Heads Up

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Boarding Update and Reminders

Dear Boarding families,

The UCC Boarding team is eagerly anticipating the arrival of your son. We know there’s an emotional hurdle you’re preparing to cross, and we’re here to ensure a smooth transition from your family home to the place your son will call home from September to June.

Generations of students have been living in the residences known as Wedd’s and Seaton’s on the UCC campus since 1932. This past spring, 27 boarders graduated as members of the Leaving Class of 2019. Some of those boys lived in residence for five years. Seaton’s and Wedd’s became more than their home away from home. The boys developed friendships that will last a lifetime and made full commitments to all aspects of school life. In the coming weeks, we look forward to introducing your son to boys who are coming from all corners of the world. We look forward to preparing them for the academic challenges on the horizon, as well as the rich co-curricular opportunities that will stimulate their passion for learning.

When everyone is settled in there will be 88 students. Thirty boys will be brand new to UCC with new students coming to us from China, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Mauritania, South Korea, Germany, Iran, England, New Zealand, Sweden, Indonesia, the United States and Canadian cities inside and outside Ontario.

Almost every veteran boarder has volunteered to be on hand when new students arrive. Every veteran remembers being unsettled during the opening days and wants to be on hand to help with the adjustment. There are 17 faculty members living on campus that participate fully in the supervision and development of your son’s academic and co-curricular passions.

A graduating student once enlightened me with this perspective of the boarding family: “When you come into this world, you don’t get to choose your brothers, sisters, and parents. In boarding, you have 87 brothers and 17 boarding parents to choose from.”

The friends you live with in boarding become “brothers for life,” and faculty members you see in the evenings and on weekends become “mentors for life.”

New boarders will move into Seaton’s and Wedd’s between 9 and 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 1. They’ll participate in a program that runs daily through Wednesday, Sept 4. I want to thank the veteran senior boarders for making their way back to campus on Saturday to assist with the delivery of the “New to Blue” program.

The second part of this message is meant to serve as a reminder for all boarders and parents that the UCC school day isn’t complete when classes are dismissed at 3:30 p.m. We’ve successfully integrated a program to provide boys with a healthy outlet from academic study at the end of the school day. It’s our goal to have all boys develop new skills and experiences that will lead to healthy lifestyle development and the opportunity to meet new friends in the day and boarding communities.

It would be appreciated if every family could have a discussion about the co-curricular activities that your son could pursue during the coming school year. The boarding program requires every boy to participate in a major co-curricular activity during two of the three terms. The details of the expectation are as follows:

  • All boys must participate in a major co-curricular activity in two terms out of three. A school-level sport (not house sport) or theatre production meet the time requirement needed to fulfill the expectation.
  • All boys must participate in a sport/theatre production during the fall term and then may choose a co-curricular activity in either of the next two terms. Some boys will choose to participate in major commitments during all three terms. The only exception to this rule will be for boys with a demonstrated track record of participating in a major sport or theatre production in the winter and spring term.

As a longstanding member of the faculty and the university counseling office, I stand by the reasons we believe boys need two terms of co-curricular involvement:

  • Time management and organizational skills will be enhanced.
  • A healthy balance of work and exercise will be achieved. We believe boys work better in the evenings when they’ve removed themselves physically and emotionally from the daily academic schedule.
  • A healthy change of pace helps boys sleep and work better because they can develop a true passion for an activity that gives them a reason to get moving each day.
  • Participation in a major after-school activity allows boarders to develop new friendships with day students.
  • Entry to university has never been more competitive. Strong academic results won’t guarantee entry to schools or programs of choice. Queen’s University, Western University and the University of British Columbia are three Canadian universities that require student essays to be written as part of the application process. Participation in a major co-curricular activity gives UCC students an opportunity to write strong supplementary admission essays about their well-rounded development and why they’re a good bet for long-term success.

The senior house advisers are excited about the prospect of helping your son’s development inside and outside the classroom. I need to be clear that participation in the after-school program isn’t an option. We track the participation of each boy during the fall term. If a boy doesn’t meet the UCC boarding expectation there will be communication with the family. At the end of each school year, we review co-curricular participation as criteria for promotion to the next grade level. Don’t hesitate to speak to your son’s senior house adviser if you have any questions.

I know some boys will feel anxious about the prospect of making a major after-school commitment. The senior house advisers have a lot of experience guiding students along this path.

Please call or email me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Andrew D. Turner
Director of Residential Life
Upper Canada College
416-488-1125, ext. 2500
aturner@ucc.on.ca