Parent Newsletter

Macdonald Drive Junior High, December 2018

Dates to remember

  • November 30 - Report Cards
  • December 6 - Parent-Teacher Interviews
  • December 7 - PD Day
  • December 11 - Christmas Concert
  • December 22 - Christmas Holidays begin
  • January 7 - First day back to school

Report Cards/ Parent Teacher Interviews

Report cards were issued to students on Friday, November 30, at the end of the school day. If a student was not in school on that day, their report can be collected from the office.

Parent-Teacher Interviews will be held on Thursday, December 6, from 12:30 to 6:30 pm. Students will be dismissed at the start of the regular lunch period (11:21 am), and there will be regular bussing at that time.

To arrange for an interview, parents/guardians are asked to refer to the OPTIS document for instructions. The OPTIS system will be open from 3:00 pm on Friday, until 9:00 am Thursday. Once OPTIS is closed, please contact individual teachers if you wish to make alternate arrangements.

You can go directly to the OPTIS site, or you can click on the OPTIS icon on the left sidebar of the school website.

Please note that Friday, December 7, is a Professional Development Day for teachers. There will be no classes for students on that day.


WE Are Silent

A huge thank you to all of our families for supporting our WE Are Silent global campaign on November 20. We raised $1024.30 and reached our fundraising goal to outfit a school classroom in Sierra Leone, Africa. With your generous donations, this humanitarian project was a success!

WE Day Connect

Our school has been selected by the WE organization to participate in a WE Day Connect event focusing on cyberbullying on Thursday, November 29, in our gym from 1:30-5pm. The live show ends at 4pm, but there will be a post-session.

The event will be recorded and live-streamed from Microsoft Studios in Seattle, Washington, and it takes place so late in the day because of the many time zones. Five schools have been selected to participate – one from each of these areas: UK, Seattle, New York, Toronto, and St. John’s. A team of WE Day producers / technicians will come to MDJH to facilitate the event.

WE Day Connect will introduce students to various exciting WE Schools projects and illustrate how they come to life. Through video content, social media, and live Skype interviews, our students will be engaged and motivated to learn about the stories behind the projects. MDJH will be the focus of one segment, and two of our students will be interviewed about our work as a WE School.

Of course student attendance is optional since it is late, but we are hoping for a great turnout.

Book Fair

Our 2018 Book Fair will be happening from December 3-6 in the Library. Pop by to check out the latest offerings from Scholastic! It is a great time to pick up some Christmas gifts! Want to buy a book for a favourite teacher’s classroom library? Gift lists will be available!

The Book Fair will be opened during recess and lunch for students to come by and see what we have for sale. As well, every homeroom will get a chance to visit (see the schedule below).

The book fair will also be open on Thursday, December 6, during Parent-Teacher Interviews.

For more information, please contact

50/50 for Christmas cash!

We are now rolling out our first fundraiser for the school year. It is a 50/50 draw for Christmas Cash! The maximum Grand Prize could be a whopping $10,000! Tickets are $2 each, and the winner will be drawn on December 19, 2018. All proceeds will be used for new educational technology for our students.

Each student will be given a booklet of 10 tickets. If you need extras, just let us know. The ticket sale deadline is December 14, 2018, so please return any unsold tickets by then. If you would like to make a monetary donation in lieu of selling tickets, that would be warmly welcomed. As an incentive for ticket sales, we are offering a top seller’s prize which will be a $200.00 gift card for Best Buy. To encourage early submission of tickets, we will also be drawing weekly prizes. These prizes were graciously donated by the food establishments in our local area. Finally, there will be ice cream treats for the top selling class.

Toy drive

MacDonald Drive Junior High is hosting a toy drive and fundraiser for needy families. We invite you to help by donating a new, unwrapped toy with a value of about $10 to $30 dollars. Consider kids up to about 14 years of age when shopping. You may also help by making a donation of $5.00 or more. We will give any toys collected to the Happy Tree foundation, and will distribute any funds collected to needy families in our school community. Donations can be dropped off at the office.

