Welcome Future Trojans
Dear Incoming Trojans:
On behalf of all the staff and students at FHCI, we want to let you know that we are very much looking forward to welcoming you in September! You are the class of 2027 and we can’t wait to meet you!
We know that you probably have many questions about what high school will be like, and in a typical year, we would be able to answer many of your questions in person. Obviously, this is not a typical year as we are still practicing many safety protocols, but we have not forgotten about you! We have compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions with answers below. In some cases, we have added short video responses that will allow you to meet your future classmates and teachers.
You are coming to an amazing school with a caring staff and we hope that this information helps you as you prepare for your transition to high school.
If you have any questions about any of the information below, please send an email to email@example.com.
Video (1:49) – Spirit Video for Incoming Trojans!
General Questions About the School
Q. What does a normal day look like?
A. School starts at 8:20 am. Each day you will attend four classes (Periods 1, 2, 3 and 4) that are 75 minutes in length. Lunch is from 10:55 – 11:55 am and the school day ends at 2:30 pm. Here is a link to the Daily Schedule.
Note that we will be following a Modified Schedule for the First Day of School.
Q. When do I get my locker? Do I get my own?
A. Every student at Forest Heights is able to have their own locker, starting on the first day of school. You are required to bring your own lock or you can purchase one from the main office for $2. If you are unable to bring a lock on the first day, no worries, you have up to a week to claim your locker. To keep your locker secure, you should never share your locker combination with anyone. Lockers are assigned to one student, and should not be shared.
Video (0:44) – Tegan (student) – All About Lockers
Q. Do you have a cafeteria?
A. Yes, and the “caf” is used for many different reasons. We have our assemblies on the stage in the caf, we eat lunch in the caf, and when you become a senior you also will have the option to go there during a spare period. We also have mini-events in the caf as well!
There is no food sold in the cafeteria. Some food items (e.g. granola bars, snack items) and drinks are available for purchase from two vending machines located in the main foyer.
Video (0:36) – Caroline & Julia (student) – What is the caf used for at FHCI?
Q. Can I leave the school property during lunch?
A. Yes, as long as it’s okay with your parents. There is actually a plaza near the school with a variety of take-out restaurants that you can go to. You have to behave respectfully and be aware of the time so that you’re not late to class after lunch.
Video (0:31) – James & Ryan (Student) – Can I leave school for lunch?
Q. What happens if I get lost and can’t find my class?
A. Forest Heights is a big school, but you will figure it out (everyone does)! On the first day of school, we will help you find each one of your classes and give you some help in figuring out how the hallways and classrooms are numbered. When walking to your next class there will always be other people in the hallway, including teachers, that you can ask for help to your next location.
Video (0:38) – Vlade & Tammy (student) – What do I do if I get lost?
Video (0:53) – Ms. Main – What do I do if I get lost?
Q. What’s the proper way to move through the halls?
A. It is an unspoken rule at Forest Heights to remain on the right side of the hall while walking from class to class. It’s also important that you don’t stop in the middle of the hall to socialize, because keeping students safe is our top priority. Right now, students are encouraged to move quickly through the halls to their classes or lunch location to avoid congregating. During lunch is a good time to socialize with friends in the halls, without disturbing anyone trying to navigate their way around the school.
Video (0:32) – Jack (student) – Moving Through the Halls
Q. What are the senior students like?
A. Senior students are just like any other student in the school, just a couple years older. They will go out about their day, generally not paying too much attention to you (don’t take it personally). At the same time, don’t feel intimidated to ask them a question or ask them for help if you need it – we were all in grade nine once and know how it feels!
Q. Why would I go and see my guidance counsellor?
A. Each student in high school is assigned their own guidance counsellor, according to their last name. Ideally, you would have the same guidance counsellor for your entire high school career as they support you in making many choices in your education journey. Your guidance counsellor is there to provide you (and your family) with support in your academic and pathways programming, to be a connection between you and other staff members in the school, and to help you access supports when you need them. Your guidance counsellor should be your first stop when you have big questions and want some individual time to talk things through.
Video (1:29) – Ms. Sockett – Why would I see my guidance counsellor?
Q. How do I see my guidance counsellor?
A. For non-urgent matters, you can book an appointment to see your guidance counsellor through our online booking system. Links to each counsellor’s booking page are available on our guidance page on the FHCI website. We hope to meet every new student as early as possible in the school year and will give you an introduction to the guidance department. Don’t be afraid to drop in to “Counselling Services” and say hello, and see what we’re all about!
Video (3:26) – Ms. Sockett – How do I book a guidance appointment?
Questions About Academics
Q. What is a timetable?
A. Your timetable is your own personal class schedule. It tells you what course you have in each period in each semester, your teacher, and your room.
