Please verify your email address Resend Email Change Email

HMBSS TIMES Newsletter 
February 2017

Dream, Believe, Succeed

Message from the Principal

Thank you and farewell

Goodbye to Ms. Smith, our Attendance Office Assistant, as she leaves us to join the Facilities Team at the Central Board office. Ms. Smith was responsible for putting this electronic newsletter together. As you can see she did a fantastic job gathering news items, pictures and videos from all aspects of HB life and pulling them together into this wonderful newsletter. We will miss you. (Left to right - Ms. McBride, Ms. Smith, Ms. Valliere, Ms. Hutchinson, Ms. Refling, Ms. Gullo)

Empire Mock Trial - New York Trip

On November 10th – 14th Harold M. Brathwaite students travelled to New York City to participate in the Empire Mock Trial World Championship Tournament. Harold M. Brathwaite (HB) was one of two Canadian schools participating in this prestigious event. The tournament consisted of 44 teams from around the globe.

The HB Mock Trial team has been working since September with many late nights and weekends working on the case. All the hard work paid off as the students played hard and proved to be the group from Canada that would not go down without a fight. They found themselves facing the champions of our division and the second place team overall! What an honour that was! The team will never forget this experience and as a coach, I witnessed their growth as they molded into young confident, respectful, culturally aware citizens.

The HB Mock Trial team developed life-changing connections, crucial skill-building and cultivated effective leadership. HB’s Mock Trial team developed poise and self-confidence that will empower them to make a difference in our 21st century world. (Coach Zorayan)

Family Studies Department

Students have been working hard in various areas of Family Studies this semester. Food and Nutrition students have enjoyed their experiences in the food labs and cooking as a team.

Exploring Family Studies students finished the semester making adorable stuffies. The Food and Culture students have explored a variety of different parts of the world and successfully served many meals to delighted teaching staff.

Harold Brathwaite’s DECA chapter had a very successful year, starting off with the formation of the largest DECA chapter at HB thus far, with 97 members. On Sunday November 6 our team competed at the Peel Regionals. The results have been released and a whopping 78 students qualified to the Provincial level competitions. Our team brought home 25 ribbons for placing top ten in competitions and proved that DECA Brathwaite is becoming a force to be reckoned with!

Special shout out goes to our medal winners who placed in the top three against all of Peel and Dufferin Peel. Congratulations to Divine N. and Jennifer T. for bringing home 3rd place medals and to Prannoy L. for a 1st place medal win! The first ever at Brathwaite! Much luck to the chapter members at the year’s DECA Provincials competition. We’re sure they’ll impress.

Link Crew

Grade 9s were warmly welcomed into the school at September's Orientation Day by HB's Link Crew, a dedicated team of senior students who are committed to helping new students achieve positive and successful transitions to high school. Both on Orientation Day and throughout the school year, the Link Crew leaders prepare and lead activities that encourage both their social and academic well-being. So far this year has been a huge success!

Global Studies Department

Law in Action!

This past semester the grade 11 and 12 Law classes had the opportunity to visit Toronto’s Superior courthouse. Students had the chance to tour the buildings, and observe live trials. It was a great opportunity to see our Canadian legal system in action.

History, Geography & Civics

Our Canadian History students also enjoyed role-playing trench warfare, learning about the long term impacts of Canadian History and their role in Canada’s Future. Our Grade 10 History Students have been readily preparing for their final evaluations. They created student lead review through decades posters and a class poster fair.

Grade 9 Geography students met the challenge of creating models, videos and PowerPoint presentations related to climate, landform regions and ecozones. They demonstrated amazing skills that showcased Canadian geographic natural systems.

Our Civics students are looking forward to a panel discussion with the American Diplomatic representatives second semester.

SHSM Justice

SHSM Justice students were busy this year with High Ropes training, teambuilding, CPR, First Aid and Self-Defence Training, as well as a visit to Kingston penitentiary. Next Semester they are looking forward to leadership and conflict resolution training.


