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keeping parents informed

Volume 15 Issue 13

April 13, 2012



rescent’s senior rugby team is incredibly focused on this season, and is gearing up with intensity. The season starts tomorrow morning with our first official game against St. Andrew’s College (SAC) on Innes Field at 10:30 a.m.



After the team’s recent trip to Argentina and Chile, they are primed and ready to win it all. They have taken in the salt air, they have channelled the majesty of the Andes, and have eaten enough steak and chorizo to tide them over until the end of the school year at least! They are machines—ready to conquer. Spectators are urged to come out and see the senior rugby team decimate their Canadian independent school opponents, this weekend and next.

Coach Haag posted to his South American Rugby Tour blog on blogspot; the following is one posting from the hip:

If you plan to be here on Saturday, or are here for the national CAIS tournament next weekend (April 20-22), you’ll want to join in on the cheering, and in intimidating the opposing team with Crescent spirit, and bellowing out the team’s new anthem. If you can’t commit it to memory right away, then be sure to have it mastered for Friday Night Lights on April 27. Coupled with Crescent’s Alumni Spring Reception, come out and “get your green on” while singing our new anthem alongside the Crescent community as we prepare to crush UCC. Learn the words and melody by watching YouTube/Ireland Rugby Song

THE ANTHEM Come the day and come the hour, Come the power and the glory, We have come to answer Our brother's call. From the six proud Houses of Crescent.

Crescent, Crescent, Together standing tall Shoulder to shoulder, We'll answer Crescent's call. Crescent, Crescent, Together standing tall Shoulder to shoulder We’ll answer Crescent’s call We’ll answer Crescent’s call.

rom March 10 – 28, students on the senior rugby team were in South America touring and training. The itinerary included stops in Buenos Aires, Mar del Plata, Bahia Blanca, Mendoza, and a drive through the Andes to Chile, to visit Santiago and Valparaiso.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21 We left for Mendoza’s Liceo Rugby Club at 3 in the afternoon, and got there around 3:30. The guys got changed and taped. Our therapist for the game was the same guy who attends to the Argentinian national championship rugby teams, so our boys were in good hands. Game was supposed to start at 5:30, but our opponents kept on delaying. We had done our warm up, and were ready to go. The guys were pumped but there was no opposition to be seen. We suggested to Head Boy Rotenberg that our guys should sing the new anthem as the other team took the field. Well... it was awesome. The guys belted out the song and spectators and fans commented after about how great our guys sounded. Really a special moment in Crescent athletics. Let me paint you a picture of the match: sky is brilliant blue, sun is setting over the mountains, beautiful grass field, Andes in the background, 24C, and a bunch of guys willing to do whatever it takes to win. Pretty special. (pictured) Liceo scored a try three minutes into the game. We gave our heads a shake and got going. We countered with a try by Rotenberg, another by Witts and a conversion by Hogarth. No scoring in the second period. Crescent was ahead 12 – 7. A great try in the third period by Geisler and a convert by Hogarth. The score was on a great eight man pick up—a play we call For The Boys. They ran it perfectly. Then another try from Lord as Geisler made a pass. Hogarth with the convert again. Then Liceo scored a try with about a minute to go. Final score: Crescent 26, Liceo 12.


GARAGE SALE—Frequently Asked Questions A CPA Fundraising Programme Many of us are already looking forward to our upcoming Garage Sale and some may still have questions about how it works. To help you get ready for this special event at our School, please review the FAQs (and answers) below. If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact either one of us at or Q. What are the hours of the Garage Sale? A. The Garage Sale starts at 8 a.m and finishes at 11:30 a.m. However, this is a highly anticipated event with lineups starting as early as 6:30 a.m. A. Who attends the event? Q. Our Garage Sale is attended by upwards of 1,000 people who come from many Toronto communities to purchase good quality items at reasonable prices. Q. When can I bring in my donations? A. The truck rented for the collection of donations will be in the traffic circle on April 20 (drop off/pick up area). Please plan to deliver items as of that date only as there is no other storage place in the School for early donations.

