September 2010

Principal's Message

Allow me to begin this Newsletter with a warm welcome back to our School, our halls, and our classrooms! A number of people have commented on what a seamless and positive start has been made to our 2010-2011 academic year. From the oldest to the youngest, the boys are motivated, and keen to make this a very strong year – and I believe that it most certainly will be.

I am so pleased to see the way that our students, our Faculty, and our Staff have set off on this ten month journey – and indeed, how positive our Parents have been when meeting them at drop off, at pick up and at last week’s Assembly. Don’t forget to attend our Assemblies, they really do get your Friday going in the most pleasing way. Our population is currently 308 which is the highest that it has ever been! The two places that remain available are both in Junior Kindergarten – does anyone know someone who might be interested?

One piece of news that shocked us all is that Linda Boutilier, who has worked in Advancement since 2003 and whose son Scott left SHS in 1999, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She remains very positive as she undergoes her treatment and her intention is to return to her work at SHS in March, 2011. I know that you join me in wishing her well.

On the Faculty and Staff front, I remain very confident that we have a great team again this year – newcomers Heather Chisholm, Tim Hunter, Arianne Maraj-Guitard, Ashley Megly and the returning Sarah Claydon and Pamela Robinson all bring and offer much in the classroom. New Staff include Rachael Bloomfield, Allison Funk, Karen Shiell, and Renée Young and with the returning Vi Roberts will all make fine contributions as will our new Educational Researcher, Matthew Ferguson. Lastly, I am very pleased to write that Stephen Hardy has just been appointed to succeed Kiran Little as Director of Finance – he will start on September 20. I know that you join me in wishing them all a happy and productive year. Leavers from last year have been in touch: Trish Cislak, the new Librarian at Crescent School; Steve Caley, who has been doing event promotion work and will complete his MEd by December and then possibly teach abroad; Andrew Kilmer, who will be working for his camp full time; and I am delighted to announce that Luke Coles has been appointed to be the Provincial Schools Director for the Terry Fox Foundation – many congratulations to them all!

One Faculty initiative is that of Michael Eben who is planning a parent and son trip (for Grade 8 boys only) to France from June 20 – July 1, 2011. I took a number of groups to Europe from my previous schools and wish to support Michael’s idea – the benefits of such an adventure can be great! If you and your Grade 8 son are interested, please contact Michael.

The various media have become a vital part of our lives. Our new approach to our advertizing and marketing is on display in McGovern Hall and you will see these images in publications and in October in strategically located bus shelters. Secondly, SHS was visited by a film crew last Friday. They needed film of boys in school as a backdrop for a CBC documentary on how the curriculum needs to be masculinized, having been too feminized recently. We are pleased that they chose SHS and look forward to hearing when it will be aired!

I am also thrilled to be coaching U13 soccer this term with Tyler Meakin and Elizabeth Gray. It is the first time in a number of years that I have been able to do so and I am happy to be working so closely with the Grade 7 boys again.

Jennifer joins me in wishing you all a happy, healthy and productive 2010-2011 academic year – our 24th year of existence. If you are in the School, do please come and say hello.

Ian Robinson

The Sterling Hall School Welcomes New Faculty and Staff!

We are pleased to introduce you to the new members of our Faculty and Staff this year. Please take the time to introduce yourself – each member will have a role in supporting your son’s education. For a full listing of All Faculty and Staff members visit our Faculty and Staff Directory.

Front Row: Tim Hunter (Grade 6), Matthew Ferguson (Educational Researcher)

Back Row: Ashley Megly (Learning Commons), Rebecca Stacey (Administrative Assistant), Renee Young (Senior Accountant), Arianne Maraj-Guitard (French), Allison Funk (Reception), Rachael Bloomfield (Admissions Assistant), Heather Chisholm (Academic Support), Karen Shiell (Chef)

Missing: Stephen Hardy (Director of Finance)

Parents Association

Welcome to the 2010-2011 school year! I look forward to another great year at SHS and the many events and services offered by the Parents Association, especially our exciting new events – First Snack Back, Ladies Night Out, and Where’s Sharkie (JK – 5 Fun).

