Wellness in an Online Space

I hope this note finds all of you well.

Hamilton District Christian High is following the lead of the Ministry of Education and of public health officials in suspending on-campus classes. For some of you, the prospect of an at-home school experience in the short term might seem pretty appealing. For others, the idea of feeling disconnected from peers and from academic, emotional and social support networks is a little more unsettling.

It’s very important not to ignore our mental wellness in stressful times.

Keeping Well

All HDCH teachers, admin and student support staff are focused on continuing to execute our mission of preparing students, through learning, for a life of service to God. In pursuit of that ongoing mission, staff will be ready to help you continue in your learning journey.

Teachers are hard at work preparing to support all of you in your at home experiences. Teachers and learning support workers will continue to be available to support student learning. Student Services and Guidance will continue to operate via email, EDSBY, telephone, and Zoom platforms.


Wellness Contacts

If you have any questions about guidance, wellness, or academic support, please don’t hesitate to contact any of us. Contact info attached.

Shalem Christian Mental Health Network
Natasha, our on-site therapist, will continue to meet with clients (and set up new clients) via telephone of on-line counselling. Students can set up support from Natasha at Shalem by connecting them directly (contact info is  attached)


Dealing with Stress
Everyone deals with stress differently. For some of us, this is an amazing opportunity to rest, catch up, do some long-postponed projects, or spend time with family. Most of us have strong support networks and caring communities; it will be different, but we will be okay.

However, for some of us, this can be an unsettling time. And being unsettled and out of routine affects us all differently. Most of us manage just fine, but we might find ourselves being occasionally agitated or defensive, some of us may feel a need to withdraw or shut down, and others may seem distracted or unfocussed.

These, and a variety of other feelings, are normal stress reactions. It’s important to recognize these for yourself, and to understand that others in your space may be experiencing stress very differently than you. Knowing how people react to stress helps us all to live together a little better.

Keep an eye on your own responses
If you are noticing changes in sleep, diet, substance use, or behaviour, it’s probably good to talk through that with someone you trust. If you find yourself in crisis, don’t hesitate to connect with crisis lines or mobile/online supports.

Routines are good
In the coming weeks, we will be running school on-line. For your own wellness, it is wise to treat this school experience like any other school experience. Try to attend school during school hours; get up, get dressed and attend school as you normally would. Though we may be on different schedules, try to avoid doing your school work at night and risking the possibility of feeling disconnected or overwhelmed.

Practice good self care
It’s important to continue to do things that relieve stress and connect you to others. Continue to remotely connect with your faith communities and your social networks. Get outside, walk the dog, draw a picture, play cards, bake/cook something, colour, read, pray, etc.

Take media breaks
Take some time between checking in on news reports and social media posts. Eat healthy, get enough sleep, and check in with people in your space.


For parents

There are lots of great on-line resources related to child and adolescent wellbeing during crises. Please check out some of the articles and links attached for conversations about staying psychologically and emotionally healthy in stressful situations.

Resources for Parents talking to teens about COVID and stress

CAMH – Centre for Addiction and Mental Health 
This resource with tons of information, links, strategies and tips for talking about covid. It also has links to stress and anxiety self assessment tools, and it has great suggestions on supporting loved ones. 

Common Sense Media
Tips and links for helping kids learn in an online environment, for navigating media coverage, and for managing stress.

American Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization
CBC Opinion
Dr. Judy Malone on psychological health (Mar. 23)

Seattle Childrens’ Hospital article

James Apers, Director of Student Services
Hamilton District Christian High

Course Selection & More

Course selection and Static Scheduling

While September feels like a long way off, students began the process of course selection for the 2020/2021 school year today.

This year, we are approaching this process a little differently.

