Parent Newsletter

Macdonald Drive Junior High, October 2019

Dates to Remember

  • October 11 - Intermediate Close Out - No School
  • October 14 - Thanksgiving Holiday - No School
  • October 18 - Walk to Breakfast
  • October 24 - 7pm Meeting for Immersion Parents for Quebec Trip, May 2020
  • October 25 - Jamarama Day
  • November 6 - Remembrance Day Assembly
  • December 5 - Parent Teacher Interviews - 12:30-6:30

What's been going on...

Student Vote 2019

This year at MDJH, the ELA Department will be spending time in class talking about separating real news from fake news, and other aspects of modern digital citizenship.

As part of this, Ms. Mills and Mr. Walsh travelled to Halifax to take place in a two-day conference about hosting a student vote.

Following this, the federal candidates from St. John's East were invited to attend a Candidate Forum at the school to speak about their parties, policies, and platforms. This was a great success, with three of the four candidates available to speak to a selection of Grade 9 students.

We will be holding a student vote next week, and will compare our results to those from similar votes across the country. Our results will be released on October 22, the day after the federal election.

St. John's Storytelling Festival Visit

MDJH L.E.A.R.N. class had the privilege of hosting Ms. Shayna Jones on September 25, 2019. Ms. Jones, a resident of British Columbia, was in St. John's as a guest of the St. John's Storytelling Festival. Her enthusiasm for sharing folktales and fables from around the world was infectious. It was easy to see how laughter, music and story build bridges across cultures and languages. This afternoon was a delight for both the adults and the students!

Friends of United Nations (F.U.N.) Club!

The FUN in FUN Club stands for Friends of United Nations. If you are interested in learning about different cultures, languages and the world it is a great place to spend your lunch hour!

We play games and activities, do crafts, have competitions and invite guest speakers. There is always something fun and different happening at FUN Club.

This week we had a visit from "Let's Talk Science"

Coming up!

  • October 16 - CurbIt, City of St.John's: On Trash and Recycling
  • November 6, Big Brothers Big Sister's: What They Do and Referrals

FUN Club takes place every Wednesday in the Home Economics Room. See you there!

See Ms. Lynne Sheppard in room 109A if you have suggestions or questions.

MDJH Community Garden Summer 2019

MDJH would like to extend a big thank you Mr. Nahat, Mr. Ramadan and Mr. El Mheimed. These hard-working gardeners had another successful year expanding the community garden and producing wonderful vegetables.

We have plans for 2019-2020 and hope to see the MDJH garden grow even more with student help!

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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.

Coming up...

Kids Eat Smart - Walk to Breakfast

Thousands of children, teachers, parents, and volunteers will Walk to Breakfast this fall to raise awareness and money for Kids Eat Smart. This event will happen at our school on Friday, October 18.

Students will be asked to contribute $2 and will be given a nutritious breakfast. Every $1 raised is a meal for a child in our school. All money raised at MDJH goes directly to the KES Club in our school. TD, the long time sponsor of Walk to Breakfast, and our KES Team are proud to join our schools on this day!

Thank you to Chartwells for making and donating the mini-muffins.

On October 18, join the TD Walk to Breakfast at MDJH!

Quebec Trip for Grade 8 and 9 Late and Early Immersion Students

There will be a parent/guardian meeting on Thursday, October 24, at 7 PM in the MDJH Library for students interested in taking part in the Quebec Trip. Interested students can see Ms. Houlihan, Mr. Thorne, or Mr. West.

DATE OF TRAVEL: May 23 - May 27 (Saturday - Wednesday)

17th Annual Skills Canada Intermediate Challenge

Skills Canada Newfoundland and Labrador (SCNL) has invited schools in the province to participate in the 17th Annual Skills Canada Intermediate Challenge taking place on Saturday, November 23, 2019 at the College of the North Atlantic, Prince Philip Drive Campus.

The Skills Canada Intermediate Challenge will offer grade 7 to 9 students entry into several of the competitions SCNL offers on a provincial level. SCNL is proud to be the only group in the country to offer these particular competitions to this age group. The Skills Canada Intermediate Challenge follows the same format as the Skills Canada Provincial/National Competitions, with the difference that projects are simplified so they can be completed in 4-6 hours. The event will close with an awards ceremony where gold, silver, and bronze medals are presented.


