News, announcements, and reminders from the council, school, and community.

Note: Principal's Update

Sunday November 11

Please note that, going forward, the Principal's Update will be sent from Ms. Guffin directly via the TDSB School Messenger email communication system.

Garden Spirit Wear - Available For Purchase!

Sunday November 11

Garden Ave Spirit Wear is back!

Order your Garden toques, hoodies, tees and sweats by November 25th and get them in time for the winter break.

There will be product samples at school starting this week.

The proceeds from our Spirit Wear sale go to support School Council and all of the programs we fund.

Garden Avenue Pub Night - Wednesday, November 21

Sunday November 11

Come on out to the first Pub Night of the year, aka kinder-beer! Meet fellow Garden parents, have fun, AND it's half-price wing night at Gabby's.

Where: Gabby's, 157 Roncesvalles

When: 7:30 to...?

Who: Everyone is welcome. Please drop by to say hi even if only for a few minutes.

Garden School Letter - Virtual Library Learnmark

Monday November 5

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Did you know that your child can get help from their school library even when they’re not at school?

The TDSB Virtual Library has carefully selected resources, to enhance your child’s learning, that can be accessed online anytime, anywhere.

This week, we will be sending the 2018-19 Virtual Library Learnmark home to you, which includes passwords your child will need to access some Virtual Library resources from home. Please keep the Learnmark in a place where you and your child can easily find it.

 QuickFinds, Search, Spaces, Inquiry.

The Virtual Library is designed to help your child find:

  • Curriculum relevant online resources/tools to help with projects, homework, and to encourage reading and viewing in a variety of formats for K to 12 learners -eBooks, database articles, streamed media, and online tools (find them in QUICK FINDS and in SEARCH)
  • Subject links to help with math practice, games, homework (find them in SEARCH)
  • Resources for starting an inquiry or research project (find them in INQUIRY and SEARCH)
  • Reading suggestions, student book reviews and lots more! (find them in SPACES -K-6 or 7 -12)

There are 3 ways students and parents/guardians can find the Virtual Library:

  1. TDSB Public site ( - Find Your School - the Virtual Library link is on the left.
  2. AW (, login using student number and network password. Click on the My Home tab. The Virtual Library link is on the left.
  3. Search online for “school name” TDSB virtual library

For more information about how to use the Virtual Library with your child at home, we’ve created a section on the site just for you! From the homepage, look for the orange Spaces and choose the white Parent button.

Orange Spaces home page square with an arrow highlighting the white "Parent" button.

If you’d like to learn more about the Virtual Library and your school’s library resources, please contact Carrie Cox, Garden Avenue’s Teacher-Librarian.

Garden School Letter - 2018-19 Virtual Library Learnmark

School Council Meeting - Wednesday, November 7

Sunday October 28

Join us at the second School Council meeting of the year. Everyone is welcome!

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 7, in the school library from 6:30-8:15pm.

Childcare is available. Please let us know the names and ages of the children requiring care by sending an email to

In advance of our meeting we are soliciting questions that you would like answered or discussed at the meeting. You can submit your questions at the link below.

November is Aboriginal and Indigenous History Month

Wednesday October 24

In November, we celebrate Indigenous Education Month at the TDSB. This month provides an opportunity to centre Indigenous perspectives, histories and contemporary realities across the curricula. In classrooms across the city, we focus on treaties, the legacy of residential schools, as well as the achievements and accomplishments of Indigenous peoples’ in Canada.

Over the course of this month, students, staff and community members will be recognizing a number of important days to deepen knowledge and learn together about our shared history and build stronger relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Treaties Recognition Week in Ontario – November 6-10

Treaties Recognition Week is the first week of November every year. Treaties Recognition Week was introduced in 2016 to honour the importance of treaties and to support Ontarians learn more about treaty rights and treaty relationships.

During Treaties Recognition Week we recognize the treaties that shape Ontario and Canada to bring awareness to treaty rights and treaty relationships.

