Parent Newsletter

Macdonald Drive Junior High, July 2021

Dates to Remember

  • September 8 - School reopens for students

Happy Summer!

That's it for another school year!

Thanks to our parent volunteers for all your hard work with the breakfast program this year!

Good-bye to teachers Shane Lambert, Terrilyn Pickett, Kara Langdon, Erin Etchegary, Leslie Tucker, Courtney Petten, Justin Burnett, Kathleen Breen, and Tracy Reardon who are finishing up with us this year. We wish you all the best in the future and hope to see you all again with us some time!

Best of luck to Mme. Brunet who is retiring after a wonderful teaching career!

Thursday's assembly went really well. Here is a list of all the award winners. Congratulations everyone! Have a great summer!

Important Information

School Community, We Need Your Help!

Given the popularity of our existing outdoor classroom, our Staff and School Council wanted to pursue a second outdoor classroom. Construction has already started to the left of the bus / student drop off, where we have grubbed the area and are in the process of laying gravel.

It will be MDJH’s 50th Anniversary in September 2022! We thought that this outdoor classroom could be dedicated to our past students and families, which is why we decided to reach out. If a family or families would like to purchase a boulder for $150, it can be dedicated to a person or family and will be memorialized by a small plaque embedded on the boulder. Our new planters for the outdoor classroom are looking good, and there have already been several people and families who have stepped forward to dedicate a boulder.

If you are interested, please contact Ms. Pike at the office.

Message of Solidarity with our Muslim Families

MDJH stands in solidarity with our Muslim families, whose community has just experienced a terrible loss in the attack on the Afzaal family in London, Ontario, which killed four members of the family. As a school we are feeling especially deeply the loss of Yumna Afzaal, who was also a grade 9 student. Any act of hatred and violence diminishes us all.
Photo credit: National Post

What's Been Going On

Ethan Paul Bench Dedication

Show Your True Colours #Pride365NL

On June 21, students at MDJH displayed pride colours to show support for our 2SLGBTQ+ community. This day was also in recognition of Mme. Brunet, who prepared a beautiful video message for our students. Throughout the day, students took part in discussions about Pride Day and why it is celebrated.

Over the next year, the NLESD has challenged schools to show their true colours for 365 days. Schools and GSAs are encouraged to hold some form of learning or fun-filled initiative once a month, every month starting now and throughout the upcoming school year. Students and staff are encouraged to use #Pride365NL if posting pictures to social media. Stay tuned!

Have you seen our newly painted sidewalk? The colours represent the progress Pride Flag. The Paint Shop, Kenmount Road and Torbay Road, graciously donated the paint to help with our project.

National Indigenous Peoples Day - June 21

As part of National Indigenous History Month, this specific day is an opportunity for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage and diverse contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. This year marked the 25th anniversary. On this day and throughout the year, our students learned about residential schools and the importance of truth and reconciliation.

Indigenous People’s Day

How to be an ally to Indigenous Peoples in Canada(CBC Kids News)

PowerSchool Login

Keep up to date with student attendance and marks! If you need your PowerSchool password, please contact the main office at 753-8240.

Grade 7 Spelling Bee

Thank you to all the grade 7 students who participated in the Spelling Bee during the last week of school. After twelve rounds, the competition was quite tense! The results were as follows:

1st - Ezah Khan 7-3

2nd - Alpita Patro 7-4

Art Show

The “Exploring Culture through Textiles” art show was viewed by our school population last week.

Over the previous 6 weeks, the students in the LEARN program have been working with a talented multidisciplinary local artist named Catherine Wright. We had to get very creative and worked off site and outside to get this work completed but the students did an amazing job. We have close to 60 pieces of art including individual and group projects in weaving, tie dying, and silk painting!!

Beautiful work!!

Learn Program at Murray's Farms

Students in the LEARN program at MDJH enjoyed an end of year field trip to Murray’s Farms in Portugal cove. This was the final portion of our community garden revitalization which was funded by the Conservation Corps! Thanks to Evan, Emad and Nezar for the excellent tour!

Murray's Gardens

Conservation Corps @CorpsNL


Grizzlies Doing Good

In 2020, MDJH’s Quinn Schmiedendorf was named Janeway Children’s Miracle Network Champion, and earlier this year The Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) asked that all 2020 Champions continue their reigns for 2021.

