Media Frenzy Savvy

This Article is Not About Momo

It’s creepy. It’s alarming. And, by almost all reputable accounts, it’s a fake.

Most HD students are, by now, fairly familiar with the ubiquitous media image of a woman with bulging eyes, matted hair, and an “evil” grin associated with the so-called Momo challenge. Interestingly, most know about it only through news reports or conversations with their parents; so, there’s admittedly some danger of drawing attention to something by writing a response to it. Maybe the best way to approach it, then, is to focus on Momo as the latest example of a larger trend, and to open a conversation about the broader topic of social media trends.

There have been widespread reports that the image has been popping up on Youtube and on social media outlets like Instagram and WhatsApp as part of an online “game” or “challenge” which encourages children to engage in increasingly risky behaviors. Some reports indicate that the challenge coerces children into aggression, self-harm or suicide by suggesting that they will be “cursed” or that harm or danger will befall them or their loved ones if they don’t comply with the violent suggestions.

While the Momo character and the purported challenge are receiving lots of attention on mainstream news media and on parenting websites, there appears to be little to substantiate the widespread concern.

Despite allegations that disturbing images and messages are being targeted at and spliced into children’s programming and online content, there are actually very few substantiated reports of children and teens being exposed to the challenge or of young people engaging in risky behavior specifically linked to the challenge. In short, it’s largely a hoax, or, at least, a bit of a media frenzy.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous or harmful. These images and messages can be alarming; and, for some students, they may be particularly troubling or triggering. Certainly, the image itself may be haunting for younger children. Yet, perhaps the bigger story here is the bigger story – that this trend is really part of a much larger shift in our experience. Indeed, it seems like stories like this are an increasingly inescapable part of our social media reality.

Whether it’s something relatively innocuous like the ice-bucket or mannequin challenge, or whether it’s table diving, Momo, the Blue Whale, Slender Man or any other more dangerous social media trend, images and ideas can gain huge exposure before news outlets, schools and parents can catch up. And, while this one may be a hoax, we would never want any child to fall victim to similar, and potentially more sophisticated or sinister, phenomena.

So, perhaps it’s more important than ever to help our kids to be discerning and media savvy; and perhaps it’s more important than ever to have honest and open conversations with our kids about our engagement with mass media and social media. It’s hard to do this without sounding alarmist, without generating fear, and without throwing the baby out with the proverbial bath water; however, proactively connecting with children and teens about how we interact with cultural narrative can equip them with tools and strategies for when they inevitably encounter this type of content.

There are lots of great resources out there to help parents navigate these conversations with their kids. Like most things, it’s usually best to explore these issues when things are not elevated or escalated, and it’s usually best to think about equipping kids with media awareness in general, rather than identifying or responding to a specific trend.

We can’t (and don’t want to) monitor everything our kids encounter, and we really want young people to make good decisions for themselves. So, these conversations tend to be most effective when they are invitational (not confrontational), when they invite conversation about the student’s experience (rather than starting with the parents’ fears), and when they are collaborative and goal oriented (rather than punitive or directive). Finally, it’s important to recognize that kids, like all of us, sometimes mess up, and that it’s super important for kids to have a safe, loving and restorative place to fall.

The Canadian Government publishes a great guide on parenting for cyber safety. The guide suggests five guidelines, fleshed out in the document, for talking with children and teens about their online experiences:

  • Don’t be scared!
  • Talk to your kids.
  • Be a part of your kids’ media lives.
  • Be the person your kids come to when they have problems online.
  • Set rules and communicate values.

Below is a partial list of other resources that a family could use to help frame conversations around social media. Feel free to add to the conversation by responding to the article or by adding your own suggestions for resources.

