Monday, October 16, 2017

Parent-Teacher Interviews

 Parents (and students):

First, let me apologize for having immediately broken my promise to have frequent recourse to this page. We are communicating with students through so many digital platforms that it is sometimes difficult to stay on top of them all.

Parent Teacher Interview night is fast approaching (Thursday, October 26th from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.). I would look forward to meeting as many of you as the schedule will allow; there are 12 slots available and they tend to book up fast.  Here are the instructions for accessing the on-line parent-teacher bookoing system:

Should you find yourself unable to book an appointment between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. on October 26th, we can always make alternate arrangements to either meet in the after school hours, or simply speak by telephone.

Looking forward to meeting many of you on the 26th!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Bonjour et bienvenue!

Hello and welcome to another school year! A busy semester, to say the least with a grade nine applied class (FSF1P1-11) and a STACKED grade 11 and grade 12 university section (FSF3U1-12 and FSF4U1-12).

This space is what is called my homework blog; it is intended for communication with parents primarily, but also students. I would encourage you to subscribe, as I hope to update frequently. Also, it will be written entirely in English - the only time students will actually see English in their digital experience in French class.

Students are off to a good start. They are actively engaging in their learning using digital tools, such as the HUB, Google Docs and We will continue to engage in this type of 21st century learning towards making our students better speakers, listeners, readers and writers of the French language.

An important bit of news for grade nine students: iPads will be distributed this week. Forms will be going home on Tuesday and it is critical that they come back, signed, right away. Startup for grade nines is busy, as we are engaged in transferring computer accounts from their middle schools so that the digital tools the HWDSB  is fortunate to have can be enjoyed in full.  Please ensure that these forms make it back to the school either Wednesday or Thursday of this week.

In the mean time, communication lines are always open. Have a look at the top right hand corner of the screen for contact information if you wish to get a hold of me.

Let's have a great semester in French!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Parent-teacher interviews

Hello families of students in FSF1D1-23 and FSF3U1-22.

In case you didn't know, parent-teacher interviews are slated for next Thursday, March 30th from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Appointments are required and booked on line.

There are only a few slots left.  Please go here to book:

Parent-teacher interview website

You will need your son's'/daughter's six digit student number to access the appointment schedule.

If you are unable to book an appointment, as they are all filled, please contact Monsieur Gelder so we can make alternate arrangements.

Parent-teacher night or not, you are always welcome to contact me at the school (see the right hand panel) if you have any concerns about the class or your son's/daughter's progress.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Option sheets due now!!!


Please ensure that your son/daughter has completed their option sheets on-line and that they have printed and have signed their confirmation form.

That confirmation form should be handed into Mr. Gelder no later than Thursday, March 2nd.

Thank you!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Dialogue/Interview Assignments

Both classes (FSF1D1 - grade nine academic and FSF3U1 - grade 11 university) classes are working on oral assignments to wind up the first unit of the course.

Grade nines are working with irregular adjectives, reflexive verbs and expressions of activity to introduce a partner.  Many groups have chosen to engage with digital tools in the spirit of TLE (Transforming Learning Everywhere) and are recording their interviews using their iPads and uploading them to the HUB via the Board's video hosting site, called  Exciting times.

Grade 11s are employing the futur anterior as well as the imperative with pronouns to put on a fictitious visit to a travel agency.

Next week, preliminary reports will be prepared and going home (I believe) in advance of March Break.  Unlike the mid-semster report and the final report card, these reports will not have a percentage mark but will indicate only whether the student is "Progressing Very Well", "Progressing Well" or "Progressing with Difficulty".

Shortly thereafter, you will be able to go on line to book a parent-teacher interview which will happen on a date I will post here very soon.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Explore program

Hey parents of grade 11 FSF3U1 students!  I would like to make you aware of an amazing opportunity this summer for your son/daughter to learn French more intensely than they ever could in a core French classroom.

"Explore" is a five-week program where students live and study French in Quebec (or New Brunswick), usually in a setting where English simply isn't an option.  It really is the best (and ultimately ony) way to master a second language.

One of the best parts of this program is that it is entirely paid for by a federal-provincial subsidy, which includes tuition, room and board either in a college/university/CEGEP residence or a private home.

The program runs in the summer for all of July and early August.  I am linking the program's website below.  Application is on-line, but the deadline is approaching; March 6th.

Please consider encouraging your language-learner to take advantage of this outstanding program.  If you have any questions, I would be more than happy to answer them as both a French teacher and alumnus of the program.

Explore program website.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day and here's the situation

Good evening and Happy Valentine's Day to everyone.

We are off to a great start this semester and we have completed some preliminsary diagnostic testing.  Students are where they are expected to be and, in many cases, beyond.  This is a credit to the feeder school French teachers at SWO, Dundas Central, Spencer Valley, Dr. John Seaton and Lee Academy.

I do need to advise you of a current situation here at the school, however.  As of the beginning of the semester, the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board found itself short a number of qualified FSL (French-as-a-Second Language) teachers.  As such, they have had to to outside of their supply/LTO teacher inventory to find qualified candidates.  Long-term, this is great news as there will soon be a fresh batch of eager, young French teachers for the system.

The bad news, at least short term, is that we at DVSS are still short a teacher for the immediate period.  I understand there has been a hiring, but human resources must do their due diligence before the teacher can start in the school.  What this means for your son's/daughter's class is that I have been splitting my time between two sets of classes, spending two days with my own classes and two days with the ones that don't currently have a teacher assigned.  On days I am not in either set of respective classes, there is a qualified supply teacher although not one who is necessarily FSL qualifiied.

We do apologize for this situation, but we hope to have a resolution to it once the human resources requirements are filled and the permanent classrom teacher is able to take up the post.  Should you have any questions or concerns in the interim, please do not hesitate to contact either me (see the right-hand panel) or the school.