Macdonald Drive Junior High, Sept., 2022
Dates to remember
September 7 - First day for students
September 22 - Curriculum night
September 28 - Wear orange shirts to commemorate National Truth and Reconciliation Day
- September 29 - Picture day
- September 30 - National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Holiday
- Monday, October 8 - Thanksgiving Day Holiday
Students, Parents, and Guardians
The staff and administration of MDJH are very much looking forward to seeing all of our students, and hope that you all had a great summer! The weather was certainly fantastic! A special welcome to our new grade 7 students and to those transitioning from other schools and districts. We are excited about getting back to our regular routines and MDJH traditions!
NEW - How to Report Student Absences
Starting this year, MDJH will be using a new method to record student absences. If you know that a student in your home will not be in school that day, or in a time to come, please use the new SafeArrival system.
With SafeArrival, you are asked to report your child’s absence in advance using any of these 3 convenient methods:
- App: Using your mobile device, download and install the SchoolMessenger app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store (or from the links at go.schoolmessenger.ca). The first time you use the app, select Sign Up to create your account. Select Attendance then Report an Absence.
- Web: Use the SafeArrival website (go.schoolmessenger.ca). The first time you use the website, select Sign Up to create your account. Select Attendance then Report an Absence.
- Phone: Call the toll-free number 1 (844) 408-9360 to report an absence using the automated phone system.
Please Note: The phone number and email that we have on file in PowerSchool must match the one you use for SafeArrival School Messenger.
There is only one option right now to choose for being absent, and that is for a full day. If your student will only be absent for a portion of the day, then choose a full day, and School Messenger will automatically adjust the absence to a partial day when classroom attendance data is uploaded at the end of the day.
Starting September 7, 2022, email@example.com email will no longer be used for reporting absence notifications, as we will have finished the transition to SafeArrival. You can use this general school email for general questions and information ONLY.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we implement this new system.
To download this information as a letter, please click here.
Be on Time
Our school opens at 7:45 am and homeroom begins at 8:05 sharp! Students should get to school a few minutes prior to the 8:05 bell in order to get their class materials and head to homeroom. The homeroom period is a very important time for teachers to take attendance and for announcements to be made. Late students can be very disruptive to this process. When a student is late, it recorded. When a student is late three times, they will get a detention.
Regular cafeteria service will begin through Chartwells on September 12. Students may eat in the cafeteria once again. Menu and online ordering details can be found under the school information tab on our website. Students may also choose to leave the building, but they must return to school by 12 noon to begin getting ready for the afternoon session.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is continuing to provide resources and information to the public through its Covid 19 Information Website.
Bits and Bobs
The school calendar can be found: https://www.nlesd.ca/schools/schoolcalendar.jsp.
We require all students to use locks that are supplied through MDJH. Personal locks are prohibited.
Cell phones are to be placed in our cell phone hotels located in each classroom of our school while instruction is taking place.
Our school is scent-free.
Important Forms and Info
These forms have already been given to students by their homeroom teachers. They need to be filled out and returned to homeroom teachers
All Grade 7s AND New Students in Grades 8 and 9:
- Chromebook Loan Agreement and Cover Letter - All grade 7-12 students in Newfoundland and Labrador are given a chromebook to use for their studies. The deadline for returning this form is September 15.
- Acceptable Use of Technology - An agreement that outlines the do's, and dont's of technology use in school.
- Media Consent Form - Permission to use pictures of students or work for school activities and awards on our school website.
Breakfast Club Parent Volunteers Needed
Our KES (Kids Eat Smart) Breakfast Club is an important program that allows students to have a nutritious start to their day. This improves their attention and overall academic success. Our breakfast club will begin on Monday, September 12, and will be available to every student in our school. To continue with this important and successful program, we need your help! If you are available to commit to one morning a week 7:15-8:00am, please email Jennifer Riggs: firstname.lastname@example.org, indicating which day you are available. We really appreciate any help you can offer! Thank you!
