September News

Welcome back to another fun filled year with our wonderful Withrow community! ¬†Just like our children, we too are happy and excited to see our friends, catch up on each others’ lives and see how all our children have grown over the summer… while we have not aged at all! ūüėČ ¬†There is no better way to do this than the…¬†

Welcome Back BBQ! 

It’s free, it’s fun and it’s for YOU! ¬†It will be held on Thursday Sept. 14th, from 5:00 – 6:30 pm.¬†If you are free, we could use some volunteers to help with set up, serving, cooking and clean up, so click here to sign up!

Reminder: please¬†bring your water bottles / reusable cups, so we can keep as many disposable cups out of the landfill as possible.¬†‚ôĽÔłŹ

welcome back bbq 2016 .png

As you can see from last year’s event (above), it’s an annual tradition that’s not to be missed!¬†We hope to see you there.¬†

Important Info

Our first Home and School Meeting¬†will be held on¬†Sept. 27 at 7:00 pm. ¬†We love when parents get involved and want to have a say about what happens at our school! If you’re thinking of being a class rep, it’s especially important to join us, so you can share the information with your classroom’s parent community. Childcare will be provided. ¬†Our meeting agenda includes:

  • curriculum discussion
  • nomination of potential Home & School co-chair
  • new volunteer page on the Home & School website
  • H&S goals for the year
  • and more…

Cobs Bread Card Fundraiser

We are thrilled to offer Cobs Bread cards once again! Fiona Boylan, owner of our local Cobs Bread franchise, is generously donating 150 cards to our school this year. Come and pick up yours at the Welcome Back BBQ!! Each card (valued at $48-$78) will sell for $30, and entitles the bearer to one (1) complimentary loaf of bread per month (one loaf per visit). All funds raised benefit Withrow! How great is that? Many thanks to Cobs Bread on Danforth (at Broadview) for their continued support! 

Withrow Spirit Wear

A BIG shout out to our Spirit Wear committee! Thanks to them, and our new TDSB vendor, we will soon be paperless; you can order items online and they will be shipped to your door. Yes, it’s true! And, in addition to Withrow’s official spirit colour, red, there will also be¬†hoodies and sweats¬†in black and grey options, too! We’ll share the link to our new Spirit Wear page on the vendor’s site as soon as it’s live. Note: we will be selling existing¬†stock at the Welcome Back BBQ, so be sure to stop by the Spirit Wear table, where you can also get a sneak peek of our new Spirit Wear webpage!

Home & School Wants YOU!

Last, but most certainly not least…WE NEED YOU!! ¬†We are currently working on a new Volunteer page on the Home & School website, and we’re excited about sharing it with you very soon! ¬†There are so many roles, from wee to grand, that we’re sure at least one would match your skill set and fit your timelines. All of the amazing Withrow fundraisers wouldn’t be possible without the help of our parent community. You’d be surprised how much can be accomplished when each family volunteers only a few hours each year!

Thanks for reading and have a superb September…

Sincerely,

Your School Council Executive

Withrow Spring News¬†ūüĆ∑

It’s winter! It’s spring! It’s balmy! It’s snowing! We’re in t-shirts! We’re in parkas!

The weather has been crazy lately and it just makes us want to bring on crazy spring! To get you in the mood with visions of daffodil bulbs dancing in your heads, we want to get you thinking about a few great events coming up at Withrow!

Lost and Found Update¬†‚ö†ÔłŹÔłŹ

The first day of spring will be honoured by a time trusted task Рspring cleaning. The lost and found will be cleared out on Tuesday, March 21st, 2017, so please check it when school resumes on Monday.

Silent Auction¬†ūüéČ

Save the date, people – this year‚Äôs soiree of the season is on Friday, April 7th. Leave the kids at¬†home, and come out to bid on your kid’s artwork, class baskets and wonderful donations from¬†the local Riverdale community. We promise it will be a spectacular evening filled with laughter,¬†music and cocktails!

We are still in need of more donations so if you have a special talent to share, please do so. Are you an In-house chef? Personal trainer? Dental hygienist? Chiropractor? Thai Masseuse? Think outside the box, and donate! Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our silent auction committee chairs silke.willibald@gmail.com or ailidh.briar@gmail.com.

We also need volunteers to wrap room baskets, set up and host during the evening, so please consider donating¬†a few hours of your time… it’s so fun! The¬†sign-up¬†sheet is HERE.

Schoolyard Climber¬†ūüŹę

It is very exciting that the yard that we have been working on, raising money for and waiting¬†upon will be open soon. Happily, about a month after the thaw we will have access to the whole¬†school yard! Now for the next project…¬†Our landscape architect has sent¬†us five¬†proposals for our new climber ranging in dollar value from $15 – 20,000 uninstalled. TDSB¬†estimates that the total cost for the completion of the project would be approximately 2.5 times¬†the cost of the climber, therefore this would cost us, at most, $50,000.

