Archive for the ‘from the Principal’ Category

Principal’s Update

17 Sep

Dear Summit Heights Families,

The first two weeks of school have been a smooth transition from summer to ‘back to school’.  Students, parents and staff made that adjustment to the routines of school very well.

During the first week in particular, our students learned and reviewed school routines, rules, class agreements and protocols.  On the second day of school, our grades 1-6 students attended their first assembly in the gym (kindergarten students had a class visit).  Mr. Mah reviewed some key school rules and expectations.  Our teachers continued these discussions in class – as we need all of our students to understand and follow our school’s code of conduct.  It was explained that if we all follow these expectations, students will be safe, feel welcomed to school and most importantly, they can learn!

Into the second week, a number of our extra-curricular activities started up.  Tryouts for the Jr. Boys’ and Girls’ soccer teams began early in the week, run by coaches Craze, Eschle and Khaja.  The cross country team also began training (twice a day), starting last week on Wednesday.  Lead by coach Eisen and her team (including coaches Khaja, Kellesis, Chen, other staff and parents) there have been great turn outs for the practices!

Ms. Mercer, Mr. Kellesis and Mr. Chen have also begun planning and meeting with students for this year’s edition of the Social Justice League!  The group meets Thursdays at lunch.

Mr. Buckingham has made an all-call for students who are into role-playing games to be part of the Pathfinder’s club!  This group is planning on meeting on Wednesdays (we wish all the players great ‘rolls on their dice’!).

Ms. Marchiori has indicated that she will be organizing and working with the ECO Schools team on Mondays at lunch – way to go ECO Team, save our planet!

Ms. Greco has organized responsible grade 6 students to help in the office at lunch, while Mr. Chen got the ball rolling with starting off the morning announcements with student announcers from his class.

This is just the beginning of a great year of extra-curricular opportunities for our students this year.  A huge thanks (one of many to come) to our staff for providing these opportunities for our students!  We look forward to their success in all of these events.

We’ve also had a number of events at our school during the first two weeks of school.  This past week Police Constable Spivak met with our kindergarten students as well as most of our Grades 1-3 students to talk about safety, conflict management and anti-bullying.

We also had our first fire alarm drill of the year.  We’re very pleased to report that our students and staff did an excellent job of exiting the building in a safe and calm manner (within a short 1 minutes and 30 seconds).  We will have at least 2 more drills before the end of the first term of school.

Our School Advisory Council (aka “Parent Council” or SAC) held their first meeting of the year.  Organized and run by co-chairs Ms. Amy Greenberg and Ms. Laurie Zeitz, a number of introductions were made, many topics were discussed, and new parents were voted to council positions.  A huge thanks to all of the parents who attended the meeting and those two volunteered for positions on the council.  Parents, if you were unable to attend this past meeting, please consider coming to the next one on October 16th.  We are looking forward to a great year of partnership with our SAC.

On that same night, SAC hosted a New Parent Tea.  We had a very strong turn out of parents/guardians who are new to our school.  Thank you so much to parent Jill Anzarut (and her team) who organized this event!

In addition, SAC organized a head-lice screening for all students at our school, which happened Thursday morning, thank you SAC for organizing and running this event!

Friday was also DOT day, an International event that fosters and celebrates creativity, courage and collaboration.  In particular, Ms. Andrews and Ms. Kalimbet’s JK/SK class hosted a DOT day event in their class for parents and family members on Friday!  Well done students!

Looking forward to the week ahead, our school will have it’s first Lock Down Drill.  As you know, this drill’s purpose is to practice what all students, staff and school visitors should do in the event of an emergency in the school or in the near vicinity.

Monday is the first day of Hebrew classes after school (for those who have signed up).

Please remember that Tuesday, September 19th is our Welcome Back BBQ, hosted by our SAC.  We hope to see all of our Summit Heights families, their friends and neighbours join us Tuesday evening.  The event starts at 5:30pm and runs until 7:30pm.  Please come out, share in the fun festivities, greet our staff and fellow parents – and support our school!  As the lead organizers, parents Rachael Goodman and Freilich say “come hungry!”.

