Cav's Corner - All News Wentworth

Welcome to the 2017-18 school year. I hope that you had a memorable and restful holiday. As I write this email, I sit in a new office with an incredible view overlooking our beautiful city. Last year marked my first year at Collingwood School and it was a pleasure becoming a member of our school's community.

My position title and responsibilities have changed for this upcoming academic year, as I was named the the Interim Head of Wentworth. I am thrilled to become the Head of a Jr. School and most importantly lead a remarkable faculty, staff and student body.

I wanted to let you know how excited we are for our students to arrive at Wentworth in September. I am confident that your child will have a positive year at Collingwood and I look forward to seeing all of our students during the first week of school.

April 19, 2018


Palanca for Mr. Davidson - a man for all seasons:

Although Mr. Davidson has written a palanca for every Encounter participant that he has taught and coached since the beginning of this program, he has still not attended this overnight experience. The reason most suggested by our Wentworth faculty trying to comprehend his absence from this Collingwood tradition, is the lack of sardines during mealtime.

When thinking about Mr. Dee, the first characteristic that comes to mind is his selfless nature. I have yet to meet someone in my life who is more authentic, caring, thoughtful and supportive of others. He is someone who truly puts the needs of others before his own, a person who is completely ego-free. His selfless nature can be observed each and every day, from watching how he collaborates with his grade 4 team to how he engages his students around the campfire with creative scary stories of ping pong balls, to how he teaches our future rugby stars; a man so altruistic, that when an ailing family member needed an organ to survive, it was Mr. Davidson that stepped up and provided life.

My motivation for writing this reflection is two fold: to honour an unsung hero and to in the same light, annoy this inspiring figure. Typically, when I praise Mr. Dee, he turns into a 4 year old boy. His hands immediately enter his pockets, he loses eye contact and begins to shuffle his feet on the ground. It is at this section of my post, where I will begin to embarrass Mr. Davidson with two of my favourite stories involving this outstanding community member.  

Camp Summit, 2016 - Never again will I sleep in a cabin or frankly the same building as Mr. Davidson. I have yet to come across a louder “sleeper” than Mr. Davidson. With each breath he took, it sounded like someone was “sawing logs” inside our cabin. Mr. Dee’s young protege and former Associate Faculty member of 4D, the incomparable Thanh Vo, was lodging in the same cabin with us that night. As Mr. Davidson and Thanh dozed off, they collectively created the loudest sleeping experience of my life. Typically, when sleeping in the same room with a snorer, there is a pause in the noise; however, this night, there were no breaks. Both Peter and Thanh took turns shaking our cabin. At 2:00 am I found myself fed up and dazed, so I began wandering in the darkened wilderness, with my sleeping bag, trying to find my car. I slept in my car until close to breakfast. As I exited my car, Mr. Dee, sitting on a muskoka chair in front of the student play area, yelped: “We thought a bear ate you.”

The Hiring of Thanh Vo, 2017 - For two years Mr. Davidson mentored a young, up and coming teacher named Thanh Vo. Thanh had his desk located in Mr. Davidson’s classroom and each morning upon his arrival to 4D, Mr. Dee would engage him in a long conversation. Being a supportive faculty member and mentor to our many young teachers, Mr. Dee pondered how he could help Thanh to sell himself during an interview for a teaching position. Visions of long awkward silences before a rigorous panel danced in Mr. Davidson’s head. They talked about how he was doing everything right. He was solid in the classroom, involved heavily in co-curricular activities, particularly basketball and rugby, and played frisbee golf with Matt Parker. He was also well liked and admired by his fellow Associate Faculty members. Then a grade six job became available at Wentworth midway through last school year. Mr. Davidson crossed his fingers. Would Thanh convey passion and enthusiasm; would he find the words, would he gain the post? Then one day I received a knock on my office door. I was sitting at my desk when a head appeared as the door swung open. “I’m the best person for the grade six math job.” And he was gone! However nonplussed I may have been at the time, I was impressed with Thanh for showing the courage and bravado to make such a bold statement especially to his direct report. As the interview process played out, it was Thanh who stood out from the rest. To be honest, part of the reason that Thanh was hired was because of his expertise with the math curriculum; however, the other part was because of that memorable, fateful moment when he walked into my office under the direction of Mr. Davidson’s advice. So, Thanh filled the big shoes of Hudson Clark, big shoes in the non-metaphorical sense of the word because simply Hudson did leave giant boots to fill.

