Parent Newsletter

Macdonald Drive Junior High, November 2019

Dates to remember

  • November 8-11 - Remembrance Day long weekend
  • November 29 - Report Cards
  • December 2-5 - Scholastic Book Fair
  • December 4 - Christmas Concert 7-9 pm
  • December 5 - Parent Teacher Interviews
  • December 20 - Last day of school before Christmas Holidays
  • January 6 - School starts back after Christmas Holidays

What's been going on...

Remembrance Day Ceremony 2019

Remembrance Day Ceremony 2019

This year students were given a history lesson on the causes of World War II. Mr. David Lawton, our Social Studies Department Head, explained what occurred in the world in the 21 intervening years between the end of the Great War and the start of the next world conflict.

Later, students from Grade 8-9 re-enacted a poem, entitled First They Came, which extolled the virtues of standing up for others. To solidify that point, the Teacher Band performed Stand By Me.

Throughout the program, the concert band and the school choir, directed by Ms. Comerford and Ms. Pickett respectively, led the audience in renditions of Abide with Me and Let There Be Peace on Earth, among many other selections.

The point about standing up for others was ultimately communicated to the students by the presence of Mr. Rod Deon, a 98-year-old veteran of WWII, who was on active duty at the Allied Invasion on D-Day. Mr. David Walsh, one of our English teachers and Mr. Deon’s son-in-law, gave a presentation about a trip he and Mr. Deon took to France last summer to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

As always, the Colour Party from the Royal Canadian Legion added an air of solemnity to the ceremony. We are very grateful to say that our students showed tremendous respect throughout the entire service.

Many thanks to Mr. Sharpe for sound and Mr. Walsh for technical support.

Hallowe'en for Hunger Campaign

We would like to thank everyone who helped out in the Hallowe'en for Hunger campaign. Students collected non-perishable food items while trick-or-treating and a grand total of 526 items were donated in aide of Ronald McDonald House. It shows that a handful of people can make a big difference! Way to go, Grizzlies!

Roots of Empathy program

Roots of Empathy is an international, evidence-based classroom program that has been shown to be significantly effective in reducing levels of aggression among schoolchildren by raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy. The program is designed for children ages 5 to 13. In Canada, the program is delivered in English and French and reaches rural, urban, and remote (including indigenous) communities communities. At Macdonald Drive Junior High School we are running two Roots of Empathy programs in Homerooms 7-2 and 7-3. This is the first year we have had Roots of Empathy in our school and the students are really enjoying it. Our Roots of Empathy "teachers" are Baby Eliott in 7-2 and Baby Evelyn in 7-3.

Baby Eliott is 3 months old. His mom's name is Nici Parsons, and she lives in the Airport Heights area. Ms. Parsons was very excited about being a part of this program. The facilitator for this program is Ms. Christin Watton and the classroom teacher is Ms. Jennifer Riggs.

Baby Evelyn is 5 months old. Her mom's name is Meghan Gambin, who is also an Instructional Resource Teacher at our school. Ms. Gambin could not wait to have Evelyn be a part of this program. The facilitator for this program is Ms. Tracy Reardon and the classroom teacher is Ms. Laura Doyle.

Lunchtime activities at MDJH

Everyone is invited!
Big picture
Big picture

Coming up...

Call for book fair volunteers

The Scholastic Book Fair will be held from December 2 to December 5. We are excited about sharing the joy of reading with our students and we invite you to participate in this year’s Scholastic Book Fair by volunteering your time.

Scholastic Book Fairs give our school the opportunity to bring families, teachers, students, and books together. It is the ultimate book event! Additionally, a portion of the sales benefits our school library. It is one of the best ways to raise funds while encouraging kids to read.

Being a part of something special is easier than you think. We need volunteers in a variety of areas, including:

• Merchandising our Book Fair and table displays to create a terrific bookstore environment.

• Greeting customers at the door and working at our cashier table.

• Helping students and shoppers select just the right books.

If you are interested in volunteering or learning more about our Scholastic Book Fair, please contact Beth Power, at, or at 753-8240 ext 231.

Thank you in advance for helping to make our students lifelong readers – we could not do it without your participation.

MDJH Music

Christmas concert

Wednesday, Dec. 4th, 7pm

110 Macdonald Drive

St. John's, NL

Our annual Christmas concert will take place on Wednesday, December 4, at 7pm in our school gymnasium. Tickets are $5.00 each and will go on sale in the office on November 27. Tickets will also be available at the door.

MDJH Sports

Senior girls' soccer

Congratulations to the Macdonald Drive Senior Girls' Soccer team who went undefeated and captured the NLESD Regional soccer gold medal and banner. The girls scored 24 goals and gave up just 2. They defeated Villanova 1-0 in the final. Members of the winning team are: Front Row (l-r): Sarah Baker, Chloe Lee, Mia Normore, Jill Squires, Mary Whiffen, Sarah Reid. Back Row (l-r): Brianna Asum, Maria Antle, Mary Noftall, Daria Walsh, Sheila Whiffen, Kayla Musseau, Lily Walsh, Olivia Browne, Claire Ozon, Hope Kissinger, Janaya Collier. Missing: Izabella O'Leary. Coaches: Mr. Wayne Antle, Mr. Craig Squires.

Student Council News

Student council

Meetings will be held during the second half of lunch on Day 5.

School clothing orders

The deadline to order school clothing to ensure delivery for Christmas is Thursday, November 14. Any orders received after this date are not guaranteed to arrive by Christmas. Order forms are available at the office or from our school website. If you want to order an item as a Christmas gift and do not want your child to know, just indicate this on the envelope or on the order form and leave us a phone number. We will call you when your order arrives. We accept cash or a cheque made out to MDJH.

Global leadership summit

Five members of our student council attended the Global Leadership Summit at Leary’s Brook Junior High on Saturday, November 2. They had an opportunity to listen to inspiring and motivational speakers and to reflect on the speakers' messages helping to make connections with their own roles as leaders.


The 2018-2019 yearbooks have been distributed. In addition, copies have been dropped off at Gonzaga and Holy Heart for students who ordered them.

Yearbook 2019-2020

It is not too early to submit pictures for the 2019-2020 yearbook. If you have a team picture, please email it to If you are sending from a cell phone, please select "actual size" when emailing. This ensures a good quality picture for uploading to the yearbook site.

Celebrating student success

We want to acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of the students of MDJH. We have a Wall of Celebration where we will place a Certificate of Acknowledgement highlighting participation and success in a variety of activities. We want to know if your child has participated in any plays, musicals, teams or other ventures that have been successful, or has been recognized in any individual competition. We need your help with this. Please contact us about your child's activities. Please email with Celebrate YOUR CHILD’S NAME in the subject line.

WE Create Change

MDJH is a Children's WISH school. In the last year and a half, we have raised $7600 for Children's WISH by collecting change and holding various fundraisers. We are close to our goal of $10,000 -- the amount needed to grant a wish for a child. If we are successful in reaching our goal, we will grant the wish in our own school community. There are wish jars in every homeroom. Students are asked to put change left over from recess or lunch or to bring in a donation. If every student donated $3 we would reach our goal and grant a wish.


Macdonald Drive Junior High

We are a WE School.

Our background picture is by MDJH student Travis Cormier.