Resources:

Recommended!
The Government of Canada publishes a comprehensive guide on cyber-safety and digital citizenship, downloadable as a PDF. The website offers some helpful tips on what you can say and how you can respond:
https://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/cmpgns/cmpgn-06/gd-prnts-en.aspx

The Australian Gov’t has a helpful guide for parents and general online safety:
https://www.cssr.org.au/files/parentsguidetoonlinesafety.pdf

National Online Safety, a UK organization, published this useful PDF Momo-specific infographic last week:
https://nationalonlinesafety.com/resources/platform-guides/momo-online-safety-guide-for-parents/

ChildNet has some great suggestions for opening conversations with children and youth, including a list of suggested conversation starters:
https://www.childnet.com/blog/having-an-open-and-honest-conversation-about-online-safety-5-questions-for-parents-

Common Sense Media has lots of resources for families around a variety of topics:
https://www.commonsensemedia.org/privacy-and-internet-safety

Canada Safety Council – on line safety rules:
https://canadasafetycouncil.org/online-safety-rules-kids/

Spring Fundraiser

Eat, Give & Be Merry ~ March 30

Student Project Fundraising Dinner. Visit our website for details >>

Support exceptional Christian education through the Student Project Fund. Your support through this fund will create dynamic learning experiences that take learning beyond the classroom. It will ensure strong growth and skill mastery, and potential for beautiful products that bless a community beyond HDCH.

  • Tickets – $80 each
  • Table – $1000 (includes a $200 tax receipt). These are tables of 10 which include 8 guests of the hosts choice and 2 guests representing HDCH (students/teachers/presenters).

Reception starts at 6:00
Enjoy a Signature Drink & Fritters

Seating for dinner will start at 6:30
Dinner will feature the culinary delights of local Chef Ken LeFobour from Nellie James

Plus

  • Silent Auction and Raffle Prizes
  • Coat Check provided – all donations will help to fund student mission trips

Reserve Today
To reserve your tickets and to learn more visit our website or contact Tina VanDyk, Engagement Coordinator, at tvandyk@hdch.org or call 905-648-6655, ext.110.

Campus Conversations

Please join us

All parents and community members are invited.

On several mornings (and one afternoon) this winter, our principal Nathan Siebenga, will be meeting with small groups of parents, alumni, and community members to hear your thoughts and questions about the proposed Campus Renewal project, and to share more about this exciting vision for HDCH’s future.

Each session is limited to 10 guests in order to facilitate good dialogue and time for all your questions. We hope you’ll join us in the HDCH Cafeteria on one of the following dates for coffee, continental breakfast, and Campus Conversation.

Morning Conversations ~ 8:15 am – 9:15 am
January 31; February 5, 12 and 20; and March 6.

Afternoon Conversations ~ 3:30-4:30 pm
February 28.

Please choose a date that is convenient for you and RSVP on our website, or contact our office at 905-648-6655.

Celebration of Learning

We invite you to join us tomorrow to celebrate beautiful work.

As the end of the semester approaches, students are working hard completing projects and assignments they are eager to display at our upcoming Celebration of Learning. This evening is a highlight each semester when we gather as a community to admire and celebrate student learning.

This term’s Celebration of Learning runs from 7:00-9:00pm tomorrow (Jan 10th). Interact with our students, sample delicious snacks, enjoy interesting projects, engage with inspiring performances and celebrate learning.

Watch for these and many more …

Kinesiology students will use a posture assessment tool to collect data about how the HDCH community uses their cell phones. They will then propose proactive and corrective measures to assist the HDCH community about how to best use their phones. Student’s will apply their knowledge of anatomy, physiology, ergonomics, and exercise.


Play Probability Games with the Math students and chat about the theoretical probability of winning and losing


MegaBloc students will show a product that they have individually created that integrates two of the learning blocks on MegaBloc: Communication Tech, Design Tech, Manufacturing Tech


Christians in Society students have been focused on local, regional or international needs and throughout the semester developed various campaigns to raise awareness, volunteer or support in order to make a difference. They will present their outcomes with you.


From courtroom illustrator & reporter to attorneys on both sides, Law students will showcase the products of the various roles in their courthouse mock trial (including a video).


Science students will showcase their electric toys. Students were tasked with creating toys that incorporated electric circuits. These creations were built while considering safety, environmental, design and marketing components.


Drama students will demonstrate some of the fun games they play to create community and trust in our drama classroom. Audience participation is welcomed!


Don’t miss the Rocket Pick Up Trucks designed by Physics students. Catch the display of performance evaluation regarding Newtonian mechanics.


Is HD crawling with bacteria? Biology students took samples from various surfaces in HD to see which sample would grow the most bacteria. Come and see the results.


The feedback that you give them will be essential to deepening the learning that has already happened. So please, engage with the students as you wander around and Celebrate the Learning.

