What a great start it has been! It was a pleasure to see so many families come out to our start of year events including the Welcome Back BBQ, Curriculum Information Nights, New Parent’s Dinner, and of course the Celebration of Life that was held in honour of Ms. Dalziel. With the month of September already behind us, we look forward to another great year filled with meaningful learning experiences. Our dedicated faculty are already actively engaging your daughter(s) in dynamic learning experiences both in and out of the classroom.
As we look ahead we are excited to provide curriculum, programs, and learning experiences that align with our mission to empower our students to become active global citizens who have the knowledge, courage, and skills to understand and act on issues that impact us all.
On October 3rd, during our first Tiger Talks of the year, I had the opportunity to share our York House learning framework with our parent community as well as outline key elements of our refreshed strategic priorities. I invite you to review these. I also had an opportunity to share with parents that with the advent of the 4th industrial revolution, advancement in technology and augmented realities, we must carefully consider how well we are preparing students for the future well beyond university. As outlined in this Forbes article we must develop in our students the mindsets, skills, and global competence required to support our girls to do “anything” in their future rather than one “something” or one job.
I also shared with parents that we aim to infuse the development of global competence throughout all JK to Grade 12 curriculum, programs, and learning experiences. At York House, we have made it a priority to support our teachers as they explore, expand, and develop student learning experiences that promote meaningful connections to the real world. We are also committed to empowering students to connect with people of diverse backgrounds and experiences, and to understand, and act on issues of social, environmental, and political concerns.
In addition, it was a pleasure to welcome our Tiger Talks keynote speaker Katlyn Grasso, CEO of GenHERation who provided our parents with a dynamic presentation regarding her research into the importance of providing real-world learning and leadership opportunities that help girls turn their ideas into actions.
With this in mind, I am very pleased to share with you our plan to expand the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) program at the Senior School. This project, approved by our Board of Governors, will provide an innovative learning space that will promote learning through inquiry, design, and entrepreneurship for our girls at the Senior School. With an interim STEAM lab currently in place, we look forward to the construction of a state of the art STEAM lab at the very front of the Senior School.
For years, this has been an underused space for us at the Senior School. With construction set to commence in March of 2020, we anticipate this project will be completed in July 2020 and will be ready for the start of the 2020-21 school year.
Our new Senior School STEAM coordinator, Mr. Reimer has begun working with faculty to create exciting interdisciplinary learning experiences at the Senior School. We also look forward to developing community partnerships that will provide our students with opportunities for skilled volunteer learning experiences. Leveraging the talents of our accomplished parent community, we have already established a connection with SAP Labs Canada and look forward to the outstanding and real-world learning experiences this connection will provide for our students. As we expand, we look forward to creating additional outreach opportunities with more outside agencies and educational institutions.
There is much momentum and excitement about this project and we look forward to parent participation in raising 1.5 million dollars towards the completion of this innovative new learning space. I am pleased to share with you that we have already raised one-third of our goal and invite you to view our website for more information on both the project and how you can participate in helping us reach our fundraising goal. I am also very thankful that our Parents’ Association is fully supportive of this project and will be raising funds to purchase equipment for the STEAM lab at this year’s Bid Night event on Thursday, November 21st.
Finally, we look forward to connecting with you about our exciting programs and initiatives at our parent coffee mornings this year.