To mark the inaugural Treaties Recognition Week in 2016, the Ontario Government and Indigenous partners launched a dedicated online treaties resource library featuring educational guides, videos and tools developed by Indigenous organizations for teachers and students across the province. The Aboriginal Education Centre provides resources, presentations and speakers to schools throughout the TDSB.

Remembering Aboriginal Veterans – November 8 & November 11

November 8 is a day specifically dedicated to remembering Indigenous veterans and their contributions to war efforts on behalf of Canada. On November 11, we will be honouring Indigenous veterans as part of Remembrance Day ceremonies. Indigenous peoples have a long history of defending both here at home and also abroad.

Louis Riel Day – November 16

On November 16, Louis Riel Day is held to honour the sacrifices and the work of Métis leader Louis Riel and to recognize the many contributions of the Métis to Canada and to highlight the continuing struggles that Métis continue to encounter.

Inuit Day – November 7

Today is also an opportunity for all Canadians to reflect on the important relationship and history we share with the Inuit of Canada as we move forward in our journey of reconciliation and a renewed relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples.


Ministry of Education Telephone Town Halls

Sunday October 21

The Ministry of Education is inviting everyone to provide feedback on the education system in Ontario by email, via a survey and through telephone town halls. There will be 3 telephone town halls for the Toronto area. To participate, you must register at the link below and registration is done on a first-come, first-served basis.

The dates/times for Toronto are

October 25, 12:00-1:30pm
October 27, 2:00-3:30pm
November 1, 8:30-10.00pm

Remember to Vote - Monday, October 22

Sunday October 21

The municipal elections are on Monday, October 22. Polls are open from 10am-8pm. To find out where to vote, and who the candidates are for School Trustee, City Councillor and Mayor, visit


Pumpkin Patch - Thank You!

Sunday October 21

Thank you to everyone who came out to support the Garden Avenue Pumpkin Patch! It was a great day and together we raised over $2,500 for School Council. This money will be put towards math and science enrichment for all classrooms. Thank you to all of the volunteers who set up, flipped burgers, painted faces, served pie and put everything away again.

Leftover pumpkins are available for $10 until they're all gone. Pick out your pumpkin in the foyer and you can leave your payment with Ms. Dutton in the office.

rooftop photo of school yard during Garden Pumpkin Patch

Newspaper Club is ON This Week!

Sunday October 21

Newspaper Club is ON this week! Friday lunchtime in the library. Remember that Friday October 26 is the deadline for your newspaper submissions. Please bring your articles, comics, puzzles etc along to newspaper club this week!

October 22- Week at a Glance

Saturday October 20

Pumpkin Patch Fair

Thank you to the Parent Council and the volunteers for organizing the Pumpkin Patch Fair.   Thank you to the community members for coming to the Fair, so we can support our students and programs. Garden PS is very grateful for your work and your contribution!

Caring and Safe Schools Committee

We have parent and student representatives on the committee, so they can bring their voice to the decision making. We had our first Caring and Safe Schools Committee meeting where we came up with some great ideas including a school wide wellness activity. The whole school will engage in a 5 minute meditation activity that will be played over the PA system as soon as students come in after lunch. This activity helps to reduce stress and anxiety and improve focus and work productivity of students and staff.  We are looking forward to starting this great meditation activity on Monday, October 29th.

Wear Purple Day

On Wednesday, October 24, our school will join our community partners, child welfare agencies and the police to raise awareness about the rights of children and youth for safety and well-being in all aspects of their lives by wearing something PURPLE!  Children need to know that they have a right to be safe and that as caring adults we will always help them.

Legalization of Cannabis 

The recreational use of cannabis became legal in Canada on October 17, 2018. The Toronto District School Board has provided resources, including lesson plans that align with Ontario’s Health and Physical Education Curriculum, to schools to support staff and students. These lesson plans aim to provide accurate information, teach healthy living concepts and promote substance misuse prevention strategies among youth. The TDSB continues to work with Toronto Public Health and the Ministry of Education regarding the further development of curriculum and professional learning.

