Parent Association New Year’s Breakfast (AGM) 2024

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The Parent Association (PA) Annual General Meeting and New Year’s Breakfast was held on January 23, 2024 in the Daunt Dining Hall. We had over 90 parents join us to hear from our Head of School, Division Heads, Admissions, and the PA Executive team. We heard about all the fantastic work being done at each division, school activities and continuous learning for our children.

Our PA President and Vice President welcomed new PA Executive members and outlined exciting new roles for existing members. We also received updates on the upcoming PA social events planned from February to May. Our PA Treasurer presented the PA’s annual financials, and Ms. Ruscica from Advancement presented an overview of the Parent Association pledge and contributions to school. We were also thrilled to hear from Ms. Kanary on the Better Beginnings 2023 campaign results, thanks to the amazing contributions from the parents and the school community.

The event recording is available for viewing via our post under Edsby news river. Thank you all for your ongoing support. We look forward to seeing you and your family at the PA Family Skate Social in February.

Parent Association Welcome and Networking Breakfast 2023

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Thank you to all the parents for joining the Parent Association Welcome and Networking Breakfast on Tuesday, September 12, 2023. The event recording is available for viewing via our post under Edsby news river.

To keep up-to-date with PA events, please visit the PA Events webpage, and check your email and Edsby news river for more details on each event.

We look forward to seeing everyone again at the PA Coffee Socials in October.

Spring Concerts Showcase a Varied Musical Menu 

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The halls are alive with the sound of music at Bayview Glen School (BVG), once again. Actually, they are rarely ever silent! 

Months of early morning and after-school practices, dress rehearsals and painstaking preparation by students and music teachers resulted in a series of memorable recent performances. 

BVG’s annual tradition of Spring Concerts in the Upper School, Prep School and Lower School showcased the musical talents of students, bands, ensembles, soloists, vocalists and others while featuring a breadth of musical genre.  
 
The Upper School Spring Concert featured more than a dozen pieces, including a few popular tunes like Skyfall, the Pink Panther Theme song,and Bohemian Rhapsody, a classic from the band, Queen.  

It marked the last performance for many performers who will be graduating in 2023. 
The concert, which was held in the J.T.M. Guest Theatre before a full-house, was also the finale for Diane Drysdale, music teacher who has been filling in this school year and delayed her retirement to support BVG’s music program. 

Another highlight saw Michael Bellissimo, music teacher, Upper School feted by students, many of whom he has taught for the last four years.  

The Prep School Spring Concert featured a mixed musical menu as well, with something for everyone! Songs from Disney, the Jurassic Park theme and even some Irish music with a Celtic focus, highlighted the 70-minute concert. 

Under the direction of Chris Hunsberger, music teacher in the Prep School and Ms. Drysdale, the evening included performances by the Grade 7 and Grade 8 Bands, and the self-directed Upper School Woodwind Ensemble.   

The evening marked the last performance for many students, who will graduate to the Upper School in September and continue to their musical careers at BVG as high school students. 

The Prep School Spring Concert came on the heels of Grade 6 Music Night in early April where students provided their parents with a teaching, learning and performing twist. 

Learn more: 

Parents Face the Music During Grade 6 Music Night  

Online Safety and Responsibility: Speaker Series Focus

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(Source: Pexels)

In the more than 10 years he has been speaking to students, parents, educators and corporations about online safety, the core of Paul Davis’ message has not wavered — resonating even more so now.

“The internet never forgets,” says Davis, in advance of his upcoming visit to Bayview Glen School (BVG), as part of the Bayview Glen Parent Association Speaker Series.  

Research and evidence on the potential harmful effects of the digital world on youth continue to mount. These include impacts on mental health, sleep and self-esteem. 

“Understand HOW we got here and taking responsibility for what was given to children at such a young age,” says Davis, is part of what he hopes to convey to parents through his presentation. 

With more than 30 years of expertise as an IT professional, along with the lived experience of speaking to more than 700,000 young people, teachers and families in Canada and the United States, Davis believes much more education is still required across the board, with parents having a critical role to play. 