Sr. Boys Basketball

The Senior boys basketball team started off the season very well, as they won 2 of their first 3 games. After that, they suffered a few tough losses in close games, and currently their record is 2-4. Along the way, they have learned a lot while showing growth, good work ethics, excellent sportsmanship and good character.

Cross Country Running

Cross country attended four races this year. At our first race, The River Run at Heart Lake Secondary School, we had Rishi K. finish the midget boys race in first place. We attended The Bagpipe Classic at Erindale park for the first time this year. It was a beautiful day and a great course. The team cheered each other on and most were happy with their accomplishments at this race. We also, went to Heart Lake Invitational at Heart Lake Conservation area. Again, the team continued to help each other out and everyone enjoyed a great racing day. ROPSSAA was held at the end of October at Heart Lake Conservation this year. We were lucky enough to run in snow, hail, rain and sleet on this one day. Although the weather did not cooperate, the team kept their spirits up and gave it their all. Unfortunately we just missed qualifying for OFSSAA this year. We had a great season and are going to keep running and preparing for next year. Thank you Coach Bryan, Coach Pate and Coach Roberts.

Girls Flag Football

This year’s Girls Flag Football Team had an outstanding season. The team learned a lot and played amazing. We missed playoffs by one spot with our last nail-biting game. Many great plays were made by all the girls. They all worked extremely hard and should be proud of their achievements.

Boys Football

Our boys football team is taking their winning mentality into the off season as they get ready for September. Our young team is looking ahead to reach new heights this upcoming season. Thank you Coach Ramroop and Coach Morgan.

Junior Boys Volleyball

Congratulations for a winning season. The team showed us what it means to be a student athlete. Their effort both on the court and in the classroom is exemplary. Well done boys, good luck next season. Thank you Coach Chen and Coach Ireton.

Senior Boys Volleyball

This will be a team looking for a playoff birth next season. Most of our starters will be returning to the court hungry to win. This past season was a great learning experience for such a young team. Thank you Coach Fenwick, Coach McIntyre and Coach Smith.

Junior Girls Basketball

Congratulations goes out to the Jr. Girls Basketball Team! Despite having a fairly young and inexperienced team, they had a great season, earning a 4-3 record and a playoff berth. They faced the undefeated Central Peel team in quarter finals and lost a hard fought game by only 5 points. They also won an invitational basketball tournament at John Fraser. The Jr. Girls Basketball team improved so much this season and should be proud of what they've accomplished on and off the court with their coachability and work ethic , as well as their positive school representation and academic success. Thank Coach Bennett, Coach Sykes, and Coach Rositano

Healthy Active Living Department

Once again this fall there were many interesting and exciting events happening to engage the Harold M. Brathwaite Healthy Active Living students.

The grade 9 boys and girls classes participated in a five day Self Defense unit with instructors from The Formula Self Defense in Toronto. The focus of this unit was prevention and safety for the students. The students learnt the theory of many escape moves, and self-defense techniques, while getting a chance to practice them with professional trainers.

In December, all Healthy Active Living classes participated in a week of Back to the Beach. During this week, students from different classes were integrated, and they worked with students of other grades to compete in various atypical sports and activities. The students played games such as scooter-hockey, blind-beach-volleyball, gauntlet-dodge ball, and more. The focus of this unit was teambuilding, while also collecting food items for the local food banks.

The boys fitness classes learned about many different types of work outs and weightlifting programs, while also learning about nutrition, increasing muscle mass, and how to effectively burn off fat. The students also spent time examining many of the different supplements on the market, the science and research behind each one, their various advantages, disadvantages, and the risks associated with each.

The girl’s fitness classes welcomed many guest instructors into their classes for some amazing workouts in dance grooves, yoga, hip hop, boxing, and mini boot-camps. They also learned some healthy eating habits in a smoothie lab. The students were all proud of their accomplishment of running a 5 km by the end of the semester.

The senior Healthy Active Living classes went on a trip to the Chinguacousy Curling Club. There, they learned the basics of curling, and got some lessons on tennis, while getting a chance to participate in both activities as well. 

