William Berczy Public School

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William Berczy Public School
120 Carlton Rd.
Unionville, Ontario, Canada
Type Public
Motto "Berczy is a school where children want to learn, teachers want to teach, and parents want to be involved"[1]
Established 1968
School district York Region District School Board
Principal Kathy Lott
Vice principal David Williams
Staff 45-50
Grades K–8
Number of students 700-800
Language English
Colour(s) Blue, Gold
Mascot Berczy Bears
Affiliation None

William Berczy Public School is a public elementary school in the town of Unionville, Ontario, Canada. It is a public school in the York Region District School Board. The school's name comes from William Berczy, who founded the town in which the school is located. It was built in 1968.


Original layout[edit]

The school itself is a two-story building. Originally intended for a high school, William Berczy has a relatively large gym at the centre of the school with rooms surrounding. The ground floor mainly consists of offices and facilities with only 6 classrooms. The office, gymnasium, music room, and staff room were all located on the ground floor, along with all washroooms and all lockers. Currently, there is a "porta-pack" of 4 portables connected by a hallway, along with 3 other separated portables. At the start of the school, there were 11 portables.

The second floor of William Berczy is significantly different from other schools. Originally built as an "open concept" design, it is structured so that the rooms are shaped like a wheel, with a center hub. There are two hubs (a "West" and "East" hub), out of which 6 walls branch out like spokes of a wheel. This forms 6 triangular shaped classrooms around each hub. The two hubs and their adjoining classrooms are connected by the library. It was only in the 1970s that walls were added to separate the classrooms, as the area as originally left open. Originally, these walls had the ability to be removed, but are now fixed in place. However, the walls do not extend completely to connect to the back walls, but rather leave a small section open between the classrooms. This creates a crude hallway system, wherein some classrooms are inaccessible without crossing other classrooms. The second floor is thus extremely compact, fitting 12 classrooms, a library, and even a counselling office, while physically only occupying the southern half of the area occupied by the ground floor. For this reason, students must travel to the ground floor to use washrooms or lockers.


Several renovations have occurred throughout William Berczy's long history, such as removal and additions of portables, as well as adding pavement and several basketball nets. Early floor plans show as many as 11 portables during the school's planning. These had gradually been removed until there was only one portable (along with a 4-classroom "porta-pack" as of 2005).

  • In the fall of 2007, due to increasing numbers of students attending William Berczy (including an all-time high of 7 graduating grade 8 classes) two new portables to accommodate the new classes.
  • In 2002, a new wing was added as an expansion to the north-west end of the school.
  • Because the office was hard to locate from the main entrance of the school, and for security, the school underwent construction in the summer of 2006. The school's office and an adjacent classroom have now been combined to make a bigger office which has a direct view of the main entrance. The stairs east of the main entrance were removed and a hallway was built in place connecting the new office to the main entrance.
  • The back of the school has two small soccer fields which could be combined to make one large soccer field, accompanied with a baseball diamond.
  • In 2009, stone tables were removed from the playground after an incident involving a grade 4 student occurred. Multiple renovations have also occurred in the kindergarten area in which new equipment was added and the gravel padding was replaced with mesh.
  • In 2012, another one of the four original portables were removed due to dropping enrollment

Academic performance[edit]

Fraser Institute[edit]

William Berczy ranked 1 out of 2786 in 2008 according to the Fraser Institute. It has maintained a high academic level throughout the past 5 years, ranking 1 out of 2374.[citation needed]

Gifted program[edit]

One of the main programs in the school is the Gifted program, which is the main reason for its high population. In Ontario, students are screened for giftedness in grade 3 and are transferred to a gifted program from grades 4–8 if identified as intellectually gifted. William Berczy is the school for most of the gifted students in Markham. It also receives the grade 7 and 8 gifted students that graduate from Roy H. Crosby Public School in grade 6, as they do not have a grade 7 or 8 gifted program there. For this reason, there were more than 10 school bus routes at William Berczy in the 2000s, far more than any other elementary school in the area. In addition, the school was extremely stringent on ensuring that only students living within William Berczy's designated boundaries would be permitted to attend the school under its regular program. Gifted students from William Berczy may choose to go to Markham District High School, or, as of 2012, Markville Secondary School as a continuation of the Gifted program. The Gifted program, however, only continues up until grade 10. Those at MDHS can choose to continue by taking advanced placement, or return to their home high school.


In the fall of 2006, John McCrae Public School started the gifted program with fourth graders. The following year they started accepting 5th graders and so on until the fall of 2010, when 8th grade gifted opened at John McCrae. Berczy's boundaries used to include the Berczy Village, Wismer Common, and Greensborough. However, they got phased into McCrae's. As well, around half of the students who entered from Crosby were sent to McCrae.

