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Volume 17 Issue 8

Keeping Parents Informed

April 25, 2014



ED is coming to Crescent School! And boy are we excited! This project has been in the works for well over a year, and has been spearheaded by a committed team of Crescent’s best and brighest. They have put in place an outstanding event, and we are inviting you and the greater Toronto area to come together for a day of inspiration, conversation and “ideas worth spreading.” In the spirit of TED, TEDx are programs of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience and listen to short, powerful talks that are 18 minutes or less, that converge on technology, entertainment and design, but also on science, business and global issues.

global communities; our very future may be dependent on it. The TEDxCrescentSchool team has chosen 13 outstanding speakers to join us to present their thoughts, ideas and examples of how we can use experiences from our past as lessons for a successful future. Listen to John Tory, Evan Solomon, R.H. Thomson and others talk to this fascinating concept in our very own CCL Theatre as we host this incredible day of inspiration.

As with all TEDx events, tickets are available through an online application process. Please go online to and fill out the form today. Applications must be submitted by the 9th of May. You will hear back from us shortly—and we look forward to having you TEDxCrescentSchool is our own all-day event featuring speak- share in this incredible event! ers inspired by the diverse meanings associated with the West We hope that each member of our audience can take away key ideas African Akan word SANKOFA. What does Sankofa mean? from our speakers, share them with their personal community, San=to return; Ko=to go; Fa=to look, to seek and take. and move forward as reflective, wiser citizens. The team believes As we move into the future, our individual and global histories passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives have many insights that will aid us as we face exponentially and,ultimately, the world. Please join us right here at Crescent changing realities. It is therefore important that we return, go School. back, seek, and most importantly take, from our history that which will assist us in making the crucial decisions that are needed to move forward, both as individuals and as a world of

CPA NEWS CPA PARTNERS WITH MABEL’S LABEL’S Order summer camp labels in the Green Room


amp season is almost upon us!

There are a number of online Shop and Support opportunities through the Green Room you can make to join in the CPA’s fundraising efforts. One of these is buying your clothing labels online, as a portion of those sales will go to the School. Mabel’s Labels offers a limited edition Camp Combo package packed with a collection of UV resistant, waterproof labels and tags, designed especially for everything that goes to summer camp. You will love it. Go to and order today! Due to anticipated demand, dispatch times may be as long as two to three weeks, so don’t wait. Twenty per cent of the sale is donated back to support Crescent School, so this is a win-win! An essential summer combo, these labels are perfect for clothes and footwear, toiletries, swim gear, backpacks and more. Don’t miss out—it’s only available until the 30th of June. Get ready for camp and help support Crescent School, too. Plus, get early bird pricing of only $37.95 until April 30, then pay only $39.95. Contact CPA convenor, Lisa Dale for more information at, go directly to www.crescentschool.mabelslabels. com, or go to the CPA page in the Green Room (specifically the Shop and Support pages) for more information on this valuable program. Thank you!



n behalf of the CPA, I would like to gratefully thank all the donors to the Buy-a-Book program. With your generosity, the Crescent librarians have purchased 360 new books to grow the exciting and educational repertoire, including 141 books for the Margaret Donnelly Library and 219 books for our new Library, currently under construction. Our students will surely appreciate and benefit from the new material offered to them. The Crescent community really appreciates all of the donors and their gifts. A book signing event will be held later in May. In the Green Room, you can find a list of titles and their donors. Although the CPA encouraged the Buy-A-Book program for the three week campaign, donations can be made and will be recognized any time of the year. Thank you for participating in the Buy-a-Book program! —Irene Kou, CPA Buy-a-Book Convenor


Men of Character from Boys of Promise


Men of Character from Boys of Promise


FACULTY PROFILE Featuring Colin McLaughlin What do you teach? I have joined Crescent as the new Lower School Art teacher. My experience in teaching ranges from Product Design, Graphic Design and Visual Arts. Where did you grow up? Newcastle upon Tyne, England Where were you before Crescent? I was the Lead Teacher of Design and Technology at Kings School, Tynemouth, England. Why did you become a teacher? I grew up in a deprived neighborhood where the majority of young people leave school at 16 and begin working. I was the first person in my family to attend school until I was 18 and go on

to university. I believe that every young person should have the right to a good education and I wanted to be part of that vision. I want to engage and motivate students to do well in school, which in turn motivates me to be the best I can be in the classroom. Did you have a favourite teacher growing up? Who was it and why? My favourite teacher at school was my graphic design teacher, Mr. Hodgson. He made lessons fun and engaging and built fantastic relationships with each student that walked through his door. How are you liking Crescent? Loving it!