As thanks for your toys or financial donations, you will get a chance to win a $100.00 gift card from Best Buy. Be sure to put your name and phone number in our donor book so you can be entered in the prize draw on the morning of December 21.

Thanks for your support!

Skills Canada

On Saturday, November 24, the 2018 MDJH Skills Canada Team had an exceptional day participating in the Annual Provincial Skills Canada Intermediate Challenge. The team this year had 33 members competing in a variety of competition areas. Several members received medals/awards including:

  • 2D Animation - Finn Bowes and Eric Butt - Bronze
  • Public Speaking - Marissa Singleton - Silver
  • The Pitch - Daniel Blackmore - Gold
  • TV Video Production - Devon Oldford and Ryan Hanlon - Silver
  • Photography - Silvi Ivardy - Gold
  • Junior Chef Challenge - Julia Andrews and Kate Rowe - Bronze
  • Lego Robotics - Team MDJH #1 - two awards 1) Robot Design 2nd Place, 2) Strategy and Innovation Award
  • Lego Robotics - Team MDJH #2 - two awards 1) Core Values 3rd Place, 2) Mechanical Design Award

To top it off, Macdonald Drive Junior High ranked number two in the province. As a bonus this year, several of our students got the opportunity to make some Christmas cards in support of the Janeway.

We want to express our sincere gratitude to the mentors who helped steer our students in the right direction.

Here is a picture of the team.

Big picture

Christmas Concert Time is (Almost) here!

Tuesday, Dec. 11th, 7pm

110 Macdonald Drive

St. John's, NL

This year's concert will take place in our school gymnasium. Mark your calendars!

Student Council News


Each year, the student council organizes an “Adopt a Senior for 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. 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 a card-signing and collect a gift bag for items, as well as monetary donations for larger items on the list. The gifts will be wrapped and they will be delivered to St. Pat's. Thank you in advance for your continued support for this worthwhile cause.

School Clothing Order

MDJH Spirit Wear is available for order. Students can order a black t-shirt with our new school slogan, WE Care, or hoodie (burgundy or grey) with MDJH across the front. Order forms are available on our website. Completed order forms can be dropped off at the office or to Ms. Quann. The orders are due Friday, December 14th. Student council members will also take orders daily during lunch and have sample sizes available for students to try. The orders will arrive in January.


The next national leadership conference will be September 24 - September 29, 2018, in Abbotsford, British Columbia. The theme is Empowering Inner Resources. The conference theme will flow through the keynote speeches, leadership workshops, volunteer opportunities, and cultural experiences of the conference. Any current Grade 8 student interested in attending this conference next year should see Ms. Quann. Parents can email to express a desire to have their child attend this conference. There are limited spaces so students will be placed on a list in order of email received. You can also visit the website for more details.


There are several 2017-2018 yearbooks available for purchase.The cost is $20. Please contact if you wish to purchase a yearbook from last year.

Team Photos

It is never too early to start compiling pictures for the 2017-2018 yearbook. Please send any team pictures to If sending from a cell phone, please select actual size to ensure the quality is good for uploading to the yearbook site. Some school sports have a short season and we would really like to have these team pictures included. Please send along your soccer and softball photos!

Photography Club

Photography Club meets every second Wednesday from 3-4:30. Each month there is a photo contest. Club members are reminded to please submit their photos to

Celebrate Student Successes

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 or has been on a team that has won some title. Has your child 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 with Celebrate YOUR CHILD’S NAME in the subject line.
Logged in to PowerSchool Lately? Keep Informed!

Please contact the office for more information. (709)753-8240.

Senior Boys Soccer

Though the team went undefeated in the round robin, MDJH faced a stacked team in the St. Paul's Vipers.

Early on, the Griz had several scoring opportunities, but the Viper's keeper absolutely stood on his head against their toughest competition yet.