Field House is transformed into a marketplace with sections for toys, electronics, books, clothing, accessories, sporting goods, household items, furniture and bedding. Q. Are there any “not wanted” items? A. Please hold back on items that are really broken and that are not safe to use again. We want to avoid having to put things in the garbage. As you know, garbage disposal is very expensive and it hurts our bottom line to deal with large amounts of it. For perspective, broken strollers, car seats, or helmets have to be thrown out and these are bulky and heavy items. While buyers acquire things at their own risk, it is important to offer only items that are safe to use for the new owners.

We encourage you to come directly to the Field House on Thursday, April 26, and Friday, April 27, as volunteers will already be there to help with the sorting of goods.

Other items that do not sell are: VHS cassettes, stuffed toys, outdated sports gear (i.e. very old skis) and big/bulky/heavy equipment such as treadmills and step machines.

Q. What can I donate? A. Almost anything that isn’t broken or really shabby. The

Q. Do you have a return policy for the shoppers? A. All sales are final. Buyers know that it is a garage sale and follow a “buyer beware” attitude. Q. What do the volunteers do? A. Our almost 200 volunteers don work gloves and sift through the donated boxes and bags. They sort the donations into sections (listed under What can I donate?), then organize the items for display, and price them. We have volunteers who come early on Thursday to help set up tables/racks around the Field House, and others who come at the end to help with the clean-up. Our student volunteers help with directing visitors, assisting with purchases, helping with sales, and with the clean-up of the Field House when the Sale wraps up around noon. Q. How long are the volunteer shifts? A. Choose AM or PM on the Thursday or Friday:

• THURSDAY morning (9 – 12) OR afternoon (12 – 3) • FRIDAY morning (9 – 12) OR afternoon (12 – 3) *There is some flexibility, and Section Heads can accommodate your timing


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On the SATURDAY of the Sale, there are three shifts: • 7:30/8 – 10 a.m. • 10 a.m. – 12 (noon) • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Q. Where do I sign-up? A. Volunteers can sign up in the Green Room, via the Volunteer Sign-In link under Quick Links or e-mail:

• • Q. Is my son allowed to volunteer? A. Yes, Upper School students are welcome to help and should contact Mrs. Carolina Melis by e-mail (above) to signup. A student must bring his community hours sheet with him so we can document his hours.

Q. What happens to the unsold items? A. There are a number of charities including the Canadian Diabetes Association, New Circles Community Services, and Matthew House (a shelter for refugee claimants) who benefit from our donations. Q. Can I bring a non-Crescent friend to volunteer with me? A. The Garage Sale is a School event so it only allows volunteers who belong to the School community. Q. Where do the proceeds go? A. Proceeds go to the Great Boys campaign that focuses on infrastructure improvements and programme enhancements. For more information, please go to the Green Room. —Carolina Melis, Chair and Ivy Chan, Co-Chair, Garage Sale

THE DEN—Enhancing our Boys’ School Experience A CPA Fundraising Programme


ince relocating to the Lower Loggia in September 2010, the Coyote’s Den has been busier than ever! With its wide range of items for sale—from uniforms to school supplies, spirit wear and memorabilia—the store has truly become a one-stop shopping experience for the Crescent community. Students, parents and staff alike appreciate the convenience—whether in need of TTC tickets, gym shorts or a speaker’s gift.

What’s more, all profits from Den sales become part of the CPA’s fundraising efforts—funds that are currently allocated to the Great Boys Campaign. Last year alone, over $85,000 was generated by the Den on behalf of the CPA. So, shopping in the Den is not only convenient, it contributes directly to enhancing each and all of our boys’ experience at Crescent. —Anne-Marie Tompkins, Coyote’s Den Chair

The Coyote’s Den operates under the umbrella of the CPA (Crescent Parent Association), and counts on the dedicated support of more than 60 parent volunteers, on rotating shifts. On any given day, the attendants who greet you, assist you and process your purchases in the Den are the students’ parents! They creatively oversee window displays, enthusiastically participate in the selection of items to sell, tirelessly fold and tag, and never miss an opportunity to socialize! Coyote’s Den Manager and staff member, Cathy Macdonald, has been overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Den for the past two years, ensuring continuity in the Den’s relationships with its suppliers, the timely placing and receiving of orders, and regularly updating the Den’s procedures to best meet its needs. She also liaises with Crescent’s business office staff who have expertly taken over all treasury-related matters, thus allowing the Den volunteers to spend more time on what matter most, the Den’s customers!

