Commit to Character: Respect

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 ‘respect’.

Respect: We treat ourselves, others and the environment with consideration and dignity


Some examples of how we can show respect are:

  • listening to others when they are speaking
  • not making fun of others
  • value the opinions of other people
  • don’t mock or tease
  • be sensitive to the feelings of others
  • show interest and appreciation for everyone and their ideas

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

  • having students work in groups to create collections of examples noting what respect looks like, feels like and sounds like
  • having students research the word respect in other languages and find out ways that respect is demonstrated in other cultures

“There is a longing among all people to have a sense of purpose and worth. To satisfy that common longing, we must respect each other.” – Chief Dan George

Learn more about character education in the SCDSB. 

Robots used at Georgian Bay District SS to teach coding to students

As part of a year-long Teacher Learning and Leadership Program, two teachers at Georgian Bay District Secondary School (GBDSS), Wendy Bumstead and Lisa Coughlin, provided a unique learning opportunity to a group of Grade 9 and 10 students. Sphero SPRK+ robots and an app called Lightning Lab were used to teach coding (computer programming).

In addition to learning how to code and program a robot, the high school students made visits to seven elementary schools in the area to teach Grade 8 students what they had learned. They gave the Grade 8 students a challenge of coding the robots themselves and inviting them to bring their projects to GBDSS. Presentations took place on Thursday, April 20 for their Sphero Coding Challenge Day.

“The day was amazing,” says Wendy Bumstead, Grade 9 and 10 science teacher at GBDSS. “The students went above and beyond our wildest expectations.”

Sphero coding projects such as mazes, golf courses, bowling and even complex machines (four Sphero robots coded and synchronized to work as wheels for a car) were presented by the students.

There were a few troubleshooting issues for some of the students, but they kept calm and persevered.

“Critical thinking and problem solving were all demonstrated throughout the event and in its preparation,” says Bumstead. “Overall, it was a successful day for both our elementary feeder schools and their mentor Grade 9 and 10 students.”

With the success of the day, they are already thinking about future events with the Sphero robots. What will the students decide to code next!?

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:

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!