There is one line in Robert Bolt’s play, A Man for All Seasons, that I think best exemplifies Mr. Davidson.  At the beginning of the first act, a common person proclaims: “My master Thomas More would give anything to anyone.” On behalf of the Wentworth community, I want to sincerely thank you for your 26 years of dedication to our school. The mark you will leave behind will be both indelible and transformational for our students and teachers. You have raised the bar for our faculty in terms of professional conduct, passion for education, and knowledge of curriculum content. Along the way you have been a man for all seasons and a true gentlemen. Thank you for being the selfless teacher leader who has put his own needs on hold, to ensure that those of our school and students were met first. I hope that you can spend the coming years indulging in some of your passions; red wine, rugby, literature, haggis, and family. Mr. Dee, I hope that you feel a sense of true fulfillment as you begin the next stage of your life. You are an inspiration to us all!



Spring Fair - What you need to know:

"Our Collingwood Spring Fair, a time-honoured tradition, doesn’t happen without your generosity and support.The tradition of the fair as the annual parent fundraiser has remained strong for decades, and with each passing year, enthusiasm for this event soars higher. This Spring, we invite both families and corporations to support our Spring Fair. Not only is your financial support so important to this cherished event, but all funds raised go back to the school to enhance the educational experiences of our students. We understand today’s young people are tomorrow’s leaders. To this end, Collingwood is committed to working with our students to develop new programs that educate and inspire tomorrow’s scientists, innovators, artists, philanthropists, and mathematicians. Future successes depend on highly engaged, highly capable talent - talent that must be nurtured during primary and secondary educational years.”

All funds raised through the Spring Fair go back to the fair and therefore back to the school.

  • The Spring Fair is happening Saturday, April 28 from 10am - 3pm.
  • It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year and all of the North Shore community is invited!
  • We are all coming together at Morven for a fun-filled day of games and activities, specialty markets, silent auctions, and delicious food and beverages! We are looking forward to welcoming over 4000 attendees.
  • The theme this year is old-time country vintage. A home-grown organic feel with fun new activities like a Homemade Pie-Eating Contest, Bandstand, Pony Rides, and a Petting Zoo! Plus, the return of all your favourites like the Kids Zone, Dunk Tank, Grad Midway and much more!
  • Event Website is live!
  • You can purchase tickets online in advance of the fair, and pre-order pies, parking passes and reserve your spot for attractions.
  • Blitz Days is happening April 16th - 18th, please donate your gently used pre-loved clothing items and sportswear.
  • Bottle Drive & Civvies Day April 20th please donate three bottles or $20/family and come to school in civvies. No empty bottles, these donations need to be full.
  • Please volunteer leading up to the fair and on the day of (see above website).

Sexual Education Reminder:

I am encouraging all Wentworth parents to attend our sexual education Presentation for Parents on Wednesday, May 9th 6:30pm-8:00pm in the FSC.  Please confirm your attendance here.

This session will give an overview of student presentations and, using humor and straight talk in an open, interactive environment, will show parents how easy it is to convey healthy, meaningful messages about sex and growing up to young children.

The Presentation for Parents will be dependent on confirmed sign-up by parents, so please let the school nurse know if you will be attending.

Student sessions will take place during the school day Monday, May 14th – Thursday, May 17th.