Coyote’s Den volunteers Anne Conlin and Lauren Zhan

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From the Upper School The Ride has become a tradition, and has grown from the brave if rather motley group of pioneers that first year to a well organized team who actually train and who sport a very sleek and cool team uniform. (If you know Mr. Haag, you’ll understand the importance of a cool uniform.) Last year there were 13 team members and together they raised almost $40,000. This year their goal is to raise a similar amount.


e support a lot of important causes at Crescent. So many of our students are thoughtful and engaged and become passionate about a wide range of serious concerns: Darfur, the AIDS epidemic in Africa, sustainability, children and families in need in Toronto... And, thanks to the generosity of our parent community, we are able to do a lot of good. However, one particular issue is, unfortunately, very close to many of us in the Crescent family: cancer, and the fight for a cure. Our community’s commitment to this cause has coalesced around one specific event: the Ride to Conquer Cancer. We began our participation four years ago, organized by faculty members Don Haag and John Nicolucci. When the initiative was first announced in Assembly, Mr. Haag asked how many people had been touched by cancer, either personally or through a loved one, and I vividly remember almost every hand going up—a graphic illustration of how close the cause is and how important it is to all of us.

For those of you who don’t know, the ride takes place over a weekend, this year June 9 – 10. Participants cycle from Toronto, through Hamilton, to Niagara Falls, a little over 200 kilometres. All of the funds raised go to the Campbell Family Institute at the Princess Margaret Hospital, one of the top five cancer research centres in the world. Team Crescent has made a promising start; they are about a third of the way to their fundraising goal. If you would like more information or think you’d like to donate, you may contact Don Haag, the team captain, at, any member of the team, or you may go to the Ride website and follow the links. As I said at the outset, through the energy and passion of our students and staff, together with the generosity of our parent community, we manage to do a lot of good. Thank you. —Mr. Colin Lowndes, Head of Upper School

From the Middle School


overheard a grade 7 boy say to his buddy that the biggest thing about the Spring Term was the exams—and my heart sank. I mean, I get it and I know what he means but I don’t want that for him. Poor guy—an awkward moment with his slightly overzealous Head of School extolling the real meaning of school to him. He did what any self-respecting grade 7 would do in that situation; he stood stoically with a fixed noncommittal expression hoping that this too would pass.

space—as an experience, a learning moment—that is all. There is no desire for this to be overwhelming.

But he raised an important topic, and it is timely for me to talk about it. Exams make up a very small percent of a subject’s grades, and not even all our subjects have exams. And yet, the shadow exams can cast is disproportionately huge for some of our students. It can be a stressful time.

In the last two months our boys have experienced Math Contests, volunteered for the Race for Dignity, gone to see War Horse, prepared for Middle School Music Night, tried out for teams, created stop motion animated movies, confronted Public Speaking, toured families around our School, attempted stand up comedy and improvisation, organized assemblies, created spectacular art, made French videos, and on and on it goes. Their school life has been vibrant, challenging, colourful, difficult, exciting, fun and stimulating… and so much more

Here is why we allow our boys to experience exams. Exams unfortunately do become a part of their life in Upper School and the mandate of the Middle School is to prepare our boys for the Upper School. But we are desperate for it to live in that


We are working really hard to make Middle School a place where a boy can grow towards understanding the man he will become, and to have our curriculum be broad and deep and interesting. To create the best possible creative milieu from which a boy can find out what he is passionate about, and how to love to learn.

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SCHOOL MESSAGES than the trudge towards exams. So as the topic comes up in your house please add your commentary to say that, like with everything we do, we want our boys to try their very best as exams approach, but it is only one small aspect of a packed life here at Crescent—and to be seen

in that light. I’m not naive enough to think that our boys won’t have some worries or nerves around exams, but I do want them to get more out of the experience, and I certainly want the fullness of this term to be enjoyed. —Mr. David Young, Head of Middle School

From the Lower School


he Lower School Outreach Council has had a busy and successful 2011 – 2012 school year. Our major initiative, Heart to Hand, and our PJ and Book Drive were incredibly successful and helped to make the holidays a wonderful time for local families in need. Recently, we had an opportunity to participate with the Upper School by helping with an amazing event called the Race for Dignity in support of Dignitas. Dignitas International is a medical humanitarian organization helping to prevent motherto-child transmission of HIV/AIDS in Malawi, Africa.

