March 10, 2024

WEEK B (March 18-22)

Principal's Message

Good Morning Garth Webb:

The March Break has arrived and students and staff are enjoying the well deserved break to decompress and have some fun with family and friends. The weather here last week was warmer than some places in Florida!! GW Chargers have embarked on a trip to L.A. California over the break with all kinds of fun and educational things planned such as tours of Warner Brothers Studio, acting lessons, Disney, and a visit to Venice Beach... just to name a few.  

 The Garth Webb Swim Team had an outstanding showing last week at OFSAA. A total of 20 swimmers attended over two days. The senior girls relays made finals in two relays. They finished 25th overall in the free relay and 19th overall in the medley relay. Emma T. made finals in two individual events and finished 5th overall in the 200 IM and 7th overall in the 100 close to medalling!! The open girls 4x100 relay finished 31st overall. Sidney P. also competed in two individual events finishing 31st in the 200 free. Eric S. had a PB in the 100 back, our boys relays had PB times and great showings as well! Congratulations to all 43 swim team members on an outstanding season!

We would like to take a moment to thank Mark Zonneveld who has been our acting VP for the last few months, what a great addition he has been to our school!  And... welcome back Eric Keunne who will be starting up with us again after the break.

I wish everyone safe travels if you are indeed going somewhere. Sometimes the "staycations" are the best vacations!!  Enjoy the family celebrations or activities that you have planned for over the March Break.   

The next Principal's Blog will be March 24th.

Take care,

Jacquie Pece

Guidance Counsellors

  Ms. Tolton (A-E)

Ms. Mactaggart (F-L)

Mr. Sanderson (M-Q)

Ms. Hosany (R-Z) 

Google Classrooms

 Grade 9 - euk4ho6

Grade 10 - bix3yen

Grade 11 - krgiixa

Grade 12 - reyclkl

From Your Student Services Department

Tuesdays @Ten

On Tuesday, March 5, a representative from Niagara College presented on what colleges have to offer. Including general information, the difference between academic vs applied, credential types, how to apply, and how to bridge from college to university. If you missed the presentation a recording of the session can be found here.

Scholarships and Awards

Community Awards: (Rotary, Halton Learning Foundation, Maycourt, CFUW, Lion's Club, Chinese Canadian Association).

It's that time of year when applications open for the various community awards.  All information can be found on the online awards hub.  Please take a look at the site and direct any questions you may have to your guidance counsellor.  Students are encouraged to create an account and review the various award criteria.  Please note that most application deadlines are in the Spring.

Awards Hub

Exploring Post-Secondary Pathways

The HDSB will be hosting a post secondary exploration event for students in grades 7-10 and their families at Sheridan College on Saturday April 13th.  Please refer to the accompanying document for future details.  Please note that space is limited and registration is required to attend the event.

Senior Financial Literacy Competition

In December 2023, students in the Financial Literacy Club participated in a provincial competition exam sponsored by the University of Waterloo School of Accounting and Finance. This multiple choice exam covered a wide range of financial topics including budgeting, credit, investing, insurance, and economics.

The following students are to be congratulated for achieving gold level standing (above 80%) in the financial literacy competition 

Special mention goes to grade 12 student Arish Shahab for achieving the top score in the FLC exam compared to all grade 12 students in Ontario who participated.  Arish was awarded the top prize of $750.00 to help pay for his post-secondary education.

Ramadan Mubarak!

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and the holy month of fasting, which is observed by Muslims all over the world. It is also a time of reflection, prayer, patience, discipline, community, spiritual growth and practicing self-restraint from bad habits, thoughts and actions. The Islamic calendar is based on the cycle of the moon, where every month begins and ends with the appearance of the crescent moon. Since the Islamic calendar year is shorter than the Gregorian calendar year, Ramadan begins 10-12 days earlier as each year goes by. 

Fasting is called sawm in Arabic and is the third of five pillars in Islam (basic identity of Muslims). Along with declaration of faith (shahada), prayer (salat), charity (zakat) and pilgrimage (hajj). Fasting consists of waking up before dawn to eat a meal (suhoor) then not drinking or eating anything until sunset. At sunset, Muslims gather with their families to break their fast with a meal (iftar). As a sunnah, tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Muslims begin to break their fast with a date fruit. Although fasting is mandatory for Muslims, there are people who are exempt from the requirement of fasting such as pregnant women, women on their menstrual cycle, people who are ill, the old and children.

In addition to the mandatory 5 daily prayers in Islam, there are optional prayers (sunnah) offered at night during the month of Ramadan. These are called taraweeh prayers and are preferably performed in congregation at the mosque. 

According to the Holy Book in Islam (Qur’an), it is stated that the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during the month of Ramadan as a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion (Qur’an 2:185). It is believed that Angel Jibreel revealed the Holy Qur’an’s first verses to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) on one of the odd nights in the last 10 nights of Ramadan, called the “Night of Power” (Laylat al-Qadr). This night is very special to Muslims as “The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months” (97:3) and only God knows which night it falls upon. Therefore, Muslims work even harder to pray, fast, read Qur’an, do good deeds, donate to charity and ask for forgiveness during these last 10 days.