Join us in the gymnasium at 7pm for some exceptional demonstrations. Then, wander through the hallways and classrooms and enjoy beautiful work and great refreshments.

The whole family is welcome. Admission is free!

Exam Preparation

Exams begin the week of January 22nd

Overview
All exams start at 9am

  • Period 1 classes that have regular exams will write on Tuesday 22nd January
  • Period 2 classes on Wednesday 23rd
  • Period 3 on Thursday 24th
  • Period 4 on Friday 25th

In case of weather
Monday 28th is kept as a reserve exam day in case of weather-related cancellations.

Click here to see the full schedule >>

Study Mode
The school will be in quiet study mode, so many areas, including the upstairs and downstairs hallways, will not be open to student traffic. Please do not come to school if you are not writing an exam, unless you have a prior arrangement to meet with one of your teachers.

On the day of an exam, you need to:

  • Come to school appropriately dressed according to the school’s wardrobe regulations.
  • Proceed to the library to return course textbooks and pick up your exam entry ticket. Even if the course does not have a text to return, you still need to pick up an exam ticket in the library.
  • Go to your exam location a few minutes before the exam starts.
  • Leave backpacks, cell phones, and all electronic devices at the back of the gym or in front of the exam room.
  • Go to your desk. (Please note that the only refreshments allowed are water and unwrapped candy.)
  • Be prepared to spend at least one hour in the exam room. You will have up to three hours to write.
  • When you have completed, checked and handed in your exam, please leave the exam room. If necessary, wait for friends quietly, and leave the building as soon as possible.

Other Particulars
Students who have officially been informed about writing in another location are to report to Room 122 at exam time.

In case of any absence, please phone the school office immediately. A doctor’s note is needed if you are sick.

For courses that do not have an exam, all textbooks should be returned before exam week. All missing texts must be returned or paid for before the start of the second semester on January 30th.

School bus schedules may be different during exam week. Students should connect with their particular driver about schedule changes.

Best wishes as you prepare!

Duncan Todd, Vice Principal

Integrating Faith and Learning

In our professional development this year, one focus is to get better at how we integrate a Christian biblical perspective into all of our learning.

Earlier this month, our two VP’s (Christy Bloemendal and Duncan Todd) and one of our Department Heads (Owen Webb) were fortunate to attend a two-day coaching conference at Surrey Christian School in BC centred specifically on weaving biblical worldview through every course.

On the second day they were able to spend time visiting classes and talking with teachers and students, exploring how this looks in practice at Surrey. It was beautiful to see another like-hearted Christian school in action, and also encouraging confirmation that good things are happening at HDCH, that our teachers are designing deep and meaningful learning experiences for our students.

We look forward to a reciprocal visit from their Director of Learning, Darryl deBoer, over our Winter Residency in February, where the goal will be strengthening our faith integration in every subject.  This is at the core of our mission as a Christian school.

Duncan Todd, Vice-Prinicpal
Hamilton District Christian High

 

 

Building Community

Knights Unite

The grade 11 Business Entrepreneur class developed the event, Knight’s Unite for the purpose of creating a sense of belonging for all students and staff in a fun way.

The entire student body was randomly divided into 21 teams and teachers made up their own team.  Each team participated in a number of team building and competitive activities.  The winning team will enjoy build-your-own sundaes next Monday.

Here are a collection of pictures taken during the event last Wednesday.


Watch

The month of October has been focused on supporting our neighbours as the Christians in Society Class and WATCH group worked together on the Non-Food Food Drive – Milk Campaign.

The campaign involved collecting monetary donations from our HDCH community to be used by N2N throughout the year to buy milk. Neighbour2Neighbour is able to receive $9 in milk for every $1 dollar that we raise.

This year we are excited to announce that we exceeded our goal in fundraising and will be providing  N2N with a cheque for $5,373! This is the largest fundraising campaign to date and will be able to provide milk for one YEAR for those in need in this area!

A very special note of thanks to everyone who donated this year and to our campaign managers, Marielle Ibrahim, Jaidyn Vanderlaan and Matt VanVeen from Christians in Society and to Nathan Hart and Abby Ciona from WATCH.

