December 7 / 2018


Dear York School Community,

If you visit the York School Twitter page the banner image reads “Innovation is our tradition”. As I reflect on my fifteen years with The York School, I can say with confidence that the statement is one we live by. We are curious. We adapt. We are problem solvers through collaboration.

In my role as Director of Learning, Innovation and Technology I have the opportunity to support staff and students with their teaching and learning goals. A few years ago, I invited them to share these moments using the #YorkLearns hashtag. Click and you will see real-time examples of how our teachers are creating rich and engaging learning experiences across the curriculum. As we head into the holidays, I have put together a highlight reel of moments – so please grab a hot drink and explore the links. I hope you come away with the same thought as I did... “Wow, I wish school was like this when I was a student!”

  • This week the Junior School has been full of action. All around the world, students have been participating in the Hour of Code and our Gr 3-5 students were right there along with them. With a fun morning of challenge by choice our students got to experience coding in a variety of ways and had such much fun doing it.

  • This past weekend, our Middle School First Lego League Team (Robogladiators) compete in Durham qualifier to kick off the FIRST Season and they did it with style.

  • Next week a number of students will participate in the Canada-wide Hackergal competition. Hackergal is a not-for-profit organization that introduces young girls across Canada to coding through the experience of a hackathon. Collectively, their task will be to develop an app that will help solve a societal challenge.

  • In the Middle School, our MYP Design Programme has been running full throttle with the culmination of two major projects. The Grade 6 Rocket Design Challenge saw our Grade 6s go to the Oriole Park launchpad to launch their rocket prototypes. The parts (nose cones and wings) were designed using 3D CAD software and printed on our fleet of 3D printers. (Your donations to The York School Fund helped buy these high tech printers!).

  • On Monday December 10th the 8th Annual Grade 7 Pinewood Derby takes place and is is one of the most exciting days of the Grade 7 design calendar. Students design, build and test pinewood cars and race them among their peers in an morning-long showcase. Students Katz and Band-Orange still walk tall from their wins in previous years. Serious bragging rights there! If you are a Grade 7 parent you won’t want to miss it!

This year across the school we have introduced several new tools and systems to help unlock learning and augment creativity.  

  • Pear Deck is an interactive presentation and feedback collection app that delivers instant individualized learning data back to the teacher allowing for for all thinking to be made visible and all learners accountable.

  • As cloud applications continue to expand and improve we added Screencastify to our learning toolkit allowing staff and students to easily share and capture their learning in video form right from the browser!

  • On the creative side we are really excited to offer all our students access to the entire Adobe Creative Suite. This digital toolkit is incredibly powerful and is the same one found in the hand of professionals around the world.

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This is just small glimpse into what is available to our staff and students to enhance the curriculum. These are all powerful tools to feed our creativity and problem solving abilities. We also recognize that they need to be used responsibly and thoughtfully (and knowing that sometimes, the best tool for the job is the simple pen and paper!). It is an exciting time to be an educator and I am honoured to work at a school that so actively fosters a (safe!) culture of innovation across the JK-12 continuum.

Justin Medved,
Director of Learning, Innovation and Technology



This morning’s Mindful Parenting Coffee Connects was a great testament to the fact that we are all life learners. Speaker Gayle Seifert shared her insights on mindfully navigating the journey of parenting. She has kindly offered her presentation notes to the broader community which can be downloaded below.

Thanks to the YPA for supporting this event where over 60 members of our community participated!


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By now, you will have heard the buzz. The Wizard of Oz is a SMASH HIT full of lovable characters and amazing acting. If you go the the online box office you’ll see that there are only a few tickets left for the remaining performances. So act fast!

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Thursday, December 6 @ 7:00PM (SOLD OUT!)
Friday, December 7 @ 7:00PM
Saturday, December 8 @ 2:00PM and 7:00PM

Seats are not assigned so we recommend that you arrive early to claim your desired spots.


A warmhearted thanks to all the volunteers, faculty and parents! The Wizard of Oz was brought to you in part by your kind support to The York School FundThank you for helping our students shine.


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The York School’s Harmony Concert celebrates the end of a successful term, the upcoming winter holidays and how music is an international language that unites us all.

On Friday, December 21st we will have two performances in the gym at our 1320 campus; Middle/Senior School (from 9:15 - 10:15) and Junior School (10:45 - 11:45), in order to accommodate all of our student performers, staff and parent audience. We invite all parents to attend the performances(s), recognizing that families with children in multiple divisions may stay to watch both.

Refreshments will be available for parents in the Cafe at 1320 prior to - and in between - both performances until the doors open for audience seating.

Please join us for our annual Harmony Concert celebration.

Doors Open @ 9:00 Middle & Senior School Concert 9:15-10:15

Doors Open @ 10:30 Junior School Concert 10:45-11:45