Kindie Buddy Visit:

Last week our grade 12 students from Morven travelled to Wentworth to visit their Kindie Buddies. This was their last meeting of the year and it is our hope that our kindies have established friendships for life.





Mariachi Band - Grade 7 Spanish:

Our Languages Department hosted a mariachi band this Monday. Our students learned about Spanish language and culture during this engaging and exciting experience. 




CAIS Accreditation:

Collingwood will be undergoing a CAIS (Canadian Accredited Independent School) accreditation from April 29th - May 2nd. Twelve school administrators from across Canada will be on campus to observe our programmes, facilities, faculty and leadership. Their visit will provide us with recommendations to better our school community.

In Canada, education is provincially mandated, and CAIS Schools are required to meet Ministry requirements. However, CAIS schools provide more. Our National Standards and Procedures are congruent with the internationally accepted criteria and model core standards adopted by the NAIS International Commission on Accreditation and updated annually based on current research and exceptional practices.

JK/Faculty Parking Lot:

A reminder that only JK families and faculty members can access and utilize the lower parking lot next to the Lodge. I have received reports that some families are dropping off their children in this parking lot to circumvent our traffic circle. My advice as always is to arrive to school early. We have very few cars in our traffic circle prior too 8:15 am each morning.  

Here are a few helpful reminders:

1. At drop-off and pick-up, please move as far forward as possible before stopping.

2. If using the traffic circle, please stay in your vehicle and ensure your children get out of the car on the curb side.

3. Do not park in the drop-off zone above the school.

4. If it works for your family, please carpool, take the school bus or walk to school.

5. Arrive at school before 8:15 am.

At the end of the day, our children's safety is our # 1 priority. Please be patient and smile as we are all in this together.


Upcoming Key Dates:

Date(s): Event(s):

Monday, April 23  - Earth Week                

8:50am-9:20am - Wentworth Assembly, #1 Dress, Katz-Telfer Gymnasium 

9:00am-2:00pm - Gr. 6A and 6Mc Field Trip, Telus World of Science

9:00am-11:00am - 7Z Community Outreach, Lions Bay School

Tuesday, April 24

9:00am-2:00pm - 6P & 6M Field Trip, Telus World of Science

Wednesday, April 25 - Friday, April 30  Gr. 5 Outdoor School, Camp Squeah, Hope BC
Thursday, April 26         

9:10am-2:20pm - Gr. 1 Field Trip – Scavenger Hunt, Ambleside Locations

12:30pm-5:30pm - JKB Parent/Teacher Meetings, JKB Classroom

Friday, April 27 - Sunday, April 29       

Grade 6-7 Band Trip, Con Brio Sun Peaks Music Festival, Kamloops

Monday, April 30                

8:50am-9:20am Wentworth Assembly, #1 Dress, Katz-Telfer Gymnasium 



April 5, 2018


The Self-Driven Child - Kids as decision makers

“Mr. Cav, it’s like a war when Justin comes home from school. I ask him to complete his homework each night and this request always starts a conflict.” Not an isolated issue for the Greater Toronto Area, my former home, this is a similar problem occurring in most households across our globe. Throughout my teaching career, I would say that this was the most common problem that parents would share with me during parent-teacher conferences, the ‘homework war.’

This past March Break I committed myself to reading three books, a linear thinker by nature, I set book reading goals throughout the year. Ten books during the summer break, three during the Winter Break and three more during March Break. With all of the drama and intrigue contained in Michael Wolfe’s book, Fire and Fury, I quickly found myself moving on to my second choice about two days into my holiday. My attention turned to a book recommended to me by a parent, titled: The Self-Driven Child. This book is primarily focused on discoveries in behavioural therapy, which have helped parents to set their child on the road to success.