Video (1:28) – Ms. Pickett (teacher) – Reading a Timetable at FHCI
Q. When will I get my timetable?
A. You will receive a copy of your timetable in the mail in August and we will provide you with a second copy on the first day of school in your first period class. When you arrive at school on the first day, you will find your name on an alphabetical list posted in the main foyer. Beside your name, you will find the room number for your first period class.
Q. How much homework will I get? Is the homework difficult?
A. Different teachers assign different amounts of homework. Some classes like math assign homework almost every day, while others like phys ed, may not have any homework at all. What’s important to know is that many teachers give students time in class to do homework, and if you ever have trouble understanding what you’re supposed to do, your teacher will be able to provide the right materials to help you succeed. Try and complete your homework each night so you don’t fall behind.
Video (0:47) – Yash (student) – What is the homework like in high school?
Q. What are the rules and expectations about technology?
A. Technology is an important part of learning at Forest Heights. Students will be given a chromebook and charger on the first day of school, and it is your responsibility to keep this safe and taken care of during your time at high school. The expectation is that students charge their chromebook each evening as they would a cell phone, and come to school prepared with both the chromebook and charger each day. Responsible use includes using your technology appropriately- please don’t use your cell phone or chromebook when your teacher is teaching.
Video (0:28) – Julia and Caroline (student) – Using your cell phone in school
Questions About Academic Support
Q. Where can I get help with my school work?
A. You can start by asking your teacher for extra help. Many teachers offer extra help at lunch, after school, or by appointment. Some teachers offer assistance online on their Google Classrooms. You can also access extra help from: the school Library, Student Success, Learning Services, and the English Language Learner supports.
Q. Where are the extra help rooms and when are they open?
A. The school Library is located across from the Main Office. The library is open during the school day. You must have teacher permission to be in the library during class time. Students should access the FHCI Library, not the Kitchener Public Library, during the school day.
Student Success is located in Room 5-2 across from the Guidance Office in corridor 5. Any student can drop in at lunch for extra help from a teacher. Teachers may also refer students to a Student Success Teacher for additional support.
Learning Services supports students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and is located in Room 5-10. They are open from 8:05am – 2:45pm on a daily basis (including during lunch time).
English Language Learners can receive extra help from Educational Assistants (EAs) at lunch in Room S6-14, which is located in corridor 6 on the second floor.
Q. Who can access Learning Services?
A. Students who have an Individual Education Plan can access the room and receive extra support from Special Education Resource Teachers (SERTs) and Educational Assistants (EAs).
Video (0:18) – Mrs. Schiedel – Who can access the Learning Services room?
Q. How is the Learning Services room used?
A. Many students with IEPs use the room when they need an alternate space to focus on their work, for extra help, and for test writing. Students can ask their classroom teacher for permission to work in Learning Services during class time. Our room is equipped with regular desks and study carrels, as well as standing desks, desk bikes, and fidget toys if you need to move while you work. We also have desktop computers, Chromebooks and iPads.
Q. How will a student with an IEP know who their SERT is?
A. In September, your SERT will call you down to the Learning Services room to meet you, give you a tour of the room, and chat with you about your IEP.
Video (0:17) – Mrs. Schiedel – How do I know who my SERT is?
Questions About Getting Involved in Activities
Q. What clubs can I join?
A. There are many different clubs at Forest Heights such as JLC (Junior Leadership Club), the Video Game Club, the Gay Straight Alliance, Fed Prov, our Writer’s Group, the Drama Improv Club, and the guitar club (just to name a few). Also, you can always start a brand new club if you have an idea for one that doesn’t already exist.
Q. How do I join a club?
A. It is really easy to join a club, all you have to do is go to the room where that club meets and join! Meeting days and times for all our clubs are posted around the school and shared during morning announcements. There is also usually an activities fair at the beginning of the year, when you can learn more about all the clubs and teams.
Q. What music performance opportunities are available?
A. There are lots of ways you can use your musical talents and interests! One of the best ways is to join one of our performance ensembles: Trojan Singers, Concert Band or Stage Band. You could also join a smaller ‘Chamber’ group, such as: Chamber Choir, Sax Quartet, Brass Ensemble, or the Percussion Ensemble. Students who would like to help organize FHCI music events, or develop their leadership skills, can also join our FHCI Music Council.
Video (1:18) – Mia (student) – How can I get involved in music?
Q. How do I join a Music ensemble?
A. The Trojan Singers and Concert Band are open to anyone that can sing, or play a band instrument [Woodwind, Brass, or Percussion]. Simply sign up and join us at rehearsal! Our Stage Band is an auditioned ensemble, and the smaller ‘chamber’ ensembles we organize from within the Trojan Singers and Concert Band.
Q. What is a coffeehouse?
A. Our Music Council organizes three Coffeehouse events throughout the school year – guitarists, pianists, singers, songwriters, and other musicians sign up to perform pieces of their choice. A fun evening for all involved and a great place to showcase your musical talents!