Following this, Quinn was able to take on an additional role with the Janeway Foundation this year by becoming a Junior Host during the Janeway Children’s Miracle Network Telethon which aired, June 5 and 6. Along with many local television personalities, actors and musicians, Quinn helped to raise over $2.3 million dollars to help advance newborn care and update neurosurgery equipment.

Thank you Quinn for doing great work and helping to support so many children in our province.

The MDJH Community Garden Is Up and Running!

A few pictures of some students from the LEARN class working with Mr. Murphy to fix up the MDJH community garden and some final pics. It took lots of hard work by MDJH students to prepare all 7 beds.

Our community garden is ready to grow!

Roots of Empathy

Mrs. Watton and our 7-6 class had a wonderful year participating in the Recovery Program offered by Roots of Empathy.

Big thanks to Ms. Cheryl Coates and her baby Emily for participating in the program with us. We loved watching Baby Emily grow and develop and learning about how we can be more empathetic in today's ever-changing world.

We wish you so much happiness in your future Baby Emily!

Student Council News

Yearbooks 2020-2021

The 2020-2021 yearbook is now complete. While there are no team or group photos included in the yearbook due to restrictions this year, there is no shortage of pictures. We are a very busy school and the many activities we participated in this year are shown in this yearbook with more homeroom pictures included.

Yearbooks will arrive mid-September. Announcements will be made at Gonzaga and Holy Heart once they arrive for pick up. Any not picked up will be sent to these schools for distribution.

The online ordering option is now closed. As always, there are a few extra ordered if anyone missed the deadline and would like to have one. There are still a few 2019-2020 yearbooks available for purchase as well. If you would like a copy of either of these yearbooks, please email

Last Week of School Fun Pics

Student Poetry - Every Child Matters


215 indigenous


Some as young as

3 years old

Is it Distressing?

All of them buried

In a mass grave?

Undocumented deaths?

Is it Distressing?

This is only


Of many Residential Schools

Where these children


It is much more

Than just


It is






By Ben Hamlyn 9-9

Honor the Dishonored

Two hundred and fifteen

Childrens remains were found

At the mass grave

Of a residential school.

Two hundred and fifteen


With only rough estimates

Of the lost

And forgotten.

“Early in the process”

But found too late,

In 2008

They should’ve started,

But they chose to wait.

We must honor these children.

Honour the dishonored,


And abused,

Because our ancestors


Our ancestors took kids

As young as three

To have their culture


Their names


Their hair


Their lives


So we honor the dishonored,

Respect the disrespected,

Show love to these children

Who spent their entire lives

Without it.

More than

Two hundred and fifteen children

Were forgotten,

Because of that,

We remember.

By Rachel Skanes 9-9


No words to describe it

Two hundred and fifteen souls, no more

Young, innocent, vulnerable

Tragic, heartbreaking and devastating

A tragedy like this cannot be put into words

One catastrophe discovered, more certainly remain concealed

Families were destroyed, culture damaged, knowledge lost

Generations vanish

A First Nation wounded, scarred

…but not Broken.

How could something like this happen in a country we call free,


Abuse, torture and adversity is what these children faced

Think back, if you can, to your youngest time, your purest heart.

Look at our children. Look at their eyes. Look in their hearts

Can you see the difference?

Home should be…

Playing, laughter, delight, pleasure, content


Surrounded by your parents, your family, your friends…by love

Not suffering in misery, Isolated


By Evan Boland 9-6

Behind the Front - Residential schools

Taken from their homes that day

When other children could laugh and play

Their stories rest, and stay untold

Deep beneath the ground and cold

Lost children, as young as three

Stripped of their identity

tragic, heartbreaking devastation

From a forced “education”

Off to school with no return

An explanation never earned

Because they went to school to stay

now in graves they’ll forever lay

Children buried, found remains

From a school so inhumane

Now it leaves a deep set scar

On a land that was never ours

To some readers it might cause distress

But now their lives, we must address!

By Emma Pittman 9-6

MDJH Music

Concert Choir

Congratulations to the MDJH Concert Choir who performed their last two pieces of music! Although this has been a unique year with many singing restrictions, the choir still worked hard and delivered a beautiful performance! Well done, choir!

Shallaway Youth Choir

We can't wait to meet you!

We have moved to a virtual office, please call or email to schedule a virtual appointment. We will collaborate as we work through this together and move into this phase knowing we have taken the health of our community, staff, artists, support staff and families as our absolute priority.

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p: 738.6792