Principal's Blog

September 24, 2021

Message to TAB Families

Dear T.A. Blakelock Families,

Summer is “officially” over and autumn has begun. That’s a sure sign that our first reporting period is getting closer! We’re just a couple of weeks away from “5th Week Reports” – an opportunity for parents and guardians to get a better sense of how their children are doing this term.

Schedule for the Week of 27 September – 1 October

We’re going into a Week 2 schedule now

IMPORTANT: School Council Meeting

Please join us this coming Monday at 7:00 PM for our first School Council meeting of the new school year. I will be chairing the meeting on Monday and deliver a report on developments at the school. Additionally, representatives from Student Council and our local Trustee will also deliver reports.

The meeting will be held virtually so to “attend”, you won’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home!

We are still looking for someone to serve as Chair this year – it’s just four meetings and I will work with the Chair to prepare the agendas for each of the meetings.

IMPORTANT: Photo Days! – Tuesday, 28 September and Wednesday, 29 September

School photos are back!

Students in grades 10 and 11 will be called down in period 1 on Tuesday, 28 September.

Grades 9 and 12 will be called down on Wednesday, 29 September.

Photos and student cards are free! Families and guardians may purchase additional photographs @ https://www.edgeimaging.ca/en.

IMPORTANT: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Orange Shirt Day) – Thursday, 30 September

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (on the 30th day of September each year moving forward) seeks to honour First Nations, Inuit and Métis survivors, their families and communities, and to ensure that public commemoration of their history and the legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.

As a school community, we will be engaging in a variety of activities in an effort to recognize Canada’s official commitment to a truth and reconciliation. A school-based learning team has developed the following:

  • Indigenous versions of the national anthem will be played at the start of each school day

  • Sharing of information to extend our knowledge and awareness of the injustices associated with residential schools

  • Asking teachers to commit a block of time on 30 September to explore classroom activities related to truth and reconciliation

Terry Fox Campaign – Friday, 1 October

On Friday, 1 October, the entire school will be meeting on the school campus for the Terry Fox Run/Walk. Mrs. Woodhead's senior Phys Ed Leadership class will be leading the event. Student leaders will be stationed throughout the school campus to cheer on the student participants.

Participation is free however students will have the option to contribute to this annual fundraiser through a variety of activities. All proceeds will be donated to cancer research.

Permission forms in the start-up package previously sent via email on Monday, 13 September must be completed by parents/guardians for any student who wishes to leave campus and participate on the Community Route. Students without permission will participate in the event but remain on the school campus. You can also find the start-up form links on the TAB website.

Guidance Update

Earlier this week Grade 12 parents/custodians received important information regarding the HDSB Grade 12 Virtual Post-Secondary Exploration Fair on Wednesday, 6 October. If your Grade 12 student would like to attend this event from our school library or if they would like to borrow technology to access this event, please have them complete this form.

Please send any questions regarding the event to Mrs. Svendsen, Head of Guidance, at svendsend@hdsb.ca.

Scholarship Information (New info added!)

Please click here for information regarding upcoming Scholarship information. You can also visit https://bit.ly/TABGuidance for additional information and resources.


Have a great weekend, everyone! Hope to see you on Monday evening at our School Council meeting!

Kind regards,

Jonathan Shoss

Principal, T.A. Blakelock High School


September 24, 2021

End of Week Two Message

Dear T.A. Blakelock Families,

We’re two weeks into the new school year and students have now completed one full cycle or “rotation” of their timetable!

Schedule for the Week of 20 – 24 September

We are now heading back into a Week 1 schedule now – that means students will return to the classes they attended during the first week of school!

IMPORTANT: Changes to Student COVID Active Screening Procedures

Beginning on Monday, 20 September students will no longer need to show their active screening result (“green checkmark screen”) to their first period teachers upon entry. Parents/guardians are expected to continue to complete daily screening at home and school will continue to actively monitor for students with symptoms as per past practice.

IMPORTANT: Student Verification Forms

Permission forms were sent out to parents/guardians this past Monday. Student participation in field trips, athletics, and a variety of other school activities are dependent on the return of these forms. Additionally, we often celebrate our students' achievements by posting photos on our website and/or social media.

We appreciate that this may not be ideal for all families and, therefore, we ask you to please take a few minutes to complete and submit the forms.

Check the main TAB website for a quick cheat sheet on how to simplify filling out the forms. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Mrs. Saldia in the Main Office.

Federal Election Reminder

Just a quick reminder that TAB is a polling station for the federal election on Monday, 20 September, from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Only the small gym (Gym C) will be affected; the gym has direct access from the parking lot and the public will never move within the school beyond the small gym and come in contact with our students.

Photo Days! – Tuesday, 28 and Wednesday, 29 September

Mark the mornings of Tuesday, 28 and Wednesday, 29 September on your calendars! School photos are back!