It is District policy to advise the public when video surveillance is used in schools. Our school uses video surveillance in many of the public spaces in our school such as hallways, exits, and entrances. Video surveillance is intended to complement other forms of monitoring and promotion of secure and safe environments for our students and staff.
Buses have started their runs as scheduled by our District. Bus planner routes are online at www.nlesd.ca/schools/busing/ under the transportation portal. Questions regarding busing should be directed to our District transportation team as schools are not involved in transportation decision making.
Safety During School Drop-off and Pick-up
Doors open at 7:45 am; dismissal is at 2:10 pm.
Due to congestion in the parking lot during commute times before and after school, we have instituted some policies to help ensure the safety of students and staff.
Drivers please note that traffic is ONE-WAY around the school. The EXIT ONLY is next to Macdonald Drive Elementary off Toronto St. The ENTRANCE ONLY is a little farther up Toronto St. The ENTRANCE has TWO lanes:
- The left lane, closest to the field, is to be used for student drop-off and pick-up. Students MUST be dropped off at the Student Entrance. They cannot be dropped off at or use the Main Office Entrance.
- The right lane is ONLY for buses, special transportation and vehicles that are heading around the back of the school. This lane then branches off with one lane for buses going toward the Student Entrance and the other lane heading to the back of the school.
School buses have the right of way at all times.
- When buses move to leave the drop-off area, ALL traffic must stop to allow the buses to exit the parking lot.
- Please do not pull out in front of a bus.
- Please ensure you STOP at the stop sign (at the end of drop-off area) and allow buses to have the right of way.
- At the end of the day starting at 2:00 until the buses leave, there is no vehicle access to the back of the school. School buses have been instructed to pull ahead and block traffic so there are no vehicles moving around the school while the students are exiting the building.
Cars coming off of Macdonald Drive onto Toronto Street and those coming down Toronto Street in the opposite direction should use the “zipper method” and allow one car at a time from each direction to enter the lanes. Buses still have the right of way.
Once in the Drop-off lane next to the school, cars should move as far forward as possible in a line all the way up to the STOP sign. This ensures that traffic is moving efficiently, and alleviates the congestion on Toronto Street. Please do not stop directly in front of the door and let your child out if there is space in front of you.
- After the Drop-off lane STOP Sign, you can TURN LEFT only. Due to the one-way traffic, there is no right turn.
If you arrive before the doors open in the morning or before students are dismissed, DO NOT park and wait in front of the student entrance or across either of the crosswalks. Parents are asked to move ahead and park their vehicles in the parking lot for MDJH or MDE. This is the cause of much of the congestion.
Student safety and school security
- Before and after school, students MUST use the Student Entrance, NOT the Main Office Entrance. However, during the school day, including recess and lunch, students MUST use the Main Office Entrance (the Student Entrance is locked at this time).
- Students must use the crosswalks, and NOT cross in between buses.
- Students are NOT to walk along the median or wait on the median to be picked up.
- Students who have medical reasons (i.e. using crutches) may also use the bus lane around the building to the Main Office Entrance.
- If you drop your child off on Toronto Street, stop your vehicle after the crosswalk and have your child use the crosswalk behind your car. Do not stop with the crosswalk in front of you. Your car blocks the ability of drivers behind you to see your child crossing.
Let’s all work together to ensure that MDJH is a safe place to be! Thanks for your cooperation.
National Day for Truth and Reconcilliation and Orange Shirt Day
School will be closed on September 30, for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We will wear orange shirts on September 28, to recognize this event (September 29 is picture day!)
September 30 is a nation-wide holiday to recognize, honour, and learn about the history of indigenous children who were sent away to residential schools.
The “orange shirt” in Orange Shirt Day refers to the new shirt that Phyllis Webstad was given by her grandmother for her first day of school at St. Joseph’s Mission residential school in British Columbia. When Phyllis got to school, they took away her clothes, including her new shirt. It was never returned. To Phyllis, the colour orange has always reminded her of her experiences at residential school and, as she has said, "how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared, and how I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying, and no one cared."
Phyllis chose orange to remind us that "Every Child Matters," This message promotes inclusivity and a message of anti-racism. This year, more than ever, we have felt the impact of how these schools affected our country as a whole.