The School has been very busy this summer implementing some of the gifts from last year’s Parents Association team led by Neri Slan. Here is a brief update: The “Mics and Lights” project is complete and we look forward to hearing and seeing our boys speak and perform in the ESG. The Wind Tunnel for the Science department has been ordered and we can’t wait to see what fun and exciting new things the boys will be doing with it. The Phelan Learning Commons and Green School contributions will be spent as the year progresses and as the needs materialize in these areas.

The PA is proud to coordinate most of the Parent volunteers at SHS. Volunteering is a great way to meet other parents, to connect with the strong Sterling Hall community and to have a lot of fun! If you have not completed your green volunteer form, please do so as soon as possible and return it to Reception at your earliest convenience.

I hope many of you had an opportunity to attend the Welcome Back Coffee and the first PA Meeting. If you could not attend, the minutes will be on the SHS website in the Community Login soon and there is a PA Meeting coming up on October 20 at 8:40 am in the McCain Dining Hall. The PA Meetings are a great way to meet new parents, reconnect with old friends and keep up to date with what is going on with the PA. All parents are welcome and encouraged to attend the meetings.

A special thank you to our many volunteers who have already been busy this summer and during the first week of School.

  • Yael Wilder and the Sterling Buddies who reached out to our new families and helped ease the transition to a new School.
  • Lynn Grogan and her team of Mary Crawford, Elle Vilo-Struthers, Virginia Gaylord, Robin Porter, Yael Wilder, and Jennifer Marks for a great Used Uniform Sale.
  • Jill Radomsky for preparing the lovely planters that welcome us as we enter the School each day.
  • Mary Crawford, Imelda D’Aversa, and Adrienne Waterman and their many helpers who made our first new event of the year, First Snack Back, such a great success.

If you have any questions about the PA, please contact me. I look forward to working with many of you throughout the course of the year.

Carol Port
President – SHS Parents Association 2010-2011

Dark clouds and gusty wind couldn't dampen the SHS spirit at the PAs first-ever First Snack Back.

@ The Learning Commons

The New Phelan Learning Commons

This past summer, The Phelan Library experienced a major transformation to become the newly introduced Phelan Learning Commons. Previously, a Library was a place for quiet and individual study that offered information services through books and technology. It has now become an innovative new hub that is information rich, accessible, flexible, and collaborative. What really defines Sterling Hall’s Phelan Learning Commons is the physical and virtual space where inquiry, discovery, and creativity come alive.

The Phelan Learning Commons enables teachers to use high quality online resources as a strategy to keep students engaged in learning. Teachers are able to individualize their approach based on students’ needs and styles, and to enhance and supplement basic lesson plans with unique content for our curious students.

Students will be able to become critical consumers of relevant information while obtaining transferable skills, keys to their future success. The PLC is co-ordinated by Ashley Megly, the Learning Commons Teacher and Marco Zimbalatti, the Director of Technology. The Learning Commons provides a newly expanded space where Students, Faculty, Staff, and Parents come together to learn both individually and collaboratively.

I welcome you to come in and have a visit.

Ashley Megly
Learning Commons Teacher

Student Life

Welcome to the 2010-2011 school year. I hope you all had a wonderful summer and are ready for an active start to the year. Sterling Hall has many opportunities for you and your son to become involved in the life of the School.

Starting next week, a wide variety of extracurricular clubs will be starting, many of which last the whole first term.

Kilometer Club , K-2 Sports, Karate, Primary Choir, Junior Choir, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Club, Grade 5 Clarinet Club, Grade 5 Flute Club, Grade 5 Low Brass Club, Grade 5 Percussion Club, Grade 5 Trumpet Club, VOX Band, FLL Robotics, VEX Robotics, Chess Club, Grade 1&2 Cartooning Club, Grade 3&4 Cartooning Club, Grade 3 Art Club, Grade 4 Art Club, Photography Club, SSAT Club

Our first major school event and House competition is the annual Founder's Day and Terry Fox Run held on the morning of Friday, October 8. Please join us for this morning of House Spirit and a little bit of athletic effort.

