Parents as Partners Conference 2018  

The Parents as Partners Conference 2018 is on Saturday, April 28 and all parents are welcome!

This free conference – planned by parents, for parents – includes a variety of workshops and resources that will help any parent support their child in their achievement and well-being at school and at home.

Two colour posters are also on their way to all schools! Please keep your eyes open for these and hang them in prominent areas of the school. And don’t forget to use all your school-based channels (school council, newsletters, voice mails, signage, report cards, websites) to help inform parents about this exciting and valuable opportunity.

This year’s keynote speaker is Unstoppable Tracy, an award-winning educator and leader in schools, business and in sport, humanitarian, advocate, decorated athlete and international speaker. 

Transportation, childcare, food and translators are all provided. Registration opens in February at

Posted in Announcements, Intermediate (Grades 7-8), Junior (Grades 4-6), Kindergarten, Primary (Grades 1-3)

Allowances, Chores and Money Skills Workshop

Join us for a Hawthorne / Essex Parenting Workshop hosted by the Parent Education Network!
Allowances, Chores and Money Skills: 
Money management is a key life skill. Come for some great ideas on how to explain earning money, wants versus needs, setting money goals, budgeting and making a savings plan!
Date: February 22, 2018
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Place: Library on the 2nd floor
Children are also welcome to attend the workshop and there will also be childcare provided in the Library. Light refreshments will be provided.
Looking forward to seeing you there!
Posted in Announcements, Intermediate (Grades 7-8), Junior (Grades 4-6), Kindergarten, Primary (Grades 1-3)

School Council Appreciation & Information Evening

Registration is now live  for the School Council Appreciation & Information Evening at
Kindly  forward registration link to your School Council. A maximum 2 school council parent representatives per school may register.

Child care and interpretation available through on-line registration only.
If you have any questions, please contact
Posted in Announcements, Intermediate (Grades 7-8), Junior (Grades 4-6), Kindergarten, Primary (Grades 1-3)

Essex PS School Council Meeting – Feb 6

Mark your calendars! The next school council meeting is Tuesday February 6th. Please find the agenda below. All are welcome.


Essex PS School Council Meeting
Tuesday February 6, 2018 6:00 pm


Welcome and Introductions

Minutes / Business Arising
Parent Orientation Handbook
Lice checks
Program booking status – Theatrix and BHM

Principal’s Report – Harry J. Quon

Treasurer’s Report

Fundraising Report
Spring Fling

Outdoor Play and Learning Committee Update
OPAL Symposium

Early Reading Club

School Funds
Classroom Funds
Scientists in the Schools
National Aboriginal History Month

Next Meeting: Tuesday April 10, 2018




Posted in Announcements, Intermediate (Grades 7-8), Junior (Grades 4-6), Kindergarten, Primary (Grades 1-3)

Positive Space at Essex

Each Monday, students from kindergarten to grade 8 are invited to join the Positive Space in room 205. Positive Space is a club where students are welcome to discuss issues that are meaningful to them, with an emphasis on equity. In a safe and supportive environment, we will discuss topics related to racism, ablesim, sexism, and homophobia. The goal is to create a positive dialogue around these issues, that affect us all, while empowering and motivating students to be agents of change in their school community and beyond.

-Sarah Cervinka
Club Co-ordinator

Posted in Announcements, Intermediate (Grades 7-8), Junior (Grades 4-6), Kindergarten, Primary (Grades 1-3)

Wizard of Oz – Helpers Needed

The Land of Oz Is Calling!!  If you’d like to join us on the Yellow Brick Road and get involved with our June production of The Wizard of Oz, we would love to hear from you.  We are looking for help with costumes (both donations and creation), lighting, and sound.  Please email Jessica Arshinoff (, and let her know how you’d like to participate!  We’ll see you somewhere over the rainbow….

Posted in Announcements, Intermediate (Grades 7-8), Junior (Grades 4-6), Kindergarten, Primary (Grades 1-3)

Looking for skates and helmets! 