In fall 2011, with the advent of the gifted program in neighbouring schools, such as Ashton Meadows Public School, the boundaries of William Berczy's gifted population were severely reduced. Once serving all of the western region Markham (and all of Markham after integration of Roy H. Crosby Public School students from eastern Markham in grade 7), William Berczy now only provides the gifted program for students living in the Old Unionville region, similar to its boundaries for regular students.

This has caused a severe depopulation of gifted students in William Berczy, to be phased through five years until the final pan-Markham class graduates in 2016. Students in the gifted program once formed a majority of the school's population (the graduating class of 2008, for example, was composed of 5 gifted classes and only 2 regular classes). However, with the new policy, the school's gifted intake is only one class per year, which will eventually result in only five gifted classes at William Berczy.


Principal: Mrs. Kathy Lott

Vice-Principal: Mr. Williams

Past Administrators[edit]

Mr. Flynn- Principal

Ms. Patrick- Vice-Principal

Ms. Hall- Vice-Principal

Mr. Latouche- Principal

Mrs. Lott - Vice Principal

Extracurricular programs[edit]


William Berczy offers junior and intermediate sports teams. These sports include basketball, badminton and volleyball. There is a basketball and volleyball team for junior and intermediates, and a badminton team for intermediate students. New for the 2014/2015 year is a flag football club for intermediate students. A soccer team is occasionally offered as well. Early in the year there is also a Cross Country Club that practices before school. In the 2014 season, they placed 3rd overall in their area.


Many extracurricular music programs are offered at William Berczy,

  • Berczy Singers, made up of junior and intermediate students
  • Conductors Choir, made up of Grade 8 and 7 students
  • Grade 5/6 Band, a band for Grade 5's and 6's
  • Grade 7 Band, a band for Grade 7's
  • Jazz Band, also known as Berczy Big Band
  • Junior Concert Band, a band for Grade 7s and selected Grade 6s
  • Man Choir, also known as the Berczy Boys' Choir
  • Senior Concert Band, a band for Grade 8s
  • Dixieland Band, which will be formed if a Jazz band cannot be made.
  • Trombone Choir, for students who play or want to play the trombone
  • Rock band

and during recesses students are allowed to come into the music room and practice their instruments

Past music[edit]

  • Barbershop Quartet
  • Berczy Super Group, a rock band consisting of seven musicians that claim to be the first public school rock band in the province of Ontario (possibly Canada) to release a CD album on May 26, 2010 of Beatles music licensed by Sony.
  • Dixieland Beat
  • Jazz Choir
  • String Ensemble
  • String Quartet, an ensemble of string players
  • Tessitura Triplets, a trio of singers
  • Triple Melodies, a trio of singers, plus an understudy
  • Violin Duet
  • Sweet 16 a pop group originally composed of 16 students, but unfortunately 2 members left, giving them 14 members when they performed at the 2011 Talent show.
  • The Riffs (late 2010~mid-2012) rock band of a lead singer/electric guitarist, a lead guitarist, a bassist, a keyboardist and a drummer. They performed frequently at assemblies, school dances and the talent shows. The Riffs also performed at the 2012 Cultural fair. They competed in the elementary Battle of the Bands in 2011, hosted at William Berczy Public School and came in 2nd. They are currently on hiatus due to the graduation of most members.
  • The Condiments (late 2011~mid-2012), a large group of ten grade 8 students. Some members left the band throughout the year, ending with a total of 5 official students by their graduation.


  • Art Club (Berczy doodlers)
  • Better Berczy Club
  • Biblio Tekkies
  • 'B' Team
  • Chess Club
  • Paparazzi
  • Photography Club
  • Yearbook Committee

Student Council (September 30, 2013), which included these 6 cabinets[edit]

  • Eco Cabinet, responsible for energy saving projects and other environment related projects
  • Technology Cabinet, responsible for incorporating technology into classrooms, and the sound and visuals at assemblies
  • Healthy Schools Cabinet, responsible for running healthy eating and physical activity projects in the school
  • Equity Cabinet, responsible for making all students feel welcome and included
  • Community Outreach Cabinet, responsible for fundraisers to give back to the community
  • Spirit Cabinet, responsible for keeping school spirit


  1. ^ "William Berczy P. S.". York Region District School Board. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°52′18″N 79°19′33″W / 43.87165°N 79.32587°W / 43.87165; -79.32587

  1. ^ Comittee, Yearbook (June 2012). "William Berczy Yearbook 2011-2012".