What’s your favorite thing about Crescent? Crescent is a school rich in history with a set of core values that are continuously installed within each classroom and throughout the school. The students are extremely proud of the School and it’s heritage and that’s something I’m excited to be a part of. What do you do in your class that is specific to boys’ learning? Teaching such a creative and visual subject is a huge advantage within boys’ education. It has been proven that boys perform better in subjects where they can experiment with visual and kinesthetic tasks. Within the department we are able to cater to both of those learning frameworks and differentiate the tasks to individual learners. If you had to change professions, what would you do? I would love to be a sports journalist or correspondent. I am extremely passionate about sports and travel and I feel I would be well suited to a career in that area. Of what are you most afraid? Regrets. What is your greatest joy? Good company and experiencing new things. Favourite book? I love the Harry Potter books. If you were a professional athlete who would you be? Alan Shearer. Aside from being a huge Newcastle United fan, Alan Shearer is a fantastic role model. He was once the best striker in England yet stayed out of the media spotlight and lived a quiet life as a proud family man.


Men of Character from Boys of Promise

SCHOOL MESSAGES From the Upper School


his week we have just begun the student election process for next year’s Prefects and House Captains. As has been the case in the past, these positions are highly sought after, with a large number of boys choosing to put their names forward. Every year, observing the process, I’m impressed with the character and engagement of our boys, and gratified by their obvious affection for and commitment to their school. The interest in these offices is good in several ways. Most importantly, it’s an indicator of the respect the boys have for these positions, of their importance in the eyes of the boys, and of their faith in the integrity, fairness and transparency of the process. It is also a reflection on the fact that we have the privilege and luxury of being a highly selective school. It’s no slight to the boys who will eventually prevail to observe that we could elect the Prefect team twice over and have just as strong a group; we have a great many highly capable young men who are eager to contribute to the School. However, this also presents both the School and the boys with a critical challenge. Our challenge as a school is to make sure that there are meaningful ways for all of these highly able and motivated young men to make a contribution. The challenge for the boys is a test of character: to get over their personal disappointment and embrace other opportunities to get involved. Personally speaking, I respect the disappointment of those who will not be successful in the election precess; if they weren’t disappointed, it would be a sign that it didn’t mean much. I tell them that real leadership is not waiting to be elected, or chosen, or appointed. It has nothing to do with passivity. Real leadership involves getting off your butt and making something happen. You don’t need a title to lead. Our boys get that and are pleased to hear it. In the past, I’ve had quiet one-on-one conversations with some of the boys who were not elected. They tell me, unanimously, that yes, they’re disappointed, but they’ll get over it. They are not bitter or disheartened. They reassure me (yes, they reassure me, when I thought it was going to be the other way around) that I don’t need to be concerned, that they are still positive, committed and have a plan, whether it’s Lower School or Middle School Mentor, Outreach Council, Robotics, Business Club, Athletics, EAC, the Peer to Peer/ Healthy Relationships Program, or some other aspect of Student Life. What I’m most proud of at Crescent is the student culture. While we may not make as much noise as some schools, I know that there is a deep pride and love among the boys for their school and for each other. This is only possible through the leadership and commitment of the whole grad class each year— the health of the student culture is in their hands. But they don’t need to be told; they already know. —Mr. Lowndes, Head of Upper School

Men of Character from Boys of Promise


SCHOOL MESSAGES From the Middle School


his past long weekend was a true delight; the weather was beautiful, the birds were chirping and I was surrounded by family. I couldn’t ask for more. Most of the weekend was spent watching my children play with their cousins while I helped prepare several dinners with my parents. As my mother and I were baking bread, I noticed the happiness in her face and I asked her why she was smiling. This made her cry and I was left wondering what I had done wrong. She told me that her greatest joys in life are her children and the conversation quickly turned into a history lesson of my earlier life. This made me reflect on my relationship with my mother and everything that she has done for my sister and me. I am really close with my father and we have developed our relationship to the point now where we are best friends. On the other hand, my mother and I have some differences and she seems to still treat me as her little boy. We do, how-