William Stixrud and Ned Johnson provide worthwhile advice to parents throughout this book, however, one of the most repeated themes is the importance of giving your child the choice. Yes, the choice to complete their science homework, the choice to wear clashing coloured clothing on the weekend or the choice to play hockey. Providing your child with control over their circumstances strengthens their sense of control, an often daunting proposition. Stixrud and Johnson (37) argue:

“The brain develops according to how it’s used. By giving your child the opportunity to make decisions for herself while still young, you will help her brain build the circuits that are necessary for resilience in the face of stress.”

A piece of sage wisdom that my former Head of School, Don Kawasoe, would share with our middle school parents each Curriculum Night was ‘please ensure that your child picks up the stress ball.’ By giving students the option or giving them choices, they learn how to make the decisions that are best for them. Failure will occur along the way, but they will learn from their mistakes over time. Just remember, that nothing occurs instantly and this strategy will create short-term pain for long term gain.  

Giving your child the choice will ultimately: activate their prefrontal cortex, [the executive control system responsible for planning, organization, impulse control and judgement] and condition it to respond effectively (16). This section of the brain needs to be used and trained like our muscles under the guidance of Hollyburn’s fitness professionals. By giving your child choice, not only will you allow them to pick up the stress ball, they will gain self-control over their lives, which will help to build more resilient, motivated and happy learners.

Now coming back to the conflict that young Justin had with his parents regarding homework each and every school night. Give them the choice, let them pick up the stress ball. “So instead of nagging, arguing, and constant reminding, we recommend repeating the mantra, ‘I love you too much to fight with you about your homework’ (Stixrud and Johnson, 39).” This doesn’t mean you should be absent from their after-school endeavours, you should be as Dr. Shimi Kang stated: “walking shoulder to shoulder with your children.” Not as jellyfish nor as a tiger, but as a dolphin. Provide your children with boundaries, offer your children support and guidance when needed. And when your child requests your support, when they decide to complete their homework, then you will know that this philosophy is working. In addition, never be afraid to speak to your child about your worries, provide them with the knowledge to make informed decisions about their own lives. As Stixrud and Johnson reflect: “in this way you are supportive and engaged, but you’re not steering the boat (42).” Give your child the choice for the remainder of this year and they will begin the process of becoming a self-driven learner.

What you can do tonight?

  • Ask your child: “Is there anything I can help you with tonight?” And not: “Do you have homework tonight?”
  • Choose not to fight. Ask yourself: “whose problem is it?” When you give your children a sense of control, you will have to let go of some control yourself. Your job isn’t to solve their problems, it is to teach them to learn how to organize, plan, and run their lives.
  • Never be afraid to speak to your child about your worries, provide them with the knowledge to make informed decisions about their own lives.
  • Love your kids unconditionally and provide them with a safe base at home.

Stixrud, William R., and Ned Johnson. The Self-Driven Child: the Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control over Their Lives. Viking, an Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2018.


Student Led Conferences:

Five Things You Need to Know Right Now about Student-Led Conferences in grades 3-7:

1.     Student-Led Conferences for grades 3 and 5 will take place on Monday, April 9 and Tuesday, April 10. SLCs for grades 4, 6, 7 will take place on Wednesday, April 11 and Thursday, April 12. Timing on all days will be from 3:30 - 5:30 pm.

2.     Conferences will be 30 minutes for each family.  Four families will be in the room at the same time meeting with their children

3.     Homeroom teachers and a specialist partner teacher will be in the room to circulate, organize and supervise on all nights.

4.     Sign-up will begin on Monday, March 12th. An email will be sent out on Monday with a sign-up link and instructions.

5.     Each SLC should be focused and driven by the student, not the teacher. If you would like to speak to any teacher without your child present about their academic or social-emotional progress, please feel free to schedule an appointment over email or phone.

What’s new this year?

Part 1:  Students reflect on Core Competencies (Communication, Personal & Social Development, Creative & Critical Thinking) to align with recent BC curricular changes.

Part 2:  Students select artifacts from each subject, some of which showcase areas of strength and some which showcase areas of challenge.

Part 3:  Students will reflect on where they are at with the goals set at the beginning of the year.