Eid al-Fitr is a celebration that marks the end of Ramadan, and is determined by the sighting of the new moon for the next Islamic month, Shawwal

Izzah Syed, GW Student

Works cited

Chet (Sikh New Year)

The Sikh New Year begins on March 14 when the first month of the Sikh calendar, Chet, begins. The Sikh calendar runs from mid-March to mid-February and is entirely separate from the widely adopted Gregorian calendar. It has its own months, as outlined by the Sikh Gurus in holy scripture, and dates of holidays can vary from year to year, not unlike religious festivals from other traditions. 

Chet begins on "sangrand" in March with the unveiling backdrop of Spring. The word "Chet" means to contemplate, remember, or turn attention towards. Sangrand is the time when the sun passes from one constellation of stars to the next. "Sangrand" is a  term derived from the sanskrit word "sankrant." The first part, "san" means "in a positive way." The second part, "krant" means "change." Hence, sangrand is the day of moving forward to the next month.

We wish all who are celebrating a Happy New Year!

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Guided by the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recognizes that injustices and prejudices fueled by racial discrimination take place every day. Observed annually on March 21, it commemorates the day police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid "pass laws" in 1960.

In Canada, this date is an opportunity to reflect on the fact that while progress has been made, Indigenous Peoples, racialized communities, and religious minorities in Canada continue to face racism and discrimination every day. It is also a day to re-commit our efforts to combat all forms of racial discrimination, injustice, systemic racism, and hate to ensure a world where everyone is respected, safe, and has equitable access to contribute meaningfully to all aspects of society.

Find more information on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.


The word Nowruz (Novruz, Navruz, Nooruz, Nevruz, Nauryz), means new day; its spelling and pronunciation may vary by country.

Nowruz marks the first day of spring and is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, which usually occurs on 21 March. It is celebrated as the beginning of the new year by more than 300 million people all around the world and has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and other regions.

Families also set aside a space for a “haft-seen”, or a collection of items that symbolize a different hope for the new year. While some families add their own variations to the haft-seen (more on those in a bit), there are seven things that are always included:

Sabzeh: Some kind of sprout or grass that will continue to grow in the weeks leading up to the holiday, for rebirth and renewal

Senjed: Dried fruit, ideally a sweet fruit from a lotus tree, for love

Sib: Apples, for beauty and health

Seer: Garlic, for medicine and taking care of oneself

Samanu: A sweet pudding, for wealth and fertility

Serkeh: Vinegar, for the patience and wisdom that comes with aging

Sumac: A Persian spice made from crushed sour red berries, for the sunrise of a new day

Inscribed in 2009 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as a cultural tradition observed by numerous peoples, Nowruz is an ancestral festivity marking the first day of spring and the renewal of nature. It promotes values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families as well as reconciliation and neighbourliness, thus contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples and different communities.

Nowruz plays a significant role in strengthening the ties among peoples based on mutual respect and the ideals of peace and good neighbourliness. Its traditions and rituals reflect the cultural and ancient customs of the civilizations of the East and West, which influenced those civilizations through the interchange of human values.

Celebrating Nowruz means the affirmation of life in harmony with nature, awareness of the inseparable link between constructive labour and natural cycles of renewal and a solicitous and respectful attitude towards natural sources of life.

Garth Webb wishes everyone celebrating a Nowruz Mubarak!


Ostara (Spring Equinox) - March 21

Ostara is a Wiccan holiday and one of their eight Sabbats. Ostara celebrates the spring equinox. The word Ostara comes from the Anglo-Saxon goddess name, Eostre. Eostre represented spring and new beginnings.

The celebration of spring is present in many ancient customs, across all cultures, and it seems that Wicca has borrowed from many of them for Ostara. Like many other spring celebrations in other cultures, Ostara symbolizes fertility, rebirth, and renewal. This time of year marked the beginning of the agricultural cycle, and farmers would start planting seeds.

Many of the symbols of Ostara have roots in other traditions, and the use of rabbits and hares is one such example. In medieval times in Europe, the March hare was seen as a fertility symbol, and a sign of spring. This species of rabbit is nocturnal most of the year, but in March, it is mating season for the animal. During mating season, March hares are seen all day long. Additionally, females of this species can get pregnant with a second litter while pregnant with their first litter. This explains why they were used as symbols for fertility.

Modern day Wiccans or pagans might go outside to meditate and perform a simple ritual to welcome the spring. Another common way to celebrate the coming spring is to plant seeds. Some families incorporate seasonal candy, such as peeps and chocolate rabbits, with their kids to help them get in the spirit of the event.


World Down Syndrome Day

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) , 21 March, is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. The date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome. 

