Welcome Back to the 2018/2019 School Year

Dear Parents and Guardians of da Vinci School,

On behalf of the entire staff at our school I want to wish everyone from our community a warm and sincere welcome back to school! I am very excited to be the new Principal at the two schools and am committed to making student success a top priority where achievement, wellbeing and equity are focused in everything we do. It is important that this is a caring school with caring adults inside and that it is a safe place to learn. Along with my Vice Principal, David Gilmore, we will be leading an incredible staff and there are number of new staff to welcome to our school community. We will be sharing an updated staff list shortly on the school blog. We have already had an assembly with all the Kindergarten classes and then another one with our grades 1-6 students in both schools. Students met the staff and we discussed expectations around safety, behaviour and how we all need to work together to making the school a successful place to learn, work and play.

Our school hallways and classes look immaculate, after a busy summer of hard work by our caretaking staff, Sheraz, Elizabeth and Dave and outgoing staff, Louie. The school revitalization is well under way. We are working through the window replacement project with the Robert St. windows replaced and almost complete and work has begun on the octagon one curtain wall at a time. The pylons are almost all repainted and the school is beginning to look refreshed. While there might be some disruption to the classrooms, all the work will be done with the proper precautions in place and measures taken to ensure everyone’s safety. I am working closely with the contractor, caretaker and project supervisor to facilitate the work as smoothly as possible.

Please make sure to check the school blog for upcoming events and information. Please note the Lord Lansdowne instructional day is 30 minutes longer than da Vinci, due to the integrated International Languages program. Entry and dismissal times of the two schools differ by 15 minutes at the beginning and end of the school day. However, the two schools have recess and lunch times in common.

ENTRY: da Vinci entry bell for all students rings at 8:50 am for an 8:55 start to the instructional day. All students in grades 1-6 will meet their teacher in and around Crocodile Island and Kindergarten students will meet at Three Tree Island. Da Vinci students will use the da Vinci doors Exit #2 and the Kindergarten class will enter using Exit #3. Parents are asked not to enter the school and accompany their child during entry time in order to ensure student safety. If your child is late after the students have entered please take/send your child to the main doors Exit #1 where they can proceed to the da Vinci office to receive a late slip and then go to class. We believe this will allow for a calmer, safer entry in to the school and result in a more focussed start to the learning day.

DISMISSAL: da Vinci dismissal for all students is at 3:15 pm using the same doors as for entry. We have asked other daycares (there are currently six!) to identify a meeting spot in the yard and to provide a clear sign so they can pick up their students. We continue to have before- and after childcare through St. Stephen’s Childcare, which has permits for several of the classrooms on our first floor. We also have permits for Makom after school program using classrooms on the second floor. Both on-site programs have increased enrollment for the 2018/19 school year. The permitted classroom spaces are shared with classroom teachers and International Languages programs.

More information will be coming to you shortly about our Curriculum Night which will be held in early October.

Extracurricular sports are starting this week and traditionally both schools are included in participation. Our Cross Country Team grades 1-6 will be practicing on Tuesdays and Thursdays meeting on the field at 7:50 am for an 8:00 am start. First practice is tomorrow Thursday September 13. If your child is interested they should have already received forms from their classroom teacher. If you have not signed up yet for your child to participate, please bring a pen to tomorrow’s practice and Ms. Spekkens will have some extra forms. The Area Qualifier is on Tuesday October 2 so there are only a short number of practices before the first meet. We will also have a Junior Boys Volleyball team and a Junior Girls Basketball team. More information will come from the coaches through the classroom teachers. We are also hoping to have clubs operating throughout the year as well as outside program providers. Once we have further information we will post this here on the school blog.

Our school snack program will be starting shortly and we are looking for parent volunteers to assist the program coordinator with providing a healthy nutritional snack to all our students every day. If you are interested in assisting, please speak to me or Mr. Gilmore. We are also looking to find a roster of supply Lunchroom Supervisors. This is a 1 hour and 15 minute paid position and you would be learning great skills while working in a school environment. If interested or you know of someone who may be interested please contact me or Mr. Gilmore as there is paperwork involved.

You should have received a number of important forms last week, including data verification forms. TDSB permission forms have been streamlined and several required forms are on the same page. We ask that you complete and return them to your child’s homeroom teacher by Friday September 14 and you ensure that the information is updated including phone numbers and email addresses.

We are committed to improving regular communication between home and school this year. You should have already received information through our School Messenger system and this will be a way that we reduce the amount of paper that we consume through photocopying. The office and the administration will be sending important information using this system which can send both emails and phone calls to you using our Student Information System database. We will also look to improve the type of information that we provide to you through this school blog. Stay tuned for more information from your School Council regarding our upcoming meetings.

If you have any questions or concerns please call the school office am at 416 393 8204 and pm at 416 393 1350 or email us at janos.szonyi@tdsb.on.ca or david.gilmore@tdsb.on.ca

Yours in partnership,

Eric Szonyi

David Gilmore
Vice Principal