Finally, the last week of September will have our annual Terry Fox Run/Jog/Walk, organized by Ms. Bernstein and Ms. Magnani Our school assemblies will be on Sept 25th, with the actual event on Thurs. Sept 28th (rain-date of Friday Sept 29th).  During that week, PC Spivak returns to speak to the grades 4-6 students.  In addition, Superintendent Curtis will be visiting the school that week.

Parents, though our school is small, it is a vibrant, busy and exciting place to be!  Let’s work together to support your children to be as successful as they can be!

For those of you who celebrate Rosh Hashanah, a very warm and friendly Shana Tova!

Until next time,

Mr. B. Mah


Welcome to the 2017-18 School Year!

04 Sep

Dear Summit Heights Families,

The entire school staff welcomes you and your child(ren) to the new school year.  We hope that this past summer has been an enjoyable, memorable, eventful and safe season!

Whether your child(ren) are starting school for the first time, or attending our school as a ‘new’ student, or returning, we welcome all of our students with excitement!  We are all looking forward to seeing all of our students learn, grow and succeed in all facets of school life.

Perhaps your child, and maybe even you as a parent, are feeling a little bit anxious about school starting.  Returning back to school, with routines, new faces, spaces and pace can create some anxiety.  We ask that you happily embrace this transition, be there to positively support and encourage your child as they begin school.

Author Joanne Richard wrote an excellent article about the start of school.  In the article she lists a number of strategies that may help you and your child(ren) with the return to school.  These are some of those points:

Help your children beat a bad case of the back-to-school blues with tips from psychotherapist Ari Fox:

  • Validate your child’s feelings. Try to recall how it feels to return to school and let them know it is okay to be anxious, sad, angry, etc., and that you are there for them if they want to talk.
  • Help balance the dismay of school blues with positive thinking. Is there a club that your child could get excited about? Trips? School vacations? Who is she excited to see? Who will she tell about her summer adventures?
  • Encourage your child to adjust the sleep schedule as school approaches, so it is not as difficult to get up early in September.
  • Set up play dates with school friends for younger children and encourage older children and teens to hang out with friends.
  • Remind your child that everyone has strengths and weaknesses and that while school can be frustrating, challenging, boring and overwhelming at times, you believe in their ability to succeed.



  • Sit with your child and explore both positives and negatives of the previous year. What were strategies that worked and what could be better? Are there ways to make life easier for both of you so that there is less contention at home during the school term?
  • Set reasonable expectations and goals with your child.
  • Praise the process, not just the outcomes.
  • Practice self-care. Be aware of your own feelings about the beginning of the school year. Think about something aside from school to look forward to that you can enjoy this year; for example, going out more often with friends or significant other, engaging in a hobby, etc.
  • Do not be too hard on yourself. Just as your child is doing his or her best to manage the multiple pressures of school life, you too can only do your best.


Above all these tips, you can remind your child that our staff (teachers included) are also a little nervous about the first day of school – but together, students and staff can work together to make it a success!

Parents, there will be a package of paperwork going home on the first day of school.  Please do your best to return all of the forms (in this package) back to your child’s teacher, fully and carefully completed.  These forms are vital to the safety of your child (e.g., medical concern forms) and the smooth operation of our school (e.g., media release form).  These forms are due back to your child’s teacher on Monday, September 11th, 2017.

Please continue to visit our school’s web site for updates of news of our school.  Your child’s teacher will communicate with you on a more specific level about the classroom.  This communication may take a number of formats (class newsletter, class web site, communication via the school agenda etc).  Please be on the look out for news from your child’s teacher about how they intend to communicate with you.

Please also note there are already 4 important dates of events on our lawn sign in front of our school.  These dates, and many others, are also on our school’s Google calendar.  Please visit the calendar link on this web site.

Lastly, if you don’t already follow our Twitter account, please consider doing so (follow “SummitHeightsPS“). Our Twitter feed is active during the school year, with many updates (some aren’t necessarily uploaded on this web site).  If you would rather not create a Twitter account, you can still view our tweets by visiting and search “SummtHeightsPS“.

With a positive mind-set, attitude and effort, there is no reason why this school year can be the best yet!