Rodeo Day:

Thank you to the Physical-Education Department for their thoughtful planning and organization of Rodeo Day, which took place the day prior to March Break. What stood out during this event was the leadership of our grade 5 students who mentored our JK-grade 4 students during each Rodeo Day event. Kudos!




Spirit Assembly:

This will take place on Monday, April 9th. Students are asked to wear their house t-shirts under or over top of their #1 dress. No accessories.


The Ned Show - Friday, April 13th

You might remember a few years back we had the NED Show come to Wentworth. Through comedy, story telling, and balloon tricks, a NED performer relayed the message about never giving up, encouraging others, and doing your best. It tied in nicely with our social-emotional and character programs at Wentworth. 

The NED Show is free because another school raised money for us to have the performance come to our school. We will be “paying it forward” so another school can have the same opportunity. We will be selling yo-yos the week of April 16 during recess times. Some 6th and 7th graders will be helping with the sales. More information will be shared closer to that week.

From the desk of Timber Monteith.

Kick off to Earth Week - Canadian Shore Cleanup:

For any families interested, Collingwood will be participating in the Canadian Shore Cleanup on Saturday, April 21st. To signup, please visit:

Date: Sat, April 21, 2018 at 9:00 am

Location: John Lawson Beach/Park, District of West Vancouver, British Columbia

Meeting Place: Playground at John Lawson


Upcoming Key Dates:

Date(s): Event(s):

Monday, April 9                  

8:50am-9:20am Wentworth Spirit Assembly, #1 Dress with house t-shirt, Katz-Telfer Gymnasium 

3:30pm-5:30am Gr. 3 and 5 Student Led Conferences, Classrooms                                                               

Tuesday, April 10               

8:00am-8:30am Unishop Collection at Wentworth and Morven
12:30pm-2:30pm Unisop Sale preparation, Wentworth Campus
1:00pm-2:00pm Parents’ Council Meeting, Rowntree Board Room
3:30pm-5:30pm Gr. 3 and 5 Student Led Conferences, Classrooms

Wednesday, April 11           

8:45am-10:15am Unishop Sale, Wentworth FSC
3:30pm-5:30pm Gr. 4, 6 and 7 Student Led Conferences, Classrooms

Thursday, April 12            

9:00am-2:00pm Presentation to Gr. 3 students by African Drummer Fana Soro, Classrooms
10:00am-11:00am Kindie and Grade 12 Buddy visit at Wentworth, Classrooms
3:30pm-5:30pm Gr. 4, 6 and 7 Student Led Conferences, Classrooms

Friday, April 13            

8:30am-9:30am JKB Father’s Day Celebration, JKB Classroom
8:40am-2:00pm KU Trip to VanDusen Botanical Gardens
10:45am-11:45am JKE Father’s Day Celebration, JKE Classroom
4:30pm-5:30pm Gr. 6/7 Chamber Choir Performance, Cariboo Hill Temple, Burnaby

Monday, April 16                

8:50am-9:20am Wentworth Spirit Assembly, #1 Dress, Katz-Telfer Gymnasium 



John-Paul Cavalluzzo's Biography:

John-Paul, also commonly known as JP, hails from Toronto, Ontario. He has recently moved to Vancouver with his wife, Sofie. They are thrilled to be working and living in such a beautiful city.

Over the past 20 years John-Paul has been a product of Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) as a student, faculty member and administrator. Most recently, he was the Director of Intermediate-Middle School at Collingwood. Prior to his move to Vancouver, he taught (middle school English & History) and coached (football, basketball, track & field) at Upper Canada College in Toronto.

JP holds a Master's in Education from the University of Toronto and is close to completing his CAIS Leadership Diploma.

JP is an incredibly passionate educator that greatly values character education. He is committed to Collingwood becoming a CAIS leader in character education.




"The greatest glory in living lies not in ever falling, but in rising every time we fall."