Parent Newsletter

Macdonald Drive Junior High, December 2021

Dates to Remember

  • December 6 - School Bake Sale
  • December 8 - MDJH Christmas Concert, 7pm
  • December 9 - Virtual Parent Teacher Interviews, 12:30-6:30pm
  • December 10 - 50/50 Christmas Draw
  • December 17 - Math League Lunchtime Practice, Room 207
  • December 22 - Last day of school for 2021
  • December 23 to January 3 - Christmas holidays
  • January 4 - First day of school for 2022
  • February 14 - Teacher PD

Important Information

Report Cards

Report Cards

We will not be printing report cards for this reporting period. Parents/guardians are asked to login to PowerSchool to see the most up to date marks and comments. Please contact natashawellon@nlesd.ca or andreatilley@nlesd.ca if you need your PowerSchool login information. Inserts for Math 7 and alternate courses and programs will be printed and/or emailed home. Marks will be updated by December 3.

Parent-Teacher Interviews
Will be held on Thursday, December 9, from 12:30-6:30pm. Students will be dismissed at 11:21am on that day, with a regular school bus run.

OPTIS Interview Scheduler
To schedule parent-teacher interviews, OPTIS Online Parent Teacher Interview Scheduler will be available on our school website on December 3, at 2:30pm. Parents/guardians will have the option of choosing a phone call or a video conference using the scheduler.

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.

Parent Updates

Pencils and supplies

Please check with your children to determine whether they have adequate supplies required daily at school. At this time of the year, many students come to class without something to write with. If you could periodically check with your children to ensure they have everything they need for class, it would help teachers start class on time without delay.


School crosswalks

Crossing guards have noticed that students have been occasionally running across the cross-walk in front of the bus, wearing ear-buds as they cross, or generally not paying attention. If your children use this crossing area after school, please remind them that to ensure their personal safety, it is important to focus and pay close attention to the signals given by the crossing guard.

50/50 Fundraiser

Our first school fundraiser in two years has been launched! Tickets have been sent home for our 50/50 fundraiser. We are having the draw on December 10 to raise much-needed funds to upgrade the technology in our school so our students can access more interesting and engaging material for their learning. Money will also be allocated for our new outdoor classrooms so our students can experience learning in alternate spaces that offer sunshine and fresh air.


We would like all students to take at least one booklet of 10 tickets. We are offering a top seller’s prize – a $200.00 gift card from Best Buy, AND if you get your tickets and money back early, there will be more chances to win during daily draws for prizes. More tickets are available at the office.


Thanks in advance for your support!

What's Been Going On

Christmas Cookies and Deep Learning

Some of the Grade 9 classes are working on a deep learning project in math.


Students selected cookie recipes and calculated how much of each ingredient was required for each batch for a predetermined number of cookies. They discussed how many cookies they believed they could sell, what would sell the best, and what the price point would be. In addition, they looked at grocery store flyers to determine the best places to buy the required ingredients.


Teachers were able to place orders, and students are volunteering their time on the weekend to bake the cookies. They will host a school wide bake sale on December 6!

Junior Achievement: A World of Choices

On November 9, Ms. Gambin and a number of Grade 9 students took part in JA: A World of Choices, a Zoom session offered by Junior Achievement: Newfoundland and Labrador.


This session allowed students from grades 9-12 to focus on the key aspects of entrepreneurship by listening to local entrepreneurs describe their personal experiences. Session mentors included: Brett Vokey (Founder and CEO, BreatheSuite Inc.), Gillian Whelan (Creator and Founder, Whelan’s Wellness), Jill Curran (Founder and Owner, Ferryland Lighthouse Picnics and Owner, Maxxim Vacations), and Sarah Croft (Centre for Social Enterprise, Memorial University).


Through this seminar, students gained insight on how to turn an interest or hobby into a career, learned that entrepreneurship requires hard work and dedication, and were given information on the funding and resources available for up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

Science Field Trip

Homeroom 7-1 on their science field trip to the Fluvarium.

Congratulation Sawyer Leblanc!

Sawyer Leblanc travelled to Ottawa at the end of November to take part in the National Canadian Cross Country Championships!


“He ran a wild course with rivers running through it and so much mud… all while the temperature was -10 degrees. He did great given that he was 14 in a U18 race. He learned a lot and is determined to do much better next year.”


Huge Congratulations!!

Lunchtime Jenga!

Now this is a creative way to use Jenga blocks! A great feat of lunchtime engineering, Kiir!

Math League

Congratulations to MDJH's Math Leaguers:

Izzy Boyde, Orpa Hawlader, Adhira Ganesh, Alpita Patro, Samiran Chauhan, Nawal Adeel, Hannah Cameron, Ali Faqiri, and Abner Zhang.


These students competed in the Provincial Math League competition on Thursday, November 18, and did an incredible job problem solving together!


Our Team named "Donald Duck" (Orpa, Alipta, Samiran and Adhira) CAME IN FIRST PLACE!


So proud of the hard work and mathematical problem solving by all!


Math League will have a practice on Friday December 17 at lunch in Ms. Kennedy's room (207). Please pack a lunch!

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, Mr Gy Hopkin's 8-3 class is doing the program with our guidance counsellor, Ms. Tracy Reardon. 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 Noah. His mom Victoria, was once a substitute teacher here at MDJH! Noah is 4 months old and is growing super fast!!! We love learning about how he is doing and what it's like to grow and develop as a baby during COVID-19. Even though Baby Noah does not come into our class, we love getting picture updates and videos from his mom. We are looking forward to seeing Baby Noah on a Google Meet this week!

