Heads Up

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Message from Andrew Turner, director of residential life

Mr. Andrew Turner, Director of Residential Life

Mr. Andrew Turner, Director of Residential Life

Dear boarding parents,

I hope everyone has completed all the planning necessary to start a successful school year. Renovations to the first floor of Seaton’s and Wedd’s are in the final stages; boys in both houses will be impressed with changes to bedrooms and the first floor common room space.

The boarding team is ready to meet and greet 29 new boarders who’ll arrive this weekend. New boarders who haven’t had English as a language of instruction will be involved in a one-day program facilitated by Mary Gauthier, executive director of the Wernham & West Centre for Learning, and Jody McLean, co-ordinator of the Senior Division Centre for Learning on Saturday from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. If you’re reading this message, and wonder if you should be participating because you’ve some concern about your son’s English language proficiency, please feel free to contact Tricia Rankin by e-mail at trankin@ucc.on.ca.

New boarders will begin moving into Seaton’s and Wedd’s at 9 a.m. on Sunday, August 31. Those boys will participate in a program that runs daily until Wednesday, September 3.  I want to thank the veteran senior boarders making their way back to residence on Friday and Saturday to assist with the delivery of the New to Blue program.

The second part of this message is designed to remind all boarders and parents that the UCC school day is not 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 community.

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 a theatre production meet the standard for time requirement needed to fulfil the expectation.
  • All boys must participate in a sport/theatre production during the fall term, and then may choose 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 long-standing member of the faculty and the University Counselling 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 have 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 reason to get moving each day
  • Participation in a major after-school activity allows boarders to develop new friendships with day boys
  • Entry to university has never been so competitive. Strong academic results will not guarantee entry to schools or programs of choice. Queen’s, Western University and University of British Columbia are three Canadian university examples 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 in required university essays why they are well-rounded secondary school students that are a good bet for long-term success.

The senior house advisers are excited about the prospect of working with your son. Everyone involved with UCC boarding wants to assist your son’s development inside and outside the classroom. I need to be clear that participation in the after-school program is not an option. We’ll closely track the participation of each boy during the fall term. If a boy does not meet the UCC boarding expectation we’ll make a phone call to the family. A letter will soon follow. If a student doesn’t participate regularly he could face a boarding suspension. At the end of each school year we’ll review co-curricular participation as a criteria for promotion to the next grade level.

I know there’ll be some boys that feel anxious about the prospect of making a major after-school commitment. The senior house advisers have much experience guiding students along this path. A graduating boarder once wrote the following in his closing statement, published in the College Times (yearbook): “I could have learned calculus anywhere; it was boarding and the after-school program that have given me friends for life.”

Please call/e-mail if you’ve any questions.

Sincerely,

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