COVID-19 update: Temporary school closure


 

Dear Parents & Guardians,

As you might be aware, the Ministry of Education is closing all publicly-funded schools for the weeks following March Break as a precaution to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19. We think it is prudent for us to do so as well.

Therefore, YMCA Academy will be closed during the weeks of March 23-27, and March 30 – April 3. In order to support continued student learning, however, we are developing a strategy and schedule for students to continue classes through Google Classroom sites. Teachers will be available on their sites to support student learning, to give lessons, to assess, and to answer questions. We are presently developing the schedule for these online meetings.

I will communicate details about the plan as they are developed over the next few days. In the meantime, please stay safe and enjoy the rest of March Break.

Don Adams
Head of School

Academy Dance Committee Events

The YMCA Academy’s very own Dance Committee helped to organize two awesome dances so far this school year! We held a Winter Dance on December 19th. There was lots of candy, gingerbread house making and karaoke. Special catering was provided by alumni-run catering startup “Setonah Catering 2k19”. We held an Academy Alumni Group meeting before hand, so lots of alumni showed up to the dance which was great! The second dance was on February 13 with a Palentines (note: not Valentines) themed dance. We switched rooms from the auditorium to a smaller room where we could turn the lights off completely.

The set-up of the dance looked very cool! There were fairy lights and a black light that made everyone in the room wearing white glow! Somehow, skipping rope was made out of glow sticks and students (and teachers) attempted to jump rope. Pizza was provided as well as delicious snacks made by the fabulous Cooking Club. If this sounds like fun to you, please be in touch with Zoe or Dayna to join the Dance Committee or to attend a future dance. We are hoping to hold the next Academy dance in the Spring! We hope to see as many of you there as possible!

Check out more photos from this event on our Facebook page!

The Academy Show!

Again this year, the afternoon of the last day of classes in December features an exciting annual tradition: the Academy Show! Students were once again encouraged to pair up or collaborate in groups, and in total, twelve acts shared their passions and talents with the school community. From popular songs to dance performances to original spooky Christmas stories, and even a Shakespearan monologue, the performers’ courage and creativity was a delight to witness.

Our student MCs — Ali, Alex, and Dot — not only introduced the performers, but also kept us entertained with jokes and skits between acts. There was even a special performance by Brandon and Todd, who had been rehearsing their rendition of “I Do” from Bob’s Burgers, all week.

We hope that seeing their peers (and teachers) get up on the makeshift stage inspires even more students to sign up next year!

Check out more photos from this event on our Facebook page!

The Shoebox Project for Women

This November the YMCA Academy embraced the spirit of giving and ran its second annual Shoebox Project initiative.

Our school came together to first learn about the issue of homelessness in Toronto and Canada and then to do our part to support members of our community in need. In advisory groups, students brainstormed what gifts might help women feel special and devised a plan to purchase all of the items. Each group carefully decorated a shoebox, wrote a card with an inspiring message, and filled their box with thoughtful gifts.

The Shoebox Project for Women operates throughout Canada and the United States, delivering gift-filled shoeboxes to women in need. In Toronto the shoeboxes are distributed to women accessing a variety of services such as the YMCA Women’s Shelter, CAMH, Native Women’s Resource Centre, Covenant House etc. The aim of the project is to remind women that they have not been forgotten and that they are a valued and respected member of their community.

Once again this project raised some questions among our youth about homelessness and about the unique challenges faced by women and girls and provided excellent learning opportunities. It encouraged our students to foster empathy and to be engaged citizens. It also promoted collaboration among our students who had to work together to complete the various tasks and achieve their goals.

Our students and their families were very generous and even though we only have 8 advisory groups, we had enough donations to put together 19 boxes! Our shoeboxes contributed to the over 57,000 total boxes delivered in Canada, the USA and the UK for the 2019 holiday season. Thanks again to everyone who helped make this another successful project!

Check out more photos from this event on our Facebook page!

Academy Hosts Workshop About Healthy Eating

students in classroom participating in presentation

Last Friday, the Academy’s Grade 11/12 Workplace English class and Food and Nutrition class took part in a workshop about healthy eating, and about how millions and millions of animals are being killed for the food that we eat. Tracey Timmins from the Educated Choices Program explained what we consider food and what we do not consider food, and the health risks of food.

Tracy talked about how animals were slowly being led into slaughterhouses to be killed for food. She also talked about how killing animals can have major impacts on the environment. “It’s important to learn where food comes from,” says Russell, an English student. “It made me feel more motivated to make changes in my daily life to save the environment.”

It is really important to learn these things so you know where your food is coming from. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat meat. You can have a balance with meat and things that are not meat. If you feel like you don’t want to eat meat, that is your choice, but this is something that you should know about. “I feel like we organized this, because students everywhere need to learn about animals, and why we need food every day to survive,” says Lucas, another English student. This presentation is helpful, because it teaches everyone how to live a better life and feel happier.

The presentation happened so that we could learn how to eat healthy and save the environment. It’s important because the presenter talked about how we should eat less meat and more healthy foods. “I think this topic is very important because we are killing animals for our food and it is also having an impact on our diet and health,” says Russell.

“I felt sad and angry at the same time,” says Lucas. “I felt like I had to take action by following Tracy’s presentation facts and details of making the world a better place.”

A student named Cole concluded, “The presentation impacted me, because even though animals do get killed for food, it’s wrong to just take a bunch of animals into a horrible place and just murder them. I also think that we should take a stand. Animals are nature. Without nature, there won’t be anymore animals to take care of. I realized when I was watching this presentation that I can choose to eat less meat and more plant-based things.”

– By the Grade 11/12 Workplace English class