Celebrity chef shows students that cafeteria food can be healthy AND delicious

Celebrity Chef Corbin Tomaszeski and Chartwells School Dining recently undertook a project to add some new, exciting and tasty recipes to Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) high school cafeterias.

Hospitality & Tourism and Culinary Arts classes from SCDSB high schools were invited to create and submit a healthy pasta recipe. The winning recipe, Veggie Mac and Cheese, meets the requirements of the Ministry of Education’s Healthy Food & Beverage policy and was reviewed by Chartwells’ dietitian.

Congratulations to the winning students who created the recipe – Nantyr Shores Secondary School students Ciara Hustler, Sierra Osterhout and Emily Glue.

During the school’s lunch hour on April 21, Nantyr Shores students had the chance to try a number of new recipes, including the winning pasta recipe, mango coleslaw, healthy poutine, chicken and beef savoury pot pies, and a Nanaimo bar dessert. The students gave their immediate feedback on the dishes and the most popular ones will be added to school cafeterias across Simcoe County.

Looks like the students enjoyed the new dishes as most of the food was gone by the end of the hour!


SCDSB staff participate in professional learning with the National Council of Canadian Muslims

In February, 100 SCDSB elementary and secondary educators took part in two full-day workshops hosted by the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM).  The first day included principals and teachers from elementary and secondary schools in Bradford, Alliston and Innisfil areas and was held at Chris Hadfield PS in Bradford.  The second day, held at the Education Centre in Midhurst, included teachers from the Equity and Inclusion for All inquiry group and other staff.

Participants learned through the following sessions:
  • Islam 101
  • Islamophobia: Impacts in the classroom & our schools
  • Inclusive Schools

“We were thrilled to partner with the NCCM to provide education and training to some of our teaching and administrative staff,” says Daryl Halliday, Superintendent of Education, SCDSB. “Representatives from the NCCM travelled from Ottawa to provide workshops that offered insight and generated important discussions. This is another example of how we are focusing on inclusion and equity for all and on safe environments in our schools.”

The SCDSB will be welcoming the NCCM’s return in May, as all system administrators will be participating in their Islamophobia workshop.

The NCCM is a prominent civil liberties and advocacy organization with over 15 years of professional activism and public service in Canada, working in the areas of human rights and civil liberties, media engagement, public advocacy, community outreach and education.

For more information on workshops provided by the NCCM, please visit: https://www.nccm.ca/connect/training/

Twin Lakes musical production inspires future students

Twin Lakes Secondary School’s production of Legally Blonde closed its final curtain on Saturday, April 8. Before opening night, the high school hosted two matinee performances for the elementary school students who will one day attend Twin Lakes. Approximately 550 students from eight feeder elementary schools came to the matinee shows.

“The matinees are an excellent time to finalize any details before opening night, but more importantly it provides an opportunity for future students to see some of the ways that you can become involved at Twin Lakes,” says Sally Holdsworth, director.

Holly Kehoe, who played Elle Woods in the production, was once a member of the audience for several elementary school matinees.

“I remember watching Footloose and Thunderglee when I was in Grade 7 and 8 at Harriett Todd Public School,” says Kehoe. “I remember watching the productions and wanting to be up on the stage someday, but never thought I would have enough courage to do so. I recommend to anyone that is interested in being a part of a production to just go for it!  Everyone’s role is important and being part of something like this is so special and rewarding!”

The opportunity to watch the production made a big impact for the Grade 8 students in attendance.

“Coming to see Legally Blonde allows students to see the size and the scope of the Music and Drama departments at Twin Lakes and helps with their transition to high school,” says Karen Ross, Grade 8 teacher, Rama Central Public School.

Kim Varey, a graduate of Twin Lakes and a Grade 7/8 teacher at Brechin Public School, recalls the excitement that the Grade 8 students felt after watching the production.

“A number of students commented on the sets and thought it would be neat to be a part of it from a design and art perspective. A few even noticed the sound and media elements and thought that they would like to contribute technically,” says Varey. “In speaking with one student on the bus ride home, he plays bass guitar and he saw himself possibly having a future role in the pit band.”

Here’s to the next generation of actors, musicians and sound/lighting technicians at Twin Lakes SS!

Commit to Character: Optimism

The SCDSB’s 10 values are a key part of our commitment to character education. We refer to our values as our character attributes. Each month our schools recognize and celebrate a different attribute. This month on the blog, we are highlighting ‘optimism’.

Optimism: We maintain a positive attitude and have hope for the future

Some examples of how we can show optimism are:

  • staying motivated even when things don’t go well
  • when something bad happens, think about what you could do to avoid similar bad outcomes in the future
  • believing that hard work will pay off
  • make the best of all situations
  • focus on the positives instead of the negatives

Some ways that students in our schools learn about and develop optimism include:

  • identify and share songs that have an upbeat tone and a positive, uplifting message
  • have students to set an optimistic goal for their school year. Its focus could be: achievement, contribution to school, work completion, involvement in co-curricular activities

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Learn more about character education in the SCDSB. 

Immunizations – it’s always time to update your child’s record

Many families don’t know that they need to update the health unit every time their child receives a new immunization from their health care provider. Having an up-to-date student immunization record on file with the health unit is required for every student. If this information is not provided to the health unit, students may be suspended from school. That’s why we’re sending out a reminder to parents to update student immunization records now.

What information is required?

All students in elementary and secondary school must have proof of up-to-date immunizations for their age according to the provincial publicly-funded schedule for the following:

  • Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis, and Polio;
  • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella;
  • Meningococcal disease;
  • Chickenpox (varicella).

Note: two-doses of the chickenpox (varicella) vaccine are required for all students born in 2010 or later.

You can also visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s website to see a copy of the recommended immunization schedule. If your child will not be getting these vaccines, you must provide the health unit with a valid medical exemption or affidavit.

Follow these steps to help protect everyone in your school community:

  • CHECK your child’s yellow immunization card.
  • CONTACT your health care provider to get a record or to get missing vaccines.
  • SHARE the complete record with us at www.smdhu.org/immsonline or fax the record to the health unit at 705-726-3962.

If you have any questions about your child’s vaccinations, give Health Connection a call at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520. The nurses can help make sure your child is immunized according to the recommended schedule and their records are up-to date.


~Stephanie Ross RN

Follow the Healthy Schools team on Twitter @SMHealthySchool