Before the end of March,¬†we will have the children vote on which climber seems most appealing to them. We will also¬†discuss this at our next H&S meeting. Money raised from events (such as the Silent Auction and¬†the Fun Fair) goes directly back into the school. Our Annual Giving campaign this year raised¬†$7,600 and it is imperative that at year-end¬†we vote to ensure we have the monies allocated¬†appropriately in order for this to be installed. It’s important to have as much input as¬†possible, so we will conduct the voting process for our annual budget on the¬†internet, making it easily accessible to all parents.

Fun Fair¬†ūüé™

At times it might seem like we are asking you to donate, donate, donate. But we always give¬†you something great in return, something that is truly the highlight of every Withrow family’s¬†end-of-school year experience. Yes, the Fun Fair is just around the corner. This year is going to¬†be even bigger and badder, with more rides, a slime table, the return of the best barbecue and¬†pulled pork sandwiches, the Erica Stark bake sale, face painting, rides, Kiddie Canyon and a¬†kick-ass talent show. The kids are already starting to plan their performances, and we might¬†even be able to convince our now-famous choirs to sing. Mark Saturday May 27th on your¬†calendar.

If you would like to join the Fun Fair committee this year, let us know. We have openings! Our¬†urban planner needs someone (ideally an architect) to shadow him ‚Äď he draws the map we use¬†on the day of the event and makes sure all the rides fit! We also need a talent show¬†coordinator, and someone to help steer our sponsorship committee or our volunteers! Please¬†don’t be shy – we really need you! All newbies are welcome to join this¬†great group of Withrow¬†parents who walk around with big megaphones!

School Council Meeting Minutes¬†ūüďĚ

The last Home & School / School Council meeting was held on February 9th. Meeting minutes can be viewed here. Many thanks to Withrow graduates Addison, Ethan, Morgan, Parker, Grace and Ginger, for taking the time to share their middle school experiences with all of the parents and students in attendance.

Canadian Parents For French РConcourse d’Art Oratoire

This year recognizes the 33rd year of the Concours et Festival d’Art Oratoire for Ontario. It is a public speaking festival where students who have won their own schools competition continue to eventually the provincial level with a opportunity to present at york University. All our juniors in French immersion have had an opportunity to present and Sophie-Claire Nicklin has been voted to represent Withrow at the next level. Congratulations Sophie-Claire and good luck!

Parent Speaker Series

Our next speaker series will be held on Thursday, March 23rd in the Withrow Library. ‚ÄúMaking¬†Sense of Math‚ÄĚ by Teri Courcheme will be an interactive presentation that covers essential math¬†skills including: games and strategies to help kids enjoy math; effective and free learning tools¬†for key math concepts, what you need to know as a parent to help your kids with math and¬†strategies for overcoming math anxiety ‚Äď in parents and kids! Teri is a former Withrow Parent,¬†volunteer and recipient of the Withrow 100 Citizenship Award (2012).

Next Home & School Meeting

Our next meeting is Thursday, March 30th. We will be discussing our staffing model for the year of 2017-2018 and our fantastic new climber.

Come out, hear what’s going on and voice your opinion. We love it when parents are involved in the school.

Parents Are Partners Conference

The TSDB has a special one-day conference for parents. The 2017 TSDB Parents are Partners¬†Conference takes place Saturday, April 1st. Planned by TSDB parents, for TDSB Parents, the¬†event features workshops and resources to help every parent support their child‚Äôs achievement¬†and well-being, both at school and at home. Registration is open ‚Äď the event takes place at the¬†All Stream Centre; and lunch and transportation are¬†provided with bus pickups. Registration closes March 20, 2017; admission is free.

Thanks for reading,

Your School Council Executive

Winter Newsletter

Meeting Summary from November 30

Thank you to all who attended our second School Council meeting of the year on November 30th. Principal Parravano presented a school update, including EQAO results, announcement of Helen Saroglou as our new full-time administrative staff member and the TDSB’s search for our new head custodian. Please¬†click here to view our full meeting minutes.

Fundraising at Withrow

A lot of people wonder why we have so much fundraising at a public school. Due to our¬†socio-economic¬†location, our funding from the TDSB covers only the basics. If our school community wants to see other purchases or initiatives above the basic level, then we, as a parent body, need to fundraise to provide for all the “bells and whistles” that make Withrow extra special. In the past, the money raised has been used to fund¬†technology for the school,¬†garden education, school yard improvements¬†and, recently, purchases of musical instruments and sports jerseys.