The Healthy Active Living Department is also planning a ski trip that will occur in February. Students will have the opportunity to spend the day skiing or tubing at Snow Valley Ski Resort.

Healthy Communities Initiative

We are proud to be part of this initiative aimed at decreasing the diabetes rates in our community. We are asking our students and their families to make healthier eating and drinking decisions and make active lifestyle changes. What does 5-2-1-0 stand for? It's a prescription for change: Enjoying 5 or more servings of vegetables and fruits, Powering down- no more than 2 hours of screen time a day, Being active - at least 1 hour a day, and choosing healthy - 0 sugar-sweetened drinks. We are excited to announce that the school will be receiving our first water filling station this school year. It will replace one of our regular water fountains and we will be encouraging all students to bring a re-fillable water bottle to use at the station rather than drinking sugar-sweetened drinks. We will be running a variety of activities over the next semester to encourage and motivate students to take an active role in this 5-2-1-0 initiative.

Arts Department


HB Dance had a great semester and got involved in many events around the school. Events including: Pep Rally, multiple guest artists, Mannequin challenge, Remembrance Day Assembly performance at Great Lakes PS, and much more. They also learned many different dance genres immensely and grew as dancers.

The girls did amazing all semester long and should be proud of their accomplishments!

Visual Arts

Our grade eleven students (AVI 3M0) created some Pop! Art inspired works this semester. Ordinary objects are created larger than life and will be displayed around the school.

Grade 10 Visual Art students working on their culminating tasks, and some finished products.


Firstly, we would like to welcome back Mrs. Jones from her maternity leave. Harold Brathwaite is in full swing this semester with grades 9-12 drama classes being offered throughout the year. In December, we experience some great live theatre in our cafetorium. ‘The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Abridged’ was presented by the Classical Theatre Project. Three very talented performers graced our stage and showcased all of Shakespeare’s comedies, histories and tragedies in a 80 minute show. Matt D., Jeff H. and Kevin R. were able to take our student on a theatrical journey and had our student’s focused the and entertained for the whole time. 

Grade 9 Drama students early in the semester prepare for Role Play Drama.


Early in semester 2, under the guidance of Mr. Martin, the HB Drama club will be performing at Sandalwood S.S. for the 2017 District Showcase of the Ontario Sears Drama Festival. These students will showcase an original play by Manjoy M., who wrote and directed TO BE YOURS. Theatre passes for this production will be available in February from Mr. Martin or any of the crew.

The cast and crew include: Sam B., Manreet B., Charmila C., Manvir D., Ashley G., Lily H., Manjoy M., Abby M., Sidak N., Divine N., Amber O., Deep P., Megan P., Yuvraj R., Simran S.


A small group of student meet every Thursday a lunch to build their skills in improvisation. Under the guidance of Mr. Martin, and the leadership of Rachael M., HB’s Drama room is filled with stories and laughter. They usually play games to build their confidence so that they can enter a scene without a script. Look for their work at upcoming events around the school. If you are interested in joining this group come out on Thursday at lunch to room 120.

English Department

This semester the English Department continued our tradition of weaving extracurricular events and interesting experiences into our curricula. As a part of a unit on The Tempest, Grade 10 students went into the woods near the Grand River, where they learned about traditional uses of the land as well as edible plants and naturally occurring “sweet” water. Our Grade 11 students were offered a rare opportunity to enjoy the play Macbeth at the world-renowned Stratford Festival in October, and we were able to pack two buses full of students and teachers eager to see this production. Our teacher-librarian, Ms. Ross, also arranged for us to participate in a Prologue that had students up on stage with actors, learning key moments of the play by acting them out. The photographs below showcase Grade 9 Tableaux Presentations based on their study of the Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream and also the Grade 10’s participating in a Blanket Exercise created as “a teaching tool that uses participatory popular education to raise awareness of the nation-to-nation relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.”