ever, have a special bond like no other. Since I can remember, my mother was always there for me, I knew that I could always count on her and she was the most important person in my life. I could tell her anything. She would take me out for dinner and the two of us would sit and talk the entire time. In fact, I would talk and she would listen. There was a time when I was in Grade 8 or 9 where I became distant with my mother and stopped telling her the details of my life. I can’t explain why this happened or what changed. Perhaps it was puberty, perhaps my life was becoming complicated and I didn’t feel that my mother would understand, perhaps I was embarrassed or perhaps it was associated with the loss of innocence. Whatever the reason, I slowly came around and understood that I could talk to her and she would understand and not judge me. For the mothers in our community, you may be going through similar times with your son, you may be on the cusp of this unknown territory, or you may be lucky enough to have weathered the storm and survived. Please know that your sons love you and they are not trying to outcast you or make you feel unappreciated, they are going through some mysterious and difficult times in their lives. They are trying to find their own way in life and grow towards their own independence. They are trying to figure out what kind of a man they aspire to be, and in doing so will make some mistakes along the way. They may make the mistake of choosing their friends over their mother, they may become more interpersonal and they may internalize their feelings. Be there to listen and support him and please don’t feel that you have done something wrong if your son becomes distant from you. In my great wisdom as a teenager, I started to realize that my mother would undeniably be there for me despite what mistakes I made. As I was in my final years of high school, I confided in her more and brought her back into my life. I knew my mother would always be there for me and when I made it through the murky waters of my young adolescence this became clearer to me. On behalf of all those men who have put their mothers through these unnecessary and trying times, I apologize. If you can you make it through your son’s teenage years, you will be better prepared when he marries in to another family. That topic is its own Crescent Times’ article! —Mr. Dion, Assistant Head of Middle School


Men of Character from Boys of Promise

SCHOOL MESSAGES From the Lower School


t has become evident through our Lower School Coffee and Conversations meetings, that parents and schools are concerned about the amount of time their sons and students are spending seated at computers or smart devices in general, and playing video games, in particular. Because of the levelled nature of video games, they never really end. This has resulted in children experiencing aspects of addiction much younger than ever before. How do we manage our boys, these games, and determine what is appropriate and what is not? Time to call in the experts. Carson McGregor, is one of our IT gurus and a

propriate rules for gaming during leisure time. What we have found out is quite interesting. First, it has become clear that the Lower School boys are playing many kinds of games at all levels of difficulty and maturity, including ones that are too advanced for them. Gaming is not like Monopoly or Bridge, where it can be celebrated if a younger child is able to master the intricacies of a complex game and “play up.” Think of why a game is designated as “adult!” As an expert in his field, Mr. McGregor strongly recommends that the age-limits published on the games be followed. A 14+ or 18+ game is too advanced (in

questions about playing online with strangers. “Is it ok even if they are nice?” The response from us, “No.” A stranger is a stranger, even online. He stressed the importance of following core values of the School at all times, even if it feels safe and hidden to become someone else in an online persona. More than ever, character counts, and we told the boys the way you play, act, speak, etc. online needs to be the same as if you were there in person. Finally, what are some ways to manage the amount of time boys want to spend gaming? One way is to agree on a time limit, and five minutes before that time, indicate to your son that he needs to stop at the last save. (You may need to hang about, and if the bartering for more time begins, let him know that this is only showing you that the game is too much for him). Another idea is balance... time away from the computer needs to be built in (family walks, bike rides, board games night, a favourite TV program watched by everyone “unplugged”). It may be easier to have no gaming Monday to Thursday, period. Ask to play the game as well, or at least be shown the rules.

game-savvy teacher. He knows all the games, their pitfalls, their benefits and is able to speak to the boys authentically about the world of gaming. I invited him to speak to all the Lower School boys about online safety and guidelines for respectful gaming and determining ap-

every way: violent, language, sexual, etc.) for Lower School boys to be playing, let alone discussing at school with other boys. You are welcome to say, “Dr. B. says I can’t buy you that game until you are (insert age).” The boys asked Mr. McGregor many

Men of Character from Boys of Promise

Finally, we need to be good role models. If the boys see us put away our smartphones at mealtimes and family times, they will see we expect them to do the same with their games. What can we say for sure? Gaming is exciting, enticing and here to stay. Like an amusement park or playground, where some rides and play structures require you be a certain age or height to play, the amusement park/playground of gaming also has safety restrictions. As adults, we need to be watching and listening nearby as our boys play. —Dr. Boyes, Head of Lower School


great pictures!



hen Mr. Dion was with his Grade 8 class touring Ottawa three years ago, Parliament Hill and having the students participate in a mock trial with Justice Edgar Sexton (grandfather of Grade 11 student Jack) at the Supreme Court, it was suggested that he make a request—on behalf of the School— for one of the Canadian flags that has flown above Parliament Hill. The flags are changed each day (you may have seen Rick Mercer in the observation deck of the Peace Tower in a recent episode of the Rick Mercer Report) and it usually takes 42 years to receive a Peace Tower flag once a request is made. Instead, Mr. Dion requested a flag from either the east or west block, and lo and behold, it arrived last week! From Parliament Hill to 2365 Bayview Avenue—thank you Mr. Dion for your efforts.

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

Crescent Times  

Volume 17 Issue 8

Crescent Times  

Volume 17 Issue 8