Non-Food Food Drive

Non-Food Food Drive ~ WATCH
The 2018 Non-Food Food Drive (NFFD) / Milk Campaign is organized to raise money for Neighbour to Neighbour (N2N) so they are able to purchase and distribute fresh milk to families in need of this product in Hamilton.

Our Christian’s in Society class has been going to every homeroom in the school to collect donations once a day to try to reach our end goal of $5,000 to go towards milk for N2N. That’s enough money to supply them with a year’s worth of milk because

for every $1 we raise N2N receives $9 in milk!

As of October 16th, we have collected $1,763 which is just over a third of the way to our goal. We will continue collecting until October 24th. We are encouraging everyone to donate $15-$25 dollars as that will enable us to easily reach our goal. We thank you for your participation and hope for more donations over the next week and a half.

Sincerely,

Marielle Ibrahim, Jaidyn Vanderlaan and Matt VanVeen
~ NFFD/Milk campaign team

Community

Belonging Workshops
Our school theme for this year is creating a space of belonging. Over the past two weeks, we have been meeting with students in half-grade groups for a workshop on belonging.

During these workshops, students talked together about what belonging looks like and what builders and breakers of belonging they’ve experienced.

Students also participated in a self-assessment on the sense of belonging they feel at HDCH. We heard some amazing stories and feedback about how students have felt belonging, as well as some sad stories and feedback about how students have not felt belonging in this community.

Mr. Apers, Mr. Todd, and Mrs. Bloemendal helped to facilitate these workshops and have collected data from each grade on the builders and breakers of belonging. Ideas were sorted into the categories of what belonging builders we can start or continue to do, and things that break belonging that we need to stop doing as a community.

We looked at 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 as a kingdom vision for creating belonging and have been challenged on how we can all participate in helping HDCH move steps closer to being a community of belonging, care, and love.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  ~ NIV

The workshops were followed up with a short assembly sharing back data on the builders and breakers of belonging that were shared by the student body. This is one step on the ongoing journey of working to actively build belonging for everyone in our community.

Thanks to our students for engaging in dialogues about belonging, sharing their ideas and concerns, and working hard together on being a community of love and grace


Grade 9 Day
The Grade 9s enjoyed a great day of fun, games & service. We received the following note of thanks from Mission Services.


Non-Food Food Drive ~ WATCH
The Christians in Society Class and WATCH group at HDCH will be starting to collect money for the Non-Food-Food-Drive from October 4th – 24th. The goal is to try to collect enough money to provide fresh milk for families in need in Hamilton this year.

Over the past two years, our school community has provided fresh milk from November to August. It is a blessing to know that for every $1 dollar donated for milk, Neighbour2Neighbour is able to receive $9 in product which means that our donation dollars are being multiplied to help those in need!

We are encouraging everyone in our school community to consider a donation to try to reach our goal of $5,000. Please consider donating to this worthwhile cause this month by sending in money to HDCH this October. Blessings and thanks from HRE33 and WATCH.


HDCH Annual Golf Tournament
I’m grateful for the HDCH community! I’m grateful that HDCH Alumni, Parents of Alumni, Grandparents, Friends, and Parents supported our school through the 13th Annual golf tournament.  Together we raised $41, 500.

Funds raised go toward making HDCH accessible for families by providing Tuition Assistance. A portion of the proceeds will also go towards capital improvements.

I’m grateful for the support of our many sponsors. Year over year HDCH is supported by many faithful people, businesses, and organizations. We’re thankful for their care of our students and HDCH. Together we are cultivating the character of HDCH students through learning for lives of service to God.

This year we also received support from several new sponsors including, Prominent Homes, Real Estate Agent Carrie Van Dixhoorn from Royal Lepage State Realty, and Aldershot Greenhouses. Thank you for your support.

I’m grateful to the many volunteers that made the day great. Thank you Mark Demik, Greg Kippers, Henry Eising, Carrie Van Dixhoorn, Janet Doucet, Lori Corneau, Lana Furry, Conseula St. John, Andrew Van Dixhoorn, Taylor Corneau, Ed Steenhuis, Aaron Oppertshauser, Seth Verrips, Karin Boonstra, Duncan Todd, Owen Webb, Cheryl Webb, Catherine Reulens, Kelly Dilda, Richard Dilda, Val Van Dixhoorn, and Eric Brink.