  1. We’ve moved course selection from December to March; this gives students a chance to attempt second-semester courses and to have first semester results before choosing courses for the following year.
  2. When students choose their course this time, they will be able to see a tentative timetable. Planning courses with an actual schedule in mind should help students see different configurations and plan a timetable that has fewer conflicts. We’re hopeful that this will eliminate summer disappointment and alleviate long lines for course changes at registration.
  3. We’ve provided students with a glimpse at our tentative timetable for 2021/22. Giving students a two-year window helps them to see different options for resolving timetable conflicts and should help them to avoid “bottlenecks” and “log jams” in their academic planning.

This week, all families will receive an email describing the step by step process for student course selection. Students will ultimately enter their course selections in MyBlueprint, in the same way we have done in past years; the only real difference is that students will have a little more information in their decision making before they finally enter the choices online.

Once students have “submitted” their course selections, they will be prompted to print a sign off sheet, which we hope all families will review and return to the office. Please always let us know if you have any questions!


Transcripts

Student transcripts for OUAC and OCAS were updated in early February and will be updated in late April. It is very important for students to check their online accounts regularly for accuracy and for updates. Students who are enrolled in independent studies or correspondence courses must check their accounts to make sure that all credits are accounted for. Students should ensure that mid-term marks are reported to Student Services.


Applications

The initial applications through OUAC and OCAS have largely been complete for some time. It is important for all applicants to check their email and online accounts for information on supplementary applications, residence, and financial aid. Remember that most schools require students to register or to log-in to unique on-line accounts. Log-in information is usually provided via an acknowledgment email. Don’t miss important “next steps!”


Admissions decisions

Most colleges and universities are currently in the middle of their admission reviews. Some students will receive offers in the coming weeks, others may not receive an offer until second-semester mid-terms have been received. Students shouldn’t panic if they have not yet received an offer; the majority of offers are released in late April or early May.


Graduation Awards and the John Buesink Memorial Scholarship

Check out Student Services for full details on these scholarship opportunities:
a. The John Buesink Memorial Bursary: The bursary is awarded annually to a grade 11 student who is honest, trustworthy, and loving towards people in need and has demonstrated giftedness in the business program and has a clear understanding of Christian principles in relation to ethical business practices. The bursary consists of a $750 credit applied to the tuition of the recipient and a $250 cash award.

Check out http://hdch.org/resources/student-services/graduate-awards/ or the HDCH Student Services EDBSY page for details.

Graduating students are invited to apply for the Graduate Scholarship Awards. For descriptions and application details, follow the Student Services group on Edsby. Applications are due in the office by May 30.


Service Hours

All students, particularly those in grade 12, are reminded to submit records of accumulated service hours to the office as soon as possible. The deadline for graduating students to submit 40 hours is May 30.


Summer Camps

Each Spring, a number of summer camps invite applications from high school students for summer camp counseling and camp support positions. Visit the School Talk or Student Services pages on EDSBY for details.


Enrichment Highlights

Check out Student Services on Edsby for details on these opportunities:

  1. Boyd Archeological School – a summer school credit program run by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority in which students alternate between classroom study and fieldwork at a local dig. Learn more >>
  2. The University of Guelph is accepting applications for its popular Interactions program. Interaction is a full-day conference at the University of Guelph for university-bound grade 10 and 11 students. There are two dates to choose from April 22 OR April 23. There are over 40 sessions that provide students with an opportunity to explore our community, learn more about our academic programs and student services, and introduce university living and learning. Registration Deadline: Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Cost – $30 per student (including lunch)* . Visit https://admission.uoguelph.ca/interaction for information and registration.

Course Selection

Course Selection for 2020-2021

Even though there is still snow on the ground, we are well into planning for the 2020-2021 school year. And that means students in grades 9 through 11 selecting their courses.

In the past, we have gone through this process in December. This year, we’re trying a slightly different approach. Here’s why.

  1. The later timing means that students have already completed one semester and begun another; they are likely to have a better sense of their hopes and plans as those related to courses.
  2. This year, we will have a draft timetable prepared in advance. By referring to the timetable while choosing courses, you will already be able to see potential conflicts and make your course choices accordingly. We hope this will help reduce the number of changes and decisions that need to be made come summer.

Parents, you will get an email with more information and resources next week. Students, staff from Student Services will visit you in class the first week of March to walk you through the process.