Skills Canada Competitions:

  • Offer a friendly competitive atmosphere where students can showcase their abilities in technology and employability skill areas.
  • Feature hands-on Try-A-Trade® Demonstrations in several skilled trade and technology areas for parents, students, and educators to explore.
  • Increase awareness of skilled careers and encourage students to develop their skills and discover their talents and interests sooner.
  • Offer many gold medallists at this level the opportunity to participate in the Skills Canada Provincial Competitions against high school students.
  • Offer winners of the high school competition the opportunity to represent Newfoundland and Labrador at the Skills Canada National Competition.

AREAS OFFERED (These are individual competitions unless otherwise noted)

  • Graphic Design
  • Public Speaking
  • Job Search
  • Job Skill Demonstration
  • The Pitch (Team of 2)
  • IT Network Systems Admin (Team of 2)
  • IT Office Software Applications
  • Website Development
  • Lego Robotics (Max 10)
  • TV Video Production (Team of 2)
  • Workplace Safety
  • Green Energy Challenge (Team of 4)
  • Photography (This entrant will be chosen by the MDJH Photography Club)
  • Junior Chef Challenge (Team of 2)
  • Coding Challenge


In the next few weeks, as more information comes available from Skills Canada, teachers/mentors at MDJH will be looking for students to join the 2019 MDJH Skills Canada Team that will compete in this year’s competitions. If we have more students interested in competing than we have spots, we will determine a selection process for that competition area ... for example, we will have an in-school Junior Chef cook-off to decide who will represent the school.

The students must pay a $10 registration fee and the will receive a T-shirt and a morning snack on competition day. The teacher contact for Skills Canada is Mr. Wade Gillard, who can be found in the Technology Education Lab - Room 119 ( All students and teachers are welcome to join our “Skills Canada Team” Google Classroom. The code for joining is available from Mr. Gillard.

Other scoop!

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Social Awareness Activities - Active-Wear Day and Pink Shirt Day

To encourage active living on each Day 1, staff and students wear active-wear clothing to school.

On the last Friday of every month, we will be having Pink Shirt Day. Staff and students are encouraged to wear pink shirts to school to raise awareness of bullying and to bring attention to the programs we run at school to help students.

MDJH Music

Concert Band Mini Retreat

The MDJH band program would like to invite our Grade 7 Concert Band members to our first ever Band Day mini retreat on Sunday, October 20, at the school.

Check-in starts at 9:45am. Activities begin at 10:00. Please bring a lunch or pay $2.00 for pizza. Students should also bring their instruments and band folders, and are asked to dress comfortably for the day. The day will end at 2:00 pm. Students are encouraged to attend even if only for part of the day.

If you have any questions, or if your child is unable to attend, please email me at

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Orchestra Fest November 2-3

Our String Ensemble has been invited to OrchestraFest on November 2 and 3 at the MUN School of Music. This event includes a number of workshops and a gala performance including all participants. More details to follow.

MDJH Sports

Practices cancelled!

All practices are cancelled from Thursday, October 10 until Monday, October 14, as the gymnasium is being used by Elections Canada. Practices will begin again on Tuesday, October 15.

Coaches wanted!

The MDJH Athletic Program is looking for volunteers to coach the following teams:

(1) Grade 7 Boys' Volleyball: We are looking for a head coach. We currently have a parent willing to help out at all practices and games, and volunteers from high school to help with practices.

(2) Grade 8 Girls' "B" Basketball team: We are looking for a head coach and an assistant coach.

If interested please contact:

Scott Mercer

Donald Mackey

Student Council News

Jamarama Day!

Friday, October 28, is Jamarama Day!

Students and staff are asked to donate $2 and wear their pyjamas to school in support of the Janeway.

MDJH 2019-2020 Student Council Elections

Student council elections for president and vice-president were held Friday, September 20. The new student council president is Ahmad Saady and the vice president is David March. Homeroom representatives have also been elected. Congratulations to all!

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

Canadian Student Leadership Conference 2019

Seven students from MDJH attended the national leadership conference in Abbotsford, B.C. from September 24-29, 2019. This was a wonderful experience and provided opportunities for students to participate in leadership workshops and activities.

2018-2019 Yearbooks

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

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 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.

Macdonald Drive Junior High

We are a WE School.

Our background picture is by Silvi Ivardi.