September 29 is picture day at MDJH and September 30 is a holiday, so MDJH is encouraging all students and staff to wear orange on September 28.
School Council Elections
Would you like to get involved in our school’s decision-making process? We are in need of some new parent members and a new committee chair. The first meeting will be October 3, at 6:30 pm. Meetings will be held on Mondays, unless there is a holiday. They run between an hour to two hours depending what is on the agenda. We would love for you to become involved with us! Nomination forms will be available at the school office on September 20, 2022. We will send home a list of candidates on September 21, and if an election is warranted, it will be held on Friday, September 23. Please consider getting involved with your child's school. Team work makes the dream work!
MacDonald Drive Junior High is striving to become a Children's Wish School!
This initiative is founded by the Children's Wish Foundation, and we are hoping to grant a wish to a child by the end of June, 2023. We began in May, 2018, under the direction of Dr. Stacey and now that she is back, we will be granting this wish as part of our legacy year celebrations! Details to follow!
If you wish to become involved or wish to donate, please contact our teacher coordinator: Mme Quann at email@example.com
Student Council News
Student Council Elections
Student council elections for president and vice-president will be held Friday, September 16. Any student interested in running for president or vice president of MDJH’s 2022-2023 student council must see Mme Quann (room 221) or Mme Sauvé (room 222) for a nomination form.
Candidates should have strong leadership and communication skills. They should also demonstrate a good work ethic, respect for school policies, and a commitment to student council activities. Students who are up for this commitment are encouraged to put their names forward.
Elections for class rep will take place Monday, September 19, during homeroom.
The 2021-2022 yearbooks have arrived. They will be distributed to our current students early next week, and former students will be able to pick them up after school hours. They will be dropped off at Gonzaga and Holy Heart for distribution by September 26.
Lifetouch has sent us an extra box of yearbooks for the 2020-2021 school year, as they printed more than we ordered. These are available at a reduced price. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Celebrate Student Success
We want to acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of the students of MDJH. We have a wall of celebration where we 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 or has been on a team that has won some title or has been recognized in any individual competition.
We need your help with this. Please let us know so we can proudly display this on our wall. Please email email@example.com with Celebrate YOUR CHILD’S NAME in the subject line.
MDJH Music Program
We would like to welcome our MUN music intern Mr. Adam Peck who will be with us until the first week of December, and welcome back Ms. Jennifer Hanley who will be teaching classroom music and choir again this year. We are looking forward to meeting all our new grade 7 students and welcoming back our returning musicians.
Instrumental Music Ensembles
Our program offers students a variety of ensembles. Students can join the Grade 7 Concert Band, the Grade 8 & 9 Symphonic Band, the String Ensemble (all grades), or the Jazz Ensemble (8 & 9 - auditioned ensemble). For more information about our program, please check out our music website https://mdjhmusic.weebly.com/ To register, please complete our registration form and submit to Ms. Comerford by Friday, September 16.
Choir News - This year MDJH will continue with its all-grade choir. This choir is open to all students regardless of previous choral experience. Details will be provided in the coming days on our morning announcements.
Ukulele Club News - This year we are happy to announce the return of a lunchtime Ukulele Club! This club is open to all interested students. Details will be provided in the coming days on our morning announcements.
Sports Team Tryouts
Grade 9 Boys Volleyball
Tuesday, September 13: 4:00-5:30pm
Thursday, September 15: 4:00-5:30pm
Grade 9 Girls Volleyball
Tuesday, September 13: 7:00-8:30pm
Thursday, September 15: 7:00-8:30pm
Grade 8 Girls Basketball
Wednesday, September 14: 8:30-10:00pm
Monday, September 19: 8:30-10:00pm
Grade 7 Boys Volleyball
Thursday, September 15: 5:30-7:00pm
Tuesday, September 20: 5:30-7:00pm
Grade 7 Boys Basketball
Monday, September 19: 4:00-5:30pm
Wednesday, September 21: 4:00-5:30pm
Other school teams will be posted as more coaches confirm tryout times.