Essex and Hawthorne communities have been working to build our skate and helmet collection. Many classes are planning skating outings and the students are really enjoying being out in the ice.
Because so many classes are going, we are noticing where there are holes to fill in our collection. So we are calling out to the community to see if you can help again.
We are on the look out for helmets of any size as well as larger sized skates. There is a particular need for hockey skates in size 3-7.
If you have some to donate, or know someone who might, please drop them off in the Hawthorne or Essex office and we’ll be happy to add them to our collection!
Posted in Announcements, Intermediate (Grades 7-8), Junior (Grades 4-6), Kindergarten, Primary (Grades 1-3)

It’s a New Year, Come Volunteer for the Early Reading Club

Essex Grade One Teachers are still looking for parent volunteers for the Early Reading Club.  The commitment requires volunteers to read with their “reading buddy” 2-3 times per week for 30 minutes.

It is a convenient and easy way to give our students a boost:

  • Time of day is flexible (although 9:00-9:30 am often works well)
  • The Resource teacher will help you create a reading kit to suit your buddy’s level and interests.
  • Word games and leveled readers are available for you to choose from each week.
  •  Parent Council will pay for your police record check.
  • You can volunteer anywhere from 6 weeks up until the end of the year.

For more information or to sign up please get in touch with ERC Coordinator for Essex  -Jessica Haber at

Posted in Announcements, Intermediate (Grades 7-8), Junior (Grades 4-6), Kindergarten, Primary (Grades 1-3)

Principal’s Report and School Council Meeting Minutes

Tuesday December 5, 2017 6:00 pm

Principal’s Report


– School Website Information Pamphlet – being revised and edited by Admin and Staff

– Holocaust Speaker for the Grade 7/8 at Palmerston Library – Thursday November 9th

– Extra-curricular activities is being update for November – March

– Little Jammers did classroom info visits Thursday, December 7

  • Little Jammer will begin in the new year at Lunch – date to be determined

– Grade 8s have had high school visits to:

  • Harbord – Wednesday, November 29TH
  • Central Toronto Academy – Friday, December 8th

– Facilities:

  • Barrier- Free Upgrade Walk-through – November 13th
  • Proposed fencing between the primary playground basketball court for DD Outdoor play – November 14th – funding and next steps
  • Site Funding needs submitted for blinds for 3rd floor; picnic tables and benches for intermediates

– Eco-School Waste Audit completed – Thursday, November 30th

– Essex School Concert – Wednesday, December 20th with a 6:00p start

– Winter Holidays – Monday, December 25th, 2017 – Friday, January 5th, 2018 (inclusive)

  • Students return to school – Monday, January 8th

– Cooling Areas Memo – by June 18, all schools to have cooling area


– updated the School Letter Form to include the “blurb”

– print the signage to post for on School Council bulletin board

– Translation support is usually initiated by the Teacher

  • When students are registered, the office is also aware of translation, if needed
  • Currently there are 3 families that require translating; e.g., parent-teacher interviews

Social Media Presentation: Chris Vollum

– Requesting funds from school council

– Presentation during the day for students (Grades 4-8) and parents in the evening @ 6:00 – 7:30p

Social Media fitness

  • Students will actively consider their current and future online content by working through two questions:
  • WHAT they post, and WHY?
  • By owning the WHY, students can better achieve clarity, which support their wellness and address stress and anxiety

Student Learning:

  • Daily Habits; Important vs Urgent
  • Screen-time Balance; Less is More
  • Wellness; Reduce Anxiety & Stress
  • Build a Sustainable Reputation
  • How Proficiency Increase Safety
  • Increase Online Confidence & Skills

Dates available:


  • Monday; 8, 29
  • Tuesday; 9, 30
  • Wednesday; 10
  • Thursday; Booked


  • Monday; 5, 12, 26
  • Tuesday; 6, 13, 20, 27
  • Wednesday; 7, 28
  • Thursday; 1, 8, 15, 22


  • Monday; 5, 19, 26
  • Tuesday; 6, 20, 27
  • Wednesday; 7, 28
  • Thursday; 1, 8, 22, 29


– Three foci for the school – staff-based learning



How do we learn to deepen our students thinking skills across the curriculum including in mathematics?