I look forward to seeing you next year at the 14th Annual Golf Tournament being held at Flamborough Hills Golf and Country Club. Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 14th – and register early – we sold out this year 2 weeks before the event!

~ Gillian Doucet Campbell

Scott, who golfed with one of the Stackpole International teams, was the lucky winner of the Treasure Chest Game. He won a $1,000 towards a visit at Muskoka Resort where he plans to spend his 27th wedding anniversary with his wife. Awesome!


Community

Welcoming New Teachers

Laura Swan
Laura is new to the HDCH teaching staff and comes to us after two years in the Chatham Christian School community. Prior to that, she taught at Massey High School in Auckland, New Zealand. Laura will be teaching International Business, Entrepreneurship, Parenting and English, and hopes to be involved in some great extra-curricular groups and activities. A graduate of the University of Guelph and the University of Auckland, Laura is also a certified member of the Canadian Dance Teachers’ Association.

Travel is something she loves, and Laura has spent many holidays traveling overseas with students. She is currently studying a Master’s in Education through Dordt College, Iowa. Laura will be married in January to Rev. Jon Forbes, Pastoral Associate at St. Christopher’s Anglican Church in Burlington. Laura, Jon and their Great Dane, Shelby, will reside in Hamilton.

Deb Wiebenga
Deb Wiebenga joins the HDCH teaching staff in the Physical Education department. Her teaching experiences include Smithville Christian High and Calvin Christian School. As a former HDCH Athlete of the Year and Redeemer University College alumna, she is excited to be back and looks forward to encouraging and motivating her students to be active and healthy. Deb enjoys being part of a music team at First Hamilton CRC and loves living in downtown Hamilton with her husband, three daughters, and their puppy.


Building Community on the Ottawa River

The Grade 12 class and a few adventurous staff members tackled the raging waters of the Ottawa River last week on our annual whitewater rafting trip.

The weather was perfect, the waves were gnarly, and great times were had by all. Off the river, students also got to participate in mountain biking, rock wall climbing, kayaking, and swimming.

Our group devotions were focused on ‘the Leadership of Belonging,’ as we looked at what it means to be leaders in our school community. It was a gift to spend the time together as a grade building memories that will last for a long time. A shout out to Mr.Koiter and the staff team of chaperones, as well as to every Grade 12 on the trip for making it a fun experience.


Golf Tournament

We enjoyed a great day at our annual HDCH Golf Tournament. Thank you to all who participated.

 

Golf Tournament – Sold Out!

We’re thrilled to announce that the HDCH Golf Tournament is Sold Out!

Thank you to our golfers and sponsors for registering. We’re looking forward to another great day of friendship, good food, and fun, taking place Saturday, September 15th at Flamborough Hills Golf Club.

Thank you to the HDCH Golf Committee for their great work: Greg Kippers’12, Mark Demik’91, Henry Eissing’88, and Carrie Van Dixhoorn.

Join us for Dinner
Dinner tickets for our delicious Prime Rib dinner are still available. These tickets are $60 per person and can be ordered by emailing or calling Gillian Doucet Campbell, Director of Admission and Advancement at gdoucetcampbell@hdch or 905-648-6655, ext. 113. Please reserve your tickets by Friday, September 7.

If your company or business is interested in supporting HDCH through the golf tournament please connect soon by emailing or calling Gillian Doucet Campbell, Director of Admission and Advancement at gdoucetcampbell@hdch or 905-648-6655, ext. 113.

Donating Raffle Items
Raffle items are still greatly needed and appreciated. Please drop them off at the office by Thursday, September 13.

Thank you to Dayside Windows and Doors, and TruNorth Deck for their continued outstanding support. HDCH is pleased to welcome back Stackpole International, Schilthuis Group of Companies, and Demik Construction as featured sponsors. We’re thrilled to welcome Prominent Homes as a new feature sponsor.

This year, our Hole-In-One sponsor is Trillium Auto Service. We’re delighted to once again have two Hole-In-One prize holes. Home Hardware Aldershot with a $5,000 gift card and TrailerWorld Industries with a spectacular boat are both on offer.

All funds raised through the HDCH Golf Tournament supports building improvements in an effort to keep tuition rates more accessible. Funds raised also goes towards Tuition Assistance to enable families to attend HDCH.