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Link to Notes:  December 10th Meeting

Link to Notes: November 10, 1999  Meeting

Synopsis of School Twinning Meeting- Jan. 12, 2000

War-Affected Children in a Globalized World

A meeting was held at Oakville Trafalgar High School, in Oakville, Ontario to plan the school twinning initiative involving Globalization and International Youth Issues. Attending the meeting was staff from both high schools, Oakville Trafalgar, and Pittsford Sutherland, as well as Consulate staff. The meeting was very productive, and a lot of the details concerning both the February kick-off and May conference were decided upon.

The number of students who will be involved is approx. 140, with 70 from each school.

May Conference

It was suggested and agreed upon that the students should have as much influence on the final product (Conference) as possible. In order to accomplish this, the final conference will consist of break-out groups, where students can present the topics in a way in which they see fit.

There were many suggestions as to what form the students presentations could take. These include:

  • Guest Speaker

  • Panel Discussion

  • Play

  • Video Presentation

  • Mock Trial

  • Others

It was felt that by having a small number of students concentrating one topic, while being versed in the others through course work would be help ensure success for the initiative as a whole.

Since not all students would want to be presenting at the final conference, many other roles were discussed which would allow all students to participate. These include:

  • Press Corps

  • Website design

  • Promotional Material

  • Conference Program Brochure

Some of these roles could be combined to ensure that students are involved in activities both during the semester, and at the conference.

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Tentative schedule for the May 31st conference:

  • 9:00 - 10:00 am Opening

  • 10:00 - 11:00 am Session I (with 7 concurrent sessions)

  • 11:00 - 11:15 am Break

  • 11:15 - 12:15 am Session II (with 7 concurrent sessions)

  • 12:15 - 1:30 am Lunch and Speaker

  • 1:30 - 2:30 am Session III (with 7 concurrent sessions)

  • 2:30 - 3:30 am Final Session/Evaluation/Next Steps

The final session would allow the students to be brought together and allow them to share their feelings about the issues, and the conference itself. It was suggested that this would be a good time to gather some feedback on the conference in order to improve for next year. This could be done using and evaluation form.

The Press Corps would be responsible for interviewing speakers, participants, etc., and putting together a newspaper during the conference. The newspaper could act as a keepsake for the students, as well as provide a written record which can be used to promote the conference to students in the following year. The idea of a Press Corps was met with considerable approval.

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February Event: Tentative schedule for February 17 kick-off event:

  • 9:45am Arrival to Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake (
    Issuance of name tags denoting specific issue group)

  • 10:00 - 11:00 am Speakers

  • 11:00 - 12:00 pm Lunch and Mixing

  • 12:00 - 1:00 pm Students meet in smaller groups

  • 1:00 - 2:00 pm Large Group

  • Pittsford needs to be on their buses by 2:15 pm.

The Consulate is in the process of securing the speakers. The suggested timeline for the opening session of the kick off event is as follows:

  • Shaw Introduction Representative of Shaw Festival

  • Welcoming Remarks Mark Romoff, Consul General

  • Presentation on one issue Rochelle Johnston, Youth Mine Action Ambassador

  • Speech engaging activity Steve Christie Kicker for the Buffalo Bills and graduate of OTHS

Prior to coming to the February event, the students will express their preference as to what group they wish to belong to. When they arrive, they will find out what group they have been allotted to. After the speakers and lunch the students will then meet the other students who will be in their break-out group, and teacher supervisor. The students will have the hour to meet, and decide what they want to do for the larger conference. At the end of the day, all of the groups will report back to the entire group what it is they are planning to accomplish and present on May 31st, or throughout the semester, depending on what role they have decided upon.

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Costs

In regards to costs for the two events, the Consulate hopes to be able to cover expenses for transportation, and food. The Consulate asked for estimates from the two schools to help in its budgeting.

Evaluation of Students

Oakville Trafalgar plans on using the work completed during the semester for the final conference as evaluated work, while Pittsford Sutherland plans on using other work related to the twinning for evaluation.

Topics

The topics that will be used for break-out groups and course work are:

(Note teachers have expressed interest in supervising the following topics)

  1. Landmines

  2. Child Conscription

  3. Child Labour

  4. War-Affected Children

  5. Technology/Media and Global Culture (Bill)

  6. Global Economy (Peter)

  7. Popular Global Culture and The Arts (Holly)

There also will an opportunity for students to discuss what this new era should be named. "Name That Era!"

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Next Steps

The following items still need to be finalized: (Priorities in Bold)

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  1. Which break out group will each teacher be responsible for?

  2. What group will each student be placed in? Needs to be done prior to Feb. event.

  3. Where will the students go for dinner after the conference on May 31st?

  4. What will be the May 31st Evening Cultural Event? Costs?

  5. What will occur on the 30th and June 1st?

  6. Development of Bulletin Boards for all break-out groups.

  7. Development of resources for all groups.

  8. Development of possible activities for each area.

  9. Placing the students into groups.


Notes:  December 10th Meeting

Hello everyone, I hope everyone has a very nice holiday season. I know I am looking forward to Christmas and New Years, although my Y2K preparedness currently consists of a lighter and a can of tuna! We are moving forward on our work for the meeting in January in Oakville, and for the kick-off, which has been changed to Thursday, February the 17th. Thank you all for your ability to change the date. Dan has also written a message, which I will attach to the bottom of this message. I look forward to seeing everyone again in January. Take Care. 