This month we say a fond farewell to Ms. Francois who ably covered for Ms. Adefarakan this past semester. We wish her well in the future and hope to work with her again!

Finally, HB founding member Ms. Kent will be retiring this year after having spent the previous six years as Department Head at the Woodlands. We all wish her many beautiful days of retirement.

We look forward to another exciting year of reading, writing, speaking and listening as our department continues to grow and change!

The Grade 10 Pre-IB English class participating in a Blanket Exercise

The Grade Nine Pre-IB English students’ A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream Shakespearian Tableaux Presentations

Math Department

We have had a busy first semester. Our students have been writing math contests, participating in course activities and working very hard on projects. 

Nabil S. earned the highest mark for the Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge at the beginning of November. Satjeevan R. earned the highest mark for the Canadian Senior Mathematics Contest.

Our Canadian Intermediate Mathematics Contest results included a third place finish for the team in our zone, 41st in the province and 66th in Canada. The team is made up of the students with the top five marks in the contest. Our team was Paawan V. (individually 4th in our zone), Neha S., Gurkamal C., Abenan T., and Arshpreet C. We are very proud of all of our writers.

The grade 11 Functions and 12 Advanced Functions students have worked hard on their projects this semester. Some projects are included in the slide show for you to see the results.

We are looking forward to great results from our second semester projects and contests to show you in June.

Good luck to all second semester!

Semester 1 Fun in the Mathematics Department (IB night, Trigonometry in the halls, Link Crew Math support for grade 9)

Math Contest Writers

Grade 11 Functions Projects:
Theme - Fashion/Costumes (created using equations in Geometer's Sketchpad

Grade 12 functions Projects:
Theme - Micro Organisms (created using equations in Geometer's Sketchpad)

Science Department

This semester students discovered new aspects of science through experimentation and exploration by using new Vernier probes for figuring out their lung capacity, pigmentation in leaves, amount of gas production in yeast fermentation. Students were also engaged in various learning activities and projects including climate change and space exploration symposium.

IB Group 4 Science Project Field Trip and Symposium

Standard level IB students took part in Group 4 science research projects at the Heart Lake Conservation Area. The students spent the day exploring different areas of the park and carried out their research projects such as examining the wildlife in the park, measuring the pH levels of the soil, and understanding the social implications of the conservation area. IB students held the Group 4 Project symposium to share their findings.

Science Club

The Science Club meets afterschool on biweekly Wednesdays. Science Club holds various science experiments, competitions and events around the school. This semester, the Science Club hosted the egg drop challenge, marshmallow challenge, strawberry DNA extraction, built Coke and Mentos rocket launchers, and launched our very own HOSA chapter team. The HMBSS HOSA team consists of 35 members and they will participate in the spring competition  at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre with many other secondary schools in Ontario. Any students who are interested in participating in the Science Club are invited to attend our next general member meeting on February 18 afterschool in Room 233.

Egg Drop Challenge - Science Club

Technological Studies Department

Grade 9 Exploring Technologies

Students work on designed based problem solving challenges throughout the year. The 2 projects they worked on this year was the CO2 dragsters and The Hydraulic lifting device.

CO2 Group 2

Grade 10 Construction Technology

Students work on individually designed pieces of furniture as shown.

Grade 10 Transportation Technology

Students build model cars in order to identify various systems of cars.

Robotics Club

HB Robotics invites new students each year to the team while the experience and skills gained by our veteran students are passed to the next generations of engineers and designers.  With many newcomers this year, we are rebuilding the club and training our new teammates about planning, implementing, and competing a new robot.

By building this robot at our pace, we hope to create a solid foundation of our team to remain competitive in the tournaments ahead of us.

International Baccalaureate Regional Program

The Grade 9 IB students attended a field trip to the Cedar Glen Outdoor centre in September. They participated in a variety of team-building activities and were challenged by the centre’s low and high ropes courses.

On November 3rd, 2016, we had nearly 700 parents and students out for our IB information session.  This was a great chance to welcome our prospective Grade 9's for the next year and to talk about the features and benefits of the I. B. program.

