Unionville High School (Ontario)

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For the school located in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, see Unionville High School (Pennsylvania). For other uses of the initialism, see UHS (disambiguation).
Unionville High School
Unionville.PNG
Create and Achieve
Address
201 Town Centre Blvd.
Markham, Ontario, L3R 8G5, Canada
Coordinates 43°52′N 79°20′W / 43.867°N 79.333°W / 43.867; -79.333Coordinates: 43°52′N 79°20′W / 43.867°N 79.333°W / 43.867; -79.333
Information
School board York Region District School Board
Religious affiliation none
Superintendent Lisa Walsh[1]
Area trustee Ada Yeung[1]
Principal Maureen Weaver[2]
Vice principal Melissa Schmidt[2]
Vincent Chow [3]
School type Public Secondary School
Grades 9-12
Language English
French
Area York Region
Mascot Wolf
Team name Unionville Wolves
Colours Maroon      and Grey     
Founded 1985
Enrolment 1933 (October 2009)[4]
Homepage unionville.hs.yrdsb.edu.on.ca

Unionville High School (known locally as UHS) is a public high school of the York Region District School Board in Ontario, Canada. It is located west of the community of Unionville in the city of Markham. The school is located next to the local municipal offices and the Apple Creek Business Park.

Unionville High School is most well known for its enriched arts program, Arts York. The school was purpose-built to house this regional arts program, therefore it has enhanced arts facilities. Arts York is divided into 4 categories: visual arts, music, dance, and drama. In order to gain entry to these unique programs, grade eight to eleven students are required to audition.

History[edit]

In the mid-1970s, Superintendent Stephen Bacsalmsi proposed the idea of an advanced arts program for the region. The Ontario government accepted the idea, but needed to wait for a new high school to be built. When Unionville High School was under construction, the government decided it was a prime opportunity to initiate the program. The school was finished and opened to the public in 1985, with the schools west wing constructed in the Spring of 2002.[5][6]

Unionville High School also became the first school outside the United States to participate in the Apple Digital Campus Curriculum (ADCC) in 2002.[citation needed]

In 2005, Sheila Hetherington and Jerry Berridge, teachers in the history and tech departments, were recipients of the Governor General's Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History.[7] In 2006, the same two teachers later won the Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence.[8] For the 2007-08 teaching year, Donna McAdam was a recipient of the Premier's Awards for Teaching Excellence.[9] The two documentaries created during this course, When We Were Young and Never Shall We Forget, were of broadcast standard and aired on TVO.[10][11]

Facilities[edit]

The exterior of the school.

The facilities at Unionville High include a visual arts room, communication/new media lab, construction lab, design and technological lab, dance studios, music rooms, music practice rooms, drama rooms, black box theatre, family studies labs, photography blackroom, science labs, resource centre, classrooms, guidance office, two gymnasiums, two outdoor fields, outdoor track, weight room, washrooms and shower facilities, student cafeteria, student council office, yearbook office, student parking facilities, staff dining room, and staff workrooms.[12]

There are approximately 300 computers in the school, divided between 9 computer labs. Notably, two of the computer labs employ Apple computers, as a part of the Apple Digital Campus.[12]

While officially being two separate properties, the school as well as the Markham Theatre are connected via a tunnel. The theatre occasionally hosts school assemblies as well as performances from the Arts York program.[13]

Programs[edit]

Arts Unionville program[edit]

Arts Unionville, formally known as Arts York, is a four-year program that high school students take concurrently with the mainstream academic program. The high school enrolls students from all over the Greater Toronto Area. In 2010, due to school board changes, Arts York was forced to change their program name to Arts Unionville and will only take students from the Markham area, except for piano and stringed instruments.[14] Class 2012 was the last year of Arts York. However, in the 2009-10 school year, the program was renamed "Arts Unionville" [15] Shortly after, the District School Board cut their bus fundings, thus eliminating transportation means for long-distance students attending the program. As a result, students were forced to drop out. The decision was protested by many parents and students, and after taking the matter to court, they won. However, one year later, it was slashed again. Students living in areas not around Unionville were expected to attend arts schools in their own districts. As a result, the pool of talent for these programs has significantly declined.[16]

Musical arts[edit]

The Musical Arts department is the biggest section of Arts York at Unionville High School. There are four classrooms for music situated in the east wing of the school directly adjacent to the underground link to the Markham Theater. With its strategic placement, it is often said amongst faculty, staff, and students that the Music department is located in its own east wing.