“Developing open and transparent relationships with kids on technological use moving forward, while not being afraid to say NO when they have to,” he says is key for parents in helping their kids cultivate a healthy and responsible relationship with technology.

During his return visit to BVG on Friday April 28th, Davis will address different grades during the day, and parents, separately, during an evening presentation. 

Davis, a father of two himself, says he often hears, “Never my child. I trust my child,” from parents. His response? “Technology is not a babysitting tool and there must be an investment of time and knowledge before giving a child a device.”

For parents, that also means clearly understanding what ownership of a mobile device entails and the responsibilities that accompany it before that device is handed to a child.

When it comes to young users of technology, Davis hopes to drive home one central message, “understanding that choices are permanent and ‘I didn’t mean to’ will not be accepted.” 

The Spring 2023 Bayview Glen Parent Association Speaker Series with Paul Davis takes place Friday April 28, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. 

This is a complimentary, parents/alumni-only event for the Bayview Glen community. 
Seating is limited.

Learn more and register here. 

Parents Face the Music During Grade 6 Music Night 

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Darren Kennedy was looking forward to a spring evening filled with music, courtesy of his daughter and other Grade 6 students at Bayview Glen (BVG).

“I was expecting to file into the auditorium, sit down and listen to a few songs the students had learned, then leave,” says Kennedy. 

He had no idea what would follow. 

“I wasn’t the only parent surprised — the entire parent audience went silent,” he says. 

About 20 minutes into the evening at the J.T.M. Guest Theatre at Moatfield Campus, the tables turned.  

Prep School music teachers, Chris Hunsburger and Diane Drysdale made an announcement that suddenly thrust the parent audience into action.

For Kennedy, that meant a whole new experience, on a few fronts. 

Darren Kennedy (right) takes clarinet lessons from his daughter (left) during Grade 6 Music Night at BVG.

“My daughter was very excited to teach me how to play her instrument, the clarinet, knowing I had zero exposure to musical instruments,” he says.

Grade 6 Music Night featured a role reversal. Students became teachers for 15 minutes, tasked with teaching their parents a song on the students’ instrument.

“She taught me how to put the clarinet together, hold it, where to put my fingers for the three notes we learned, what a half and whole note were and how to read them on the music sheet,” says Kennedy referring to his daughter’s instruction. “She then taught me how to play Hot Cross Buns!”

Each parent-student pairing was dismissed to one of four nearby locations where mini, impromptu music lessons took place. 

“I was very proud of how knowledgeable she was and her patience with me,” continues Kennedy. “She got the chance to make me do something I had never done before and call me by my first name, while I had to refer to her as Ms. Kennedy — transitioned to hilarity — as she watched me get red-faced as I couldn’t even get air into the instrument for the first five minutes, she sorted me out!” 

The experiential learning evening for parents, however, was far from over. Another twist was on the way! 

The student-teachers filed into the theatre seats, while their parents – more than 75 in all — assembled themselves on the stage for their debut performance. 

“We NAILED it (at least in my head we did!),” says Kennedy. 

And, as importantly, the performance met with his teacher’s approval. 

“She was very proud that I ended up learning to play Hot Cross Buns with no squeaks and perfect timing, and that I was willing to go on stage and perform with the other parents.” 

Chris Hunsburger, Head of Arts and Instrumental Music Teacher at BVG helps guide parents during Grade 6 Music Night.

The evening also included other lessons learned for Darren Kennedy.

“It is obvious that the Bayview Glen instrumental music teachers take pride in having an exceptional music program that students enjoy participating in,” he says. 

“Just to have the idea to have students teach their parents how to play their instrument AND have the parents come up to play what they learned, shows they are confident, fun, and not afraid to challenge those they teach — brilliant!” 

And one more thing he says, “I also learned first-hand that playing the clarinet is not as easy as I thought it would be!” 

Career Breakfast: Tuesday, February 28

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Join us for our third, and final Career Breakfast Speaker Series of this academic school year on Tuesday, February 28 at 7:30 a.m. Enjoy some hot chocolate, coffee and pastries while we shine the spotlight on Bayview Glen alumni focusing on Innovation and Engineering.