Library Learning Commons

The Library Learning Commons at HB is a busy space. Our staff make sure it is open and available to students before school, at lunch and after school most days. Our collection of print and electronic resources is constantly growing and evolving to meet student interests and research needs.

Highlights from this past semester include a visit by Canadian Holocaust author, Kathy Kacer who came to speak to History, Civics and English students. She shared the various books she has written and her philosophical beliefs about sharing stories based on true historical events. A week later we were lucky enough to have Canadian producer and screenwriter Aaron Martin and theatre performer/ instructor Denise Oucharek to present to music, drama and careers students about making a living in the arts in Canada. We are proudly displaying giant pop art created by our grade 11 Visual Art students in our Library Learning Commons as well as a lovely statue of

Malala Yousafzai.

During semester two we are planning more speakers, authors and events. The Library will be participating in The OLA's Forest of Reading Program with both the White Pine and Red Maple selections available for students. We also have a thriving book club that meets every other Friday at lunch for the whole school year where students can share book recommendations, thoughts and comments.

Moderns Department

It’s been an exciting semester in the French department! We had several students submit entries for the French poetry and prose category of the Marion Drysdale Award, and while the competition was tough, Tanisha W. won for the best French entry in Peel. Her poem, “Le Miroir” is now entered in the divisional competition for Ontario. In addition, we have 14 students enrolled in the Concours d’art oratoire, the French speech contest that will take place at the school at the end of February and at the Peel District School Board at the end of March. Some students have already started work on their speeches, and we look forward to hearing what they have to say!

In class, students have also been very busy. Using their strong competition skills, many of the grade nine classes participated in a series of class-to-class competitions. The grade ten classes put their cooking skills to the test by preparing crepes and other delicacies. They also hosted dinner parties featuring the food, culture and history of different francophone communities from around the world, and explored different stress-relieving techniques such as music, yoga and laughter therapy. The grade 11 class explored the francophone world, fought for social causes, and learned the secrets of well-being “être bien dans sa peau”.

As semester two starts, we anticipate watching our students shine in the Concours d’art oratoire. Furthermore, we are looking forward to our trips to Cinéfranco, the French film festival, in February and March. 

Special Education Department

The Learning Strategies students have been busy this semester honing their organization, planning, and self-advocacy skills. They have been learning how to properly and effectively use both book and electronic agendas and calendars, as well as how to organize a binder using a table of contents. They are being introduced to a variety of strategies for success for literacy and numeracy, and are reflecting on the practices that will be most useful for them.

Students are discovering who they are as learners through learning about Multiple Intelligences, and extroverts and introverts. They are actively planning ahead for their high school years by learning about course selection, and the expectations behind volunteer hours.

Lastly, the Grade 9 students had weekly visits with the Parkholme classes where they practiced their literacy skills by sharing picture books. Through this activity they also learned the value of volunteering their time, and how even in grade 9, you can take on a leadership role and make a difference in the lives of others.

Parkholme Classes at HB

The Parkholme program has had a successful start to their second year at Harold Brathwaite. We have added two new classes and have completed a kitchen for the new lifeskills room!

Moreover, the Parkholme classes joined up with our DDR program to represent Harold Brathwaite with great showings at ROPSSAA bocce, basketball, and bowling.

The Parkholme program continues to integrate into Harold Brathwaite participating in wonderful experiences such as reading buddies with Ms.Hansen, Ms.Ross’ library program, and the energetic pep rallies!

The Parkholme program is looking forward to an exciting second semester of functional academics, lifeskills, and fun at Harold Brathwaite!

COURSE SELECTION – Students have been busy choosing courses for next year using a web tool called myblueprint. Please open the following link to learn more about how to choose the right courses for your son or daughter’s career path.

This year’s theme for Halloween in Student Services was ‘Once Upon a Time.’ Students visiting the Guidance Office that day received treats and had an opportunity to explore possible careers by ‘creating their own story.

