May 3 / 2019

KAYAKING, SKYDIVING, JAZZ - experientia docet

This coming week, we will send 332 students and 49 teachers beyond our walls to engage in the 16th annual running of Challenge Week. Students will be found in locations throughout North America, from British Columbia to Newfoundland and as far south as New Orleans. Challenges are diverse; students will be climbing mountains, kayaking a southern bayou, playing Jazz music in the streets of New Orleans, sky-diving indoors, zip-lining, exploring the Bay of Fundy, cooking en francais and camping in Algonquin Park, to name but a few. Challenge Week takes seriously our school’s motto: experience teaches.

It is our hope that the week exposes students to experiences that spark their imagination and ignite a deeper interest in the world around them. Students learn from interacting directly with local people and local environments and learn to work effectively and reflectively as a team.

Year after year, our students identify Challenge Week as one of the most memorable parts of their York School experience.

This year's destinations and themes include:

Grade 10
New Orleans: Resilience of a City (The Effects of Hurricane Katrina)
New Orleans: Jazz Train (Playing and discovering the music of New Orleans)
Montreal: Savourez Montreal (Learning to cook en francais)
Toronto STEM Week! (Experiential approach to learning the physics of motion)

Grade 9
Squamish, B.C. Reaching the Summit (Environment and Peoples of B.C.)
Alberta: Prairies to Mountains, AB (Foothills and Badlands of Alberta)
Quebec: Je Me Souviens (The terrain and Quebecois culture of the north shore of the St. Laurent)
Newfoundland: Exploring the Rock (Geology, history, ecology and cultural traditions of Newfoundland)
New Brunswick: High Tides of Acadia (Marine Life and Peoples of the Bay of Fundy region)

Grade 8
Algonquin Park / Haliburton Highlands Water Trails: Challenge by Choice

Grade 7
Quebec City / Montreal: “L’histoire en Action”

Grade 6
Ottawa: Canada’s Capital City

'May the wind always be at your back and the sun upon your face. 

David Hamilton,
Senior School Principal


On May 10, join as we welcome Dr. Christine Lay, Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Toronto and Director of the Headache Program, to our next Coffee Connects, "The Adolescent Brain."

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Starting May 13th, the York School Community Service Club will proudly present a week of awareness-based activities designed to build a more inclusive world.

The week will build an understanding of the life experiences of children and youth living with physical challenges as well as adults living with intellectual disabilities.

A special highlight will be the May 14th assembly, where speakers from Holland-Bloorview Kids’ Rehabilitation Hospital and Dramaway will share impacts of their organizations’ programming, present stories of inspiration, and describe how York School students can get involved.

The week will culminate at the York Dramaway Cabaret, an artistic celebration on Thursday, May 23rd from 7-9 pm. York students will perform alongside Dramaway adult actors in a celebration of our important partnership. All are welcome.

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The YPA is looking forward to the next school year and how we can make The York School the best community yet!

We are currently looking to fill a few spots on the YPA Executive as well as Committee chairs for the 2019/20 school year. If you are interested in getting involved please click here. If you would like to connect with us about a particular role, feel free to email us at

Our AGM, where we elect the YPA executive members is on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. In order to officially register your interest in a position please e-mail Deloan D’sa, our Events & Alumni Coordinator at  with a short bio highlighting your experience volunteering at the school, your child(s) names and grades and the role you are interested in. All submissions should be handed to the Advancement team by May 16th, 2019.

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