Archive for the ‘from the Principal’ Category

Principal’s Update for November

29 Nov

Dear Summit Heights Parents,

November was a successful month for Summit Height students.  Some academic highlights include a book cover contest in the library, designing bridges in grade 5, creating space craft for grade 6s,  data management for grade 4s, studying the solar system in kindergarten and volleyball in some PE classes (to name a few).   Our students learned a lot this past month, and many of their projects and assignments are on display in our halls and bulletin boards.

Across the school, there were a number of clubs and events that happened last month.

Earlier in the month, our school community remembered and honoured past and current Canadian soldiers, culminating in our Remembrance Day assemblies, and moment of silence.  The month also closed with a character education assembly for the trait of Empathy, lead by Mr. Kellesis’ class.

In terms of school sports, the boys’ volleyball competed in November at their one-day tournament.  Coaches Anton and Valdoria reported that our team played well and represented our school with pride and respect.  Congrats to all for a great season!

We had tryouts for our Grade 4/5 ice hockey team last month.  In addition, our school had the intention of hosting a grade 6 team as well (to be twinned with another school that would have a goalie).  Unfortunately in the end, there wasn’t a league for our grade 4/5 team and we weren’t able to twin with another grade 6 school – so we won’t have either (a Grade 4/5 or a Grade 6) ice hockey team this year.

Progress reports went home in the middle of the month, followed by parent-teacher interviews.  We hope that the vast majority of our parents were able to meet with their child(ren)’s teachers!

Thanks to our SAC Chair, Andrew Miller, who organized two student-courses “Home Alone” and “Babysitting”, which primarily took place in November.  The student-courses were well received, with positive feedback from the participants.

In addition to all the above events, we had our photo-retake on November 14th and our SAC meeting this week on November 27th.  Please note, the next SAC meeting is on January 13th, 2020.


New Items:

Driving safely in/around our school
We recently had some reports of some drivers driving beyond the speed limit in/around our school, as well as driving beyond a reasonable limit in our school parking lot.  Please be mindful that safety always comes first.  We would rather your child, or you, be late for school, appointment or meeting instead of someone being hurt.  Please, for the sake of safety, drive safely, slowly and carefully at all times.

New HVAC system in our gym
A new HVAC system (primarily for ventilation, but also including supplemental heat and cooling) will be installed in our gym over the next few months.  The construction should not interfere with our school programing nor after school programs.  Please note, while the new system does have air-conditioning, there are specific thresholds of temperature/time of year etc., where the machine automatically turns on if it’s too hot.  The gym will serve as another “cooling station” for our school in the event of extreme heat.

Transition committee
The parent and staff transition committees have continued their work to plan and organize the transition to include the regular-stream Grade 7 program for September.  The committee gave an update at the last SAC meeting.  There are a number of items that we are working on, including budgeting for the new class(es), fundraising, logistics (like textbooks, lockers), facility issues (e.g., portable, lockers), planning to gather student input, etc. Please understand much of what we are working on is still in the planning phase.  We’ll update you again when we have more meaningful information.


Important December dates:

Dec 2 – Pizza Lunch

Dec 6PA Day (no classes)

Dec 9 – Pizza Lunch

Dec 9 – 13 – Book Fair

Dec 10 – FireFighter visit to Kindergarten classes (am)

Dec 12 – Winter Concert (evening)

Dec 16 – Pizza Lunch

Dec 20 – Beach Blast excursion (junior clases)

Dec 21 – Jan 5Winter Holidays

Jan 6Classes Resume


Thank you for reading,

Mr. B. Mah,



Principal’s Update for October

03 Nov

Dear Summit Heights Families,

October was an eventful month.  While it may seem a long time ago, we started the month off with adjusting to a number of new routines due to the CUPE job action.  Thankfully, our school managed well, students continued to be safe and learn, and of course the job action ended.

The month concluded with a lot of fun and sugar!  Many classes hosted Halloween-themed celebrations/parties.  The kindergarten students made their way through the school in their annual parade/walk.  Students (and some staff) were dressed in fun costumes – we’re happy to report it was a fun day!  The annual Pumpkin Patch was a success.  Our kindergarten students participated in picking pumpkins as well as working through some educational (but pumpkin-related) stations.  A huge thanks to the Primary Reps, parents Alanna, Jillian and Julia!