There is no sitting fee and students will receive a free TAB student card that can be used in the community for additional benefits such as reduced transit fare on Oakville buses and Presto cards.

Families may choose to purchase additional photos. Ordering information will be posted on our school website and through our social media.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Orange Shirt Day) – Thursday, 30 September

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (on the 30th day of September each year moving forward) seeks to honour First Nations, Inuit and Métis survivors, their families and communities, and to ensure that public commemoration of their history and the legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.

In anticipation of this day, we must ensure that we go beyond wearing orange shirts. Creating meaningful learning opportunities that centre Indigenous voices, focus on Indigenous rights, contributions, histories, truths and contemporary realities that are rooted in colonization helps to create a more complete picture of the historical truths and realities of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit. We all play a part in upholding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.

Schools will be open and we encourage Blakelock students to wear an orange shirt to school on this day to recognize that every child matters.

Terry Fox Campaign – Friday, 1 October

On Friday, 1 October, the entire school will be meeting on the school campus for the Terry Fox Run/Walk. Mrs. Woodhead's senior Phys Ed Leadership class will be leading the event. Student leaders will be stationed throughout the school campus to cheer on the student participants.

Participation is free however students will have the option to contribute to this annual fundraiser through a variety of activities. All proceeds will be donated to cancer research.

Permission forms in the start-up package previously sent via email on Monday, 13 September must be completed by parents/guardians for any student who wishes to leave campus and participate on the Community Route. Students without permission will participate in the event but remain on the school campus.

Cafeteria Servery Update

We have been advised that full service is set to resume in our Cafeteria on the week of 18 October – so we’re about a month out from hot food, etc. being served in our Caf. If you’re stuck making lunches for your child in the meantime, I apologize – relief is on the way!

Grade 9 Homeroom Visits

Mrs. MacRae, Mr. Williamson, and I were thrilled to be able to visit every Grade 9 homeroom this past Tuesday morning and spend some time speaking with the newest members of our Blakelock community! After quick introductions and a review of masking requirements, we strongly encouraged students to:

  • become involved in the life of the school

  • demonstrate respect for themselves, their peers, and the school itself, and

  • connect with our social media, particularly our Instagram account (and we’re really pleased to learn so many of them already do!).

Social media is perhaps the best way now to keep informed about developments and opportunities at the school. I encourage parents and guardians to follow us on social media:

Twitter: @ TigerLife

Instagram: @blakelocktigers

Guidance Update

To book an appointment with your student’s Guidance Counsellor, please visit the appropriate

link below. The online appointment booking system will be available on September 20th, 2021.

For "how to" instructions for appointment booking, please click here.

Ontario University Fair

Ontario Universities' Fairs (OUFs) are fast approaching. This annual event is very helpful to students and families in terms of post-secondary planning. The OUFs will consist of 2 virtual events:

  • Saturday, September 25, 12-2 pm (ET)

  • Tuesday, October 26, 5-7 pm (ET)

All Ontario universities will participate in these free events and anyone may attend - pre-registration is not required. Each event will be divided up into four 30-minute sessions where students can learn about the universities of their choice and ask questions. Some universities will offer presentations in French. These events are great opportunities to get answers about programs, admission requirements, student life and much more. More info is available at https://www.ontariouniversitiesfair.ca/

Scholarship Information

Please click here for information regarding upcoming Scholarship information. You can also visit https://bit.ly/TABGuidance for additional information and resources.


As always, feel free to contact the school with any questions or concerns.

Have a great weekend, Tigers!

Jonathan Shoss

Principal, T.A. Blakelock High School



September 10, 2021

First Week Message To TAB Families

Dear T.A. Blakelock Families,

It’s hard to believe we’re already finished the first week of school! I think by all accounts, we’ve had a tremendously successful start to the year – thanks to all of our staff and student leaders for helping make the first week go so smoothly for those new to the Blakelock community!

Schedule for the Week of 13 – 17 September

Remember that we’re heading into a Week 2 schedule now – that means students will have two new courses when they return to school on Monday!


Tim Hortons SMILE Cookie Sales

From Monday, 13 September through Sunday, 19 September, all Oakville Tim Hortons will be donating proceeds from their SMILE cookie sales to the Food4KidsHalton charity! This is great news for this charity that provides weekend healthy food packages to our students and their families. Please consider supporting this wonderful initiative!

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Orange Shirt Day) – Thursday, 30 September

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action #80 was fulfilled by the federal government with the creation of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday, 30 September, which coincides with Orange Shirt Day.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (on the 30th day of September each year moving forward) seeks to honour First Nations, Inuit and Métis survivors, their families and communities, and to ensure that public commemoration of their history and the legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.