  • Student demonstrates that is okay to struggle as well as make mistakes and build resilience and grit as a result of staff using growth mindset approach
  • Students are able to strategies (e.g., CUBES strategy in math problem-solving) as a result of staff using step-by-step modeling for how to understand complex problems
  • Students are able to explain their thinking and are able to hear their peers’ ideas from the staff implementation of the use of math journals and number talks
  • Students make deeper and memorable connections (e.g., attending plays, hearing Holocaust survivors speak, participating in waste audits, visiting long term care facilities, raising $ for charitable causes of their choosing, pen pals with students in Indigenous communities etc.) through experiential learning organized and planned by staff
  • Student are able to show over time a greater comprehension of a variety of text as a result of staff and admin continuing to build the “Book Room” with guided reading resources for all grades and graphic organizers that staff use for instruction
  • Highlighting a comprehension strategy each month in the library and providing classroom teachers with booklists/texts to use with each strategy
  • Students can listen to each other and build on each other’s thinking from the use of knowledge building circles during classroom inquiries
  • Staff will use divisional PLC time to plan inquiries that focus on comprehension and critical thinking skills in both literacy and mathematics as demonstrated through their practice and students’ ability to demonstrate comprehension and critical thinking.
  • The School Literacy and Numeracy committees supports, monitors and check in with our progress toward these goals through classroom observation and student samples of work



How do we learn how to model and teach exemplary inclusionary practices so that all students feel included, regardless of race, ability, language, sexual orientation or gender?


· Student are able to demonstrate understanding and knowledge of the Aboriginal/Indigenous perspective as a result of:

Staff continues to build on learning in greater depth about Aboriginal/Indigenous Education and knowledge; and,

Incorporate this perspective in their curriculum delivery.

  • Students are able to demonstrate their understanding of what truth and reconciliation because Staff has modelled and taught exemplary inclusions practices; and, by sharing resources on what truth and reconciliation looks like in the classroom
  • Build our library resources with a focus on indigenous authors, gender diversity, and a variety of learning styles.
  • Work with our ESL Itinerant teacher to create welcome kits we can use with newcomers in our classes.
  • Work with administration to use translation services for all important documents that go home to ESL and ELL families.
  • Increase parent involvement and attendance in community events, work with our parent council to identify and reduce barriers.
  • Partner teachers in ISP classes with regular classes to provide “buddy”, integration or reverse integration opportunities.
  • Offer a number of clubs and teams at lunch hour so ISP student are able to attend (no bus conflicts).
  • Continue PALs program at recess where older students teach recess games to younger students
  • Use our specialist teachers (e.g., ESL, Empower Reading, Developmental Disabilities) to provide differentiated instruction strategies to staff
  • Consider school signage (i.e., multiple languages, all gender washrooms)
  • Use school equity committee to monitor and check in on our progress with these goals



How do we learn to teach students to use metacognitive awareness by articulating their feelings (zone), and how this affects their ability to self-regulate and learn at school?


  • Students use SNAP framework for common language and strategies to regulate and problem solve as adults model and teach students in our building
  • Students learn to self-regulate because the adults model the strategies and regular use of the Zones of Regulation with younger children and ISP classes in particular to build self-awareness about how their feelings affect their learning
  • Students are able to check-in and monitor where they are at (e.g. Zones of Regulation, 5 point thermometers, voice-level meters etc.) when asked as a result of staff posting visual signage in classrooms; and, participation in Yoga and mindfulness sessions during the school day
  • Catalogue SNAP, Zones of Regulation and MindUp Curriculum Resources in our school library
  • Use Safe and Caring Schools committee to monitor and check in our progress with these goals

School Council Chair Update

  • School council and admin sent a letter to Chief of Police requesting crossing guards on Shaw (at Hallam and Garnet); police will conduct  traffic surveys on the intersections to determine is an adult crossing guard is warranted.
  • Parent orientation handbook – work group will determine content and ask parents/admin/school council for content as needed.
  • School photos to be provided by Edge Imaging and will go up in the school.
  • Translation: the blog has a Google translator widget and it is the prime method of communication, partly for this reason; sent emails through parent link and bulletin board to encourage parents and guardians to subscribe to updates
  • School Council Insurance was renewed.
  • School Statement of Need was completed for 2017/18 and submitted.