Saba Ketabchi Haghighat from the Class of 2016 is an Apple Watch Hardware Engineer based in California. Saba studied Biomedical engineering at the University of Waterloo and completed a number of internships and co-op opportunities before completing her degree. She has held the titles of Software Developer, Facial Rehabilitation Game Developer and Undergraduate Research Assistant in Toronto, France and California.

Konstantine Tsotsos from the Class of 2007, is a technical lead and manager on the Google AR Team where he leads teams of researchers and engineers in developing cutting-edge real-time 3D perception and sensor fusion technologies. His teams’ recent work includes the ARCore Depth and Environmental HDR Lighting APIs, along with other foundational ARCore capabilities. Prior to Google, he obtained his doctorate in computer science from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a focus on visual-inertial sensor fusion and his Bachelor of Applied Science in engineering science from the University of Toronto.

Daniel Mak from the Class of 2005 is General Partner, Strategic Growth at Awz Ventures, a Canadian-Israeli VC firm focused on commercial applications of innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based, deep-tech, cyber security, & intelligence technologies. He currently sits on the board of several startups in the cyber security and intelligence space such as Nanolock, as is the winner of multiple industry awards.

Join us to learn more about their professional journeys!

Students from both the Prep and Upper Schools, as well as their parents, are welcome to attend. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Adriana Dybala, Academic and Career Counsellor at adybala@bayviewglen.ca

Lifting the Curtain on BVG Players’ Drama Production 

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Take some mystery, add a dollop of disaster, a serving of silliness and a healthy heaping of humour and there you have it — what to expect in BVG Players’ upcoming production. 

“We wanted something a little different than was possible these past couple of years,” says Matthew Clark, Producing Director. “We wanted something light-hearted that we could connect to and were interested in more challenging sets, in particular,” says Mr. Clark who is also Department Head, Curriculum: Upper School English. 

The 60-member cast and crew of students is set to perform The Play That Goes 
Wrong (High School Edition) on February 23 and 24th in Bayview Glen School’s J.T.M. Guest Theatre at Moatfield Campus. (Tickets Here)

The1920’s whodunit piece will first be performed in front of fellow students, followed by a pair of evening shows for family members, friends and the BVG school community. 

The production is the crowning achievement of a journey that began almost 12 months ago. 

“In March of 2022, Mr. Clark started the Play Reading Committee where we individually read and shared plays we thought would be fun to put on for the following year,” recounts Katie Bhalla, Grade 12 student and Head of Props for this year’s show. “About once a month, we met and discussed the pros and cons of what production we were reading. Eventually we narrowed it down to a couple options, and after a lot of discussion with department leads and actors, we decided on The Play That Goes Wrong.” 

It marks the third time Katie has been involved in a BVG Players’ production. 
 
“The sets and props aspect of this play is very different than the previous productions I have been a part of,” she says. “As the show progresses, the set begins to fall apart and things grow more and more chaotic, so building a dynamic set was an exciting challenge for us to tackle. There were lots of props used which meant that we had to get creative when sourcing them, and we even made a few items like the cardboard barometer and the shield,” she says. 

“It’s the play that goes wrong, so if we do everything right, everything will go wrong,” adds Mr. Clark. “From lines to cues to set pieces and props, every aspect of this production will go wrong at some point or another. It has a far more complex set than any other production I remember us doing.” 

Like many of the cast and crew, planning, practices and the play process began when school started in September and has rarely stopped since. 

“We began calling crews in for rehearsals twice a week after school in November and December, and as we got closer to the actual performance date, rehearsals were three times a week until 6pm,” says Katie. “We also had rehearsals on Saturdays that started just before the winter break.” 

Many additional hours are also spent learning lines, developing characters and tweaking production elements. 

For Mr. Clark, who has been involved in BVG Players’ productions in some capacity for almost 15 years, this year’s play offered new learnings, on different levels, for all involved. 

“It’s a farce so there is a lot of physical comedy,” he says. “Specialists from Rapier Wit provided an introduction to stage combat and focused on doing everything safely for all involved. They also helped with fight direction, since there’s a swordfight, characters trip and drag and throw others around – but don’t worry, it’s all stage fighting so it looks more realistic than it is!” 

