Synopsis of School
Twinning Meeting- Jan. 12, 2000
War-Affected Children in a
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
The number of students who
will be involved is approx. 140, with 70 from each school.
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:
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
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:
Some of these roles could be
combined to ensure that students are involved in activities both during the
semester, and at the conference.
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
1:30 - 2:30 am Session
III (with 7 concurrent sessions)
2:30 - 3:30 am Final
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.
February Event: Tentative schedule for February 17
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
12:00 - 1:00 pm Students
meet in smaller groups
1:00 - 2:00 pm Large
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:
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.
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
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.
The topics that will be used
for break-out groups and course work are:
teachers have expressed interest in supervising the following topics)
Global Culture (Bill)
Culture and The Arts (Holly)
There also will an
opportunity for students to discuss what this new era should be named. "Name
The following items still
need to be finalized: (Priorities in Bold)
Which break out group
will each teacher be responsible for?
What group will each
student be placed in? Needs to be done prior to Feb. event.
Where will the students
go for dinner after the conference on May 31st?
What will be the May
31st Evening Cultural Event? Costs?
What will occur on the
30th and June 1st?
Development of Bulletin
Boards for all break-out groups.
resources for all groups.
Development of possible
activities for each area.
Placing the students
Notes: December 10th Meeting
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.
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
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
1. What will be the nature/structure of the projects to be
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
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.
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.
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.
you again for all of your efforts,
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
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
5) A great deal of planning will need to be
undertaken in the very near future. Specific issues needing to be resolved
- The number of students involved
- The age of the students
- What work they will do in preparation for the
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- At Pittsford Sutherland, the point person is
Peter Pappas, at 716-218-1782, and email email@example.com
This committee will also include staff from the
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