Monday, September 28, 2009

CHS and Creativity

Here is a link to one of the famous TED lectures that explains in no uncertain terms why creativity is important in today's education system. It is thought provoking, informative and delivered with humour - and reminds us that CHS provides a very special and valuable educational experience that fortunately is out of step with most educational trends today:

Friday, September 18, 2009

More on University Applications

Pat Ryan in Student Services asked me to post a follow-up to my earlier post on University applications. She was concerned that I not leave parents with the impression that the University Fair in Toronto is the primary source of information available to parents.

She explained that "Canterbury has 20 Universities visiting throughout the fall from across Canada. Each presentation is approximately an hour long in a classroom setting so the students have the opportunity to ask questions and gather resources. The "university fair" we are hosting at Canterbury is 2 hours long and all 21 Ontario Universities are represented. Canterbury students have unlimited access to these universities and parents are welcome to attend. This is an amazing opportunity for our students."

Pat emphasized that calendars for all the Universities are available for browsing at your leisure at the school, and that each counsellor is in the process of meeting individually with the graduating students to review their post-secondary plans.

Pat recommends that students research prerequisites at Ontario Universities at and register for scholarships at The staff at Student Services would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have, and would be ready to talk about the pros and cons of each university within the context of your child's strengths and personality.

The graduating class assembly will be held on November 4, 2009 where the university/college application process will be explained. The student PIN numbers for university application should be in from OUAC (Ontario University Application Center) the week of November 23.

Thanks Pat for providing us with more information on what is available to parent right here at the school. We'll post more details to the web site later in the month in advance of the University fair here at Canterbury.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Applying for Universities this year? Start your research now!

For kids in Grade 12, fall is the time for research and decisions on University options for next year. To help you through this potentially stressful time, I've discovered a very informative article by a parent who has recently survived the process. Sanjay Srivastava's presentation to a group of parents from Lisgar is a comprehesive, 10 step guide that walks you through what to think about and how to go about getting the information that you need to make an informed decision. He stresses the need to start early, to visit as many universities as possible, to ask questions and spend lots of time talking with your son or daughter about what they think.

Sanjay also encourages parents and students to make the trip to Toronto to attend the Ontario Universities Fair on September 25th, 26th and 27th. It's free of charge and open to everyone. With hundreds of representatives from all 21 Ontario Universities, Sanjay says that it's far and away the best way to launch your son or daughter into the process. While there will be a mini-version of the fair held in Ottawa on Tuesday October 20th at Canterbury High School and a couple of lunch-time visits to CHS by selected Ontario universities, neither offer the depth and breadth of information available at the Toronto Fair. Sanjay's one-pager on how he approached the fair includes some good advice to help you get the most out of your trip to Toronto.

Good luck and feel free to post any questions, comments or advice that you'd like to share with others.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Welcome back to Canterbury Parents

I had such great intentions when I first thought of a parent blog back in June. The summer stretched out before me and September seemed so far away. But alas the summer flew by faster than it ever did when I was in high school and before I knew it, the calendar had flipped to September, my kids are back in school and I'm already behind on both this new blog and the larger web site.

I hope to start posting stuff on this blog later on this week, but I thought I'd post something to let people know that there will be new and hopefully useful information posted on this blog very soon.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Welcome to the Canterbury Parent Advisor Blog

My daughter started Canterbury in September 2008. As a newbie parent at CHS I was keen to find any information I could that would give me a bit of insight into what was happening at the school, how I might get involved and in general whether there was any way for me to learn more about the institution that would be my daughters home for the next 4 years.

I figured the best place to start was the school's official OCDSB website. It looked great, but it contained little of the information I was looking for as a parent. So I joined the Canterbury High School Council. There I learned that the School Council had a web site but that it was rarely updated. So I volunteered to help manage the website and turned it into a Wiki that everyone could help keep up to date. You can check it out at There you will find a handy calendar of the year's events, a constantly updated set of Announcements giving you a head's up on upcoming events that you, as a parent, might want to know about and perhaps even attend.

Now as the year draws to a close I think back to last September and I ask myself: "Does the website really provide a newbie parent with what I was looking for when I first arrived?" In part it does, but part of what I was looking for does not work well in a traditional web site format. I think I was looking more for advice. Stuff that parents learn over the years that if they had known it earlier would have made their life or they child's life at Canterbury a little easier. So I thought the School Council should try something a little different and set up this blog.

I haven't figured out all the details, but my idea is to find a group of parents from different grades to agree to upload blog posts every couple of weeks with announcements, messages, words of wisdom, questions or advice to share with other parents. Other parents could check out the blog periodically for advice from these parents, and even post some of their own advice in the comments. Together with the web site, we could create a place on the web where parents could go to give and accept advice on parenting in general, and parenting at Canterbury High School in particular.

It's almost June and summer is around the corner, so don't expect to see much change over the next few months, but as September approaches we'll start posting stuff that will be hopefully contain information and advice that some of you find valuable.

In the meantime, let me know what you think of this idea. And if you'd like to contribute, send me an email at

Have a Great Summer.