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Welcome from the Middle School Principal


Caring, Curious, Confident

Welcome! The Middle School is a wonderful community for young people to learn and grow. These years are crucial because it is a time of tremendous change and growth; emotional, physical and social. This period is met with a nurturing approach and with caring educators that hone the foundational knowledge and skills to support students during this challenging time. Through the the IB curriculum where students are at the centre of their learning, a framework is presented that is inquiry, conceptual and project based and subsequently better positions students to be curious and engaged.

The Middle School approach is caring, supportive and holistic. At The York School, you’ll find the teachers are attuned to the developmental needs of 11-14 year olds and teach to the student before their subject matter. Our faculty provide a safe place to take risks, stretch students’ comfort zones, accept shortcomings, and focus on areas of growth. This approach supports the development of confident students who can take on challenges.

This Welcome Package is your reference for all the information you will need prior to starting with us in September, however, if you have any questions, comments or concerns at any time, please contact me. I look forward to seeing you and your child in September and welcoming you in person to our community. Until then, I hope you and your family enjoy a safe and happy summer.

Helen Gin
Middle School Principal
416-926-1325 x 1187

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Middle School New Student Checklist


Save the Date!

  • New Student Orientation Day: Tuesday, September 3, 2019

  • New (Gr.8-12) Student Laptop Orientation: Tuesday, September 3, 2019

  • First Day of School: Wednesday, September 4, 2019

By early June, 2019

  • Read the Welcome Package

  • (Grade 7-8 only) Submit course elective option by June (form will be sent via email from Middle School Administrative Assistant)

  • Update and complete student medical forms on YorkNet (video outlining how to fill in the form can be found here)

By middle of June, 2019

  • Sign-in to YorkNet and explore the dashboard

  • Book uniform fitting on June 10, 11 or 12, 2019 from 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. (highly recommended)

  • Order Uniform items

  • Order or purchase student laptop by Tuesday, July 2nd (See website for ordering details)

  • Bring in laptop to 1320 Yonge to be prepared by IT staff no later than Thursday, July 18th (Grades 7-12)

  • Order textbooks by Wednesday, July 31 (Grades 6-12)

By end of August, 2019

  • Complete all YorkNet forms online

  • Check and update your family information on YorkNet

September 3, 2019

  • New Student Orientation Day

    • Find your classroom

    • Meet the Welcome Team

    • Tour the school

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September 4, 2019

  • First day of school

    • Dress in Summer Uniform

In September, 2019

  • Grade 6 “Take Home” Chromebook in-class launch (end of the first week of classes)

  • Register for clubs at school via YorkNet

  • Register for Gladiators Athletic Development Programme (GADP) via YorkNet

  • Register for Athletics via YorkNet

  • Attend Curriculum Night for school and grade-specific information

Key Dates

Friday, May 29, 2019 - Complete Course Selection form on YorkNet

Tuesday, September 3, 2019
- New Student Orientation Day

Tuesday, September 3, 2019 - New (Gr.8-12) Student Laptop Orientation

Wednesday, September 4, 2019 - First Day of School

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - Terry Fox Run

Thursday, September 19, 2019 - Middle & Senior School Curriculum Night

Friday, September 27, 2019 - Third 2019-2020 Tuition Payment Due

Friday, October 11, 2019 - No classes

Monday, October 14, 2019 - Thanksgiving Day (no classes)

Friday, November 8, 2019 - Monday, November 11, 2019 - Midterm Break

Friday, November 29, 2019 - PD Day (No classes)


Monday, December 23, 2019 - Friday, January 3, 2020 - Winter Break

Friday, January 24, 2020 - PD Day (No classes)

Friday, February 14 - Monday, February 17, 2020 - Winter Mid-term Break

Monday, March 9 - Friday, March 20, 2020 - March Break

Friday, April 10, 2020 - Good Friday (No classes)

Monday, April 13, 2020 - Easter Monday (No classes)

Friday, May 15, 2020 - Founder’s Day

Monday, May 18, 2020 - Victoria Day

Friday, June 5, 2020 - The York School Parents Association (YPA) Annual General Meeting

Friday, June 12, 2020 - Last Day of School

Social Emotional Learning, Counselling & Course Selection

Homeroom Programme
The homeroom programme is a feature of the Middle School. Each student is assigned a homeroom class and a homeroom teacher who teaches them social emotional learning skills i.e. having positive relationships, managing emotions, making responsible decisions, and further hone their executive functioning skills i.e. time and material management.  The homeroom teacher is the point person for students and parents. The homeroom teacher will determine if further supports are needed from the counsellor or Learning Strategist.