The Arts Unionville Music program is separated into four categories: piano, winds, strings, and vocal.[17] Classes are divided into two types: performance and musicianship. In performance classes, students play scales, studies, and other short pieces. In the musicianship classes, components such as music history, rudiments, and harmony are taught. Arts York Music classes are also taught based on a Day 1/Day 2 timetable.

Visual arts[edit]

The Visual Arts program provides opportunities for individual creative and imaginative growth as well as development of technical skills.[18] Students of this program will be introduced to experimental and traditional directions in drawing and painting. They will also specialize in sculpture, photography, printmaking (etching and silkscreen), ceramics, textiles, or video. There are also studies in the history of art and critical analyses of one's own work. The student's discovery of individual strengths and directions is a prime focus. For the purpose of developing the aptitudes of talented students interested in the Visual Arts, programs are offered in all four years.

Dramatic arts[edit]

The Drama Department explores university level dramatic arts. Disciplines such as mask, mime, clown and Shakespeare are presented to the actors and explored through self-discovery.[19] Many Arts York Drama graduates, like Hayden Christensen and Emmanuelle Chriqui, have gone on to professional careers as actors, singers, comedians and production staff in both film and television as well as studied at top institutions such as the National Theatre School [20][21]

Dance arts[edit]

Dance arts is another popular program in Arts York. This program focuses on the development of creativity, artistry, and technique needed to improve dance expression.[22] Students in this program are given opportunities to participate in dance programs such as Dance Access, and The Nutcracker productions in December staged by the National Ballet of Canada.

NewMedia[edit]

NewMedia was a program that ran for three years from 2003 to 2006. Although it wasn't as popular as its Arts York counterpart, it was still considered a respectable program within York Region.[by whom?] Students were introduced to, and studied extensively in, Communication Technology and the study of Graphic Design. There was only one class per grade, approximately 30 students per class. The main reasons for the cessation of the program were funding problems and attendance. Finally, NewMedia was only made available to students in the Markham area, unlike the Arts York program, which had then accepted students from all over York Region.

Academic achievement[edit]

Students at Unionville High School has in recent years performed very well in academics, whether it be in compulsory provincial testing, or in extra-curricular academic competitions. Academically, the Fraser institute 2014 Report Card gave the high school a rating of 9.5/10 on the and a rank of second out of 740 schools in Ontario, and sixth out of 690 schools in Ontario over the past five years.[23] When the Fraser Institute originally began publishing report on Ontario secondary schools in 2001, Unionville was rated at 8.9/10 and ranked at 36 out of 568 schools and 21 out of 349 in Ontario.[24]

Provincial assessment[edit]

Each year, Grade 9 students across Ontario are issued province-wide standardized tests in Mathematics. The tests themselves are administered by the Ontario Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO). The Mathematics assessment is graded under the Ontario rubric, where level 3 is considered the provincial standard, and level 4 is considered above the provincial standard. In the 2012-13 academic year:

  • 34% of Unionville students, enrolled in the academic program, scored level 4 in EQAO Math Assessment (only 13% of all students in Ontario achieved this standard).[25]
  • 97% of Unionville students, enrolled in the academic program, scored level 3 or above in EQAO Math Assessment (only 84% of Ontario students achieved this standard).[25]

In addition to the Grade 9 mathematics assessment, EQAO also administers the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test, a standardized test for high school students in Ontario who wish to graduate from an Ontario secondary school and obtain their Ontario Secondary School Diploma. The test is written every year on the last Thursday of March in all public secondary schools including Unionville. In the 2009 testing:

  • 96% of Unionville students who were taking the test for the first time passed the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test, (compared to an 82% success rate for the province as a whole).[26]

Extra-curricular competitions[edit]

The school itself has also formed extra-curricular clubs or teams to compete in academic competitions such as the national Reach for the Top trivia game show and the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA). Several students representing the school have been sent to represent the province in international DECA competitions, and in some cases, achieving stellar results during the competition.[27][28] Students also have the opportunity to compete in the Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge (COMC) each year as individuals and as a part of the school team each year.[29]

Clubs and extracurricular activities[edit]

Sport[edit]

Besides the school's arts programs, the school also has a respectable athletics program competing in the York Region Athletic Association and OFSAA. Following are some of the sports in which the school participates:

A notable member of the Unionville High hockey team was Cody Hodgson, currently playing for the Buffalo Sabres of the NHL. An autographed jersey can be found in the school.