The Lower School boys were excited to be official volunteers at our second annual Race for Dignity. The boys were an integral part of the event, and showed tremendous responsibility by assisting to run various stations. The event was attended by over 300 students from Crescent and Havergal and raised approximately $20,000. Congratulations to all participants and thank you to the LS Outreach Council for being part of such an important event. —Ms. Birtwhistle, Grade 3, Faculty Outreach Council Coordinator

The Lower School Outreach Council prepares to help at the annual Race for Dignity event hosted in the Field House on March 30.

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PERSPECTIVES Was this Academic Utopia?


ast week, James Wright (Head of Academics), Steve Dubrick (Director of Character and Leadership) and I spent a day visiting Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire. This is a co-educational boarding school that is the home of the Harkness table now adorning six classrooms at Crescent School. We all went to experience the Harkness teaching experience which dates back to the late 1920s when philanthropist Edward Harkness approached Dr. Lewis Perry, the principal of Phillips Exeter Academy, with an offer to fund whatever programme the faculty of Exeter could devise that would improve American education. The only condition placed on this gift was that the teaching had to be new, and it had to be innovative. The faculty worked on this challenge for several years and eventually went back to Mr. Harkness in 1930 with a plan to change Exeter’s contemporary pedagogy of teacher-centred classes where the students sat in rows and listened to the “experts” at the front of the class. Instead the boys (Exeter was an all boys school at the time) would sit around tables and discuss the material. In a letter to Mr. Harkness, Dr. Perry explained the vision of the new Harkness Plan: “The net result would be that the boy would become more grown-up, would think of his studies as something more real, and would have an interest, a compelling motive, which he would carry to college. The successful teacher in the conference plan would not be a drill master, but a partner in a human enterprise.”

Our day was spent visiting four classes that provided stark evidence of how this unique style of education can be used to great effect. Our first class was English 468, a creative non-fiction class that was discussing the book Lost in the Meritocracy by Walter Kirn. The teacher, John Daves, was incredibly effective at directing discussion—by asking provocative questions— but allowing the students to dialogue and debate with each other. We witnessed an incredibly high level of engagement amongst the students and quickly realized how well prepared they were for the class. When students spoke, they often made reference to specific passages from the book and students were immediately directed to those words to see if they agreed, or disagreed, with the opinion being expressed. Our next class was a senior history class: The 1960s At Home and Abroad. Again, we witnessed an extremely high level of student centred learning with the teacher adding comments and questions only when needed. They demonstrated outstanding communication skills, and again, seemed very well prepared for class. Our third class of the day was Math 441—a senior enriched calculus class. The use of the Harkness table was extremely interesting here as math would seem not to lend itself well to students learning by being seating around an oval table. However, the students went to the whiteboards in pairs to write answers to problems that were part of their homework for that day. Once the solutions were put on the boards, students took time to survey answers and then weigh in on whether or not the solutions looked accurate. The dialogue was brisk and the criticisms specific, and the students clearly had a great deal of respect for each other, and their instructor, Joe Wolfson. We left the class amazed at the high level of math, and the way that students interacted with each other so meaningfully. Our final class was Physics 230—a grade 10 introductory course in physics. The instructor, David Gulick, showed incredible patience with his young students taking them through a variety of thoughtful and provocative questions using a writing tablet, and projection screen, while students sat at the table engaging in discussion. The room was also outfitted as a lab and allowed students to go to stations in small teams to follow up with more practical experimentation after the Harkness table instruction. We also had an opportunity to share lunch with Meg Foley,


