optimism and school spirit that you can’t quite put into words, but you can feel it in every aspect of school life,” Brenda explains. “Equally important is the atmosphere in the classrooms and corridors, as well as in quieter, more reflective times such as Prayers, Founders’ Day and Carol Service. I think that the experience of being at Havergal is so special that anyone who is here even for a short time feels the bonds of this place and the people in it, and those bonds last a lifetime.”

Indeed, the Havergal spirit is unique, and one can certainly feel it in the air, especially during times of outward celebration such as Spirit Week, Hockey Day, House Shout, Celebration Saturday, ReunionWeekend and even the first day of school. At these times, those involved in the event get dressed up in their most spirited costumes (be it House colours, green and gold or even in Number One Dress) to cheer for one another and to share the joy of being a part of the Havergal community. “Today’s Havergal girl embodies her school spirit in so many ways,” says Gillian Martin, Assistant Head, Senior School. “She wears her House colours with pride, cheering her heart out at House Shout; she competes with passion and energy in athletics, debating and public speaking; she engages with her teachers with intelligence and respect; and she never fails to take a quiet moment to support a friend, a younger student or someone in our community. The Havergal spirit is not in one thing…it’s in everything we do.” “ The Havergal spirit is not in one thing… it’s in everything we do.


House Shout A high-energy day at Havergal that demonstrates outward school spirit is House Shout. The idea for House Shout was initiated in the 1960s when students wanted to create a common project that they could work on as a House that would cause excitement and connection. In October 1966, under the leadership of Havergal’s Fourth Principal, Catherine Steele, House Shout was added to the annual Sports Day. Back then, the only House Shout rule was that each House could cheer for no longer than two minutes. The event was a hit with students and it soon took over Sports Day entirely. As House Shout became an event on its own, it became increasingly important and students became much more imaginative in the props they used during their cheers, including a school bus one year and a horse on another occasion. The unfair advantage of these items led to the development of the second rule of House Shout: no props could be used. Today, House Shout is traditionally held on the second Monday of May. Students wear the most brightly House-coloured and imaginative costumes for this annual event and come together to perform outstanding cheers and songs. Judged by a different group of Havergal faculty and staff each year, the winning House earns the House Cup, which is a great honour for that House and the House Captains. The House Cup is presented at the end of the school year.

House Shout 1975, from the Dr. Catherine Steele 1928 Archives

Spirit Week and Hockey Day Havergal hosts Spirit Week in order to brighten up the cold and snowy February that is typical in Toronto. This weeklong celebration of school pride includes Grade Cheer-Offs, Spirit Assemblies and Green & Gold Day, which is held on Hockey Day—an annual exhibition game that sees students from Grades 5 to 12 cheer on the Havergal Gators as they play against Bishop Strachan School (BSS) for the Hewitt Cup. Hockey Day is the highlight of Spirit Week, and the most spirited athletic contest of the school year. The Havergal/BSS event developed from Upper Canada College’s (UCC) Hockey Night at Maple Leaf Gardens more than 50 years ago. The feature game of that evening was UCC’s student hockey team playing against UCC Old Boys. During this event, Havergal’s Old Girls would take to the ice in a mini-game (wearing their tunics, white figure skates and without helmets or other protective gear) and compete against the Old Girls from BSS. Each member of the winning ladies’ team was presented with a red rose. Today, the format of Havergal’s Hockey Day has changed significantly: it is now a separate event from UCC’s. The three- period match is now played at North Toronto Memorial Arena. The winning team takes home the Elizabeth Hewitt Cup, which was donated by Bill Hewitt and named in honour of his mother, wife of Foster Hewitt, of Hockey Night in Canada fame.

Hockey Day 2015 was especially high-spirited as Havergal won the Hewitt Cup in an overtime shootout, returning the cup to Havergal after a long six years away at BSS.

Hockey Day 2015



Thank you to the following faculty members for their dedication and contribution to Havergal. We wish them all a wonderful retirement! Havergal Says

Maureen Prior Believe it or not I was one of those little girls who, when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, immediately responded: “A teacher!” I played school endlessly in my basement with my sister and with my dolls—we even had a blackboard! Although I got sidetracked along the way, I eventually began teaching with the York Region Board of Education in September 1987. However, all those sidetracks helped me to grow as a person and to bring life experience and maturity to my role as an educator. In the spring of 2001, I made a life-changing decision to resign from the York Region Board and to continue my teaching career with Havergal College. I have never looked back, and am so thankful for the further growth—both personal and professional— which I’ve had during my 14 years at Havergal. My goal was always to teach young, primary children. My Havergal students have made such an impact on my understanding of how young children learn and thrive. I have learned alongside them every single day! A highlight of my teaching career was participating in Harvard’s Project Zero program. This program validated my beliefs and renewed my excitement in teaching. Though I have taught Grade 3 at Havergal for many years, I have had five amazing teaching partners who have taught and encouraged me along my Havergal journey. Thank you, Havergal! You will always remain in my thoughts and my prayers as I begin to travel a new life path.

Eva Siatkowski Entering teaching as both a second profession and as a calling was a dream that I fulfilled almost 25 years ago. I made this decision after asking myself the question “What does one do after turning 40?” Well, like me, you might have the luxury to make this choice if your passion has always been science as well as working with children. Hopefully you will inspire them in the wonder and discovery of the world. After a few years of teaching in public schools, I began my work at Havergal as an assistant teacher in Grade 1. Upon the expansion of the primary division, the opportunity to teach Grade 2 presented itself, and I became a core teacher. A few partners and 10 years later, I moved to Grade 3 where I taught for one short but fun-filled year. I am ending my teaching career in the Junior School in the role of Learning Support Teacher, a truly unique opportunity that has enabled me to apply my varied experiences to date. Also, this year, I have had the unexpected pleasure of teaching French to Kindergarten girls—which, for me, is true happiness! It is now time for another new beginning. I am thankful for the opportunity to have been a member of this esteemed community and to have worked with such supportive and kind families over these last 18 years. Most importantly, I am greatly appreciative of the many years I have had building relationships with the children from whom I have learned so much. My life journey now takes me in a different direction, but I will remember my time here with the greatest joy. My deepest thanks to all with whom I have had the great privilege to work. I am profoundly grateful.


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