November 8 / 2018


LT Commander Joel Kam

Dear York School Community,

“We have to remember because human beings are foolish enough to do it again if we don’t,” is how my eighth grade teacher answered that question.   

A York School teacher would never respond in that way. Without a doubt the teachers at The York School, even on an off day would produce a better Remembrance Day lesson than ever graced a chalkboard in the elementary school I attended (I suspect the student I was would also suffer in comparison).

Remembrance for us moves from music class to the Library, and is seen throughout the school and in classroom teachings all week. This culminated in an assembly at the Middle and Senior School where students produced a thoughtful and touching homage, making tangible the abstract global war of 100 years ago.

The bagpipe set the tone as students walked in. This was followed by a reflection on the history of Remembrance Day, a recitation and a song based on “In Flanders Fields”, a dramatized scene to the poem Traveling Soldier by The Dixie Chicks, and a thoughtful speech from LT Commander Joel Kam. Thereafter, a moment of silence.

In the Junior School assembly, the choir sang John Lennon’s Imagine. Both assemblies were impressive and the students were exceptionally focussed and attentive. Respectfully, we gave thanks to those who sacrificed their lives, giving us the privileged existence of living without active warfare in our lives.

Much of what we ‘remember’ are events in our History courses and as such, it could get harder each year to create such an impactful assembly. On the 100 year anniversary of the end of the first world war we live in a time where we and our children may not know or have known armed conflict in the manner of the world wars. It would be a wonderful thing if we could keep war only in history books.

What brought Remembrance Day home to the present, and to remind us that peace is hard work for which we must always be vigilant, was reference to the Rings of Peace. Established in response to the recent atrocities in Pittsburgh and earlier in Montreal, these human rings around places of worship by people from all religions are an act of love and support. They are also a show of strength against all forms of intolerance.  

I might have been too harsh on my old school education, my teacher may have been right. We have to remember because human beings are foolish enough to do it again if we don’t.

With Remembrance and Respect,

Conor Jones
Head of School

Photos of both assemblies can be found here


NOVEMBER 27 at 7:00 PM in the Gym

Sleep better and you’ll eat better. Eat better and you’ll move more. And if you move more, you’ll sleep better and ultimately think and feel better. This is the ripple effect of good health and high performance.

Join us for an evening with author Greg Wells who will explain how with an improvement of just 1% in your sleeping, eating, exercising, or thinking habits, you’ll see dramatic improvements in energy and health.

Greg will explain how:

  • Sleep controls the hormones that regulate hunger and appetite

  • An hour of exercise can turn a B grade into an A

  • Muscular meditation helps reduce stress and decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Join Us November 27 for an evening that could alter your life (plus, you’ll also learn that watermelon decreases muscle soreness after a workout).

Screen Shot 2018-11-02 at 1.30.13 PM.png

Senior School Parent Connect

The York School Parents’ Association (YPA) is thrilled to announce a special Senior School Parents Connect event to take place on Thursday the 29th of November at the Art Gallery of Ontario. This event will commence at the award-winning AGO Bistro where we will have the chance to connect while enjoying a delicious three-course prix- fixe luncheon. Click here to read more & RSVP.