Additionally, a major new wing was planned and what was then a major fundraising campaign for $4.5 million was launched. The resulting Rogers Wing opened in 1987-88, providing new Senior School and Junior School library space, more classrooms, and a new theatre for lectures, plays, and musical performances. It was also in Miss Tottenham’s time that the school celebrated its 125th anniversary with multiple events, including a gala concert at Roy Thomson Hall.
1995 - PRESENT: DAWN OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
When Miss Tottenham retired in 1995, Natalie Little joined BSS as Head, and during her energetic tenure, she led the way on two strategic plans that harnessed the skills of the faculty, staff and administration to push the school forward on myriad fronts, particularly in the area of technology. The students who entered Grade 9 in September 1999 were the first BSS students to graduate under the new Ontario four-year high school program that had eliminated Grade 13 and the first to use laptops as a key curricular tool in their academic program. Ms. Little also led an extremely successful capital campaign that raised over $14.5 million for the construction of the 90,000 sq. ft. Warren Road Wing, with a spacious, purpose-built Junior School, a second gym, a dance studio, and other fitness facilities.
When Natalie Little retired in 2004, Kim Gordon (2004-2009) became Head of School, and in this period developments were made to both the physical plant and the BSS program, and a new strategic plan was launched with the three guiding planks of People, Program and Sustainability. With the support of the BSS community, a beautiful new Student Centre was constructed and opened in the spring of 2007. In 2008, the library was renovated into a state-of-the-art Learning Commons, and Centennial Hall, celebrating 100 years of the BSS Old Girls’ Association, was installed. In addition, many improvements were made to the Boarding facilities. Under Ms. Gordon’s leadership, the Reggio approach to learning was solidified in the Junior School and a distinct Middle School program, designed specifically to meet the needs of students transitioning from Junior to Senior School, began to be developed.
After Ms. Gordon’s retirement in 2009, Deryn Lavell, previously BSS’s Junior School Principal and Assistant Head of International Programs and Institutional Advancement, took over as Head of School. For two years, between her role as Junior School Principal and returning to BSS, Ms. Lavell had lived and worked in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, where she designed, built and opened a new school with an enrolment of 1,300 students. This international experience taught her about the reality of life for girls in other cultures, our global connectedness, and the multiple skills required to effectively run a school. She brought these insights to her role as Head and immediately launched a comprehensive review of the school’s status with regard to its Strategic Plan, its communications with parents, the skill sets required by faculty and the pursuit of a vision that would see BSS make the final leap into a fully integrated, 21st Century learning environment.