Welcome Back!

Dear Parents/Guardians of da Vinci Alternative Public School,

It’s a real pleasure to be back in good health to start a new school year. I hope you had a refreshing and enjoyable summer with your family. I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of all our staff last year during my absence, and the support of the school community for this wonderful little school.
I’m especially delighted to welcome Carol Shea to our community as my co-principal for this year. Carol has spent several years as vice-principal in schools with French Immersion programs and brings a wealth of background in supporting students with special needs. This additional support will help us maintain continuity of program and provide stability for both school communities over the coming year. Our thanks to Mary Jane McNamara, Superintendent of Schools, for her advocacy.

Parents are our partners – we share the responsibility for our children’s success. As we begin this exciting new school year, if you have questions specifically about the Special Education process, feel free to call Carol Shea.
If you have questions regarding students in da Vinci Alternative Public School JK – Gr 6 or regarding EQAO or bussing, please direct your questions to Beth Mills. As co-principals, we will work together to support both schools.

Our staff has spent considerable personal time over the past weeks planning for effective learning, and preparing attractive and welcoming classrooms. Our school hallways and classes sparkle, after a busy summer of hard work by our caretaking staff, Angelo, Louis and Dave. We are blessed with a committed staff!

What’s new this year? Please make sure to check this website for upcoming events and information.

  • ENTRY: The da Vinci entry bell for all da Vinci students rings at 8:50 am.
  • New this year, students will line up by class at their designated spot inside the schoolyard.
  • Classroom teachers will pick their class up outside and escort to the classroom via the Spadina doors. We believe this will allow for a calmer, more focussed start to the learning day.
  • Dismissal for da Vinci Kindergarten students is at 3:05 pm in the schoolyard.
  • Dismissal for da Vinci grades 1 – 6 is at 3:15 pm at the Spadina doors.

Please note: The Lansdowne instructional day is 30 minutes longer than da Vinci, due to the International Language program. Entry and dismissal times of the two schools differ by 15 minutes at the beginning and end of the school day.

  • We are looking forward to continuing work on the schoolyard rejuvenation with the Outdoor Space committee, incorporating the work from last year with OPAL around Loose Parts play. We are pleased to have a new storage shed for play materials.
  • A big change for us is the addition of before- and after-childcare, which has permits for all the classrooms on our first floor. It’s exciting to finally have on-site care for our students. We know there will be some challenges, with over 75 students enrolled in the program. The classroom space is shared with classroom teachers and International Languages programs. Safety and security is our prime concern, especially at the beginning and end of the school day.
  • Some important changes to note for the basketball/tennis court:
    • 8:30 to 8:50 am The court is reserved for the use of the in-school childcare only.
      (due to childcare licensing regulations.)
    • 3:30 to 4:00 The court is reserved for TDSB-bussed students only at this point.
      (the increased numbers of bused students, waiting in front of the school was a safety concern)

You will receive a number of important forms and information this week. TDSB permission forms have been streamlined (yay!). We ask that you return them to us by Friday, September 15.

Carol and I wish you and your children a safe, happy and enjoyable year full of growth and discovery. May the spirit of curiosity and the joy of learning be with you!

New School Times

**NOTE** start and finish times have changed (from last year). The new times are as follows: 

Entry bell at 8:50 a.m. and dismissal at 3:15 p.m (3:05 for kindergarten). Please take note of this important change.

OPAL Play Day Monday June 26, 2017

On Monday June 26, 2017, da Vinci and Lord Lansdowne will be having an OPAL Play Day.

Students will be going outside to play according to a schedule being created by the OPAL Lead Team. We are asking that parents ensure students are prepared for outdoor play that day (e.g. hat, sunscreen, bottle of water etc.), including having a change of clothes, as there will be water play.

Bike, Walk & Roll Event – Thanks and highlight video

Thanks to everyone who came out this morning for our annual Bike, Walk and Roll to School event. The rain held out it was great fun for all. Thanks to U of T’s Bike Chain for providing bike tune-ups, to Riders Cycle and Board for the super obstacle course and to our Community Officers for teaching us about road safety. Thank you as well as to the many local businesses, including Carmen’s City Market, Starbucks, Blue Banana, Wanda’s Pie in the Sky, Second Cup, and Sweet Pete’s, who supported the event through donations of food and raffle items.

Finally, a big shout out to Sarah Warden and the many parent volunteers who brought snacks and helped set up, run, and clean up the event.

What a great celebration of sustainable and healthy transportation!