Middle School Counselling
Upon entering the Middle School, students face a range of new challenges. These challenges include academic and psycho-social adjustments. The first line of support for these challenges is the homeroom teacher. Other supports include the Middle School Counsellor, Glen Blair. Mr. Blair makes connections with all Middle School students through the homeroom programme and other areas of school life.

Course Selection
In Middle School, students study 9-10 subjects. All students in grades 6-8 take English, Humanities, Math, Science, French, PE, Art, Design, Performing Arts/Music. In Grades 7 and 8, students have the opportunity to take an elective course. Students choose one of either Vocal, Drama, Spanish or Mandarin. Elective courses are designed to expand learning interests and provide an opportunity to explore a new subject area. Elective courses are comprised of 5 single classes per 10-day cycle. Please speak with your child to help them decide on an elective that best reflects their interests.

You can access the 2019-2020 Grade 7 and 8 Course Selection Form via your YorkNet account. When you log in to YorkNet (https://yorkschool.myschoolapp.com/app/#login), you will see this form (along with any other forms requiring completion). Only one parent needs to complete the form for your family.   Please return the form by Friday, May 27, 2019. Late submissions may end up with an alternate choice.  

Middle School Learning Strategies Support
Learning support for all students begins in our inclusive classrooms where teachers differentiate instruction to meet the needs of a variety of learning styles. Our Middle School Learning Strategists , Jennifer Robertson and Katie Maziarski, support and advocate for exceptional and struggling students to help them access the curriculum and implement appropriate accommodations. Student Learning Plans (SLPs) are written for exceptional students with supporting documentation, so that teachers know how to appropriately support their identified learning needs. These plans include the exceptional identification, the student’s learning strengths, needs and the accommodations that are necessary to support the student’s learning. SLPs are reviewed and updated annually. Our Learning Strategists work as co-teachers in classes, offer one-one, and small group support outside of the classroom. Their support is enlisted directly by families, and recommended by the teaching faculty and/or the school administration.


Technology & Textbooks

Learning Anywhere, Anytime - Blackboard
Students learning in the Middle School is supported by the Blackboard Learning Management System. This online learning portal provides each student with personalized access to unit materials, weekly assignments, research tools and daily course announcements. Blackboard is updated daily by all faculty and is the first place to check should a student want to catch up following an absence or look ahead. Blackboard can be accessed directly via yorkschool.blackboard.com or in YorkNet. At the beginning of each academic year, parents are given “observer” role accounts so that they can also view course materials, homework and assignment due dates. Sign-in information for Blackboard is sent to parents in the summer but as a general rule, the username is: firstname+lastname (“johnsmith”) and the password is: the first 5 digits of your school accounting number. For further questions about Blackboard or to get help, please contact the I.T. Help Desk Desk at 416-926-1325 ext. 1204 or Neil Moir nmoir@yorkschool.com

Learning with Laptops - Middle School Laptop Programme
For the past 17 years, The York School has stood as a leader in innovative and meaningful technology integration across the curriculum. Our teachers are continuously searching for ways to enrich their subject areas with engaging tools and learning experiences. To that end, The York School invests heavily in teacher professional development and classroom support staff. Led by the Department of Learning, Innovation and Technology, The York School ensures that its faculty and students have the best tools to help them realize their academic potential. Students entering Grade 6 will be provided with a school owned Chromebook to be used in all their classes. These computers will be distributed to students by their homeroom teacher during an in-class Grade 6 Chromebook orientation to be held in September. Students entering Grades 7 and 8 will officially enter our student-owned laptop programme. Families are given the choice to either purchase a MAC laptop (with minimum specification) or a school selected Lenovo PC model. Those choosing the PC option can easily order their laptop through our school reseller using the link on our Middle School technology page: https://www.yorkschool.com/page/middle-school/technology/middle-school-laptop-programme

Those choosing a MAC may purchase it on their own or through our reseller as well. All laptops must be ordered or brought to our IT Department by Thursday, July 18, 2019, to give us enough time to get them ready for the fall start. Grade 7 students will receive their laptops in their homerooms at the end of the first week of school. Grade 8 students will receive their laptop at the New Student Orientation event on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 where they will be guided through software and student learning orientation.