In the last ten minutes of the game, after a miscommunication on our end, the Vipers put a marker on the board, and later tallied an insurance goal as the Griz pushed forward in a heart breaking defeat in the senior boys league. It has been a pleasure to attempt to coach this talented group of men.

Team members are Ahmed Shrek-hata, Isaac 'BA' Bailey, Tristan 'TP' Pike, Jake Boyde, Ander-Snipe Pritchard, Owen 'Skillz' Afonso, Anthony 'Tony' Lono, Kaniel 'The Real-Deal' Brown, Alex 'Cup' Cupkovic, Humphrey 'On-the Spot' Kiwan, Aaron 'A-A Ron' Piercey, Thierry 'T-Money' Irumva, Brendon 'Brendo' Booth, Malcolm 'Rock-Steady' Husic, Eric 'Merit' Butt, Charlie 'Chuck' Thoms, Dr. Kirk Edwards

Cricket Club

MDJH Cricket Club is looking for Grade 7 students. The sessions take place in the MDJH gymnasium on Mondays from 2:30-4:00.

Female Hockey at MDJH

We are looking to start a female hockey team to join an existing Junior High League within Metro St. John’s. If you are interested in playing, please complete the questions attached so we can determine if there is enough interest to move forward. This is not a commitment on your part, we just need to gauge interest. More details to come.

Chess Champion

Tanish Bhatt (7-10) received a Gold Medal on Saturday at the NL Individual Chess Championship for the Junior High Division. Congratulations Tanish!

Kids Eat Smart

Thank you from our Kids Eat Smart Breakfast Club! As we head into the holiday season, we want to express our sincere thanks to all who have supported our breakfast club through gifts of time and gifts of treasure.

December Recipes, Kids Eat Smart

Very Merry Christmas Bark


  • 2 cups Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
  • 3 kiwi
  • 5 strawberries
  • 1 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 1 small tree-shaped cookie cutter
  • parchment paper


Thinly slice the kiwis lengthwise. Using a tree-shaped cookie cutter, cut a tree from each slice. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the yogurt onto the baking sheet and spread evenly. Place the kiwi trees, strawberries, and cranberries on top of the yogurt as desired. Freeze until solid. Cut into sections and place in baggies. Return to freezer until ready to serve. Adapted from:

Vegetable Christmas Trees


  • 1 small pepper (red, orange or yellow), sliced into 1cm strips
  • 8 snow peas, ends trimmed
  • 1 x 5mm slice of cheddar cheese
  • wooden skewers
  • small star-shaped cookie cutter


To prepare the ingredients, trim the ends of the snow peas and cut the peppers into long slices. Use a small star-shaped cutter to cut out four star shapes. Thread your pepper and snow peas alternatively on to the skewer. Using a sharp knife, cut diagonally from the point of the skewer to the edge of the lowest pepper/snow pea. Repeat on the other side to create a triangle shape. Carefully add your cheese star to the top. Snip the sharp end of the skewer for safety and always supervise young children when serving food on skewers. Adapted from:



To let your child out, please stop and park after the crosswalk.

Congestion in Bus Lanes

As you enter the school parking lot, please ensure that you keep to the left lane if you are dropping your child off in front of the school. Also, please make sure that our busses can enter our lot on the right.

Student Drop-off/Pick-up Student Entrance Procedures

  • For student drop-off, stay in the left lane in a single line as you enter the school grounds.
  • When you turn left in front of the building, proceed as far as possible to the right (closest to the cement divider) before dropping your children off. Please wait for the vehicles in front of you to drop off students before proceeding.
  • Through traffic stays to the left in front of the student entrance.
  • Busses will enter the school grounds in the right lane and proceed to the far right closest to the building.
  • Only staff and alternate transportation should travel in the right lane to proceed around the building.
  • Ms. Pike and Ms. Hardy will be out each day, rain or shine, to help direct traffic.