Despite the rain and cold temperatures, we hope everyone can look back to Halloween 2019 with some fond memories.

Being the second month of the school year, a lot of school sports took place.  The cross country team completed in their meet on the 4th.  Many students advanced to the conference finals, and a few even made it to the city finals!  Congratulations to the entire team for a great season.  Special thanks to Mr. Khaja and his team of staff and parent co-coaches/volunteers for making this team possible!

Our touch football team competed in their one-day tournament, and advanced to the quarter finals match.  Great job on a great season!  Thanks to coaches Hunter and Cabacungan for their time and efforts.

October is soccer season for the TDSB.  Both of our teams, girls’ and boys’, completed their seasons last month.  The boys hosted their tournament and had a successful run, but came up short from advancing.  The girls’ team, also hosted and won their tournament to advance to the Conference quarter finals.  We also hosted that game on our field, and it was as exciting as any match could be!  After ending regular time with a score of 0-0, two 5 minute extra time halfs were played – and the score still remained 0-0!  So it went to penalty kicks, where our girls came out victorious!  The team thus advanced to the Conference finals, but alas this is where their season ended.  A huge congratulations to all of our student-athletes on both teams!  Many thanks to coaches, Eschle and Khaja, for their work in leading both teams.

We had three assemblies last month.  Officer Shari (from the Toronto Police Services) visited our school on October 23rd.  She spoke to our K to grade 3 students about safety, conflict resolution and inclusion.  With Officer Shari was Officer Phil, who will be taking over the community liaison role, as Officer Shari is retiring!  We wish her well as she embarks on this new phase of her life.

October 23rd was also the same day that our grade 3-6 students watched the documentary “Screenagers”.  Funded by our SAC, this eye-opening film delved into the effects of screen time on young people and the dynamics on relationships with others, particularly family members.   Parents were also invited to a viewing that same evening, after parent council.  Thank you for those who attended.  Likewise, thank to you SAC for funding the event for our students, staff and parents.

To round out the assemblies, our grade 6s attended an assembly about the Cyber Arts program at CH Best (a program that, for our students, would start in grade 7).   Finally, Ms. Eisen/Bernstein and Ms. Brock/Anton’s classes organized and presented the character education assembly last month.  The skits, songs and message were well written, rehearsed and performed!  Well done everyone!

Our ECO Team hosted the first of three walk to school days in October.  While the temperature was chilly, many students and families walked to school to help reduce our community’s carbon footprint and to spread the word about saving our environment.  Those who walked were treated to a hot cup (re-usable cup of course) of hot chocolate!  We apologize that we ran out of hot chocolate, and will work towards a solution to this issue in the future.

October was also the month where our school had photo day (the re-take day is in November, see below).  Our Social Justice League also held our annual “We Scare Hunger” food drive.  A heartfelt thank you to all who donated to this worth cause!  Lunch programs (organized by SAC) also began in October.  In addition, our school was a polling station for the federal elections.

Finally, a note about our school’s transition to include grade 7 in September of 2020, and specifically the gifted program.  At this point, as confirmed by our Superintendent’s office and the TDSB special education department, the Grade 4-6 gifted program will be at Summit Heights in September 2020.  However, we will not have a grade 7 or 8 gifted program at our school.  We WILL have Grade 7, regular stream, starting in September 2020 and then expanding to include Grade 8 in September 2021.  A parent and staff committee are currently planning and working on the inclusion of Grade 7 next school year.  Please stay tuned for more information.

Please check our Google Calendar for upcoming events this school year.  However, for your convenience, these are important November dates:

Nov 4 – Pizza Lunch

Nov 5 – Grade 6 Ice Hockey Tryout (4-5pm, @ York Mills arena)

Nov 7 – Home Alone Course (by registration only)

Nov 11Remembrance Day, Lest We Forget

Nov 11 – Pizza Lunch

Nov 13 – Progress Reports go home

Nov 14 – Photo Re-take day

Nov 14 – Parent/teacher interviews (evening)

Nov 15 – PA Day, no classes (and morning Parent/Teacher Interviews)

Nov 18 – Pizza Lunch

Nov 27 – SAC Meeting (7-9pm)


Thank you for reading,

Mr. B. Mah,



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Help our ECO Team!

