Virtual High School

Virtual High School is a Private Online High School that has been issuing OSSD credits since 2002. VHS is recognized and inspected by the Ministry of Education in Ontario. The school also offers a selection of elementary school courses through Virtual Elementary School.

VHS’s student-centred approach to learning provides a flexible and convenient way to earn an OSSD credit entirely online. Students can register any day and begin their courses the same day. In addition, VHS is open all year and is available to any student from anywhere in the world – including full-time and part-time students attending any public, Catholic or private school in Ontario. Teachers are available to answer any questions students might have about course content and to provide grading and feedback on assignments and tests. Providing exceptional feedback and support to students as they progress through their courses, teachers at VHS are members of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT).

The mission of the Virtual High School (Ontario) is to provide each student with the opportunity to achieve success according to the student's own interests, abilities and goals. By providing a quality online education within the student's greater educational community, Virtual High School can offer the student more choice. While they may have changed the form of the traditional physical school in which this mission is carried out, they have not changed the provision of providing quality education to the student. Virtual High School extends into the actual home of the student, where they provide all of the essential components necessary for a quality education.

For more information, you can visit the Virtual High School website here.

Bayfield Optimist Club

Mission, Vision & Purposes
Mission: By providing hope and positive vision, Optimists bring out the best in kids. 
Vision: Optimist International will be recognized worldwide as the premier volunteer organization that values all children and helps them develop to their full potential. 

Purposes: To develop optimism as a philosophy of life utilizing the tenets of the Optimist Creed; to promote an active interest in good government and civic affairs; to inspire respect for the law; to promote patriotism and work for international accord and friendship among all people; to aid and encourage the development of youth, in the belief that the giving of one’s self in service to others will advance the well-being of humankind, community life and the world.  

The Bayfield Optimist Story
Past Reflections as noted by Melody Pounder and the past few years by Wayne McKaig

The Bayfield Optimist Club began in 1984 and the first President was Ray Scott. As all Optimist Clubs, they are initiated by fellow Optimists that sponsor the new club and assist in getting the new club going. In the case of the Bayfield Club, the Sarnia – Bluewater Club came to Bayfield and with the two groups working together they established their newly formed club. To date the Bayfield Optimist Club has had twenty four Presidents along with the other Executive members to bring us to the current year of 2015.

Remembering that Optimist Clubs are mainly known for their mission which is providing hope and positive vision, Optimists bring out the best in children and youth. As Melody has noted The Bayfield Optimists are not the bricks and mortar people of the community but rather more about building character in youth. Ask someone who has grown up in the village since the 1980’s and their childhood will no doubt have revolved around the Optimist calendar.

Let us move forward to mention some of the many things that are offered in a year and how some events added and some modified. First let me comment that the Bayfield Optimists are always looking for opportunities to practice our vision of optimism. We would like people in our community to assist in giving thoughts and ideas where we can promote events and boosting youths’ pride. Thoughts and ideas given to an Optimist member will likely develop into a wonderful time and enjoyed by all participants. So what does a year in and Optimists eye look like. The years events may start something like this.

Since the ice is in at the Bayfield Arena and like many other service groups we likely have sponsored some ice time so that the youth in the village can enjoy a good hour or two to skate. But now the weather is getting milder and Easter is fast approaching. It is time for the yearly Easter Egg Hunt in Clan Gregor Square and on Easter Sunday Mom’s and Dad’s have the young tots and the older kids gathered ready for their rush to pick up all the colourful chocolate eggs. In less than one can say Happy Easter the sixty pounds of candy is in their Easter baskets and ready to be devoured! It doesn’t take long but the kids had a blast. There is also a raffle for a wonderful Easter Basket and then it is back home to with family to enjoy the holiday.

The spring is now starting to bud the trees and the boats are starting to be moored in the marinas for their home for this year again. The shoreline is littered with anticipating spectators, lined to the sides waiting patiently for the rubber ducks to begin their race to the finish line. The Annual Rubber Duck Race is about to start! Kids and parents have their ticket stubs in hand anticipating their duck to come in first. On the count of 1 -2 – 3, the ducks are sent of the boat and into the water. The five top ducks of seven hundred and fifty ducks will be the winners.  Depending on the way the wind blows and the way the current is running either makes for a fast or a slow race and the crowd is cheering their ducks on. Our helpers bring in the winners and all the ducks that have competed in the race. Exhausted, cold and happy they climb into the boats ready to rest till their next call for the race to occur again. The crowd has waited for the winning numbers of these athletes’ to be read off and the prizes are awarded. Win or lose all had a great time and next year they will return for another engagement.  

The summer months take a bit of a back seat as vacation time is on and we take a bit of time off before the fall starts us up again. Projects play a big role especially ones like a Splash Pad that was put into Clan Gregor Square and opened in July of 2013. What a glorious day to see the pad running and all the grandparents and Mom’s and Dad’s smiling as the kids had fun in the water. Today you can walk to the park early in the morning and see the children enjoying the fun of getting wet and then heading home before the heat of the day becomes too much.

Summer of 2014 brought all the community service groups together as the Tall Ships came to visit and we all needed to work and accommodate the throng of people. There were about eight to ten thousand people to visit over the three or four days before they set sail for their next port. One of our local youth, both brother and sister won the opportunity to go on an adventure of a life time learning how to work on the ships and meet new friends and likely friends they will remember for a life time. The tall ships were a free tour and we asked only for donations to help cover costs. As always peoples generosity was overwhelming and things were very much appreciated. Everyone in the village from the store owners, the restaurants, the waiters and waitresses, and hotels were very pleased with the benefit that occurred from the rush of people into out wonderful town.

On the last days of summer as the youth are getting ready for heading back to school, some of them to schools university or college, we plan an even called “Open MIC” where we have a farm trailer set up in Clan Gregor Square and where we are entertained by local talent singing and even children belting out renditions of their favourite songs. What a great way to say good bye to the summer. Hotdogs are provided for free as well and you can be sure that a donation table is there if you wish to help the Optimist Club. It all ends too soon but we know that we can find the energy again when we are called for Open MIC! Very soon the Optimist Club will be in their planning mode working at our mission, vision and purpose.

But this year, even before we have had our first fall meeting, we have worked with the Virtual High School. They have for a number of years sponsored a Run4Kids in which gathered donated funds for children and youth who have significant needs. The Bayfield Optimist suggested that possibly Make-a-Wish of South Western Ontario could be approached to see if there might be a local child who may have a “wish”. One of our Optimist members put the Virtual High school together with the Make-a-wish and the funds raised will be donated will be going towards this year’s run.

We, as the Bayfield Optimist Club, work very hard to assist in many, many, functions each year and are proud to say that over the years we have been able to hundreds of thousands of dollars back into our community of Bayfield. We are very optimististic that we will continue to help our community and the children and youth for years and years to come.