Historically at Withrow, we have done our fundraising through three main avenues: the Annual Giving Campaign, the Silent Auction and the Fun Fair. The AGC is a direct ask for cash and every dollar is used for the students. The Silent Auction uses the talents of a dedicated committee of parents to solicit donations and transform the gym into a posh venue for an elegant event. The Fun Fair has another fantastic body of parents remaster the school yard into a hopping, bouncing, singing, dancing, face painting bundle of fun.

This diverse range of fundraising vehicles means parents have opportunities to donate in the way that they are best able and that is most meaningful to them and their families. We all have a choice regarding how we donate to Withrow: you can volunteer time on one of these committees, or donate money to the AGC, or attend the events with an open wallet…or all of the above!¬†Recently, we have received¬†requests for other types of fundraising such as¬†partnership programmes with local businesses. What a great idea! All of our Fundraising With¬†Everyday Purchases¬†can be found on our website, under “Ways to Support”. We currently have relationships with:

Important! All orders MUST go through the campaign pages of each fundraiser to get the fundraising dollars!

The decisions on how to spend the funds are always based on an open and democratic process. All parents and guardians at Withrow have a say! 

Annual Giving Campaign

Hopefully you’ve all checked your child(ren)’s backpacks and found our Annual Giving Campaign request. We have worked hard over the years as a community to make our schoolyard something of which we are proud. ¬†This has been ¬†accomplished through raising money via the fun fair, silent auction and your generous giving campaign donations. This year our primary focus is to install our climber in the area recently coined by our children: The Woodchip Area.

We hope you consider giving this year; donations of any amount are appreciated.  If you would like your donation directed towards a specific use, please make note of it via Paypal or include it with your cheque.

Property Update

In early November, H&S and our school administration met with the TDSB viability team to understand the process of installing an awesome climber in what is now being called The Woodchip Area. We were very excited to hear that this project could potentially be completed within a year. Of course, there are many levels to this process and we are hoping that before purchase, the children will have a vote on a choice of three. We have, as an outstanding community, raised enough money for the climber which we are hoping will fall under $20 000. The small surprise for some of us was that the installation generally runs two and a half to three times the cost of the actual item. Yikes!!! We are almost at a close with this 4 year project. The pit has been repaired, the trees have been planted (Thanks, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation), the track has been built and the field is solidifying as you read, and all this is thanks to a community that gets involved.

Withrow Cares Reminder

This year, with our increased awareness of Aboriginal issues and focus on the Canadian First Nations, we have chosen to support two charities:
1. Help send Inuit Care Packages to families in the North
2. Club Amik

Last year, Nanook Fareal decided to flip the Christmas tradition to send care packages to the north. As you may know, food in the northern part of Canada is quite expensive. She created a GoFundMe page and this year’s goal is to raise $10,000. Although this is not a registered charity, we hope that you would consider helping out this wonderful initiative. If you are interested please click on this link for more information.

Club Amik is an Aboriginal Literacy Initiative providing books and magazines to children in Ontario’s North. Club Amik is a registered charity. The charity provides books and resources to the Nishnawbe Aski Nation to approximately 35 communities. Please see the website for more information.

Lunchtime and After-school Programs

Lunchtime programs are open for registration starting on the morning of Thursday December 15.  Registration forms can be found on the afterschool blog. They will also be available for pick up from the office. Registration is on a first-come basis (with some priority given for students who have not attended a session this school year) and will close when programs are full. Programs are capped at 15 students for Chess and Drawing Club, and 20 students for Raising Readers.  Programs available for registration are: Chess for primary students for the winter and spring terms, Chess for junior students for the winter term, Drawing club for the winter term and Raising Readers for the winter term.  Registration will be confirmed by the end of the first week of school in January.

Registration for After-school Programs is also open.  Information can be found on the afterschool blog but registration is handled directly with the provider.

Silent Auction Update

The Silent Auction Date has been set so start booking your babysitters for April 7th 2017!
It’s the best night out in the neighbourhood, with delicious cocktails, friendly faces and great items for purchase. As always, ¬†all proceeds go right to the school!
But…. we need your help! As you are out celebrating and shopping this season and in the coming months, please consider asking your favourite watering holes, restaurants, shops and service providers if they would like to support our school! It’s a great way for businesses to gain exposure and clientele. After all, don’t we all love to find a new delicious eatery, massage therapist, or nightspot?!

Please consider sharing your faves and any outreach you do with us at withrowauction@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Upcoming Dates of Interest

December 14 – Winter Concert
December 15 – Pizza Lunch¬†ūüćē
December 16 – Carols by Candlelight in Withrow Park (7pm-8pm at the Fire Pit)
December 23 – Last Day of School

January 9 – First Day Back
January 20 – PA Day
January 26 – Pizza¬†Lunch¬†ūüćē