Open Houses Really Open Again: Spotlight on John Rennie

by Eve-Marie Durand, JRHS Cycle 1 Vice Principal;

Chris Webb, Teacher & Open House Committee Member;

Shawna Katz, Cycle 1 Teacher;

Hayley Altman, Grade 6 student at Westpark

On Wednesday October 19th we held our first in person open house since 2019.


We welcomed thousands of future students, parents and families to our building to discover all the things that John Rennie High School has to offer. While showcasing that there is something here for everyone, we also focused on our JRHS bees. We reached out to some of our students, parents, staff and Mme. Durand our Cycle 1 Vice Principal to discover more about what Open House involves.

“J’ai d’abord été témoin du grand désir des enseignants de démontrer tout ce que John Rennie a à offrir lors des réunions préparatoires à la soirée Portes Ouvertes. Les enseignants de JRHS sont passionnés, engagés et ils proposaient des idées intéressantes pour mettre JRHS en valeur.

Je les ai ensuite vu se mobiliser, travailler ensemble afin d’être  prêts pour l’évènement. Ils tenaient à ce que tout soit parfait. Finalement, nous avons eu la soirée Portes Ouverte. Nous sommes tous très fiers de notre école, et cela se sentait dans l’énergie déployée par tous. La soirée a été une réussite sur toute la ligne. L’ambiance était à la fête et nous espérons que nos visiteurs ont été comblés.”

Translated: I first witnessed the great desire of teachers to demonstrate all that John Rennie has to offer during the pre-Open House meetings. The teachers at JRHS are passionate and committed. They came up with great ideas to showcase JRHS.

They mobilize, and work together to be ready for the event. They wanted everything to be perfect. Finally, we had the Open House evening. We are all very proud of our school, and it showed in the energy displayed by everyone. The evening was a complete success. The atmosphere was magical and we hope that our visitors were delighted.

The Open House committee has been working hard on welcoming people to and showcasing our school since the start of the school year. There is a lot involved in putting the evening together, including producing the flyers, ordering the gifts, arguing with the bees to give up their honey, and co-ordinating with our students and staff. All of our visitors were offered a personalised tour given by one of our Grade 10 or 11 Leadership Students. These students escorted our visitors around the building, stopping at key locations to talk about the different programs offered, the different pathways, the different subjects, and extracurricular activities available. Visitors had the opportunity to also visit our Sport-Etudes showcase where staff and sports-partners were available to answer any questions. Open House is a true collaboration between our staff and students, and without our student volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to welcome you through our doors.

“This year I get to wear two hats: Teacher and Mom of a grade 6 student. As a mom, I was totally impressed with John Rennie’s open house. The most impressive part was seeing the number of students who gave up their night to show off their school. The school spirit was palpable. The energy in the building was electric. I can’t say enough about how well organized, welcoming and informative the evening was. Great job John Rennie.” – Shawna Katz

“Coming to John Rennie High School was super exciting. There were so many activities to do and I loved seeing all the high school students. My favorite part was getting to do the science experiments and seeing the garden with all the lights. The tours were also really fun. Our student leader answered all my questions and made me feel like John Rennie has so many fun things to do. I am so happy we got to come see the school in person because now I can really feel what it will be like when I go to high school. I had a great time.” -Hayley Altman

We had a blast showcasing everything that John Rennie has to offer, and we hope that our visitors left with a real feeling of what is available here, and that there truly is something here for everyone.

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