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Chair of the History Department, and John Blackwell, Chair unique learning environment. No doubt, with an endowment of the Science Department. At thePhillips Exeter Academy end of our day James met find- of 6 | Homeof approximately a $1 billion, Exeter has the luxury of Page 1 with the Dean of Academic Affairs, Steve met with the Dean ing some of the best candidates for their school from every of Students, and I met with the Director of College Counsel- corner of the globe. ling and her team of five counsellors. That may not be something that we can match at Crescent,

emy | HomeWithout doubt, what we witnessed this day was student Page 1 of 6 but we can certainly give some deeper thought to the long

lips Church es: Cantus

centred learning—and student centred responsibility—at the highest level imaginable. We were acutely aware of the remarkable quality of student communication skills and articulate language that are certainly nurtured through Exeter’s

term value attached to our students taking individual ownership of their educational opportunities and academic obligations as Crescent students. —Mr. Mitz, Director of University Counselling



e had a great showing at the final Math League contest of the year on March 13, with many returning writers as well as some new faces. The top five, who will receive awards of distinction, together with other high scorers, are as follows:

1. Tudor Datcu, grade 12 2. Kevin Chien, grade 11 2. Warfa Jibril, grade 11 4. Joshua Lee, grade 12 4. S. Whittaker-Lee, grade 11 6. Andrew Leung, grade 12

31 27 27 26 26 25

7. Patrick White, grade 12 8. Jethro Kwong, grade 12 2365 Bayview Avenue 9. A. Noble-Marks, grade 12 Toronto, ON M2L 1A2 APRIL 24, 2012 10.Taylor Keating, grade 11 T 416 449 her 2556 • F 416 449 7950 Claudia Putnam Discusses Writing 10. Adam Murai, grade 9


MAY 1, 2012 | Phillips Church Gilbert Concert Series: Cantus

APRIL 24, 2012 | Phillips Church Tommy Gallant Memorial Jazz Concert with Sara Caswell, violin

24 23 22 21 21

For aset full calendar Here are the final House results for this year’s of Math League contests. The top three were neck-to-neck throughout hillips Church the entire year. However, Cartier emerged as the winner with 106 points, with Massey and Simcoe close behind in second morial Jazz Concert with Sara Caswell, violin News and third place, respectively.

scusses her Writing

Fenway Park Celebrates 100th Anniversary Exeter alum Dana Wingate '10 was the first batter at the first game, an exhibition game between the Red Sox and


CARTIER 106 SIMCOE 103 Harvard More...MASSEY 104 Warfa Jibril Joshua Lee Tudor Datcu Mar 21 rates 100th Anniversary Patrick White Kevin Chien Plastic Water Bottle-Free Campaign Andrew Leung Phillips Exeter Academy Launches Campuswide Wingate '10 was the first batter at the first game, an exhibition game betweenExeter's the Rednew Sox campaign and Harvard is aimed to reduce the Academy's consumption by 45,936 bottles each year More... Adam Noble-Marks Taylor Keating Adam Murai March 14, 2012 Jack Hayward Nick Holland Jonathan Pearce Girls Swimming & Diving Are First, Boys Third at New England Championships demy Launches Campuswide Plastic Water Bottle-Free Campaign Max Liu a row More... Quinton Yau GV Swmming & Diving team Scott win NewSo England championship for third year in aign is aimed to reduce the Academy's consumption by 45,936 bottles each year More...

This concludes another great year of Math League at Crescent School. Each contest had a great showing, with both experienced students and students who were looking to improve. Although there will be no more contests this year, I strongly 11/04/2012 encourage students to participate in at least one Math League contest next year! —Andrew Leung, grade 12

Diving Are First, Boys Third at New England Championships ing team win New England championship for third year in a row More...



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he last weekend in April is going to be a great one for our community, and an opportunity to demonstrate some Crescent spirit! Friday Night Lights is sure to be an unforgettable game as we take on UCC. Burgers and hot dogs will be available for a nominal charge. Students, families and alumni are all invited, so come out, get some thunder sticks, and be prepared to shout out our new rugby anthem in support of our Senior Div I boys! After a night of “getting our GREEN on,� families are invited back for the Bidiak Challenge at 1:30 Saturday to see alumni and current parents play our Senior B-Ball team. Join us as a player or a spectator! Mark your calendars, come out, watch and take part in these two great Crescent community events!

Crescent School | 2365 Bayview Ave. Toronto, ON M2L 1A2 | 416.449.2556 |

Crescent Times  

Volume 15, Issue 5

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