23 Oct

Dear Parents,

We are asking all children to please bring their own reusable utensils and reusable containers on days they have a hot lunch (Pizza or Kid’s Kitchen). The reusable containers are to send home any food leftovers. The eco team will be working hard this year on reducing food waste and garbage in order to keep our Gold Eco School status.

Thank you for your cooperation! Every little bit counts!
The ECO Team

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Soccer team tournament schedules (for SHPS)

16 Oct

Girls soccer tournament: Thursday, Oct. 17 @ Summit
Game 1:10:00 – 10:45
Game 2: 12:30 – 1:15


Boys’ Soccer Tournament: Friday, Oct. 18 @ Summit
Game 1:9:30 – 10:15
Game 2: 12:15 – 1:00
Game 3: 1:30 – 2:15

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EQAO results, Parking/stopping on Delhi Ave, Recess Inclusion

10 Oct

Dear Summit Heights Families,

EQAO results:
Results for the Spring 2019 EQAO (grade 3 and 6) are now public.  Please visit this site for the specific retuls for Summit Heights:

  • please note there is a tab in the middle of the page to toggle between the Grade 3 and Grade 6 results
  • for the specific Spring 2019 results, click on the “School Report (PDF)” on the right side of the page


Drop-off/pick-up along Delhi Ave:
DO NOT park in the intersection on Delhi nearest to our school yard gate.  Many students cross the street in that intersection, and parked cars in the intersection pose a serious danger including potentially striking pedestrians and obstructing lines of sight.

Likewise, DO NOT park in the wrong direction on Delhi, please park along with the flow of traffic.  As you know, pedestrians and drivers’ decisions often count on predictability and patterns of other drivers on the road, and a car parked in the wrong direction can disrupt that predictability.

Your cooperation is needed to help ensure the safety of our students and community.


Inclusive Play and +/- one grade level at recess:
It has been a long standing recess rule at our school that students can play with others who are of the same grade or +/- one grade.  This is based on safe play (wider age/grade differences between students often results in unfair and potentially un-safe play).  As you can imagine, for example, grade 6 students who are physically, cognitively and emotionally ahead of grade 2 students shouldn’t be playing a soccer match against each other.  Please note, it is certainly fine that students of any and all grades talk with one another during recess, it’s only when they ‘play’ a game (e.g., soccer, tag, grounders etc) that this rule is in effect.

Further to this on-going rule, we expect students to say “yes” when another student asks to play with their group.  If a child isn’t playing safely or by the rules, the child should be reminded about the rule/asked to play safely.  If after that reminder the child continues to not play by the rules/play safely, then that child may be asked to leave the game.

Last year we introduced a “buddy bench” to our school yard.  Students who are looking for others to play with can sit on the bench, which will indicate to others that this person is looking for others to play with.  We expect students to be on the look out of our buddy bench and invite others to play!

Finally, some students have used the term “alone recess”.  This refers to a situation where a group is asking an individual to join them in play.  The individual has the right to say ‘no thank you’ and have an alone recess. However, this term shall not be to exclude others from group play (e.g., a group of students can’t say to one student that ‘they are having an alone recess’ and exclude the individual who is asking to play).


Thank you for reading!

Mr. B. Mah,


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Principal’s Update

06 Oct

Please visit the TDSB’s web site for the most up-to-date and accurate information about the possible CUPE strike,


CUPE and the Province have reached a tentative agreement – schools will be open tomorrow (Mon. Oct 7, 2019).   


Dear Summit Heights Families,

We wanted to extend our thanks to our students, staff and parent community for making the start of our new school year successful and smooth.  We were pleased with how our students were able to transition from summer to school seamlessly.  Students were able to get back into the many school routines that help with safety, learning and the overall function of our school.

The first week of school was about routines, expectations, rules and procedures.  On the second day of school, students attended their first assembly of the year where overall  school routines were reviewed.

