August 28, 2023
Dear Handsworth Families,
Welcome to the 2023-24 school year! On behalf of the staff at Handsworth it is my pleasure to welcome everyone back. I would like to extend a special welcome to the incoming Grade 8 students, their families, and all other new members of the Handsworth community.
With a projected enrolment of just over 1500 students, including 290 new grade 8 Royals and over 120 staff, Handsworth continues to be one of the largest school communities on the North Shore. We are pleased to be welcoming a number of new members to our staff including, Cely Abecendario (EA), Julia Davidis (EA), Sean Fulton (PHE and Math), Arlyn Jordan (French), Shakila Oveysi (EA), Tannis Potter (PHE/Careers), Guillaume Valette (Math/Science), Helen Zhai (Learning Support), and to be welcoming back to Handsworth Kate Lane (English), Marianne Macario (Counselling), Dianne Mund (EA), Mike Waugh (bus driver) - and myself - as Principal.
We are especially looking forward to having our grade 8 students embark on this exciting next chapter of their lives with us. A key facet of the transition into Grade 8 is our Grade 8 Retreat, which takes place on Thursday, September 21st at the Cheakamus Centre. Incoming grade 8 families should already have information regarding this event, but in case they do not, all grade 8 information (including forms) have been posted to the school website. Please contact Grade 8 Administrator, Meghan Downie (email@example.com) if you have any unanswered questions. Ms. Downie will send out information specific to grade 8 families later today. As part of the retreat, our Grade 8s will be inducted as Royals with a new Handsworth T-Shirt!
We are looking forward to welcoming students into the school on Tuesday, September 5th. In addition to a Grade Assembly and Homeroom, the first day of school will also serve as Photo Day. Artona Studios will be taking photos of all students to be used for yearbook and GoCards, and are available for order through Artona.
In their homeroom, students will be given their course timetable and student verification forms. Please review the information on the verification form and return to the main office by September 15th. Students with incomplete or incorrect timetables or those missing courses should contact their grade counsellor immediately via MS Teams. Counsellors will look at any requests to change courses previously verified in the spring will only after incomplete and new student timetables have been completed. Students are required to attend their scheduled classes until any requests for changes have been approved. On Wednesday, September 6th, regular classes will begin at 9:10am with a Wednesday rotation of Periods 3,1,2,4.
To support student success, we encourage ongoing communication with teachers, counsellors, and administrators throughout the year. Please connect with your child's teachers through e-mail if there are any academic or social/emotional concerns affecting your child. Additionally, the chart below shows the Counsellor and Grade Administrator Assignments for each grade:
I would also like to extend a special acknowledgement to our grade 12 students: the class of 2024. I am extremely excited to be working with our graduating class as the grade administrator, along with Robyn Renwick as grade counsellor and Ms. Sofia Frith as graduation and scholarship coordinator. In the coming weeks please watch for important forthcoming information with respect to Graduation 2024.
As I enter my third assignment at Handsworth, having previously been both a teacher and Vice Principal here, I am honoured to have the great privilege to lead this wonderful school community - well known for its excellence in academics, arts and athletics, and for being a welcoming and inclusive place to learn. Along with Vice Principals Meghan Downie and Jagruti Desai, and on behalf of the entire staff, we look forward to welcoming everyone back next week and to beginning a great school year ahead.
The Handsworth Community develops empowered, innovative, and compassionate learners who serve and lead with curiosity and integrity.