World Autism Day – April 2nd – Wear Blue, DGH!

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World Autism day is on Thursday, April 2nd.  We provided information about World Autism Day in a previous post.


We are asking DGH students and staff to wear blue on Thursday, April 2nd.  DGH – let’s aim for almost EVERY SINGLE school member wearing blue!


The challenge is out there, Dr. George Hall Public School!

National Gallery of Canada Distance Learning Program – Mrs. Karklins’ Class

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Mrs. Karklins’s grade 4 class will be participating in a Long Distance Learning program with The National Gallery of Canada on April 8th.  It is a program offered for elementary and high school students free of charge.  The interactive program delivers, via webinar, a range of artworks for viewing, as well as exploring curriculum-linked themes.  Our program theme will focus on Spaces and Places.  How does the setting add to the story?  Mrs. Karklins’ class will be exploring different environments in artworks, from interiors to landscapes.

This is a great example of how technology is changing the face of learning.  Even 15 years ago the only way to access works of art at the National Gallery was either through a visit or through a book.  Today, our students will experience the National Gallery in a far more interesting and easier way!

World Autism Day – April 2nd – Light It Up Blue

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Parents, guardians and students, do not forget that Thursday, April 2nd is World Autism Day.  The day has been officially recognized by the United Nations to recognize and grow understanding of autism.


How can you get involved?  Learn more about autism by checking out the link below.  Replace a light bulb(s) in your home with a blue light bulb (especially an outside light!).  By 2012, Autism Speaks Light It Up Blue campaign continued to raise awareness worldwide. Nearly 3000 structures in over 600 cities, 45 countries and on 6 continents illuminated in blue to shine a bright light on autism.


What is Autism?


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. With the May 2013 publication of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual, all autism disorders were merged into one umbrella diagnosis of ASD. Previously, they were recognized as distinct subtypes, including autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified(PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome.

ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art.

Autism appears to have its roots in very early brain development. However, the most obvious signs of autism and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between 2 and 3 years of age. Autism Speaks continues to fund research on effective methods for earlier diagnosis, as early intervention with proven behavioral therapies can improve outcomes. Increasing autism awareness is a key aspect of this work and one in which our families and volunteers play an invaluable role.


How Common is Autism?


Autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 68 children as on the autism spectrum–a ten-fold increase in prevalence in 40 years. Careful research shows that this increase is only partly explained by improved diagnosis and awareness. Studies also show that autism is four to five times more common among boys than girls. An estimated 1 out of 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism.

ASD affects  tens of millions worldwide. Moreover, government autism statistics suggest that prevalence rates have increased 10 to 17 percent annually in recent years. There is no established explanation for this continuing increase, although improved diagnosis and environmental influences are two reasons often considered.

Spirit Day – THIS Friday – Favourite Colour Day!

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DGH’s very popular Spirit Days are back THIS Friday (March 27)!  The Student Leadership Council has set the Spirit Day as WEAR YOUR FAVOURITE COLOUR DAY!  This Spirit Day is always a success and the school will be rainbow of colours!


I know that I will be wearing my favourite colour on Friday (which definitely will not be brown!!!).


Students – the challenge is out there!  Let’s have HUGE participation on this Spirit Day!



Write to Give – Mrs. Karklins’ Class

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The Write to Give Program is dedicated to empowering young children in their reading and writing skills and at the same time giving back to students and teachers in Developing Nations.  Students get a chance to work with other students by contributing to a published fiction or non-fiction text.  Mrs. Karklins’ class was selected to be a part of Book #9 on Fairness.  The beginning of the book was assigned to Nelson Mandela P.S. school in Brampton, Ontario. They developed the beginning of the book, introducing exciting characters such as Prince Jack and Princess Amani.  Once their introduction to the story was done it was passed along to our class.  Our challenge was to come up with a problem for the main characters.  By introducing a few new characters (Goby the Troll, Rozottio the White Knight and Unfair Queen) the story came to life with high adventure and drama.  Once we submitted our part, the story went on to a school in the Grand Cayman Islands for the writing of the solution and ending.  The illustrations will be done by yet another participating school somewhere in the world!  Along with the fun of being part of an international writing and storytelling initiative, we also get a chance to learn about Africa and our participating schools.  Our published book is available for purchase in advance for the low price of $15.00.  Students in participating classes will be named as co-authors in the final published book and will also be offered on!  All proceeds from the sale of our book will go towards supporting students and teachers in Kenya through the World Teachers Aid Program.

Huskies’ Lounge Shout-Out!

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DGH parents and guardians, did you know that Ms. Thurston and Ms. Cayley donate their time to run a “Huskies’ Lounge” almost every 2nd recess?

The Huskies’ Lounge is a currently unused classroom that has been re-purposed to provide a safe, alternative recess space for grade 7 and 8 students to hang-out during 2nd recess. What might you find in the Huskies’ Lounge?  There are a number of comfortable couches and chairs for students to enjoy, a foosball game, air hockey, board games and other activities.  The furniture and games were obtained through a Speak Up grant that was intiated by Ms. Thurston, Ms. Cayley and a group of grade 7 and 8 students. It is a tecnology free zone where students can socialize in a positve manner with each other.

It is a spot for students to relax and hang-out with friends with no pressure.  Students who might not normally socialize together do so in the Huskies’ Lounge in a no pressure environment (which is a great thing!).  All grade 7 or 8 student are welcome to visit.  Students can sign up for Huskies’ Lounge or drop in during 2nd recess.

Thank you to Ms. Cayley and Ms. Thurston for operating the Huskies’ Lounge!  Given the number of students who are always there (and competition for the passes), it is clearly a popular place for intermediate students to be!

Husky Lounge 1 Husky Lounge 3

Grade 8 Grad Photos

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Break out the shirt and ties, grade 8 boys!  A definite sign that the 2014-2015 school year is rapidly coming to a close is grade 8 photos!  Grad photos take place on:


Wednesday, April 1st


This is no joke, either!


An information card has either gone home, or will be going home soon with suggestions on the best colours of clothing to wear for the photo.  This is a photo that families will keep forever, so you want to look the best that you can!


Parents and guardians, we are given lots of advance notice so that any appointments or absences on this day can hopefully be avoided.

March 25 – Elmira Chicken Orders Pickup Date – Grades 6, 7 and 8

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Parents and guardians of students in grades 6, 7 and 8 – the Elmira Chicken Orders Pickup Date is Wednesday, March 25th from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the front foyer of the school.

Thank you for your generous support, DGH community, of students selling these chicken products.  All of the profits raised by individual students stay with that student and go towards their year-end trip.  For some of our students this represents a major portion of their end of the year trip cost.

Unfortunately, do we not have freezer space at the school to store the chicken.  If you are unable to do the pickup on that date, please make arrangements for a relative or family friend to do so.

As always, thanks to Ms. Graham for organizing this fundraising.  She organizes it from start to finish (from booking the fundraiser to overseeing the distribution of the chicken on March 25th).

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