What can you do already?
Make sure that your myBlueprint account is activated.

MyBlueprint is an online tool that allows students and parents to see course history and make use of post-secondary planning tools. It’s also the way you’ll choose courses. If you’re new to us this year, there are getting started guides both for parents and for students. If you need assistance, contact us at info@hdch.org.

Transcripts & Service Hours

HDCH Co op Program:  Placements for 2020-2021

Beginning after Family Day and into March, Mr. Van Egmond looks forward to talking to all students who are planning to do a Co op next year, so the planning for an exceptional placement experience can begin. All students who plan to do a placement next year are asked to complete a Co op Info Survey.

Please take 5 minutes to complete this short survey by Monday, February 24. Once your survey is submitted, he will be in touch to set up a follow-up conversation to start exploring your options. Thanks to all the students who have already completed this!

A link to the Co op Info Survey (2020-21) can be found on the Co op Edsby page or here >>.


Transcripts

Student transcripts for OUAC and OCAS will be updated shortly after first semester exams. It is very important for students to check their online accounts for accuracy. Students who are enrolled in independent studies or correspondence courses must check their accounts to make sure that all credits are accounted for. Students should ensure that any external (AMDEC, Red Hill, ARCT, GELA, Gary Allen, etc.) marks are reported to Student Services.


Checking online accounts

Most students have completed their initial applications through OUAC and OCAS. It is important for all applicants to check their email and online accounts for information on supplementary applications, residence, and financial aid. Remember that most schools require students to register or to log-in to unique on-line accounts. Log-in information is usually provided via an acknowledgment email.


Admission Decisions

Admissions decisions: most colleges and universities are currently in the middle of their admission reviews. Some students will receive offers in the coming weeks, others may not receive an offer until second-semester mid-terms have been received. Students shouldn’t panic if they have not yet received an offer; the majority of offers are released in late April or early May.


March Break Open Houses

Most colleges and universities have spring / March break open house/visits days. These are great opportunities for students to check out campus life before making final decisions. Check with the admissions/recruitment office of the individual institutions, or drop by StuServ for help.


Service Hours

All students, particularly those in grade 12, are reminded to submit records of accumulated service hours to the office as soon as possible. The deadline for graduating students to submit 40 hours is May 30.
Visit  hdch.org/resources/service-hours for instructions on paperless recording.

Applications & More

Apply Now: The Kenton Van Pelt Memorial Scholarship

The application deadline for the VanPelt Bursary is approaching. The Kenton Van Pelt Memorial Scholarship is awarded to students who desire to pursue and extend, Kenton’s people-oriented vision of hope and transformation.

The award is intended to help defray the cost of mission and service opportunities. The ideal candidate will be an energetic person with a demonstrated commitment to service and a desire to deepen their faith in God.

Deadline in Jan. 30, 2020. For complete application details, please visit our website.


Ontario University Applications.

Most students have completed their initial applications through OUAC and OCAS. It is important for all applicants to check their email and online accounts for information on supplementary applications, residence, and financial aid. Remember that most schools require students to register or to log-in to unique on-line accounts. Log-in information is usually provided via an acknowledgment email.


Ontario College Application deadline

The deadline for application to most Ontario college programs is Feb. 1st

Students do not need a password or PIN, but they will need to create an account. Applications are made online through the Ontario College Application Service @ www.ontariocolleges.ca  . Application help workshops will continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays through the next two weeks.


Transcripts

Student transcripts for OUAC and OCAS will be updated shortly after first semester exams. It is very important for students to check their online accounts for accuracy. Students who are enrolled in independent studies or correspondence courses must check their accounts to make sure that all credits are accounted for. Students should ensure that any external (AMDEC, Red Hill, ARCT, GELA, Gary Allen, etc.) marks are reported to Student Services.


Admission Decisions

Admissions decisions: most colleges and universities are currently in the middle of their admission reviews. Some students will receive offers in the coming weeks, others may not receive an offer until second semester mid-terms have been received. Students shouldn’t panic if they have not yet received an offer; the majority of offers are released in late April or early May.