All students receive the York School software toolkit to be used throughout the academic year. Should students experience computer problems, we facilitate all hardware repairs 12 months of the year and provides daily on-demand software support via our in house IT support help desk. For more information on our laptop programme and or to place an order, please visit our website.

For Grades 6 through 12, textbooks are purchased online through the Canadian School Book Exchange. You can place your textbook order online by logging into YorkNet and clicking on the “Order Textbooks” icon. Follow the information appropriate to your child’s grade and textbook requirements. Used textbooks are also available through the website on a first-come, first served basis. The online ordering process will be available in late June. Please visit our website closer to the time for official dates to start your order process. Orders must be placed by Monday, July 29, 2019, to ensure delivery for the start of classes in September. For information regarding textbook orders or payment for used books, please contact Eric Iannacchino at eiannacchino@yorkschool.com or:

The Canadian School Book Exchange



Uniform Guide

We feel a great sense of pride and privilege in being part of The York School community. We express that pride in the respectful way we talk about our school and its community members, and by our embracing the values and traditions of the school. One of those traditions is our uniform. The uniform acts as a symbol of our school, and by proudly wearing it, students express to one another their commitment to the school and its values. We encourage students to recognize the importance of making an outward show of their allegiance to our school, and in doing so, to wear their uniform well.

For a complete list of uniform items and requirements, please read the Uniform Guide.

All uniform items must be purchased online through TopMarks:
1. Visit https://topmarksorders.ca/
2. Go to “Online Orders”
3. Enter school code: YOR01
4. Create your account
5. Take your own measurements or book a fitting appointment June 10, 11 or 12, 2019.

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Student Citizenship


Middle School Citizenship

Engaged Citizenship at The York School encourages students to attend to the common good and play an active role in the life of the school, their local community and beyond. Students are encouraged to find their voices, participate in decision-making, and to embrace their leadership potential. Through meaningful community service, we strive to develop an increased sense of social responsibility and a global view of society. We want to instill in our students a sense of gratitude for what they have as they take action to make a difference in the lives of others. Demonstrating our total commitment to experiential learning, we aim to bring the IB Programme to life by developing complementary learning opportunities beyond the classroom. If you have any questions regarding student government, co-curricular programming, student life or service learning contact: Sarah Charley, Director of Citizenship 416.926.1325 ext. 1120 scharley@yorkschool.com

Student Life

Demonstrating our total commitment to experiential learning, we aim to bring the IB Programme to life by developing complementary learning opportunities beyond the classroom.

Co-curricular Programme

A balanced rich and rewarding co-curricular programme complements our rigorous academic curriculum. Participation in co-curricular activities, service initiatives, social events, and our house system is integral to student life. The York School offers a diverse and constantly evolving list of clubs to nurture student interests and build strong interpersonal skills. Some of the clubs and co-curriculars offered to students have included:

  • chess club,

  • Film Society,

  • programmer’s club,

  • York Glee,

  • mad scientist club,

  • book club,

  • radio club.

  • York TV (MS hosts),

  • debating,

  • open studio art club,

  • robotics,

  • school musical/play,

  • improvisation club,

  • Honour Band,

  • eco club,

  • DJ club,

  • outers club

Middle School Student Leadership Opportunities

The Middle School Student Council provides an opportunity for leadership for those interested in collaborating with their peers and the faculty to create a dynamic, engaging and inclusive school community. There are Grade 6-8 Grade Leaders and Grade 8 House Captain positions. Students are chosen to take part – some by general election and others by a selection committee – based on their potential to show leadership and by being model school citizens. This student government strives to enrich the student experience at The York School by organizing fun community building events and service initiatives.