In addition to many of the unique attributes of this production, the process of more than five months of focused and dedicated effort has also been memorable. 

“What really stands out to me is just how much everyone loves being a part of it,” says Katie. “The actors are so into the production — there hasn’t been one rehearsal where I don’t hear someone laughing, and the backstage crew are such hard workers.” 

A worthwhile journey filled with new learnings.

“I won’t lie and say that being a part of the play isn’t tiring sometimes, and you will likely have to make some sacrifices, but seeing all the work you put in come to life on the production day is really worth it,” shares Katie. “You’ll most certainly make new friends from different grades, and the collaboration and leadership experience you gain is truly valuable.” 

Related video:

BVG Players

New Immersive Experiences Highlight Annual Winter Fun Day

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A popular, decades-long tradition at Bayview Glen School (BVG) took on a new look, feel and in one case — a new name — this year. 

“This was the first iteration of the Prep [School]’s ‘Snow Much Fun’ day, says Greg Ryerson, Director of Teaching and Learning, Prep School. The event was “reimagined and renamed” in 2023. 

For more than 20 years, Prep School (Grades 6 to 8) and Upper School (Grades 9 to 12) students have celebrated a day of fun, off-campus during the winter. 

“This is an important opportunity for students to be outdoors, spend time together without electronics, and engage in unstructured play,” says Mr. Ryerson, who was involved in organizing the day. “It did include curricular ties but more importantly it was a chance to be offsite and engaging in outdoor activities.”  

Grade 6 students visited the Toronto Zoo, Downsview Park was the venue of choice for Grade 7 classes, while Willowgrove Farm and Outdoor Education Centre hosted Grade 8 students for the day — in the beginning of February. 

“We selected a separate activity for each Grade, looking for curricular connections as well as opportunities to develop student leadership skills, focus on teambuilding, and incorporate outdoor play and exploration,” says Mr. Ryerson who accompanied the Grade 8 class. 
 
“A personal highlight from the Grade 8 trip was seeing the students interact with the farm animals — they really enjoyed that part of the day,” he says. “Having a nice mug of hot chocolate around the campfire at the end of the Grade 8 trip was a wonderful way to end the day.” 

For Upper School students, a new format was launched for their annual fun day, called WinterFest. 

“The purpose of the day is to build relationships with peers and teachers outside of classroom walls, discover new attractions in and around our wonderful city and try new experiences,” says Melanie Deeks, Health and Physical Education Department Head at BVG and main organizer of WinterFest for the Upper School.  

“This year, instead of one choice, students had nine choices,” adds Fiona Fenili, Head, Upper School. “Activities were presented in Assembly and students selected the one they were most interested in. From there we chose the most popular and did a formal registration.”  

The revised format and varied options proved to be a successful formula for the more than 270 Upper School students who took part. “An increase of 20% in participation is a highlight and shows that giving students choice is important,” says Ms. Fenili.  

Included on the WinterFest menu:  

  • Cooking Class at the Chef Upstairs 
  • Ice Hockey at Leaside Gardens   
  • Activate Arcade   
  • Skating at Nathan Philips’ Square West & Japanese Grill Lunch 
  • Gardiner Museum Ceramics    
  • K1 Speed Grand Prix  
  • Kensington Market Food Tour  
  • Escape Room Looking Glass Adventures & Greek Lunch on the Danforth 
  • Horseshoe Valley Resort   

And evidenced by the photos and reactions, these immersive, experiential, opportunities to connect out of the classroom with teachers, classmates, and staff — on a different level — achieved its goal, once again. 

 

BVG Players present ‘The Play That Goes Wrong (High School Edition)’

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We are excited to invite you to in-person performances of The Play That Goes Wrong (High School Edition) running in the J.T.M Guest Theatre for two nights only. Our Upper School students have had a lot of fun working on this production and are really looking forward to sharing it with you!

  • Thursday, February 23 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday, February 24 at 6:00 p.m.

Hitting all the Right Notes

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The sounds of music — holiday-style — filled the J.T.M Guest Theatre at Bayview Glen School (BVG) once again this month, for a trio of memorable shows. 

Performances by musicians and singers in the Lower School, Prep School and Upper School made a triumphant return — after a three-year forced absence. 