The first fire alarm drill was held during the second week of school.  Students and staff performed the drill very well, exiting the building by the closest exit, while doing so quietly and calmly.  Part of the drill includes taking attendance outside, a safe distance from our school.  Once all students are accounted for, a double bell rings and classes come back into the building.

During that second week of school, thanks to our School Advisory Council (aka: SAC or “Parent Council”), students were screened for pediculosis.  The staff from The Lice Crew will be back after the winter holidays and again after March Break.   Our school also held our first of two “lock down” drills.  In this case, it was a “hold and secure”.  This was a simulation where there is a potentially dangerous situation in the neighbourhood  – so no one was allowed to enter/leave the building/portables, but life indoors carried on as usual, until the drill was over.  We’re happy to say that our school performed the drill well.

SAC hosted their annual New Parent Tea on the evening of September 12, which was followed by the first SAC meeting of the year.  We were happy to meet a number of new parents who were able to attend the evening.

Our school’s annual curriculum night was held on Sept. 19th.  Parents were encouraged to come and meet their child(ren)’s teacher, and get a better feel of expectations, homework and other related classroom routines.  September 19th was also the day for the Me to We Conference or “WE Day”, which was held at the Scotia Bank Arena.  Mr. Chen and a number of our Social Justice League were able to attend this motivational rally for youth empowerment, global change and student voice.

Officer Shari (Police Constable Spivak from the Toronto Police Services) who is our community liaison officer, visited on September 25th.   Officer Shari met with our grades 4-6 students.  Her assembly focused on problem solving, conflict management and safety.

The end of the month was very busy for our school.  On September 26th, Ms. Irvine/Mr. Schonberger’s Grade 6 class hosted our first Character Education Assembly.  It was based on the theme of September, Respect.  Students from each class were presented with certificates honouring them for their exemplary demonstration of Respect throughout September.    During the evening, SAC hosted our annual Welcome Back BBQ/Carnival.  Hundreds of students, parents and community members were in attendance.  Kids played on inflatables, while adults looked on with smiles and laughter.  We had two food trucks, donuts, balloon art, a photobooth,  and even the Magen Boys DJ and dancers on site as well!  Thank you to the SAC social committee for their amazing work in organizing this fun-filled event!

September 27th was Orange Shirt Day, and due to the rain on the 26th, it was also our Terry Fox Run/Walk.   The vast majority of our school wore Orange to raise awareness of the Reconciliation Process.  Our school also ran and walked in honour of Terry Fox and to raise money for cancer research.  Thank to you to the Social Justice Committee (lead by Mrs. Mercer and Mr. Chen) for organizing our educational efforts in Orange shirt day, and Mr. Anton and Ms. Magnani for taking the lead on our Terry Fox run/walk.

In addition to all of the great events listed above, our school also had school teams and clubs form in September.  Those include:  boys and girls soccer, boys’ touch football, co-ed cross country, robotics club (First Lego League), Social Justice League, a meeting for potential school ice hockey, library helpers and office helpers.  We also have a rotation of grade 6 students who lead our morning announcements.

We’re looking forward to the continued success of our students in academics, athletics and arts in the upcoming months.

Key Dates in October:

Oct 7 – First Pizza Lunch

Oct 10 – Touch Football team tournament

Oct 11 – PA Day (no classes)

Oct 14 – Thanksgiving (no classes)

Oct 15 – Pizza Lunch

Oct 15 – Cross Country Conference Finals (@ Earl Bales)

Oct 16  – IEPs sent home

Oct 17 – Girls’ Soccer Tournament

Oct 18 – Boys’ Soccer Tournament

Oct 21 – Federal Election

Oct 21 – Pizza Lunch

Oct 23 – Officer Shari assembly (K-Gr 3)

Oct 23 – “Screen-agers” movie viewing for students and parents

Oct 23 – SAC meeting (7-9pm)

Oct 24 – Cross Country City Finals (@ Centennial Park)

Oct 28 – Pizza Lunch

Oct 29 – Character Education Assembly

Oct 30 – Pumpkin Patch (JK/SK)


Thanks for visiting!

Mr. B. Mah,

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