Christian University Applications

Applications for many Christian universities, including Calvin, Dordt, and Redeemer, will continue to be received and reviewed on a rolling basis. It’s not too late to apply!


Venture

HDCH is proud to invite applications from interested students in grade 9 for our exciting Venture program. The Venture program complements the existing cooperative education program by expanding and extending vocational explorations into grades 10 and 11. This year, we will accept up to 20 applications from students entering grade 10. We will be hosting a community information evening on Wed. Jan. 29 in the HDCH library. Please join us!

Exams & Course Selections

Summative (Exam) Week

Tuesday, January 21 – Friday, January 24
Period 1 Exams or Summative Tasks are on Tuesday, Period 2 on Wednesday, and so on.

Please note that not all classes have Summative Week tasks. The full exam schedule (including exam room locations) is available here. More details on the exam days–when to arrive, what to do–will be coming in early January.

Exam Schedule >>
Exam Instructions >>


Course selection

Although it may seem soon to be thinking about next year, it’s never too early to start planning! It is important that parents and guardians are involved in the process of course selection, helping students keep in mind their goals for the future, graduation requirements, and their particular gifts and passions.

This year, our course selection process will be slightly different than in previous years.
In the coming weeks, HD staff will be developing concept timetables for the next two academic years. With this information, students will be able to have a clear and stable plan for academic planning through 2021/2022. We will still be using myblueprint.ca to enter course selections, but we will be able to complete these selections later in the academic year.

Parents will receive a reminder email that includes log-in information for myblueprint.ca. For the full details of our program, please look over our 2020-2021 Course Calendar, available under the “Resources” section of our web site. For other helpful resources on Course Selection, visit the Student Services group on EDSBY.


Apply Now: The Kenton Van Pelt Memorial Scholarship

The application deadline for the VanPelt Bursary is approaching. The Kenton Van Pelt Memorial Scholarship is awarded to students who desire to pursue and extend, Kenton’s people-oriented vision of hope and transformation.

The award is intended to help defray the cost of mission and service opportunities. The ideal candidate will be an energetic person with a demonstrated commitment to service and a desire to deepen their faith in God.

For complete application details, please visit our website.


Ontario University Application deadlines

The deadline for Ontario University applications through the OUAC (Ontario Universities Application Centre) is Jan. 15, 2020.

Most students have completed their initial applications through OUAC and OCAS. It is important for all applicants to check their email and online accounts for information on supplementary applications, residence, and financial aid. Remember that most schools require students to register or to log-in to unique on-line accounts. Log-in information is usually provided via an acknowledgment email.


Ontario College Application deadline

The deadline for application to most Ontario college programs is Feb. 1st

Students do not need a password or PIN, but they will need to create an account. Applications are made online through the Ontario College Application Service @ www.ontariocolleges.ca  . Application help workshops will continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays through the next two weeks.


Transcripts

Student transcripts for OUAC and OCAS will be updated shortly after first semester exams. It is very important for students to check their online accounts for accuracy. Students who are enrolled in independent studies or correspondence courses must check their accounts to make sure that all credits are accounted for. Students should ensure that any external (AMDEC, Red Hill, ARCT, GELA, Gary Allen, etc.) marks are reported to Student Services.


Admission Decisions

Admissions decisions: most colleges and universities are currently in the middle of their admission reviews. Some students will receive offers in the coming weeks, others may not receive an offer until second semester mid-terms have been received. Students shouldn’t panic if they have not yet received an offer; the majority of offers are released in late April or early May.


Christian University Applications

Applications for many Christian universities, including Calvin, Dordt, and Redeemer, will continue to be received and reviewed on a rolling basis. It’s not too late to apply!


Venture

HDCH is proud to invite applications from interested students in grade 9 for our exciting Venture program. The Venture program complements the existing cooperative education program by expanding and extending vocational explorations into grades 10 and 11. This year, we will accept up to 20 applications from students entering grade 10. We will be hosting a community information evening on Wed. Jan. 29 in the HDCH library. Please join us!