Wishing you a great start to the school year,

Mr. B. Mah,

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Posted in from the Principal


September staffing changes

18 Jun

Updated June 27, 2017

Dear Summit Heights families,

As we draw closer to the end of the school year, changes in staff occur as well.  There are number of staff changes for our school that will take place at the end of this year and into September.

A number of acronyms are used in the lists below:

LRS = Lunch Room Supervisor
SNA = Special Needs Assistant
EA= Education Assistant
ECE= Early Childhood Educator
LTO = Long Term Occasional

The following staff will not be returning to our school in September.  We thank them for their service, dedication and care during their time at our school, and wish them the very best!  Fond farewell to:

  • Mr. Heng (currently our head caretaker), will be retiring after 30 years of service to the TDSB!
  • Mrs. Irvine (currently pm Core French teacher), will be going on a leave of absence.
  • Mlle. Sherry (currently pm Core French teacher), will be full time at Lester B Pearson PS
  • Ms. McIntosh (currently ECE), will be on maternity leave
  • Mr. Iliopoulos (currently LTO, Grade 5 teacher), LTO ending June 30
  • Ms. Kusnir (currently LTO, Gr 5G teacher), LTO ending June 30
  • Ms. Sussman (currently support Teacher), will be full time at Hollywood PS
  • Ms. Guirestante (currently pm SNA), will be at Downsview PS
  • Ms. Goldman (currently LTO am EA & LRS), LTO ending June 29
  • Ms. Safiya Qalinle (currently LTO LRS), LTO ending June 29
  • Ms. Daniela Ionescu (currently LTO LRS), LTO ending June 29
  • Ms. Layefsky (currently LTO office assistant), LTO ending July 7


We also welcome the following staff who will be joining our school staff starting June 30th.  We are excited to announce, and warmly welcome the following:

  • Ms. Eisen (teacher, currently on leave)
  • Ms. Schmitz (teacher, currently at SHPS in the morning, who will be with us full-time)
  • Mr. T. Kellesis (teacher, currently at Dunlace PS)
  • Ms. T. Gazey (teacher, currently at Hollywood PS)
  • Ms. B. Vender (SNA, currently at Fayewood ABC School)
  • Ms. T. Christie (EA, currently on leave)
  • Ms. Cathy Peck (LRS, currently at Rockcliffe MS)
  • Ms. Mihela Roman (LRS, currently on leave)

Throughout the following weeks and during the summer, there may still be staff changes.  This post will be updated to communicate such changes.

Please note, the tentative teaching assignments will be shared on June 27th when you receive your child’s second term report card.

Best regards,
Mr. Mah.

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Posted in from the Principal, Notice to Parents


Principal’s Update

11 Jun

Dear Summit Heights Families,

We have had a number of very eventful days in the past few weeks.  A few examples include:

  • Our Grade 3 and 6 students wrote the annual EQAO
  • A very successful Grandpal day (huge thanks to parents Tammy Vinokur and Kayli Balaban and their team for this year’s event!)
  • Track and Field, where a number of students advanced to the Conference Finals and some even to the city finals (taking place this week!)


  • Sports with Jay – a ‘free’ lunch program for students on Mondays!
  • Our girls’ soccer team made it all the way to their conference finals! Congrats to everyone on the team! Thanks to coaches Eschle, Craze and Khaja!
  • The boy’s soccer team WON the North Conference Championships for Division 2!  A huge congrats to our boys as well as coaches Eschle, Craze and Khaja!

soccer boys

  • An emotionally and touching assembly by Mr. Robert Woo, who while confined to a wheelchair, is able to walk with using an exo-skeleton!
  • The co-ed Ultimate team WON the North Conference Championships for Division 2!  Congrats to the girls and boys on the team as well as coaches Mercer, Iliopoulos and Chen!


  • Recognition assemblies run by Ms. Kipka’s class – recognizing our Character Education trait for May!
  • An amazing staff-appreciation lunch organized and put on by our Parent Council – thank you so much!


