This is the first blog post of our 4th academic year of High Park Day School! Welcome!
Last week, we were happy to welcome students old and new to visit the school, learn about updates to our school and routines, and begin to set up new procedures for the coming school year. After Labour Day weekend, with all of our students in attendance, we have hit the ground running to begin a whole host of new programs!
Safe and Happy at HPDS
On Tuesday, students worked together to design a custom list of essential agreements. With the prompting question, "How can we keep each other safe and happy?", the students generated a wonderful list of agreements to follow, including empathy and respect as core values to demonstrate. Watching and hearing the students reinforce these agreements at the park and throughout the school has been a very positive and reassuring way to start the school year!
House Teams - Hogwarts 2.0
In our second semester last year, we introduced a pilot project which grouped the students into mixed-age 'Houses'. A great success, the house teams worked towards shared goals and earned rewards by demonstrating the HPDS Character Traits. This year we have continued the tradition and created new houses. It was wonderful to see the enthusiasm from last year's returning students 'rub off' on our new members!
The Mystery Unit!
As many of you have surely heard already, our first unit of the year is all about Mystery! The overall concepts that will be taught and celebrated by the whole school are elements of mystery writing, magic, illusion and wonderment, and critical thinking. The junior group will focus their attention on elements of magic and presentation skills, while the intermediates look closer at clues, evidence and forensics. The senior class will be researching and discussing common conspiracy theories, picking apart evidence and details to debunk (or prove?) that Elvis lives, aliens exist, and more! As program extension, all students have begun to learn card games and tricks to improve their dexterity, mental math abilities, and overall presentation skills.
Return of the Monarchs!
Last but not least, and also inspired by last year's success...our monarch butterfly enclosure is back in action! Our new milkweed plant is home to a group of caterpillars and already existing chrysalises. Once they have hatched as beautiful monarchs, our students will help to tag and release these precious and incredible creatures. The monarch migration is one of the most fascinating on Earth, and makes a great conversation piece to discuss with your children!
A special thank you to all of our HPDS families for making the return to school so positive. See you all on Edsby!