Archive for the ‘from the Principal’ Category

Principal’s Update for Sept 14, 2020

14 Sep

Dear Summit Heights Parents,


On behalf of the entire Summit Heights staff, we hope that you and your family had a wonderful summer, one where positive memories were made and excitement grew with the anticipation of the first day of school.

Our staff have been busily preparing for the coming school year.  We’re also excited to see our students, who are ready to learn and connect with friends, and help them as they continue their success and growth at school.  For those joining us for the first time, we welcome you with open arms (while socially distancing of course) to our SHPS family.

There is no doubt that this September and start to the school year is like no other in recent history.  We are sailing in uncharted waters, but we’re in this together and are ready to receive your child at our school.

If you haven’t already done so, please download the two pdf’s on our website that deal specifically with the start of school and the health and safety measures in place.  You can find the pdf’s at: at

There is a lot of information for parents and students.  Our staff will review the most pertinent details with our students in class.  This information will be repeated, and in cases where possible, practiced and rehearsed.

There is going to be a vast amount of change to our regular routine, from logistics (like our bell-times), to teaching (students will work mainly individually, and our access to technology has been limited) to the personal interaction and communication – since we are all wearing masks, we’re losing things like seeing others smile.

Please be sure you either have the “now mobile” app on your smartphone, or have printed and sign/dated the Health Screening Paper Pass.  You can download the paper pass and get more information on the app at:

While the measures in place may seem quite severe, the health and safety of everyone in our school (and in that regard, the health and safety of those whom our students and staff live with) is of the utmost concern and importance.  As such, we will adhere to the stipulations set out by Toronto Public Health and the TDSB in regards to screening of students.  Please understand, while we understand that sending your child home due to screening or Covid-like symptoms is a major inconvenience, we will not gamble with the health and safety of the people in our building.  Your understanding and support in this matter is greatly appreciated.

We will continue to make adjustments as TPH and TDSB continue to update and inform us on this ever-changing situation.  For the latest information, please visit the TDSB web site at: 

In terms of our staff, we congratulate Mrs. Vender on her retirement!  We also congratulate Mr. Minniti who was successful in attaining a permanent teaching job with the TDSB.  We welcome Ms. Clarke and Mlle. Berberi (teachers) and Ms. Vanier and Ms. Parish (SNAs) to our staff.  In addition, we welcome back Ms. Mihaela and Ms. Safiya (lunchroom supervisors) back to our staff!  Welcome as well to Ms. Bernice and Mr. Alim, new lunchroom supervisors to our school.

While things will be different this school year, we are all in this together.  Working as a team, we sincerely hope that your child(ren) has the happiest and most successful start to the school year ever!


Yours in partnership,

Mr. B. Mah,


September Start Up Information Package

12 Sep

Dear Summit Heights Parents,

An email was sent using our SAC mailing list earlier this morning.  The email has the following link, where you can download a pdf file that contains information about our September start-up – you can download the file HERE.

Please note, we are working on updating the file to include health and safety information (such as protocol when someone is ill, social distancing rules, hand hygiene, mask-wearing, washroom routines and many others).  While we covered much of these items in our Zoom meet last Thursday, some protocols and information have changed since.  We will email you again when the file is updated and ready for download.

Your continued support and patience is appreciated as we work to keep you updated.

Best regards,

Mr. B. Mah,


SHPS Lunch Survey

12 Sep

Dear Summit Heights Parents,

Moments ago, we sent an email with a Google Form survey link regarding whether or not your child(ren) will be eating lunch at home.  Please take a moment to check your email for the link and please fill out the online survey (filling out the survey will only take a minute or two).

This is important information for our staff to gather, we appreciate your support in completing this survey.

Best regards,

Mr. B. Mah,


Principal’s Update (for Sept. startup)

11 Sep

Dear Summit Heights Parents,

Thank you for your continued patience with waiting for more information about the start of school.  We hope you were able to attend our SAC (School Advisory Council) meeting last Tuesday and the September Start-Up Information session this past Thursday, as a lot of information was shared at these virtual meetings.

We are very close to being ready to post an online document with information about the start of school and coming year.  Please note, while the document will be posted very soon, we are continuing to work on it and update it over the next few days before school starts.  The guidelines from Toronto Public Health and the Toronto District School Board are often updated/changed, so please be patient as we sort through these new guidelines and add the protocols and procedures to our local rules and practices.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding.

Mr. B. Mah,


Start of School Update (for Sept. 2020)

20 Aug

Dear Summit Heights Parents,

On behalf of the SHPS staff, we sincerely hope that you and your entire family are in good health, and are enjoying your summer so far.

We understand there has been a great deal of information about the start of school in the media and from the TDSB.  There are still many unanswered questions, though as we inch closer to the first day of school, we anticipate having the answers to those questions.

The staff and I have been communicating over the summer.  We have a staff planning committee that has already met over the summer, and will continue to meet and plan over the next few weeks.  While the TDSB made an important announcement (details below) today about the start of school, there will be more information, protocol and guidelines from the board – so we ask that you remain patient in awaiting these details.