Video (0:19) – Steph (student) – What is a coffeehouse?
Q. Are there drama school plays we can be part of?
A. Yes, every year we hold auditions for our National School Festival play entry. There are lots of roles not just acting that you can be involved in such as tech (lights/sound), costume and set design as well as stage management.
Q. How do I join the Dance Team?
A. The Trojan Dance Team is open to anyone in grades 9 to 12 who has a passion for dance and loves to perform! Auditions are held at the beginning of the school year (choreography is provided) and the season runs through to May. After the auditions, students choose which dance pieces, genres or styles they would like to participate in. There are Novice and Advanced group options, to fit all levels of experience. There are many performance opportunities including assemblies, Trojan Arts Gala (TAG), Vibe Dance Showcase, and Ontario Secondary School DanceFest (OSSDF) which is a province-wide competition and professional workshops. There are also choreographer positions available for those who would like to take on a leadership role to create pieces for the Team to perform.
Questions About Athletics
Q. What sports teams are offered at FHCI?
A. Forest Heights is a part of WCSSAA, which is a league composed of all high schools in the WRDSB. There are three separate sports’ seasons. In the fall, our school offers Boys Volleyball, Junior Boys Soccer, Girls Basketball, Cross Country, and Senior Tennis. In the winter, we offer Boys Basketball, Boys Hockey, Girls Volleyball, Curling, Wrestling, and Swimming. Finally, in the Spring, we offer Badminton, Track and Field, Senior Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer, Boys Rugby, Junior Tennis, and Slow Pitch.
Some sports such as volleyball, basketball, and boys soccer have both a junior (grades 9 and 10) and a senior team (grades 11 and 12). Other sports include students from grades 9 through 12.
There is always the possibility of creating a new team that is not currently offered at Forest Heights – all that is needed is a staff member to coach and enough players to create a team.
Video (0:45) – Connor (student) – What sports are there at FHCI?
Video (3:14) – Trojans United – Coaches Video for Athletic Banquet (2018)
Q. How do I join a sports team?
A. Many of our sports teams have tryouts and you have to be selected as a team member. However, there are a number of teams such as cross-country, wrestling, swimming, and track and field that do not have tryouts and you can simply sign up and become a member of the team. Listen to the announcements and look for the posters on the walls, each sport starts with an organizational meeting where you will get further information on exact times and dates.
Questions About the ESL and ELD Programs
Q. What does an ESL, ELD and MLL mean?
A. ESL stands for English as a Second Language and ELD stands for English Literacy Development, and both are programs and courses that students will take. MLL stands for Multi-Lingual Learners.
Q. What does an ESL class look like?
A. An ESL English class focuses on reading, writing, listening and speaking in English. Students work in small groups on lessons and activities within their level. There are five levels in the English As a Second Language program.
Video (1:13) – Mrs. Ritter – What is an ESL class like at FHCI?
Q. What does an ELD class look like?
A. An ELD class is a smaller class with a teacher, an EA, and a peer tutor. Students work in small groups with students who read at a similar level. You will read many different books and also focus on writing, speaking and listening skills. We will work as a team to help you learn English quickly.
Video (0:33) – Mrs. Cuyler-Mellanby – What does an ELD classroom look like?
Q. What is a Settlement Worker? How can they help me at school?
A. Settlement workers help newcomer students and their families in the school and community. They help register students for school and they arrange for a translator when needed. Settlement workers also help students to find volunteer and job opportunities and help with homework. At FHCI our Settlement Worker is Aamir Mirza.
Video (0:45) – Mr. Mirza – Meet our FHCI Settlement Worker
Q. Are there activities students in the ESL and ELD programs can do together at lunch?
A. The Newcomer Activities Club is a lunch program for newcomer youth run by our settlement worker, Aamir Mirza, and other staff from the YMCA. The program takes place twice each week – one day focuses on students playing games, activities and sports in the gym, and the other day focuses on a variety of workshops. The workshops include topics like leadership skills, self-care, resume writing, and visits from special guest speakers. The Newcomer Activities Club is an excellent program for students new to FHCI and Canada to make connections and friends!
Video (0:49) – Ms. Bell – What is the Newcomer Activities Club?
Q. What other extracurricular activities are available for ESL/ELD students?
A. In addition to the Newcomer Activities Program, we also have a Newcomer Theatre Program for students interested in drama or theatre! We meet once a week after school during the first semester. You will get to work with your friends to create your own show based on your own experiences. After 10 weeks, you will have a full show to perform at the school and in the community. If you’re new to drama and just want to try it out, there is also the improv club for you to join. This club is all about acting without thinking about what you’re going to do. It’s a lot of fun!
Video (0:47) – Ms. Smyth – What are some clubs for ESL and ELD students?