York Student Ambassador Programme

In the fall of each academic year, York School students apply and are selected to be Student Ambassadors to promote the climate and culture of their school and build meaningful relationships with new students and families. As part of the York Student Ambassador Programme, current students may be called upon as hosts, tour guides, event speakers, Homeroom partners, or ushers/greeters at school events. Hosts connect with applicants who come for Day Visits or for Taste of York events so they can be introduced to the student experience at The York School. Tour Guides show our facilities to prospective families and describe their experience at The York School in terms of the IB programme, co-curricular and leadership opportunities and school climate/community. Event Speakers are responsible for delivering a speech about their York School experience to prospective and/or current families. Grade Partners are paired with new incoming students in the late spring so they can communicate over the summer, attend a September Orientation Day, and continue to be a support new students throughout the year. Ushers/Greeters welcome families at events, distribute programmes and seat audiences.

Grade Partners Programme


Students in Service

Grade Partners are paired with new incoming students in the late spring so they can communicate over the summer, attend a September Orientation Day, and continue to offer support throughout the year. In the Middle School, all new incoming students are contacted by a current student in the same grade to ease the transition and integration into The York School community. Grade Partners are expected to contact new students a minimum of one time over the course of the summer – to introduce themselves, answer questions and offer sound advice about student life. This relationship is nurtured throughout the year so that new students continue to feel welcome, connected, and supported. If your child’s Grade Partner has not been in contact by late August, please email Cidalia Gardner at: cgardner@yorkschool.com

We foster global-mindedness and a sense of social responsibility by creating school-wide and divisional community service initiatives and opportunities. In the Middle School, students have curriculum linked service initiatives that they work on collaboratively with their peers as an extension of the IB Middle Years Programme. Students build partnerships with different organizations and act as project managers for all raising awareness and fundraising campaigns. We respond to issues emerging locally and globally with meaningful service learning opportunities. We mobilize youth to make change and develop compassion and empathy for those less fortunate than themselves. For more information about Service, please contact Catherine McCauley our Community Service Coordinator (maternity leave coverage) at: cmccauley@yorkschool.com until November and then contact Marie Aragona our Community Service Coordinator maragona@yorkschool.com

Challenge Week and Trips

Every year during the first week of May, The York School runs a unique experiential programme called Challenge Week. Students from Grades 6-10 take part in week-long curriculum-driven excursions throughout Canada and North America. Challenge Week embodies our commitment to engage in experiential learning. Students are asked to extend themselves beyond their comfort zone to gain the skills and confidence to learn through experience. Challenge Week is one of the most important platforms in which the Learner Profile of the Middle Years Programme is developed through experience. Becoming risk-takers, inquirers, communicators and open-minded, caring citizens are concrete outcomes that support the International Baccalaureate philosophy. Challenge Week is a mandatory part of the Middle School curriculum. Grade-specific excursions are linked directly to a specific course or area of study. Fees associated with Challenge Week are in addition to tuition and will be charged to the student’s account.

In September, each grade level travels to YMCA Wanakita in Haliburton for a two-night Fall Outdoor Education Excursion to establish community, set norms for socialization, and initiate positive energy to start the year. Also, curriculum-driven day and overnight field trips take place at different points throughout the school year. These field trips are mandatory. Associated fees are not included in tuition and will be charged to the student’s account. For more information on Challenge Week and field trips, please contact:

Andrea Lossing
Trip Coordinator
416-926-1325 x 1221



“For a lifelong love of sport.”

The Middle School Athletics Programme focuses on providing exposure to a wide variety of sports at all levels. The goal is to develop a lifelong passion for sport and healthy, active living. Our student-athletes have the opportunity to try out for Interscholastic Teams or join recreational programmes. To learn more about the athletic offerings at The York School, please see the 2019-2020 Athletics Handbook on our website here.


 Drop Off & Pick Up Procedures

Proceed to the South Laneway at the 1320 Yonge Street to drop off students. If you need short-stay parking, the parking garage will be open from 8:00 AM to 8:30 AM and 3:30 PM. Parents can park in the visitor parking spaces located on the top floor of the parking lot.

Learn more here