Across the Boards - ET Spring 2014

Near North Student Honoured with Lincoln Alexander Award

In October, the Near North DSB announced that Nathalie Restoule, a student at Northern Secondary School in Sturgeon Falls, is one of two student recipients of this year`s Lincoln Alexander Award. The award honours young people on Ontario who have made significant contributions to eliminating racial discrimination in the province.

Nathalie is a very talented and dynamic student and is active in many school clubs and in events supporting her Dokis First Nation community. To raise awareness among the student body and the community about Bill C45 and the Idle No More movement, she recently organized a Round Dance, arranging for the guest speakers and media coverage and making presentations to the Near North District School Board. Through Northern Secondary's First Nations course, she will be helping the school present its first Pow Wow in May, and is involved in preparations for Aboriginal Day in June. She is an accomplished musician and has recently been awarded a recording opportunity in Nashville. 

Lincoln Alexander served as Ontario's Lieutenant Governor from 1985 to 1991, the first member of a minority community to take on this role in Canada.   He died on October 19, 2012.

For more information, contact Vince Gagne or Laurent Paquette, co-principals, Northern Secondary School, (705) 472-5322.

TDSB School receives Toronto Urban Design Award

In September, North Toronto Collegiate Institute was honoured by the Toronto Urban Design Awards for the renovation of this century-old high school in midtown Toronto. The project was one of five finalists in the 2013 Award of Merit for the Public Building in Context Award.

The renovation was undertaken by CS&P Architects, who redesigned the entire site and relocated the school building to the north end of the property, where it forms a sleek four-storey extension to two attached condominium towers, accommodating the community's housing needs in this vibrant neighbourhood. Heritage elements from the original 1912 structure were salvaged and worked into the interior of the current building. The property also features an upgraded playing field and underground parking. 

The Toronto Urban Design Awards honour the city's outstanding architectural projects and are presented by City of Toronto every two years. This redesign project was also shortlisted for the 2013 Heritage Toronto Architecture Awards.

Rainbow DSB Educator Receives Award for Justice Education

In October, the Rainbow DSB announced that Shari Blasutti, a teacher at Lockerby Composite School, had been honoured by the Ontario Justice Education Network with the Hux-Kiteley Exemplary Justice Educator Award.

Blasutti was recognized for excellence in teaching and in recognition of the Sudbury Mock Trial Competition that she created in 2000, along with Madame Justice Patricia C. Hennessy. The Mock Trial Competition, part of the grade 12 law curriculum, is an annual event in Rainbow schools in which students team up with legal professionals, prepare fictitious cases and take on the roles of the legal team as they present the case in Superior Court.

The Ontario Justice Education Network www.ojen.ca supports legal education in Ontario with education programs and teacher resources. 

For more information, contact Heather Gaffney, principal, Lockerby Composite School, (705) 522-1750, or Nadine Demoe, communications manager, OJEN /ROEJ, (416) 947-5267, or visit www.ojen.ca or www.roej.ca.

Hamilton-Wentworth DSB Creates a Legacy for FNMI Students

In September, 2013, Hamilton's Glendale Secondary School presented a cheque for $2000 to the Native Women's Centre of Hamilton. The funds were from proceeds of ticket sales from their play, Ten Miles Out, which was performed in May 2013.

Over a year in the making, the student-written play began as an idea presented to Hamilton- Wentworth DSB's Aboriginal community liaison officer, Dr. Jenny Kay Dupuis, the previous June. Work began in September as students started their research, focusing on the impact of the residential school system on First Nations peoples, using educational resources compiled by the board. Glendale's Specialist High Skills Major in Arts and Culture students then wrote and staged the show. The performance was accompanied by a display of artwork by members of local Aboriginal communities and the Native arts class at neighbouring Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School.

For more information, contact Lawrie Cook, principal, Glendale Secondary School, (905) 560-7343, e-mail Lawrie.Cook@hwdsb.on.ca.

Upper Grand DSB

In October, the Upper Grand DSB launched an online anti-bullying tool. "Stop a Bully" is located on the home page of the board's Web site, and is clearly visible. It is available for mobile devices. The tool can be used by anyone in the board, allowing them to alert authorities quickly, and anonymously if required, if there is a bullying incident at school.

"Stop a Bully" joins other important strategies that boards across the province are developing to curb abusive behaviour in schools. One example is the work done by the Rainy River DSB in partnership with the local branch of the Ontario Provincial Police to confront the issues of bullying and Internet safety. A set of media literacy tools for all grades was adopted by the board from the Common Sense Media Web site. The resources have been aligned to Ontario's language arts curriculum and are used by educators, parents and the police to promote digital citizenship to students.  

For more information, visit www.ugdsb.on.ca/stop-a-bully, or contact Heather Campbell, Director of Education, Rainy River DSB, (807) 274-9855 or visit www.commonsensemedia.org.