-LLPS & da Vinci Eco Team

Please see the video slideshow from the morning:

Kindergarten Before- and After-School Program

Dear Parents/Guardians,

This year our school surveyed parents for their interest in a fee-based Before-and-After-School Program for Kindergarten and Gradel to Grade 6 students. Based on this year’s survey completed during February, there is initial interest in a program for September 2017. A program will only run if there is a firm commitment from enough parents (i.e. fee deposit).

We are currently working with a child care operator to provide the FDK and Gradel-6 Before- and After­
School Programs.

Registration is required to ensure a space for your child in the program and to confirm a program’s viability.

The child care provider at Lord Lansdowne/daVinci will be holding a registration for the Before-and-After ­School Program on Friday, May 5, 2017 at 8:00 -10:00 a.m. and 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Please contact Kimberly Stevenson at 416-925-2103 ext 5110 for more information.

Transportation to and from the Before-and-After-School Program is not provided and will be the responsibility of parents/guardians. If your family is currently receiving a child care subsidy, you will be able to keep your subsidy for the
Before-and-After-school Program. The City of Toronto oversees fee subsidies. For information regarding a subsidy, please visit the City’s website at www.toronto.ca/children or call 416-392-5437.

If you have any questions, please contact our school office.

Yours sincerely,
Acting Principal
Hana Maire

Student and Parent Census

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) conducts its system-wide Student and Parent Census every 4-5 years to help the Board understand the demographic makeup, the in-school and out-of-school experiences, and the ongoing needs of its student population. The intent is to use the data collected directly from students and parents to help the system and individual schools develop strategies and adjust supports that further strengthen the school community and help every student succeed.

April 2017 is Census Month at the TDSB! We will conduct our third Student and Parent Census, which will include Grade 4-6 students for the first time, along with Grade 7-12 students. Students will complete the Census in class. Parents of JK-Grade 6 students will also be invited again to fill out the Parent Census form. Their forms will come home with students in April 2017.

This survey is voluntary. However, we encourage you to participate so that the census results will reflect the voices of all parents at our school.

Learn more about our previous Census findings through our Census Publications.

For further information about our Census, please contact Research & Information Services at research@tdsb.on.ca or 416-394-7404.

Message from Mme Fiore-Lisi our Acting Principal

Dear Parents/Guardians,
Just a gentle reminder that all visits to our school begin at the office. Whether you are from Lord Lansdowne or da Vinci, please sign in at the main office on arrival and pick up a badge – and then sign out when leaving. This is a routine and policy reinforced in all schools within the TDSB, to ensure the safety of the students in our care. In this regard, we hope you will understand if you should get approached by a staff member.

In cases of emergency, this routine also helps us to identify who is in our building at all times.

We thank you for your co-operation .

Also…………….in regards to change of Acting Principal
My assignment here is coming to an end, unfortunately, and Friday is my last day here. Another Acting Principal , Pat Chater, will be here for the month of April . Pat is an experienced administrator with French language also. The first week of May will be covered by Hana Maire, who was here before the Break – and if Beth is still not able to return after that – then Zoriana Bunga will return. Zoriana was also here before March Break.

Pat and I will be working together on Friday so that a smooth transition can be ensured.

All the best – and thank you for all your support.
Toni Fiore Lisi,
Acting Principal

January Information Night – January 21 @ 6:30pm

This years information night will be on January 21 at 6:30pm in the gym.

Parents must attend the information night to receive a registration package.


Some FAQs below:


  • What is the requirement to attend da Vinci? Do I have to live in a certain area or is it just interest-based? Is there a fee?

da Vinci Alternative Public School is a fully public school within the Toronto District School Board, so there is no fee. Anyone residing within the TDSB boundaries is eligible to apply, under the Optional Attendance policy. However, given that we are right downtown at College and Spadina, parents should consider the practicality of transportation before deciding to apply, since students must be at school on time at 8:45 each morning.

  • Is there any way I can get an application form if I am unable to attend the information night?

It is important that prospective parents understand who we are and what we do, before deciding to apply, which is why we require parents to attend the Information Night in order to receive an application form and sign up for a class visit.

  • When is the completed application form due?

The full application, signed, is due to the school office by 4 pm on Friday, February 19, 2016.

  • Do you accept new students in upper grades?

We have very limited space available. If there are more applications than spaces available, we carry out a lottery, as per TDSB policy. We may have some space in the upper grades, however, it is expected that parents and their child will demonstrate a full commitment to the key pillars of our school, our Waldorf heritage and our community principles.