Finally, please note that our Student Council elections will be held the week of September 27. Your son’s Homeroom Teacher will explain the election process as election week approaches.

Looking forward to an outstanding school year.

Scott Davis
Director of Student Life

Curriculum Steering Committee

It gives me great pleasure to introduce the first of a series of articles that our Curriculum Steering Committee will write to share in Sterling Notes for the 2010-2011 academic year. I am proud to announce that there are 14 Curriculum Coordinators that make up the Curriculum Steering Committee. This team is lead by the Vice Principal, Academics, Leslie Anne Dexter. Our team’s mission is to research and provide guidance to the Faculty and Staff of The Sterling Hall School to ensure that our curriculum is academically sound, comprehensive, and responsive to the evolving needs of our community, thus serving the school’s mission, academic vision, goals, and the educational needs for our boys.

The 2010-2011 Curriculum Steering Committee includes the following members:

Academic Support – Pam Robinson; Action Research/Sterling Institute – Erica Sprules; Administrative Assistant – Rebecca Stacey; Arts – John Pittman; Assessment – Drew Gulyas; Assistant to the Principal – Kate Sherk; Breathing Life, Sustainability/Mathematics – James Hay; Citizenship/Service Learning – Jean Shirreff; Educational Researcher – Matthew Ferguson; French – Patrizia Rizzo; Health and Physical Education – Joel Brough; ICT/Inquiry/Electives – Marco Zimbalatti; Language Arts – Aleeza Janmohamed; Principal – Ian Robinson; Science – Tim Nahachewsky; Social Studies/Inquiry/Electives – Sheree North; Stewardship – Cayleigh Murtaugh; Vice Principal, Administration – James Macdonald

Citizenship/Stewardship - Our Boys Give Back!

Shoes for Haiti

We are very excited to kick off another year of Citizenship at The Sterling Hall School! Our Citizenship program involves two aspects. The first is our Stewardship program, which is our character education curriculum. The second is Service Learning, which entails the boys putting into practice their knowledge and ideas about giving back to the community. Our “Agents of Change” lead SHS through the year, coordinating the initiatives that are chosen by the various grades in the School. The Agents of Change also lead school-wide initiatives, such as food drives, and they spring into action when a critical need arises unexpectedly. We are very fortunate to have Ryan Brown as our Citizenship Prefect, and Remi Raguin, Andrew Firstbrook, Sammy Zucker, Connor Gallagher, and Matthew Stuart as our Character and Community Captains. Together, these six boys all make up the Agents of Change team.

Starting this year, the Stewardship program will be organized into three strands that will be touched upon in each grade. These strands are Social Emotional Learning, Diversity, and Decision Making. There will continue to be a thematic focus for each grade. The grade themes are: JK: Caring and Sharing; SK: Honesty; Grade One: Friendship; Grade Two: Courtesy; Grade Three: Sportsmanship; Grade Four: Heroes; Grade Five: Citizenship; Grade Six: Perspective; Grade Seven: Leadership; Grade Eight: Integrity.

With regards to Service Learning, the Citizenship committee has made the decision that no grade-driven projects will request any kind of financial contribution from Parents. Instead, we are keen to adopt an entirely hands-on approach whereby the boys deepen their understanding of the communities they will choose to connect with this year. All the projects will be entirely boy-chosen and boy-driven. This will give them more ownership and a sense of pride that they themselves have made a difference.

As always, we sincerely appreciate all that you do as a community to support the boys and their growing sense of Citizenship. Here’s to a great year!

Cayleigh Murtaugh, Katie Nicoll, Jean Shirreff, and Ann Marie Zigrossi
Stewardship Committee

Something Green


We're thrilled to be back to school, and re-establishing our work with two ambitious programs: Ontario EcoSchools and the ZEROchallenge.

There are a three reminders the boys would like to get out, as we help one another to "live more lightly on the Earth":

1. SHS is a plastic bottle free zone. We do not offer plastic water bottles in our Dining Hall or at school events, so please do not send them with your son. Steel re-usable bottles are happily available at the Shark Shop.

