February Newsletter

Meeting summary from January 14th

We had a great turnout at our last H&S/School Council meeting to learn about why we should send our kids to school on foot. George Mammen talked about his PhD research and stimulated excellent discussion. His slides can be found here: Withrow_AST_Pres_.

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In addition, we had a lively and lengthy discussion on the budget. It was good to see so many engaged parents debating how to best spend the money we have raised. One topic that is well worth revisiting is the current state of affairs of the yard. Please see here for a more detailed write-up of how we got to where we are today.

Here are main highlights of the budget discussion:

  1. $11,000 to Technology (which the students are already enjoying in the form of 28 Chromebooks)
  2. Additional $1,500 to Arts. This is in addition to the fabulous line-up that Serge and the Equity Committee have come up with for Black History Month.
  3. Extending the STEM envelope to include Science Technology ($2900)
    (explicitly excluding the purchase of computers) with feedback from
    teachers on what they’d like to see the money spent on. For example, a
    rocks and minerals kit or microscopes.
  4. We have deferred voting on the contingency fund ($7.8k) until we
    find out how much playgrounds cost out there.
  5. Fund of $500 to be spent at discretion of the Executive and the
    Principal in between meetings. That is, no special meeting needs to be
    called.

Since the meeting two weeks ago, a new volunteer has stepped up to work on getting quotes on different climbers. Thank you, Diana!

Full meeting minutes can be found here: WithrowHSMeeting14January. And for future budget discussions, we will not schedule a guest speaker. Thank you to everyone who came; we didn’t adjourn the meeting until past 10pm!

Next H&S/School Council meeting

Our next meeting will be for parents and Grade 6 students on Thursday, February 25th, 7–9pm. We will have five former Withrow students talk about their experiences when they transitioned to middle school. In the second part of the meeting Gaela Mintz (TDSB social worker) will discuss your changing relationship with your soon-to-be adolescent.

Parenting Speaker Series

Our next Parenting Speaker Series is on Tuesday, March 1st, 7–9pm and our topic is “Talking to children about Dying, Grief and Death”. Our speakers will be Andrea Warnick (Withrow parent and grief counsellor) and David Stark. This is such an important and relevant topic for all families to discuss the family pet, grandparents and hopefully never again for tragedies like Erica.

Silent Auction

Where will everyone be this April Fool’s? At the Withrow Silent Auction, of course! No joke, but you may be fooled by the transformation of the school gym into a fabulous venue worthy of your Friday night.

Bring your friends, your wallet and your witty cocktail banter. Besides having a great time, you’ll be helping to raise significant funds towards such enhancements as schoolyard upgrades, classroom technology, and arts and science programs for your kids.

Thanks to our awesome parent community, our auction items are second-to-none. What could I donate, you ask? Products, services, or perks from your employer (if no one wants those box seats, we’ll take ‘em!); your personal time to share a skill or interest; a donation from your favourite local store or restaurant. Contact us at withrowauction@gmail.com if you have an idea.

Visit www.charityauctionorganizer.com/auction/WithrowSilentAuction2016 to browse the growing catalogue and strategize your bids, and follow us on social media for updates on the latest hot items www.facebook.com/Withrowhomeandschool;www.twitter.com/withrowhands.

Fun Fair

Does the surprising spring-like weather make you think the Withrow FunFair is just around the corner? Saturday, May 28th will be here before we know it and we are already planning.

The TDSB/ Home and School Association anticipate that work on the school yard will start in early spring which means the Fun Fair might look a little different than in years past. Whether this will be your first or your tenth year, we welcome enthusiastic parents with ideas and energy to continue a proud tradition of sharing the Withrow spirit throughout our community. We are looking for people to join our committee and get this event hopping, or just help out on the day… WE NEED YOU!!

There are a few gaps that need filling and shoes that need to be shadowed this year so you can take over the reins in years to come. We are definitely looking for help in such areas as food, sponsorship, signage, rides, etc. Basically, if you have skills we can find your perfect fit to make this event the best one yet. If your interested (yes!!!) then email Lisa at Nantucketreds@hotmail.com or Derek at Derek.ceccarelli@gmail.com.

We are looking forward to a sunshiny May 28th. Pen it in your calendars!

Lost and Found

Make sure to check out the Lost and Found on the Bain side of the school when you are in the school. February 11th is clear out day!

Community News

It is February, which means skating parties galore. Here they are in chronological order.


Friends of Withrow Park Annual Skating Party
Withrow Park
Friday, February 5th, 6:30–8:30pm

Come and join us at the rink for skating, hot chocolate (please bring a mug), treats, music and fun with friends and neighbours.

Holiday Campfire


Family Skating Party hosted by Julie Dabrusin, M.P.
Withrow Park
Sunday, February 14th, 6–7:30pm
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Skate for A Cure, hosted by the Mullen family and others
Forest Hill Arena (340 Chaplin Cr, Toronto, On)

Monday, February 15th, 11am–3pm

This is not local but the Mullens are an awesome Withrow family. More details here.

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