Clubs[edit]

The school is home to many clubs, although the number of clubs and their continuance varies per academic year. Some of the more longstanding clubs would include:[30]

Chinese[edit]

The YRDSB International Languages Program holds Chinese classes for Senior Kindergarten to Grade 8 on Fridays and Saturdays at Unionville High School.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Unionville H.S.". York Region District School Board. © 2012 York Region District School Board. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "ADMINiSTRATION / LEADERSHIP". Unionville High School. Unionville High School. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  3. ^ http://www.yrdsb.ca/schools/unionville.hs/info/Pages/default.aspx?SchoolID=416
  4. ^ "York Region District School Board - Monthly Enrolment Report" (PDF). York Region District School Board. Retrieved 2010-05-17. 
  5. ^ Chairs’ Committee: Minutes of Meeting #5 (Public), York Region District School Board. May 13, 2002. (Retrieved 2009-09-08.)
  6. ^ "West wing construction," UHS 25th reunion. (Retrieved 2009-09-08.)
  7. ^ Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean Speech on the Occasion of the Presentation of the Governor General’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History,” Governor General of Canada. November 29, 2005. (Retrieved 2009-09-08.)
  8. ^ Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence,” Prime Minister’s Awards. November 17, 2008. (Retrieved 2009-09-08.)
  9. ^ 2007-08 Award Recipients,” Premier’s Awards for Teaching Excellence. Queen’s Printer for Ontario. 2009. (Retrieved 2009-09-08.)
  10. ^ http://professionallyspeaking.oct.ca/june_2006/war_stories.asp
  11. ^ http://tvo.org/sites/static/pdf/TVOListingsNov07.pdf
  12. ^ a b Unionville High School Our Students, (Retrieved 2010-01-27.)
  13. ^ "Theatre marks quarter century," Yorkregion.com. (Retrieved 2010-01-27.)
  14. ^ "Arts Unionville". Arts Unionville. Unionvile High School. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ http://canyouth.ca/2011/07/the-plight-of-arts-yorkarts-unionville/
  17. ^ "Music". Arts Unionville. Unionville High School. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  18. ^ "Visual Arts". Arts Unionville. Unionville High School. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  19. ^ http://www.unionville.hs.yrdsb.edu.on.ca/artsunionville/drama_audition.html
  20. ^ http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Hayden_Christensen.html
  21. ^ http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/television/2014/01/17/tca_2014_canadian_native_pioneers_wave_of_online_tv.html
  22. ^ "Dance". Arts Unionville. Unionville High School. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  23. ^ Report Card for Unionville High School,”
  24. ^ Report Card on Ontario's Secondary Schools : 2001 Edition,” Ranking the schools. No publication date. (Retrieved 2010-10-03.)
  25. ^ a b Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics, 2012-2013,
  26. ^ Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test, May 2013,”
  27. ^ 2010 ICDC Business Service Marketing Winners, DECA. 2010. (Retrieved 2010-5-21.)
  28. ^ 2010 ICDC Accounting Applications Winners, DECA. 2010. (Retrieved 2010-5-21.)
  29. ^ 2009 Results Euclid Contest, Canadian Mathematics Competition. 2009. (Retrieved 2009-09-08.)
  30. ^ Curriculum and Co-Curricular Activities, York Region District School Board. (Retrieved 2009-09-08.)
  31. ^ Pasternak, Sean B. “Ready or Not, Lani Ballard Has Arrived,” Thornhill Times. July 1995. (Retrieved 2009-09-06.)
  32. ^ Steve Byers as Jason Tanner,” Falcon Beach. 2009. (Retrieved 2009-09-096.)
  33. ^ Christina Cox,” The New York Times [online only]. 2009. (Retrieved 2009-09-06.)
  34. ^ Lynch, Lorrie. “Adam Sandler’s costar, Emmanuelle Chriqui,” The Who's News Blog, USA Weekend. May 23, 2008. (Retrieved 2009-09-06.)
  35. ^ Hayden Christensen,” NNDB. 2009. (Retrieved 2009-09-06.)
  36. ^ Dakota Synopsis,” El Duo Motion Pictures. (Retrieved 2010-10-03.)
  37. ^ OHA's Annual Convention & Exhibition Excitement from Beginning to End.[dead link] Ontario Hospital Association. July 2000.
  38. ^ Hayakawa, Mike. “Will Stamkos go No. 1?,” yorkregion.com June 18, 2008. (Retrieved 2009-09-06.)
  39. ^ [2] "Arts York" program refers to Unionville High School
  40. ^ "Sarah-Lynn Wells". 2012 London Olympic Games. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 

External links[edit]