2. At school, we have a complete three bin waste program, so any help you can offer to carry on separating recycling and organic waste from remaining garbage at home is appreciated. For those bringing snacks and lunches from home, we strongly encourage litterless lunches and re-usable containers.

3. As you wait in the parking lot before and after school, please turn off the engine. We aim for no idling, and there are a lot of vehicles on our campus throughout the day.

James Hay, Cole Swadron, Jacob Edgett, Eric Dong, Forrest Herlick
Green School Task Force

A Family Minute

Brought to you this month by the Stewardship Committee

Homework is an issue that will face our children during all of their school years. Help them to get their head around a routine early in life…. Set up a homework space. Here are some great ideas from Dakshana Bascaramurty from the Globe and Mail.

1. Location, Location, Location

Doing homework in front of the TV or with blaring music is not productive, and of course, your child will try to tell you otherwise! Some students, especially boys, like to have, or need to have a parent nearby. The kitchen may be a good choice. Set up an area in your kitchen that is their “homework zone” with a caddy, bin, or holder with homework supplies.

2. Materials and Tools

Pencil grips are a great start and a good way to get your child to hold a writing implement the correct way. Pens are a dime a dozen, but not all of them have good grips. Have your child try them out and see what is most comfortable for him. Larger size spiral pads are best (8 x 11) for his written work, so that he doesn't reach the bottom of the page too quickly. The smaller ones are better for primary children.

3. Lighting

Natural light is best, so situating a desk or table near a window is great. Computer screens should be positioned at right angles to the window. Although a good floor lamp is okay, a desk lamp may be moved around, especially one with a flexible goose neck. Position it on the opposite side of the body to your child’s writing hand.

4. Seating

Younger children may have trouble sitting for very long in a chair, Try to break up long sessions with little movement breaks. The older your child gets, the more important it is that he has a chair that fits him when he sits for 2-3 hours. He should have good back support with his feet on the floor.

5. Do as I Say, not as I do

If you want your child to follow a good example, try to implement these ideas into your own workspace. Remember - don’t let your own home office get cluttered!

Cayleigh Murtaugh, Katie Nicoll, Jean Shirreff, and Ann Marie Zigrossi
Stewardship Committee

Teach to Reach

Teach to Reach is a tutoring service that operates on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week at The Sterling Hall School. Students are tutored by certified Ontario teachers, some of whom work here at SHS. Students in the past have been keen to work one-on-one with our tutors and are comfortable working in an environment that they are familiar with. All classroom resources are available to SHS tutors. If you would like some more information regarding this program, please email Tyler Meakin.

Primary Lunch Notice

Lunch is an important part of the school day. It is a time for your son to connect socially with his peers as well as an important time for him to consume the nutrition he needs for successful learning.

There are three important details that we wanted to share with you about our School McCain Dining Hall routine:

1. Students are often read to at the beginning of the meal in order to provide a calm environment that promotes eating.

2. Students may bring lunches that require warming. Please ensure that food needing to be warmed up is sent to school in a microwave safe container as we are not able to provide these containers for safe heating.

3. Please strive to pack a literless lunch. All garbage, save for compostable and recyclable items, will be returned home in your son’s lunch bag.

If you have any questions about our McCain Dining Hall routines, please contact your son’s Homeroom Teacher.

Mark Magee and Drew Gulyas
Primary Lunch Coordinators

Clear your calendars, Friday, October 8 is The Sterling Hall School Founder's Day and Terry Fox Run!

The Sterling Hall School once again enters into its relationship in support of the Terry Fox Foundation. During the month of September, the boys will be hard at work gathering pledges in their quest to each find 12 people willing to pledge their support of your son in our Terry Fox Run. We know that as Parents, you are their biggest supporters, and our biggest fundraisers. We thank you for that.

While our fundraising efforts in the past have been incredible, $124,000 in 2009 and a grand total of over $850,000 in the 16 years that Sterling Hall has organized a Terry Fox Run, the most important part of our efforts is to teach the boys the values of charity, community service, perseverance, and effort. In all of these, Terry Fox can be seen as a shining example and, to many, a hero.