Michael Johns

I hope this note finds everyone in good health and cheer during this holiday season. This quick note is intended to build on our successful meeting at Pittsford-Sutherland on Dec.10/99, thanks for the T-shirts), and to plan ahead for our upcoming meeting at Oakville Trafalgar on Jan.12/00.  We at the Consulate feel that your interest and efforts have been tremendous and we are very encouraged by what has been accomplished to date.  We are moving forward on a number of fronts as indicated at our last meeting and hope to have some concrete details, regarding speakers, venues and orientation for our February 17 "kick-off" event, for our Oakville meeting.

It is in this vein that I would like to remind everyone that a good deal of work needs to be accomplished at our meeting on Jan.12.  Specifically, we need to have concrete decisions made regarding the following:

1.  What will be the nature/structure of the projects to be undertaken?

Will these projects be essay-oriented, or will this be complemented by some other type of activity?  How much cross-border project collaboration will there be?  If there is to be cross-border collaboration, exactly how would this work?  (While this may be challenging due to respective curriculums, the Consulate would like to see some efforts made in this direction, perhaps a couple of projects for the senior students).

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2.  Given that one of the objectives of the initiative is to cultivate civic participation and responsibilities, are there any ideas regarding community activities that may be undertaken?  Activities need not necessarily be advocacy for any particular position, but could include such things as information sharing within the broader community (political/business/etc.), media coverage/publicity regarding the actual school twinning and subject matter being studied, engaging the broader community (Oakville/Rochester) in the discussion through public presentations (ie. public libraries, cultural centres, etc.).  Note that video-conferencing from Sheridan College for OT can be done and there can be a hook-up between Oakville-Rochester-Ottawa-New York-etc.

3.  What will be the structure of the final event to be held on May 30-June 1?  Undoubtedly this will be determined by the work that is undertaken during the semester, however thought does need to be given to what it is that you would like to accomplish.  I would remind  everyone of the stated objectives for the final event that Peter Pappas so nicely summarized: the final event should (i) comprise some aspect of the work done during the semester, (ii) provide an opportunity for the students to listen to political actors/experts in the field, (iii) allow the students to express their views/interests/concerns on these topics to these political actors/experts.  Note that we are not necessarily confined to a typical conference/Model UN format.  Perhaps a novel approach should be examined.

These notes are simply for your reflection during the next few weeks so that when we meet in Oakville on Jan.12 we will be prepared to make some concrete decisions on the issues highlighted. (If others on distribution have similar notes please circulate your thoughts as well).  I would encourage everyone to look over the materials that we provided you on our first meetings.  I think that this material may aid in dealing with many of the concrete issues regarding subject matter and project work.

Finally, I would like to inform everyone that we have had a very positive response from Ottawa on this initiative.  The Minister's Office is aware of your efforts and has expressed a keen interest in participating in the initiative.  For our American friends, while this initiative has not yet entered into discussion, we are working very closely with the U.S. Consulate in Toronto on a number of issues and I feel that they would be interested in having some type of anticipation. In short, your work and efforts are "on the radar".  As this is a novel initiative, your imaginations (and current workloads!) are your only limits.

Thank you again for all of your efforts,

Dan Kolundzic

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Notes:  November 10 Meeting

Based on the discussion that occurred at the meeting, the following general agreements were reached:

1) The most plausible and rewarding culminating event for the students would be an "Issues Day". This would be a 1-2 day conference in which the students would have the opportunity to interact with speakers, and each other, to learn, and to have their opinions expressed. While some of the electronic possibilities are interesting and rewarding, they must be accompanied by the face-to-face interaction that a conference would provide.

2) It will be necessary to have the students work prior to the event on the issues, so that the event is a reward, not just a day away from school. It is the Consulates understanding that it was agreed that the work would be completed within a curriculum, not as an extra-curricular activity.

3) This year is an experiment, and therefore it is important not to try to attempt too much. It is more important this year for the twinning to be a success and thus garner interest for subsequent years. Once the twinning is better established, many of the ideas and possibilities that were discussed, could be introduced as a natural progression in the development of the initiative.

4) The Consulate would examine possible venues for the Issues Day. The Consulate would also attempt to find Guest Speakers, and continue to acquire resources for the students.

5) A great deal of planning will need to be undertaken in the very near future. Specific issues needing to be resolved include:

  • The number of students involved
  • The age of the students
  • What work they will do in preparation for the culminating event.

A committee has been established to handle these concerns. This committee will consist of "point" people from each school, and possibly some senior students who could act as leaders for the project, and the culminating event.

  • At Oakville Trafalgar this person is Kathleen Carroll, at 905-845-2875, and email km.carroll@hwcn.org
  • At Pittsford Sutherland, the point person is Peter Pappas, at 716-218-1782, and email peterpappas@msn.com

This committee will also include staff from the Consulate.

6) At least two planning meetings will take place for this project. The first of these meetings will be held in Oakville, and the second will be held in Pittsford.

7) Deadlines: The planning meetings will be held before the Christmas breaks of the schools. The key elements of the project will be in place by the middle of January.

If you have any questions or concerns about this synopsis, please contact Michael Johns at 716-858-9602, or through email at michael.johns@dfait-maeci.gc.ca

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