Parent Newsletter

Macdonald Drive Junior High, December 2020

Dates to Remember

  • November 30 to December 4 - Virtual Book Fair
  • December 3 - Virtual Christmas Concert
  • December 7, 8 and 9 - Nurses will be at MDJH to administer vaccines to staff and students
  • December 10, 12:30-6:30 - Virtual Parent-Teacher Interviews
  • December 18 - Last day of school before Christmas break
  • January 4 - First day back after Christmas break

What's been going on...

Congratulations to Ms. Hardy!

A huge firework to Ms. Daisy Hardy for receiving the Distinguished Vice Principal of the Year Award from the Canadian Association of Principals. Congratulations, Ms. Hardy, from all MDJH students and staff!

Roots of Empathy

Roots of Empathy is an international, evidence-based classroom program that has shown significant effects 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.

This year, Ms. Donna Mills's 7-6 class is doing the program with our guidance counsellor, Ms. Christin Watton. Right now, we are completing the virtual Recovery Program where we discuss the effects that COVID-19 has had on us, the baby, and the baby's parents.

This year's Roots of Empathy baby is Baby Emily. Her mom, Cheryl, is one of our IRTs and is on maternity leave this year. Emily is 5 months old and is super cute! We love learning about how she is doing and what it's like to grow and develop as a baby during COVID-19. Even though Baby Emily does not come into our class, we love getting picture updates and videos from her mom. We are looking forward to seeing Baby Emily on a Google Meet after Christmas!

Hallowe'en Donation to the Gathering Place

Earlier this month, MDJH students were asked to donate their extra Hallowe'en candy to the Gathering Place. Here, Abigail J. of 7-5 drops off our donation.

Coats for Kids 2020

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Coats for Kids event for 2020. As you can see, our community came through yet again to help keep people warm this winter!

Progress on our outdoor classroom

Things are starting to shape up! Thanks to Treena Boyde and the School Council for all their hard work.

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Coming up...

Report Cards / Parent-Teacher Conferences

We will be using PowerSchool exclusively this reporting period. Please ensure that you have access to PowerSchool as we will not be sending home paper Report Cards.
  • If you need access to PowerSchool, please contact
  • PowerSchool provides the most up to date marks information for students. By clicking on the overall mark, you will even get a breakdown of all your child’s individual assessments.

Parent-teacher conferences
will be held on December 10. We will be using OPTIS to arrange these conferences.
  • OPTIS will give you the option to arrange a phone conference or a video conferencethere will be no in-person conferences this year.
  • Here are the links to OPTIS and the user instructions for parents.
  • OPTIS will open on November 25 and will close on December 2.
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.

MDJH Virtual Scholastic Book Fair

Our school’s Scholastic Virtual Book Fair starts next week! It will be open from NOVEMBER 30 to DECEMBER 4.

Let’s continue to give our students access to the books they want to read! We are excited to provide this opportunity for families to shop together from the comfort of home.

For orders under $35, shipping is a flat fee of $6. Over $35, shipping is always free. BUT! If you participate in our Virtual Family Event on WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2, you will get free shipping from 6-8pm on everything purchased!

Your investment in your reader also helps our whole school. All purchases earn rewards that can be redeemed for books and education resources for our school’s classrooms and library.

When it’s time to shop, visit our school’s Virtual Book Fair site using this link:

NOTE: Please be advised that the link will not be active for shopping until the Fair start date, Monday, November 30.

Before our Fair begins, click the link to:
– SAVE it to your browser
– WATCH videos of popular new titles
– PREVIEW our Featured Books

Watch for news leading up to our Scholastic Virtual Book Fair!

Happy reading!

Adopt a Senior Christmas Project

Each year the student council organizes an “Adopt a Senior for Christmas” project. There are seniors in our community's nursing homes with no family nearby and the holidays can be a very lonely time for them. During this particularly challenging year, Christmas might be even more challenging.