School Council Treasurer Update

Account funds are healthy and Alana will provide more detailed update at February meeting

Fundraising Update

  • Melissa is leading fundraising activities, including Spring Fling.
  • Book sale was up for Monster Mixer and after – thanks to Mary and Nancy and all others who helped to maintain it and put it away. It would be good to ask for DVD donations next time as they sell well
  • It would be good to add spirit wear sales to School Cash Online – Darci has new designs in the works, hopefully for release in the spring.
  • Online Silent Auction was a great success – thanks to organizers and those who supported it with purchases.
  • Focus of Spring Fling fundraising needs to be determined.

School Snack

  • Menu and more information was released on school blog.
  • Kate will look at snack and program ideas around food.

Early Reading Program

  • This has begun, books have been purchased and cost of police reference cheques covered by School Council.

Programming motion:

  • Social media and digital literacy presentation partly funded by School Council through Parent Reaching Out grant for evening event. School admin will book this.
  • $1200 – Theatrix workshops. School admin will book this.
  • $800 – BHM: cultural event like drumming, weekly. School admin will book this.
  • Melissa – propose
  • Alana – 2nd
  • All in favour.
  • Motion passed.

Discretionary Fund Motion:

  • Proposal to provide school admin with $1000  to use to support needy families for personal items (grocery cards, winter clothes) or school trips and experiences. This partially replaces Model School funds for this purpose.
  • Jessica – propose
  • Kate – 2nd
  • All in favour.
  • Motion passed.

Lice Checks

  • Debbie & Harry will follow up on Sarah’s research into options.

Lunch Time

  • Staggered start – much better this year.
  • One table for stragglers to finish eating.
  • Children wear snow pants and boots but not coats to eat.
  • Litter outside is being addressed

Outdoor Play and Learning Committee Update:

  • Jessica H. plans to attend the OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) Symposium put on by Earth Play on January 19th to look at bringing OPAL to Essex in the 2018-2019 school year, more info can be found at
  • In addition, the administration and teachers from the eco-committee are planning a site visit with Justin Nadeau (from TDSB grounds office) to look at our school yard and identify a potential area for school yard naturalization.  The students with the eco-team will work with the teachers on the eco-committee in the spring to plant natural shrubs in our school yard if this project is approved

School Cash Online: help with sign-up, exceptions

  • Families in need of support can ask school office for help signing up.

** Remaining items from agenda deferred.

Reminder next meeting date: Tuesday Feb 6, 6:00 p.m.

Posted in Announcements, Intermediate (Grades 7-8), Junior (Grades 4-6), Kindergarten, Primary (Grades 1-3)

Outdoor Play and Learning at Essex-Hawthorne

Are you interested in learning more about the Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL) program for schools?
Join Essex and Hawthorne parents at the OPAL Symposium on Friday January 19th, 2018.  The OPAL program works to promote the benefits of play in schools and engages the school community to enhance the time for students to direct their own play and learning.
How does OPAL work?
A school board partners with Earth Day Canada, and convenes a lead team of teachers, parents and support staff to implement the program.
OPAL mentors facilitate playdays, workshops, events and parent outreach, leading to the development of a school-wide play policy.
“Loose parts” are introduced and strategic design improvements are made to prioritize play value for students.
Program roll-out is evaluated and schools receive recognition with awards at a “celebration of play” assembly.
If you wish to be a part of this exciting project for the 2018-2019 school year please contact for Essex and for Hawthorne.
Posted in Announcements, Intermediate (Grades 7-8), Junior (Grades 4-6), Kindergarten, Primary (Grades 1-3)