“For myself, concerts and performances are a place where we as a community can come together for a moment in time when everything stops as we share and celebrate with each other,” says Angela Mantie, Music Teacher at BVG and one of the music directors of the Lower School Winter Concert.

“It seems these moments are far and few between in our every busy lives. Music and the arts are a powerful vehicle for this to happen,” she says.

Lower School Winter Concert 2022

And there was plenty of evidence of just that on these special evenings. 

Mantie, along with fellow Lower School music teacher Ea-Ling Seun directed three different choirs (Grade 2, Primary and Junior) guiding the singing performances of more than 240 young voices. 

“We have the pure luxury of working with students pre-K through grade 5, supporting them as they develop and grow through music in a safe, caring environment,” says Mantie, who is in here fifth year at BVG and 26th as an educator. 

“Our shows embrace and embody our mission of Whole Child. Whole Life. Whole World. Because of this, students find their place in music making, be it acting/dancing/singing, reflecting who they are, and who they might eventually become,” she says. 

During the concert, Seun shared a teachable moment she encountered with her students — while preparing them for the performance. The goal was to help them understand the significance of their time and effort to deliver these live, in-person performances. 

“We spend more time at school than our own homes,” Seun said she explained to her students. “And this — BVG — might as well be called our home. This became a lightbulb moment for many of the students and the significance of this night became clear,” she shared. 

“Our last winter concert was in 2019,” Seun continued. “While we managed to have virtual performances during COVID to fill the time, they just weren’t the same.” 

The Lower School Winter Concert featured 11 songs, including festive-themed pieces, interspersed with performances by the Prep Jazz Band, under the direction Chris Hunsburger, Music Teacher, Arts Curriculum lead in the Prep School and Upper School. 

The finale, ‘Coming Home’ by Old Sheppard featured all three choirs on stage. 

Interest to attend the Winter Concert from Lower School families was high. To accommodate ticket requests, the Prep School gym was used as an overflow space, where parents, grandparents and extended family members of the performers were able to enjoy the show via livestream. 

BVG’s trio of Holiday Concerts kicked off in mid-December with the Upper School performance on December 8. That show featured firsts on a few fronts. Among them, it was the first time many of the students in Grades 9 to 12 had performed in a band on-stage, in front of an audience.

Upper School Holiday Concert 2022

“Their enthusiasm and willingness to try something that they, for the most part, had never experienced,” was particularly striking for Michael Bellissimo, Music Teacher, who is in his 20th year at Bayview Glen.  
 
“The way they jumped back in and performed so beautifully after two and a half years of no concerts,” was a proud moment for Bellissimo, who is currently teaching a full slate of five music classes.

The Upper School Holiday Concert featured more than 10 songs, including O’ Canada, conducted by a student-musician, a vocalist, soloists and ensemble performances. 

“It is not only re-teaching students how to perform in a concert, but also bringing a culture of music and concerts back to the school that is important,” he continues. This is the success of the entire Upper school faculty and their support for our program.” 

Preparation of the evening’s diverse musical offerings and classic holiday favourites required plenty of preparation and commitment from all involved says the seasoned educator, now in his 32nd year of teaching. 

Upper School Holiday Concert

During the Prep School Holiday Concert, which took place on December 15th, the joy of being back on-stage was palpable. 

“Ms. [Diane] Drysdale and I have had such a fantastic time in our Prep School, both in the classroom and on-stage [preparing],” Chris Hunsberger, Music teacher told the packed house.  

Upper School Holiday Concert 2022

Playing a blend of holiday-themed numbers and classics, most notably from the 1980’s the Prep School Holiday Concert featured music performed by the brass ensemble, Grade 7, Grade 8 and Concert bands. 

Added Hunsberger, “Getting ready for a show like this is an incredible experience to get back to!”  

Prep School Holiday Concert 2022

Related links: 

See Photo Galleries:  
 
Lower School Winter Concert  

Prep School Holiday Concert 

Upper School Holiday Concert 

 
Watch Video Recordings: 
 
Upper School Holiday Concert 2022 

Prep School Holiday Concert 2022 

Lower School Winter Concert 2022