Check out our school website. Under Students Services you can find up-to-date information, events, opportunities, and post-secondary information.

Community Involvement

To learn more about how to get your 40 hours, please click on the following link:


To find out about various scholarships available, please use the following link:

Vimy Ridge Trip

This year a group of HB students will be travelling to Paris, Amsterdam and Vimy Ridge in France to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. We will be visiting WWI and WWII sites across France and pay homage to the Canadians that valiantly lost their lives for the freedom we enjoy today. Our aim is to help students understand the importance of these key events of Canadian history and how they helped shape modern Canada.

Brathwaite School of Business

The H.M. Brathwaite School of Business has been providing valuable, hands-on learning experiences for our students since our inception in 2003. This year our grades nine and tens had the opportunity to create, plan and launch their own business ventures, bringing their course content to life!

Biz Bites Food Court

The atrium was abuzz with excitement as the annual BIZ BITES took over the main hallway at lunch on Friday December 16, 2016. Grade 10 Business students successfully showcased their creative business ventures to raise money for charity.

Event Planning

Grade nine business students skillfully applied their application communication and technology skills in groups to launch their event planning businesses and create exciting events made for the local community! There are many future business leaders in this group.

JOIN SHSM Business!

Now is the time to think about signing up your son or daughter for our successful Business Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) Program here at the H.M. Brathwaite School of Business!

Now in its 10th year, the Business SHSM program continues to offer students interested in pursuing business studies, an enriched high school experience and added opportunities to explore their potential career paths.

What is the SHSM Program?

The SHSM is a Ministry of Education approved specialized program that allows students to focus their learning on the business sector while meeting the requirements to graduate from secondary school. Students have the opportunity to customize their high school experience by focusing on business studies, and are offered a variety of career-focused learning opportunities and 'reach ahead' to their post-secondary destination of choice.

What are the benefits?

SHSM provides students with an opportunity to:

  • Receive valuable sector-recognized training/certifications offered by industry professionals, at no cost!
  • Attend a number of free experiential learning activities (e.g. career forums, conferences, trade shows)
  • Develop specialized business knowledge and essential skills
  • Explore and refine career goals and make informed decisions about their future

What have we been doing this year?

This semester we were busy providing students with Business Etiquette training, WHMIS, First Aid, and CPR + AED certifications, we visited the University of Waterloo School of Accounting and Finance, the University of Toronto downtown campus and Rotman School of Business.

Next semester we will be doing Customer Service training, Counterfeit Detection training with the Bank of Canada, Safe Body Mechanics & Ergonomics certifications, visits to colleges in the GTA and the annual Marketing and Sales Seminar at Canada’s Wonderland.


Application are still being accepted! Students complete the program in their grade 11 and 12 year. Pick up an application at the school today!

See Mr. Walker in Student Services or Ms. Persaud in the Business Office.

Explore High Skills

We are exciting to pilot the Explore High Skills (EHS) programs in Justice, Community Safety & Emergency Services and Business. Upon registration, all grade 9 students who are not part of the IB program had the opportunity to select Business or Justice as a specialty. Through this program, Grade 9 students can start to earn Certifications that will count towards the SHSM programs if they choose to be part of it in Grades 11 and 12. Students will have opportunities to participate in activities throughout their grade 9 and 10 years free of charge due to generous funding from the Ministry of Education. Upon completion of Grade 10, students who finish all six components of the EHS program will receive a certificate indicating success in this program.

Explore High Skills - Chocolate Tails Team Building Event for all grade 9s

Something for everyone
Co-Curricular Activities at HB

Coming soon
Your Voice Counts survey

The Your Voice Counts survey is designed to collect perception data about schools and to answer the question: What do staff, students and parents/guardians think about their school? The survey covers areas such as teaching and learning, school and classroom leadership, assessment, mental health, bullying/harassment and equity/inclusion. We hope you will participate in this survey. More details on how to do the survey will be coming home to you soon.

Wednesday March 1st - Sunday April 30th - Your Voice Counts School Survey (online)

Comment Stream