For World Down Syndrome Day 2024, we call for people around the world to End The Stereotypes. 

What is a ‘stereotype’?

A stereotype is a set idea that people have about what someone or something is like. Stereotypes can be positive, negative or neutral, but they are often inaccurate, or simply wrong! Stereotypes are often based on limited information or personal experience. They can be reinforced by the way something is represented in the media or by cultural messages. Once formed, a stereotype can be difficult to change.

The truth! 

People are all different. Each person with Down syndrome is different. Each person with an intellectual disability is different. We don’t all act the same way or like the same things. We each have our individual identity, interests, likes and dislikes, gifts and talents, just like everyone else. Having Down syndrome or an intellectual disability is just one part of who we are! We are people. Treat us like people.

Click here for further resources and information.


This year, the festival of Purim runs from the evening of Saturday, March 23 through Sunday, March 24. 

Purim is one of the most fun and happy days in the Jewish calendar. It is a celebration commemorating Jews who were spared from masacre during the Persian Empire. The story can be found in the Torah and the Old Testament of the Bible, in the book of Esther. 

The heroine, Esther, was the Queen of Persia who hid her Jewish background from her husband, King Ahasuerus. She eventually disclosed her faith to the King and convinced him to stop the planned annihilation of the Jews. 

In modern times, Purim is celebrated by extravagant costumes, a colourful pageant, a shared feast and the exchange of treats and gift baskets.

HDSB Hosting Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions for Parents/Guardians

The Halton District School Board is hosting Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions for parents/guardians this Winter and Spring. Covering specific topics based on feedback from parents/guardians, each session will be led by a mental health expert in that area who will share their knowledge and provide helpful information and resources.

Sessions include: 

*Note: These are repeated workshops offered last year. Additional sessions will be announced at a later date. 

Registration is required for these sessions as limited spots are available. Parents/guardians can register by completing the Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions Registration Form. Sessions will be held on Google Meet, where closed captioning is available in various languages. Registrants will be emailed a link to access the session. Sessions will not be recorded.

Parents/guardians will have the opportunity to submit questions when completing the registration form or during the session. The HDSB’s Mental Health & Well-Being webpage has information for parents/guardians and students on mental health, ways to support positive mental health and well-being, and how to get additional support at school and in the broader community.

Please note that the school is not collecting any immunization information. 

Please report all immunizations directly to Halton Region Public Health

Any inquiries about immunizations should be directed to the health department.

Halton Health Suspensions

We have received two lists from the health department of students who are facing suspension due to missing vaccines. We sent an email to all families on the first list during the week of February 26 and another message to all families on the second (updated) list this past week.

If you received an email from us at the school regaring your student's pending suspension this past week, please be sure to follow the steps in the email to make sure your student is removed from that list by public health before the suspension date of March 21, 2024. 

If your student has already received their vaccination but you still got an email from the school, we are suggesting that you go in person to the Regional Centre to report the immunization directly to them (1151 Bronte Rd., Oakville).

Please visit the halton public health immunization website for further information.

Links to Community Resources

New Groups Being Offered by ROCK

School Calendar & Sports Schedule

Click here to view the sports schedule on HSSAA

Important Dates for Your Calendar

Upcoming Key Dates

Mar 11 - 15 Spring Break (School Closed)

Mar 21 Parent/Teacher Interview Night 5 pm

Mar 27 CP Day - Classes start at 9:30 am

Mar 29 Good Friday (School Closed)

Apr 1 Easter Monday (School Closed)

Apr 2 Tuesdays @Ten

Apr 8 PA Day - no school for students

Apr 17 Last Day of Term 1

Apr 18 First Day of Term 2

Apr 24 OUAC / OCAS Semester 2 Midterm Mark Upload

Apr 24 CP Day - Classes start at 9:30 am

Apr 26 Semester 2 Midterm Report Card Distribution

May 3 Full Disclosure

May 7 Tuesdays @Ten

May 20 Victoria Day Holiday (School Closed)

May 22 CP Day - Classes start at 9:30 am

May 23 15th Week Report Distribution

May 23 Grade 12 Prom

May 27 - Jun 19 Protected Time

Jun 4 Tuesdays @Ten

Jun 10 Class of 2024 Commencement

Jun 20 - 26 Exam Block

Jun 27 Exam Review Day/Last Day of School (early dismissal)

Jun 28 PA Day - no school for students

Jul 3 OUAC / OCAS Semester 2 Final Mark Upload

Jul 8 Semester 2 Final Report Card Distribution

Jul 9-11 Diploma Pick up

If you have any questions or suggestions for improving the school, our virtual door is always open. Please feel free to contact our admin team by email anytime.

Jacquie Pece, Robin Toffolo, Nancy Annibale, Eric Keunne

Garth Webb S.S. Admin Team

The Principal's Blog will return to your inbox on 

Sunday, March 24, 2024