April Newsletter

Sponsors

Thank you to this year’s TOP sponsors! As you can see, we’ve added a gallery of our top sponsors to the right sidebar. We could not reach our fundraising goals without the support and generosity of these businesses. They work in our community and are giving back to our community – show them your support!

2014/15 Fundraising goal: $60k
Year to date: approx. $39k (+ $8k grant for trees)

Withrow Fun Fair – Saturday, May 23rd

The Fun Fair is fast approaching – please read these key messages.

Erica Stark’s Sweet Treats

In memory of Erica Stark, an avid baker and lover of all things sweet, the annual bake sale at the Withrow Fun Fair will now be known as Erica Stark’s Sweet Treats. In honour of Erica’s fondness for making things better for you, there will be a section of the table dedicated to healthier options. The success of the Fun Fair bake sale, as always, is dependent on your amazing baking skills! Please think about contributing something nut-free, delicious, and homemade. Donations will be gratefully received at the school on the morning of the Fun Fair.

Volunteer for a Shift on the Day of the Fair

The volunteer portal is now open!! And its super easy to sign up:

  1. Click this link: http://vols.pt/fhqEaV
  2. Enter your email address
  3. Review the volunteer spots available, chose the spot(s) you like and hit “save”.

Note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact withrowvolunteer@gmail.com and we can sign you up manually.

And don’t forget – there will be an ice cream party for the first 3 classes that have half their class size in parent volunteers signed up. We count daily!

Talent Show

Rehearsals will begin on Mondays, starting May 4th. Participants must attend at least 2 of the 3 rehearsals (ideally all of them). There is a basket in the office for signing up or please contact Jason at jasonlewis@sympatico.ca.

Book Sale

When you are doing your spring cleaning, hold onto those used books and bring them in for the Book Sale! Starting Monday, May 4th there will be a bin for book donations set up next to the Lost and Found. (By the Bain Entrance.)

We are collecting gently used kid’s books, adult books – fiction and non-fiction, cookbooks and CD’s/DVD’s. (No textbooks please.)

This year, as in the past two years, the proceeds from the Book Sale will be donated to Books with No Bounds. Leftover books will go to Leslieville School and The Children’s Book Bank in Regent Park.

Spirit Wear

Show your Withrow spirit! Withrow caps, water bottles, Tuberz and of course, our famous mascot Claws will be on sale at the Fun Fair. We have some adult and a few child’s sizes available in t-shirts and hoodies. Support your school by gearing up in red and white. Go, Withrow!

Silent Auction

The numbers are in and they are fantastic! Thanks to all your lovely donations and fabulous bidding, we raised just over $27,000! Feedback from many parents say that it was great night out and that they can’t wait for next year. So save the date, we are looking at Friday, April 1st, 2016 (no joke!).

For anyone who bought gift certificates from the Buy It Now Table and still have their blue confirmation paper, please contact withrowauction@gmail.com. You need to trade that piece of paper in for the gift certificate.

Any feedback, suggestions or desire to volunteer (see how much fun we had at our debrief meeting)? Please direct to withrowauction@gmail.com.

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Pit and Yard update

The Pit is looking great and the students love using the basketball nets! Work is continuing with our schoolyard revitalization. Next week the Pit will be closed for a couple of days as the grade on the Friendship side will be changed to accommodate the future running track. Surveys of the yard are taking place and we would like to coordinate the TDSB efforts with our new climber. The Yard committee will be looking at various climber options and get back to the community with ideas and suggestions. Stay tuned! Irrigation and sod work is is currently being planned to start mid-summer.

Speaking of the basketball nets…The H&S believes that our playspace including the Pit, Friendship and the basketball nets should be open to the public and we welcome children using this space during non-school hours. To that end, we would like to leave the basketball nets out on a permanent basis so that children can play after school and on the weekends. It has come to our understanding that older children in the neighbourhood sometimes use the basketball nets in the wee hours of the night. If there are ever activities or noise that you feel are unacceptable we suggest that you call the non-emergency police number: 416-808-2222. Hopefully this will curb this behaviour and the end result will be more options for kids to play outside during the day.

Transitioning to School Council

We will be transitioning to a School Council next school year as the Ministry is mandating all schools have one. Hopefully this transition will be mostly transparent to the parent body. We will still maintain a Home and School for fundraising. The purpose of the School Council is to focus on the students. Here are some other key differences:

  • School Council elections will be held in September for the new school year. We will elect two co-chairs and 13 other parent representatives
  • Home and School elections are held in June. We will elect the two co-chairs, a treasurer and a secretary
  • For most intents and purposes, H&S and the School Council will have overlapping positions and meetings
  • The Treasurer meets monthly with the Principal and financial reports are sent in twice a year

This transition will be discussed at the next H&S meeting (Thursday, June 4th). The proposed Withrow School Council by-laws can be found here: Withrow SC bylaws.

French Immersion in the Press

A few articles that were forwarded our way from the French Immersion Educational Consulting Inc. (Withrow H&S is not affiliated with this group):
http://www.macleans.ca/education/just-say-non-the-problem-with-french-immersion/
http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/nancy-wise-french-immersion-should-be-for-all

Frankland Pool Party

The Frankland Community Centre is having a pool party this Friday, May 1st from 6–8pm.

FranklandPoolParty

Traffic

A community meeting organized by Councillor Paula Fletcher to discuss traffic calming measures in Riverdale is taking place on Wednesday, May 13th at 7pm at St. John’s Presbyterian (415 Broadview Ave.). This is your chance to review the proposal and provide your comments. Find out details about the proposal at http://www.myriverdale.ca/proposal/.

Survey

Independent of this meeting, In an effort to bring safer streets to our neighbourhood, Councillor Paula Fletcher has asked the Withrow School Community to weigh in on a proposal to change the crosswalk at the corner of Logan and Withrow Avenues and replace it with an All-Way Stop. Please see her letter here: LetterFromFletcher.

The argument is that All-Way stop signs would reduce speeds through an intersection frequently used by children before and after school and provide a more consistent traffic measure for that stretch of Logan Avenue. It is stressed that the proposal would see the crossing guard remain to assist with the intersection safety during school hours.

Councillor Fletcher has been working with the Riverdale Traffic Group on this proposal, but no changes will occur until the school community has been consulted. This is your opportunity to voice your opinion for or against this particular proposal. Please take our survey to give your feedback. We will be taking responses up until May 6th.

(Note: The RTG is a concerned group of residents with representatives from many streets in the Withrow catchment. They are in no way affiliated with the Withrow Home and School Association.)

Withrow-life

 

Call for Volunteers for Bike to School Week!

Bike to School week is May 25–29th cross the GTA and Hamilton area http://bikemonth.ca/biketoschool. A few parents are interested in organizing a “bike train” for the week. The train would follow a set route with timed pick-ups at stops throughout our neigbhourhood. A fun social ride for kids and caregivers. If interested in helping to organize, please contact Sylvia: sylvia@slaughter.com.

Dr Karyn Gordon at Cosburn School

Dr Karyn Gordon will be speaking on Teaching Empathy & Gratitude in Kids and Teens on May 11th, 8–9pm at Cosburn MS (Atrium, 520 Cosburn Ave). Please RSVP at 416.396.2335. Full flyer can be found here: PDF Karyn Gordon @ Cosburn.

Jane’s Walk Festival

A very popular annual event will be held May 1–3. Many walks are planned in our neighbourhood, including one that starts at Danforth and heads down Logan. Please see http://janeswalk.org/canada/toronto/ for more info.