Head Lines: June 2019

Well, here we are at the end of another year. Our Yorkies’ tunics and kilts will be put away for a couple of months to be replaced with shorts, sun hats, bathing suits, and flip flops. As summer begins, I can smell the hot dogs roasting on sizzling hot BBQ’s and hear the splashing and laughter of our Yorkies as they enjoy spending quality time with family and friends. Many will be off to summer camps and others will be learning new skills as they start their summer jobs or internships. Many of our families will be packing up their bags and heading off to create memories at their summer cabins or with friends on the beach. Whatever your plans are, this is a time for busy families to take a break and enjoy the best of what summer has to offer.

As we wrap up our year-end activities, it is a great time for us to reflect on an outstanding year. Our dedicated faculty and staff, having offered yet another incredible year filled with engaging learning experiences, also look forward to a well-deserved summer vacation. As I officially complete my first year as Head of York House School, I can’t help but be extremely grateful for their incredible hard work and devotion to our girls and their learning.

Recently at our commencement ceremony and the graduation banquet, our 2019 grads also expressed their deep appreciation for their teachers. They, along with all our Yorkies, have enjoyed a year filled with exploration, learning, and self-discovery. In my commencement speech, I shared with our grads that as they move on with their post-secondary journey, they will at times be faced with challenges and opportunities and that in addressing both, they will certainly be faced with taking risks. These are the tips I shared with our grads which I think can be applicable to many students and as adults as we refine our ability to take risks and make sound decisions.

On that note, whatever decisions and vacation plans you have made for your family this summer, my sincere hope for all our families is that you enjoy an incredible and restful time with your loved ones. I leave you with a little video compilation of summer vacation suggestions offered to “Marshmallow” (my lovable bear) by some of our creative Junior School students. Happy summer everyone!



National and International Excursions 2018-2019

One-fifth of our YHS Senior School students participated in national and international excursions this academic year. 

  • 47 Grade 8 students travelled to Quebec City for a francophone adventure.
  • 10 Grade 9 and 10 students travelled to Australia, Mexico, and England on exchange. 
  • 13 students travelled to Cuba and explored music and dance with music partners.
  • 14 Grade 11 and 12 students travelled to Poland. 
Students in Cuba

At an April Learning Exhibition, some students shared their learning through these experiences and there was a great buzz. An aim of the international excursions at YHS is to help students learn about themselves, investigate the world, and connect with people of diverse perspectives and experiences, and adventure together in the company of friends and mentors. 

Grade 8s in Quebec City

In February, forty-seven students joined the Modern Languages team for a trip to Quebec City in the heart of winter and Carnaval. A few weeks later, a team of YHS musicians, including Dawn Haylett, Ellie Froese, and Kathy Kealey travelled to Cuba and joined with local musicians and dancers to experience music in a host of lively ways. Ten exchange students had a host of varied experiences in England, Mexico, and Australia with their partners and families and our Aussie partner students will attend school at YHS this coming fall. 

Senior students in France

In March, a group headed to France as part of our long-term partnership with Saint-Louis Saint-Bruno in Lyon, France. As Alexis Lum, expressed, “We take a team of 14 Senior students to Lyon, France every second year and host a team of students from Lyon in between. The aim of the program is to immerse our students in French culture and language and build bridges among teenagers through meaningful, authentic experiences.” With Madame Jensen and Monsieur Lum as the animated leads, the students stayed with an exchange partner and family and participated in a host of activities including a visit with Monsieur Lum’s grandmother for tea. Thank you to Monsieur Lum and Madame Jensen for accompanying the group on this adventure this year. 

Senior students in Poland

Finally, fourteen students, Ms. Baldissera, and Ms. McInnis travelled to Poland and Germany in March. Reflecting on the trip, Ms. Baldissera expressed this about the excursion: “There is one thing to read about history; it is another to be in the place where it took place and see it, touch it, and feel it. What an extraordinary trip this was to share with such a fabulous group of students! We enjoyed so many moments: learning about the history as we visited incredible sites and museums, experiencing the culture through sampling the delicious food and wandering the old town squares, getting to know the Polish families who welcomed us into their homes, and the many silly conversations on trains and van rides. It was a trip of laughter, smiles, and tears.” 

We thank students, families, and teachers, and partners who made this possible. 

Sophie, Annika, Taylor, and Michelle with their exchange partners on Halloween