Coming Up

Adopt a Senior Christmas Project

Seniors are too often forgotten at this time of year, so for the past nine years, MDJH has partnered with St. Pat's Mercy Home to provide gifts for seniors who may not have anyone to give them a gift.


St. Pat’s sends us Christmas wish lists from needy seniors. Some lists are big, and some are quite small, but most of the requests are for very small things like toiletries and craft supplies. It is heartbreaking to know that this may be the only gift these seniors receive. Students are asked to bring in the items, or money to help purchase them.


Here is a compiled list of items you may wish to donate:

  • Dry shampoo (Batiste) for our female residents
  • Unscented hairspray
  • Shampoo
  • Unscented body lotion
  • Razors for our male residents (Gillette, Xtreme or Bic)
  • Body wash
  • Baby powder
  • Socks (thin ankle socks that can be worn inside a shoe)
  • Deodorant gel (something with low scent)
  • Treats (chewing gum, soft cheesies, chocolate bars (no nuts or chewy parts))
  • Hair brushes
  • Hair elastics
  • Wool
  • Knitting needles
  • Art supplies (residents love to paint small pictures for their rooms/family)
  • Coloring leads, markers
  • Gift Cards – Tim Hortons/Dollarama (Rec Therapy takes residents on outings and they often stop at Tims to get residents coffee, etc.)


Class reps will organize a card and have it signed by all the students in the class, the gifts are wrapped and they will be delivered to St. Pats. The deadline for donations is Friday, December 10.


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

Candy Cane Grams

Student Council students are selling Candy Cane Grams to raise money for needy families in our school community. Orders will be taken daily until Friday, December 10. They are $1 each and can be bought for yourself, your friend, a classmate, or a teacher. They will be delivered to homerooms on Wednesday, December 15.

Christmas Chaos

The countdown to Christmas is approaching. To show some MDJH and Christmas spirit, MDJH is hosting theme days during the 12 school days before Christmas break. Students and staff are encouraged to participate.

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Student Council News

2020-2021 Extra Yearbooks Available

The 2020-2021 yearbooks have arrived. They have been delivered to all our current grade 8 and grade 9 students who ordered them. They have also been delivered to Gonzaga and Holy Heart for distribution. If you did not order one, and are interested in purchasing any extras, please contact colettequann@nlesd.ca

Yearbook Photos

Any student, parent, or coach with a group photo of any group from our school are asked to please email a picture to colettequann@nlesd.ca. If you send a picture from your phone, please be sure to select the option “actual size,” to ensure good quality when uploading to the yearbook site.

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 a 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 colettequann@nlesd.ca with Celebrate YOUR CHILD’S NAME in the subject line.

MDJH Music

Big picture

MDJH Christmas Concert

Our annual Christmas Concert will take place in person on Wednesday, December 8, at 7:00 pm in the school gymnasium.


  • Tickets must be purchased in advance and will be available in the office starting Monday, November 29 at a cost of $5.00 each.
  • Tickets will not be sold at the door.
  • Tickets holders must show their VaxPass and ID before entry into the gymnasium. Therefore, we are unable to admit children under 12 at this time.
  • Masks MUST be worn at all times while in the building and attending the show.
  • Seating will be arranged in distanced groups of 2 - 6. Please feel free to move chairs to accommodate your bubble, but ensure you keep your group distanced from other guests.


Performing ensembles
All performing ensembles will be a part of this event. They include the Beginning Band Reboot, Grade 7 Concert Band, Grade 8 & 9 Symphonic Band, Concert Choir, Intermediate Strings, String Ensemble, and the Jazz Ensemble.


Concert attire
Students are asked to wear their concert dress which is their music shirts, black pants/ skirt, black socks/tights, and black shoes. Our music shirts for Grade 7 students are on backorder until January, so if you don't have a band shirt, please wear a plain black shirt instead.


Please remind your child to put in some extra practice so they're super prepared!

String Ensemble at the Rooms

The MDJH string ensemble has been invited to perform at the Rooms on Sunday, December 12, at 2 pm. The event will be one hour long and will provide some holiday cheer to those visiting the rooms that afternoon. So if you are in the area, drop in to support the music program and enjoy some festive tunes.

MDJH Sports

Ice Hockey Open Tryouts

Tuesday, November 30, 3:00-4:00pm at Jack Byrne Arena

Tuesday, December 7, 3:00-4:00pm at Jack Byrne Arena

Tuesday, December 14, 3:00-4:00pm at Jack Byrne Arena

Tuesday, December 21, 3:00-4:00pm at Jack Byrne Arena


Open tryouts have started. Any female or male player in grades 7 - 9 attending MDJH are eligible to try out. You should already be registered with a minor hockey association. If you are not and wish to try out see Mr. Squires. The cost is $50.00 for all four (4) open tryouts. This MUST be paid prior to stepping on the ice. Cash or cheque made payable to Macdonald Drive Junior High. Players must wear all required equipment (including neck guards).


Interested players are asked to sign up in the lobby by the gymnasium. Dates are listed above. Should a player have a conflict with the tryout schedule they should see Mr. Squires. COVID -19 protocols at JBA require masks entering and exiting the rink. Dressing rooms are at the zamboni end of the rink.

Grizzly Sports Updates

Rookie Rugby

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Rookie Rugby will begin January 12, 2022. Any student interested in participating in the program is welcome to come Wednesdays during lunch!