Parent Newsletter

Macdonald Drive Junior High, November 2021

Dates to Remember

  • Remembrance Day Virtual Assembly - November 10

  • Remembrance Day Holiday - November 11

  • PD Day for Teachers, no school - November 22

  • Picture Retakes - December 3, in the morning

  • Report Cards - going home on December 3

  • Parent Teacher interviews - December 9

  • Other PD Days for Teachers - February 14, March 7, May 20

Important Information

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., and branches off to the Student Entrance and the back of the school. This 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 that runs beside the sidewalk is ONLY for buses, special transportation and vehicles that are heading around 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.


Traffic flow
  • 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 are to 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. You 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.

What's Been Going On

Congratulations, Mme. Brunet!

Congratulations to Mme. Nathalie Brunet for being the recipient of a 2021 Minister’s Award for Compassionate Teaching. This is the inaugural year for this award, and the presentation ceremony was held October 28 at Confederation Building.

Students Bring Novel to Life

On Thursday, October 21, students in 8-1, 8-5, 8-7, 8-9 and 8-10 participated in a walking tour that brought them to many of the sites mentioned in the novel Catch Me Once, Catch Me Twice, by Janet McNaughton. Students learned how difficult the walk to school was for the main characters, Ev and Peter. They understood that the Courthouse steps were too steep for an old lady and a boy with a cane to easily climb. They realized with horror that the Knights of Columbus Hostel which burned to the ground with 99 lives lost, was agonizingly near to the fire department


Upon completion of the tour, students had walked 11,000 steps and travelled almost six kilometres, so it turned out to be a healthy venture as well. Teachers and students enjoyed a good night’s rest that night, for sure!

Community Garden

Our sign for our MDJH Community Garden is finally in place! We still have some green tomatoes, parsley and we even harvested a zucchini! Time to clean up the beds and do some fall planting.

Thanks to these grade 7, 8,and 9 students and Mr. Murphy for helping!

Ms. Mills - Creative Movement Piece in English class

In honor of Truth & Reconciliation Day, students read a variety of texts and viewed documentaries about residential schools. Three classes learned about Chanie Wenjack's story, "Secret Path", and created a movement piece inspired by the images in the book using Gord Downey's haunting music. This graphic novel is available in our library.

MDJH Students Move for Breakfast

On Wednesday, October 6, there was a Kids Eat Smart Province Wide Initiative to gain support from our school community for our Breakfast Program.


Since Wednesdays are our "Workout Wednesday" active wear day where we encourage movement in our classes, we used this as our initiative.


We called it "MDJH Students Move for Breakfast" and all our classes got moving that day.


Here are some 8-5s out for a lap!

SSNL Provincial Cross Country Run

On the morning of October 30, Sawyer Leblanc and Aidan Douglas participated in the SSNL Provincial Cross Country Running Competition in Glovertown. Sawyer came first and Aidan came second in their age group. It was a 3k race, there were over 300 runners in total for all age groups. Aidan said it was cold but they both had a great time!
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...

Coats for Kids

    We are asking students and staff to bring in outerwear that is no longer of use. Please make sure your name is on the bag for prize draws. Please drop off items to room 108.

    Math League

    Students interested in Math League are asked to see Ms. Kennedy in room 207 any time to express an interest in joining.


    Practices will be held during lunch, and the times and location will be determined after our initial meeting. Students who join Math League are expected to attend the lunch time practices.


    The first competition will be held after school on November 18, and we will have one lunch time practice before then. Students will virtually compete against other junior high schools.


    Any students interested in having fun while group problem solving are welcome to join Math League! Please see see Ms. Kennedy as soon as possible.

    MDJH Chess club

    MDJH Chess Club has started up on Thursday afternoons from 3:30pm to 4:30pm in the library. The club is open to all grades and skill levels. Chess lessons will be provided to those interested, and boards and pieces will be provided for play. Players must sanitize their hands upon entry and masks are required. If you have any questions, contact Tanish Bhatt (tbhatt_s@nlesd.ca).

    Student Council News

    Canadian Student Leadership Conference 2021

    Five students from MDJH attended a virtual national leadership conference October 21-23. This was a wonderful experience and provided opportunities for students to participate in leadership workshops and activities. The theme was Unmuting Generation Z. Students participated in various leadership activities. There were keynote speeches, leadership workshops, volunteer opportunities and cultural experiences. The messages focused on being kind, inclusion, differentiation, and leadership journeys.

    Jamarama, October 22

    Students and staff wore pyjamas to school as a sign of solidarity and support for the brave kids at the Janeway Hospital who don’t get to change out of their PJs. It lets them know that we are thinking of them and are fighting for them. We collected $874.50 in school and there were online donations as well. A big thank you to our school community for your generosity.

    School Clothing Order

    Looking to show your school pride? We are now accepting orders for MDJH branded clothing.

    Click here to see the order form and the different styles available. Cash or cheques made payable to MDJH can be accepted.


    All sections of the order form must be completed. If you select embroidery, please ensure the name you want embroidered is written on the form legibly. Embroidery fees are for one name only. Unfortunately, no sample sizes are available due to public health safety measures.


    Printed copies of order forms are also available at the office. The deadline for orders is Wednesday, November 10. Please note that this is a strict deadline from the company. Orders added late will be subject to shipping costs from the supplier. Orders placed by this deadline should arrive before Christmas.

    Adopt a Senior Christmas Project

    There are seniors in our community nursing homes with no family nearby and the holidays can be a very lonely time for them. Each year the student council at MDJH organizes an “Adopt a Senior for Christmas” project. During these challenging times, this 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 seniors and will collect monetary donations for the purchase of larger items on the list. Students in the homeroom will sign the card, the gift will be wrapped and then delivered to St. Pats.


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

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

    2020-2021 Extra Yearbooks Available

    The 2020-2021 yearbooks have arrived. They have been delivered to all our present 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 and are interested in purchasing one for the 2020-2021 school year, please contact colettequann@nlesd.ca, we have a few extras.

    Yearbook Photos

    Any student, parent or coach with a group photo of any group in grades 7-9 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.

    MDJH Music

    Christmas Concert

    We are very excited to announce that our annual Christmas Concert will take place at 7pm on Wednesday, December 1, in our school gymnasium. It will feature all of our instrumental and choral ensembles. Tickets are $5.00 each and will be sold in advance with proof of vaccination. More details to follow.
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