Upcoming Deadlines

Ontario Universities & Colleges
Students are reminded that applications for Ontario universities and Ontario colleges are Jan. 15 and Feb. 1 2019, respectively.

Students should be aware that the application centre servers tend to get VERY busy in the last weeks of the application cycle. Save yourself the stress and get the applications done before Christmas. Lunchtime workshops continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Students who have already applied should keep an eye out for emails from admitting institutions regarding unique account profiles and potential supplementary documentation/processes.


Christian Universities
Students considering post-secondary studies at Christian universities and at public universities outside Ontario should review the application procedures for the individual institution. A couple of reminders:

  1. Most Christian universities will waive application fees if the applications are received before a specific date (check with the individual school for the deadline);
  2. Students applying to American schools often have earlier application/consideration deadlines;
  3. Students applying to many American schools are required to complete some form of standardized admission test. Check with Student Services for dates and tests.

Upcoming visits and dates:

  • Redeemer University College application and admissions support workshop with Justine Dyk on Dec. 2 (details TBA)
  • Redeemer Act 5 (“gap” year) Program information session, Dec. 18 (details TBA)

Take our Kids to Work Day

Take our kids to Work Day ~ Nov 6th

Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, is National Take Our Kids to Work day. As in the past few years, grade nine students are encouraged to spend the day “shadowing” their parents (or relatives or family friends) at their places of employment. This has been an amazing day for our grade nine students in past years, helping them to go “deeper in and further out.”

Grade nine classes will be canceled for that day so that students can make the most of this opportunity.

If you haven’t already, please fill out the consent form (this will also available as a link on the EDSBY Student Services group) and return it to the main office.

If you would like more information, please check out the Learning Partnership website .


Liaison Visits

Student Services has arranges liaison visits. Continue to check the schedule here >>

Student Services

Information Evening for Parents of Graduating Students
October 29th @ 7pm

Student Services is pleased to host the popular annual Information Evening for Parents of Graduating Students. This evening event is designed to help parents negotiate the sometimes confusing process of post-secondary planning and application. A sample of topics for the evening includes:

We’ll be as practical as possible at this event; we’ll get some hands-on experience with applications and we’ll talk about next steps.

This event is primarily designed for parents of this year’s graduates; we’ll be inviting grade 11 parents to a broader, “big-sky” planning conversation in the spring.

Parents of grade 12s – Please check your inboxes in the coming weeks for a special email invitation!


Liaison Visits

Student Services has arranges liaison visits. Continue to check the schedule here >>


Take our kids to Work Day ~ Nov 6th

One month until Take A Kid to Work Day.

Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, is National Take Our Kids to Work day. As in the past few years, grade nine students are encouraged to spend the day “shadowing” their parents (or relatives or family friends) at their places of employment. This has been an amazing day for our grade nine students in past years, helping them to go “deeper in and further out.”

Grade nine classes will be canceled for that day so that students can make the most of this opportunity.

Next Friday, your son or daughter will bring home a consent form for participation in the day; please fill out the consent form (this will also available as a link on the EDSBY Student Services group) and return it to the main office.

If you would like more information, please check out the Learning Partnership website .

Post-Secondary Info Night

Information Evening for Parents of Graduating Students
October 29th @ 7pm

Student Services is pleased to host the popular annual Information Evening for Parents of Graduating Students. This evening event is designed to help parents negotiate the sometimes confusing process of post-secondary planning and application. A sample of topics for the evening includes:

We’ll be as practical as possible at this event; we’ll get some hands-on experience with applications and we’ll talk about next steps.

This event is primarily designed for parents of this year’s graduates; we’ll be inviting grade 11 parents to a broader, “big-sky” planning conversation in the spring.

Parents of grade 12s – Please check your inboxes in the coming weeks for a special email invitation!


Liaison Visits

Student Services has arranges liaison visits. Continue to check the schedule here >>