In anticipation of this day, we must ensure that we go beyond wearing orange shirts. Creating meaningful learning opportunities that centre Indigenous voices, focus on Indigenous rights, contributions, histories, truths and contemporary realities that are rooted in colonization helps to create a more complete picture of the historical truths and realities of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit. We all play a part in upholding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.


Cafeteria

I have never seen such positive student behaviour in the Caf – nor have I seen a Cafeteria as clean as ours at the end of lunch! Incredible! A reminder that the Cafeteria runs at 50% seating capacity and the food service from our contracted vendor should begin in a few weeks. Students are free to eat in the halls or outside while the weather is good. Some teachers may open their classrooms for students at lunch, as well.


Lockers

A reminder that students can choose lockers freely this year (i.e., we are not assigning lockers to students so they can pick a locker anywhere in the school to be near friends, etc.). Students are responsible for providing their own locks.


ESL and International Students

At Blakelock, any students who are learning the English language can receive language support throughout the year. We have a fantastic ESL Program that is ready to support all of our English Language Learners (ELLs), including those who are no longer in the ESL program. The ESL Lead is Katie Attwell. Should you have any questions, or if you want to seek out some support, feel free to reach out - her email address is: attwellk@hdsb.ca


TAB Athletics

We have been busy communicating information about our fall sports through meetings, announcements, Instagram (@blakelocktigers), and sign ups and we have begun tryouts in some sports.

It is our intention to offer the safe return to interschool athletics in Halton and to engage our new and current Blakelock athletes. Depending on student interest and commitment and the availability of coaches, we hope to offer many opportunities for students to play on school teams. This may look a bit different than other years, but we are committed to focus on fun, fitness, skill building with the ultimate goal to return to competitive play.


All Student Athletes will be required to:

  • submit a fully completed and printed HDSB Secondary School Athletics package 2021-2022 to the Head Coach prior to starting any activity. A student cannot participate in any activity if this package is not completed nor provided.

  • review and follow the HDSB Student Concussion Prevention and Awareness Resources and Concussion Code of Conduct as shared by coaching staff

  • participate actively in their own injury prevention as outlined in the HDSB Concussion Prevention and Awareness Resource and the Student Concussion Code of Conduct, as well as any additional information reviewed by coaches specific to the activity

  • have their own mask and clearly labelled water bottle for personal use only

  • complete a self assessment daily

  • follow direction and guidance provided by the coaching staff regarding physical distancing (based on situation), respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene, safe use of a non-medical/cloth mask, daily self-assessment, staying home when feeling ill, and monitoring of symptoms

Note: Spectators and visitors will not be allowed to attend tryouts/practices. Only coaches and student athletes can attend.

Please encourage your child to participate! We are looking forward to an amazing year and showing our Tiger Pride!


School Council Meeting (Monday, 27 September @ 7:00 PM)

School Council is a wonderful way to stay informed about developments at the school. We frequently invite guest speakers to discuss hot topics of interest to parents and guardians. Every meeting involves an update from our school trustee, the Principal, and our student leadership. We hold four meetings on Monday evenings through the school year. Please consider joining us for our first meeting of the Blakelock School Council on Monday, 27 September at 7:00 PM!

You’re welcome to simply “attend” the virtual School Council meeting and listen to our updates. If you’re interested in serving in an official capacity on School Council, please keep an eye out for a separate communication that will be sent out next week with respect to School Council nominations.


Guidance Update

Guidance Counsellors for the 2021-21 school year are:

  • Ms. Janet Stewart - Students with last names beginning A - C.

  • Mr. Alaeric Sutherland - Students with last names beginning D - M

  • Mrs. Diana Svendsen - Students with last names beginning N - Z

Our online appointment booking system will be available on Monday, 20 September, 2021. Information regarding how to book an appointment with your student’s Guidance Counsellor will be included in next week’s messaging. Until then, please call our Guidance Secretary, Mrs. Carkner, if an appointment is needed. Her phone number is 905.827.1158 ext. 229.


Timetable Changes

Timetable changes will end on Friday, 17 September at noon. If your student requires a timetable change, please have them complete this Google Form: ​http://bit.ly/TAB2021-22CourseChangeRequestForm


Night School Registration

HDSB Night School registration is now available through www.myBlueprint.ca/halton. If interested in taking a Night School course, students can navigate to “Continuing Education” on myBlueprint and submit their registration.


Community Hours

Students can submit any accrued Community Involvement Hours through ​https://bit.ly/TABCommunityHours. Please note that due to the pandemic, students graduating in June of 2022 require 20 hours of Community Involvement as per the Ministry of Education. Non graduating students require 40 hours of Community Involvement.


That’s it for this week, Tigers – have a fantastic weekend!

Kind regards,


Jonathan Shoss

Principal, T.A. Blakelock High School