In your fundraising efforts at home, we hope that you will work with us to help your son understand the importance of this cause and to assist him in putting his best effort into finding, approaching, and speaking to possible pledgers. We also hope that the boys take responsibility for their own pledge sheets.

In preparation for our run on Friday, October 8, we have arranged for a guest speaker on Friday, October 1. Daisy Hamelinck is a Cancer survivor and today she lives with what could be considered a bionic leg. Daisy loves to share her story with Staff and Students! Please join us at assembly to hear Daisy’s inspirational words.

Finally, we hope that all members of our community – from Parents to siblings to pets to friends will all join us on the day of our run to gather House Points for your son’s House. As the first major House event of the year, Howard, McClintock, Morrison, and Plumb will all be striving to take an early lead in their quest for the Ferris Cup.

Save the Date:

SHS House Party for Parents - Saturday, November 6, 2010. Food, music, fun and a chance to earn valuable House Points for your son!

Meet the Teacher Night

We hope that you enjoy our new format for Meet the Teacher Night. The teachers are excited to greet you this evening in their various teaching spaces from 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm. Please feel free to send in your feedback to Michael Adamson (Grade 5 Teacher).

It gives me great pleasure to introduce the first of a series of articles that our Curriculum Steering Committee will write to share in Sterling Notes for the 2010-2011 academic year. I am proud to announce that there are 14 Curriculum Coordinators that make up the Curriculum Steering Committee. This team is lead by the Vice Principal, Academics, Leslie Anne Dexter. Our team’s mission is to research and provide guidance to the Faculty and Staff of Sterling Hall to ensure that our curriculum is academically sound, comprehensive, and responsive to the evolving needs of our community, thus serving the school’s mission, academic vision, goals, and the educational needs for our boys.

The 2010-2011 Curriculum Steering Committee includes the following members:

Academic Support

Pam Robinson

Action Research/Sterling Institute

Erica Sprules

Administrative Assistant

Rebecca Stacey


John Pittman


Drew Gulyas

Assistant to the Principal

Kate Sherk

Breathing Life – Sustainability/ Mathematics

James Hay

Citizenship/Service Learning

Jean Shirreff

Educational Research

Matthew Ferguson


Patrizia Rizzo

Health and Physical Education

Joel Brough


Marco Zimbalatti

Language Arts

Aleeza Janmohamed


Ian Robinson


Tim Nahachewsky

Social Studies/Inquiry/Electives

Sheree North


Cayleigh Murtaugh

  • September 2010
    09-16(Day 1)
    09-16Meet the Teacher Night
    6:30 PM
    09-17(Day 2)
    09-17Academic Assembly - New Boys Houses Announced
    8:40 AM
    09-20(Day 3)
    09-20Grade 8 Expedition to Temagami begins
    09-20NO STUDY HALL
    09-21(Day 4)
    09-21Grade 8 Expedition to Temagami
    09-21JK-7 Photo Day

    JK-7 Photo Day

    Please remember to send your son in #1 Dress.

    09-21K-2 Sports Commences
    09-22(Day 5)
    09-22Grade 8 Expedition to Temagami
    09-23(Day 6)
    09-23Grade 8 Expedition to Temagami
    09-24(Day 1)
    09-24Grade 8 Expedition to Temagami
    09-24Pizza Day*
    8:40 AM
    09-25Grade 8 Expedition to Temagami
    09-26Grade 8 Expedition to Temagami
    09-26Student Council Elections Week
    09-27(Day 2)
    09-27Grade 8 Returns
    09-27Student Council Elections Week
    09-28(Day 3)
    09-28Student Council Elections Week
    09-29(Day 4)
    09-29Student Council Elections Week
    09-29Dads & Lads Breakfast
    7:30 AM to 8:30 AM
    09-30(Day 5)
    09-30Student Council Elections
    09-30Grade 7-8 Panel For Grade 9 Admission (Parents only)
    6:30 PM
  • October 2010
    10-01(Day 6)
    10-01Assembly-Student Council Announced
    8:40 AM

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