Once all the details from the TDSB have been shared, our staff committee and I will fine-tune routines and aspects that are specific to our school.  We will email these details to you, and post them on our school web site.

The following information was released by the TDSB today, though there will likely be more changes and details sorted out, so please continue to be patient with the situation:


  • The board will be hiring an additional 366 teachers and redeploy 400 central teachers to lower class sizes across the board to help improve student and staff safety in our schools.
  • Toronto Public Health has identified communities as being at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19. Schools in these communities will have JK/SK classes would be capped at 15 students, while Grade 1 to 8 classes would be capped at 20.
  • In all other schools, JK/SK classes would be capped at 26, Grade 1 to 3 classes would be capped at 20, while Grade 4 to 8 classes would be capped at 27.
  • With regard to virtual school (or remote learning), students will be taking part in live online learning throughout the day and see class size caps of 29 in JK/SK, 20 in Grades 1 to 3 and 35 in Grades 4 to 8.
  • With regard to space requirements, the board continues to work with the City of Toronto and others to look for alternate space.
  • To achieve these class sizes, the TDSB has used money from TDSB Reserves ($29.5M), the Ministry ($6.3M), and the regular TDSB budget ($2.9M)
  • This approach balances the urgent need to spend additional funds to lower class sizes, but doesn’t get the board into financial trouble in the years ahead by using too much of those reserves, much of which are set aside for employee benefits.
  • With regard to the use of masks/face coverings, ALL students and staff wear masks/face coverings. This brings the board in line with the overall City of Toronto requirements which require anyone over the age of 2 to wear a mask/face covering in indoor public spaces — with exemptions for medical reasons. Particularly for younger students, we’ll ensure there are breaks outdoors so that they’re not wearing them for multiple hours straight.
  • Given the amount of time that will be needed to prepare for the return to school, the first day of school (for elementary, secondary and virtual school) will be Tuesday, September 15 at which point we will stagger the entry of grades over a few days.
  • The board would like parents/guardians to have the opportunity to make their intentions known based on the latest information. That is why, next week, the TDSB will be asking parents to register their child to attend school in September or keep them at home and attend remote learning in virtual school. It’s very important that parents state their intentions.


So to clarify, more information will be shared about when the first day of school is for your child (as it will depend on their grade).

Further, the TDSB will once again survey parents about their intention for their child(ren) on whether they will attend school in person, or learn remotely from home.  It is very important that you respond to the survey next week, even if you completed the first survey – please ensure you respond to the survey next week.

I will be in touch with you again with more information.  Thank you for your support and understanding while we continue to prepare for the school year.


Mr. B. Mah,

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Year end Principal’s Update

25 Jun

Dear Summit Heights Families,

On behalf of the entire staff, we sincerely hope that you and all of your family members are remaining healthy and coping well given what is going on in the world today.  We also thank you for your support of your child(ren) and our staff, particularly during the distance learning and school closures.  I can assure you that during that time, the entire staff would have preferred to be physically in the building, teaching and interacting with the students if that were possible.

So we are at the end of another school year, a year that was certainly unlike any others in our lifetime.  I sincerely hope that with time, we can all look back and perhaps share a laugh and recall good memories about this past year.

Best wishes and congratulations to our Grade 6 students in the Gifted Program who had an online graduation this week.  These wonderful students will not be returning to our school in September, though we hope to see them again and hear about their new adventures in their new schools!  We are also looking forward to the first year of the regular Grade 7 program at our school!

Congratulations to our Senior Kindergarten students as well!  We’re excited as they embark on the journey of Grade 1 and beyond!

We hope that you were able to view the virtual Talent Show this past week.  Thank you to the students who displayed their talents, including dancing, joke-telling, magic tricks, singing and more!  A huge thank you to Ms. Shapiro for yet again coordinating this fantastic event!

In terms of September, we have formed a staff committee that has agreed to meet and plan over the summer.  The committee is waiting on the Provincial Government to announce the final plan for September.  The TDSB will certainly also inform us of protocols and expectations, and in turn our school committee will plan, organize and communicate.  We will post the plan on our school’s website and email you as well.

The communicated plan will also provide details about what the first day of school will look like, including what doors the students should enter on the first day, and how they will find out what class/teacher they have been assigned.  Please note, parents of JK and SK students will receive a notice directly from the classroom teachers before the school year begins with more direction and information.

Also please remember that our school bell/schedule has changed.  Starting on September 8, 2020, the bell schedule will be:

8:55am – school yard supervision begins

9:08am – “line-up” bell

9:10am  – school day begins

10:20-10:35am – morning recess

11:55am-12:55pm – lunch and lunch recess

12:53pm – “line-up” bell

12:55pm – afternoon classes begin

2:15pm-2:30pm – afternoon recess

3:40pm – end of school day

Our school website will be updated over the summer (including these new bell times), so please be patient as we work through the changes.

We hope that you were able to view the well-wishes/happy summer video from our staff to all of you.  If you haven’t yet had a chance to view the video, you can by visiting this link:

Once again, on behalf of our entire Summit Heights staff, we wish you good health and a safe, enjoyable and restful summer.


Best wishes,

Mr. B. Mah,

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