For the past few years, we have partnered with St. Pat’s Mercy Home to adopt 25-30 seniors. Each homeroom will be given a Christmas wish list for a senior. Class reps will organize the signing of a card for their senior and collect monetary donations for the purchase of larger items on the list. Each student in the homeroom will sign a card for a senior, after which the gift is wrapped and delivered to St. Pats.

Thank you in advance for your continued generosity in support of this worthwhile cause.

Other News!

NLESD Guide to Google Resources

Google for Education is the main platform used by NLESD school communities. Looking for more information on what it is, or a better understanding of the tools it provides? NLESD has provided a handy document to help answer your questions.

Click here to see the NLESD Guide for Google for Education.

Use of masks

Students and staff should wear masks in accordance with current public health guidelines. Practices such as physical distancing, hand washing, staying home when sick, increased environmental cleaning and the proper use of non-medical masks continue to be priority public health measures.

Non-medical masks are required on school buses. Our grades 7-9 students will be required to wear masks in all common areas of the school (including hallways), and if seated in their classroom if a one-metre physical distance (face to face) cannot be achieved. No student is required to wear a mask if they cannot tolerate it. Masks must be worn properly and fully cover the mouth and nose.

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MDJH Music

Christmas Concert

The MDJH Christmas Concert will take place on Thursday, December 3, at 7:00 pm. As you might expect, this year will be a little different, as our concert will take place in Google Meet. We will pre-record each ensemble and share a concert video together with family and friends during our virtual concert meeting. To receive the link to this Google Meet event, please click this link to RSVP before noon on December 3.
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MDJH Sports

MDJH Sports Practice Schedule


2:30-4:00pm - Grade 8 Boys Basketball (Moores/Oliver)

4:30-6:00pm - Grade 8 Boys Volleyball (Biddiscombe), Grade 7 Boys Volleyball (Douglas)


2:30-4:00pm - Grade 9 Boys Volleyball (Kipnis), Grade 9 Girls Volleyball (Walsh)

4:30-6:00pm - Grade 8 Girls Volleyball (Keough), Grade 8 Girls Volleyball (Hassan)


2:30-4:00pm - Grade 8 Girls Volleyball (Hassan), Grade 9 Girls Volleyball (House)

4:30-6:00pm - Grade 7 Girls Volleyball (Foley), Grade 7 Girls Volleyball (Goldsworthy)


2:30-4:00 pm - Grade 7 Girls Basketball (Budgell)

4:30-6:00pm - Grade 9 Girls Volleyball (Walsh), Grade 9 Girls Volleyball (House)


2:30-4:00pm - Grade 9 Boys Basketball (Guerra)

4:30-6:00pm - Grade 9 Boys Volleyball (Kipnis), Grade 8 Girls Volleyball (Keough)


9:00-10:30am - Grade 9 Girls Basketball (Ausum)

11:00-12:30pm - Grade 7 Boys Basketball (Slaney/Barbour)

1:00-2:30pm - Grade 8 Girls Basketball (Reid)

Student Council News

School Clothing Orders

Orders for school clothing will be available next week on our website once the protocols that meet public health guidelines can be followed. The delivery date will be after Christmas.

2020-2021 Yearbook

We are hoping to produce a yearbook again this year at MDJH. Any student, parent or coach with a photo of any group in grades 7-9 are asked to please email a picture to

If sending a picture from your phone please be sure to select the option actual size to ensure good quality when uploading to the yearbook site.

2019-2020 Yearbooks

The 2019-2020 yearbooks have arrived and have been distributed to all our current Grade 8 and 9 students who ordered one. They have also been dropped off at Gonzaga for distribution to our former Grade 9 students who are currently in Grade 10. There are a small number available for purchase. Please contact Mme Quann at if you are interested in purchasing a yearbook from last year.

Celebrate 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 performed in any plays or musicals, been on a team that has won a title or been recognized in any individual competition. We need your help with this. Please let us know so we can proudly display this on our Celebration Wall. Please email with Celebrate YOUR CHILD’S NAME in the subject line.