OPAL request

WE NEED A PARENT WITH A PICK UP TRUCK TO DO US A BIG FAVOUR…Please contact us (Ticia or anyone on the Parent Council)

Ticia has found a source for wooden spools, and they are FREE. The issue is that they are in Markham and can only be picked up Mon.-Friday. from 8:30am-4pm. We have been looking for a supplier – as the spools are a HUGE favourite – but until now, could not find them for FREE. I had tried to see if I could pick them up this weekend in our car, but they are 66′ wide! If you have the time, the right sized truck, and could support the school in picking these up please see the owner’s reply and contact George.

For those who are not familiar with the OPAL program, our students thoroughly enjoy their play experiences with OPAL and “Loose Parts”. This enriches their play, allows for deepening their connection with nature and place based learning, develops social reasoning and collaboration with others, promotes problem solving and provides authentic opportunities to support gross motor development and co-ordination.

All of the materials we have come from rethinking, reusing and re-purposing items from home and the community. To continue to provide students with new play experiences we need to add to our collection of loose parts on an on-going basis. Most recently, we asked for your support in helping us out by bringing old Christmas trees to the school for the children to use. Now, we need your help to assist us on our hunt for new treasures both large and small.

Milk Crates
Old Stuffies
Plastic Plumbing Pipe of Various Sizes (Clean)
Pool Noodles
Pots and Pans (handles missing OKAY!)
Kitchen Utensils (spatulas, tongs, flippers)
Lamp Shades
Tarps (can have holes)
Wooden Spools
Large Foam Pieces
Small Area Rugs
Construction Helmets
Expired Helmets (hockey, skiing)
Snow Shoes
5 Gallon Pails
Appliance boxes (fridge, stove, washer, dryer)

ANY items that you can donate would be greatly appreciated. They can be brought to school and left in front of the storage shed by the large play structure if they are large items. Smaller items can be given to Mr. Leung, Ms. Smith, Ms. Spain or Ms. Heibein. If you are able to pick up the spools, please speak to Ms. Heibein and she will co-ordinate with the care taking staff to open the fence so you can back in to unload directly into the school yard. Thank you in advance for supporting our OPAL round-up. We appreciate all you do for our community and our children.

With gratitude,


Families First: free parent education workshops

SickKids CCMH offers a variety of different topics relevant to community parents and focuses on concerns that children and youth may be dealing with. These parent education workshops are free to attend, and offered at both location sites, Sheppard and Maitland.  Presently, they occur monthly, and registration is required. 

Child care is available. Select titles below for more information on the workshop and on how to register.

Helping your child cope with worries
Introductory workshop for parents of children with mild to moderate anxiety

Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018
6 to 8 p.m.
114 Maitland Street, Toronto
SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health


How to validate so your teen will talk
Building trusting relationships with your teen to help reduce their anxiety, manage stress and develop more meaningful communication

Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018
6 to 7:30 p.m.
1645 Sheppard Avenue West, Toronto
SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health

OPAL wants to re-use your trees!

Dear families, 

Lord Lansdowne/da Vinci is part of a program in the TDSB for Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL)

Like last year, we will collect your used Christmas trees as materials for students to play with as part of the OPAL initiative. 
You may drop off your tree by the storage shed in the schoolyard. We will accept trees until Friday January 18, 2018
We are looking forward to seeing the students use these natural materials in their play. 
Thank-you for your ongoing support in OPAL!
Your LL/daV OPAL Team

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.