There is so much more still to come including:

  • Sr. Kindergarten graduation (Monday morning)
  • Walk/Safely Ride assemblies (Monday afternoon)
  • French Café (this Wednesday afternoon)
  • Volunteer appreciation breakfast (this Friday at 8:00:am)
  • Grade 6 visit to Dublin Heights PS (June 19th)
  • Play Day (June 20th)
  • Grade 6 Graduation (June 22nd)


Please note the following message from the TDSB regarding all Home School Programs in elementary schools:

Download (PDF, 278KB)


Good luck to Zach L., who will be representing Canada at the 7-year old boys’ Kids Golf World Championships being held in Pinehurst, NC, USA this summer!  There are over 50 countries sending a representative to this prestigious event, and our very own Zach, a Summit Heights student, will be at the event representing our country!  We are all behind Zach, and know he will give it his best – and this year, he has last year’s event to draw upon for experience (Zach represented Canada last year in the 6 year old event!).  Way to go Zach, and best of luck!


Handing out treats at our school? Please read on…

A reminder that parents who wish to share treats with students at our school (other than with their own child) must have a staff member supervise/administer this.  As you know, we do our best to be an allergy free environment, and our staff know best which students in their class have allergies.

A common event is the celebration of a birthday, where a treat is shared a child’s class.  Please ensure that you a) check/communicate with your child’s classroom teacher about this, b) sign in at the main office when visiting to drop off treats, and finally c) allow your child’s teacher to hand out/oversee the distribution of the treats.

Handing out treats, for example, on our school yard (and not supervised by a staff member) is prohibited.  Thank you for your understanding.

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Posted in from the Principal


Upcoming events in June

02 Jun

Dear Summit Heights Families,

It is hard to believe that we are in the final month of school for the 2016-2017 school year!  The work and learning that our students, staff and community have accomplished over the last 9 months has been nothing less than fantastic!  These efforts continue into June – there are many events in these final 4 weeks of school.  Please review the list of upcoming events below!

June 2 – Co-Ed Ultimate Tournament (with Coaches Iliopoulos, Chen & Mercer)

June 5 – Track and Field Conference Finals (with Coach Anton)

June 5 – Pizza Lunch

June 5 – Scientists in the School (Ms. Bates’ class)

June 6 – Boys’ soccer team – TDESAA North Quarter Finals at 12:35pm on our field (with Coach Craze & Eschle)

June 7 – Staff Appreciation Lunch (hosted by SAC)

June 7 – Scientists in the School (Mrs. Marchiori’s class)

June 7 – SHPS Open House for the Gifted Program (with Mrs. Mercer, Mr. Eschle & Mr. Mah)

June 8 – Scientists in the School (Mrs. Kipka’s class) pm

June 8 – All school library books are due back to the library

June 9 – PA Day (no classes)

June 12 – Sr. Kindergarten Graduation (9:00 – Andrews/McIntosh, 10:05 – Bower/Powell)

June 12 – Author Visit for primary classes (am)

June 12 – Pizza Lunch

June 12 – Walk/Ride Safety Assemblies (pm)

June 13 – Scientists in the School (Mrs. Da Silva’s class)

June 13 – TDESAA City Track and Field Finals

June 13 – Medieval Feast (Mr. Craze’s class)

June 14 – Canada 150 School “Drone” Photo (rain date June 19th)

June 14 – Grade 6 French Café (pm)

June 14 – Final SAC meeting (7:00pm)

June 15 – Grade 6 Graduation celebration (bowling!)

June 16 – Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast (8:00am)

June 16 – ON Legislative Page Program presentation (grade 5/6s)

June 19 – Pizza Lunch

June 20 – Play Day, lunch BBQ, staff vs. students soccer match

June 22 – Grade 6 Graduation (5:30pm)

June 27 – Report Cards go home

June 28 – School Talent Show (during the school day)

June 29 – Last day of classes


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Posted in from the Principal


Final Opportunity to bring Before/After Care to SHPS for Sept, 2017

19 May

Parents, the following notice will be sent home in our Friday files today.  Please note, the correct phone number for the Learning Enrichment Foundation is 416-760-2550.

In the case that your child misplaces the hardcopy, please review the letter from our main office below:

Download (PDF, 60KB)

Download (PDF, 258KB)

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Posted in from the Principal, Notice to Parents