PAWS Day and literacy testing

Principal’s Page
By Jeff Reaburn

On Thursday afternoon of this week we are holding our second annual PAWS Day (Panther Active Winter Sports) as part of our goal to encourage healthy active living. Students and staff will be participating in a series of outdoor winter games, intended to promote active living, teamwork, and school spirit. We had a wonderful time last year when we held the first PAWS Day, and we hope that it will be equally enjoyable this year.
We will run all five classes on Thursday, but will shorten the period lengths so that we can start the outdoor activities shortly after 1:00. If students try to tell you that we have no classes at all (which some have been known to say in the past,) this is your notice that this is not the case. We are encouraging all students to take part, and there will be friendly competitions between classes in each grade level. Students are asked to pay attention to the weather and to dress appropriately for the conditions on Thursday – boots, hats, winter coats, and gloves or mittens. If by chance the weather should be nasty on Thursday, we will postpone the event to a more suitable day, but we do want to have snow on the ground for most of our activities. We are looking forward to a great day of activity and spirit-building.
On Thursday evening, the Students’ Council is hosting a night of video game competition. Students will be demonstrating their skills in Halo 3 and Guitar Hero, which promises to be a fun way to end our PAWS Day.
Preparations are also under way for the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test, which will be written this year in the morning of Thursday, March 27. Students in their second year of high school and those who were unsuccessful last year will be required to write the test. Successful completion of the OSSLT or the literacy course (OLC 40) is a graduation requirement. Students in Grade 11 who were unsuccessful last year have been attending weekly skills workshops to help them be more successful this year. Soon, these workshops will happen twice a week. Teachers of Grade 10 classes have been given literacy test preparation activities to use in their classes to help Grade 10 students get ready for the test.
Parents of students who have to write the test are asked to ensure that any medical or dental appointments scheduled for March 27 are cancelled and re-booked for an alternate date. Students are permitted to write the OSSLT on the scheduled date only: those who miss it will be required to take the test next year; so it is very important that they be present on March 27.
The Interim Report for Semester Two is scheduled to be distributed on Thursday, March 20, the day before Good Friday. Once again this will be an informal report, intended to give parents a “snapshot” of student progress, and to inform them of any concerns that teachers may have about student progress. It will not contain a mark but will let parents know how their sons or daughters are doing. Parent- Teacher interviews are scheduled for the following week on March 27, the same day as the Literacy Test.
Finally, the deadline for next year’s course selections is now past. Any students who have yet to turn in their choices for next year are asked to do so as soon as possible. The process of creating next year’s timetable will get under way shortly after March Break.