Despite the changes to cannabis-related laws, the recreational use of cannabis is not permitted on TDSB property. Similar to alcohol, impairment is also not permitted or tolerated on school property. As with any prescribed medication, cannabis-based medications are permitted in accordance with TDSB Operational Procedure 536 (Medication).

For more information, here are some resources you may find helpful:

For more information, please click on the link: 

Ms. Guffin

Parent Week at a Glance - Week of October 22-26

Costume Sale at the Pumpkin Patch - Saturday, October 20

Monday October 8

Do you have gently used Halloween costumes filling up your drawers and closets? Drop them off in the foyer at Garden starting Tuesday, October 9 until Thursday, October 18. The costumes will be for sale at the Pumpkin Patch on Saturday, October 20 from 10am to 3pm. This is a great opportunity to get your kids all geared up for Halloween and give old costumes and accessories a second life.

Pumpkin Patch Fundraiser - Saturday, October 20

Friday October 5

Don’t get your pumpkin yet! Wait until our Garden Avenue PS Pumpkin Patch Fundraiser. We have lots of fun free games, face painting and a fantastic BBQ. All money raised goes towards field trips for the students and equipment like music instruments, art supplies and sports equipment.

If you can volunteer to help out that day, let Leah know a

Pumpkin Patch Fundraiser poster

Correction - Orange Shirt Day

Friday October 5

In Sunday's newsletter, we made an incorrect reference to residential schools as being Indian. Here is the correct reference “Orange Shirt Day is an annual event that started in 2013 to recognize the legacy of the Residential Schools system for First Nations, Métis and Inuit families and communities. It is a show of support and understanding of the history of Canadian school system, which impacts many First Nations, Métis and Inuit families today”. We apologize for the mistake.

TDSB Letter to Parents About Health and Physical Education Curriculum (HPEC)

Thursday October 4

The TDSB published a letter to parents on their website about the Health and Physical Education Curriculum (HPEC):

A copy of the letter has been reproduced below.


September 13, 2018

Dear Parents/Guardians,

For the last three years, Ontario’s school boards have been required to use the updated 2015 Health and Physical Education Curriculum (HPEC) in both elementary and high schools. As you may know, the Ministry of Education recently directed all school boards across the province to use the re-issued 2010 HPEC (Grades 1-8) as of this September. Secondary teachers will continue to teach the 2015 HPEC - the secondary school curriculum will not be changing from the 2015 HPEC. The Ministry of Education has the right to set curriculum for Ontario students and the TDSB expects teachers to use the re-issued 2010 HPEC (Grades 1-8) for the coming school year.

You can learn about the re-issued 2010 HPEC (Grades 1-8) by visiting the Ministry’s 2010 HPEC-Grades 1-8. Based on a preliminary review of the re-issued 2010 HPEC (Grades 1-8) by Board staff, while the wording may be different than the 2015 curriculum, the 2010 curriculum still contains many critically important topics.  However, some areas of the 2015 version may not be specifically included or included but at a different grade level.  That’s why Board staff have prepared information to help you understand what can be taught and when.  The information will also help you understand the differences between the 2015 curriculum and the re-issued 2010 HPEC (Grades 1-8) in the classroom.  This information can be found at Guide to the Revised Ontario HPE Curriculum.

At the same time, we have provided resources for our teachers that will assist them to deliver the appropriate HPEC. I am confident our teachers will continue to deliver the provided curriculum in ways that meet the Ministry direction, and create a learning environment for students that is safe, inclusive and focused on their success and well-being.

Going forward should you have any questions or concerns about how the curriculum will be or is being taught in your child’s classroom, we encourage you to speak with your child’s teacher, who can help answer your questions and usually resolve any concerns. In rare instances where this isn’t the case, we recommend parents follow the TDSB Parent Concern Protocol which may involve sharing your concerns with the school’s Principal or Superintendent.

As noted above, the Ministry of Education requires school boards to use the re-issued 2010 HPEC. Parents who have concerns about the re-issued 2010 HPEC (Grades 1-8) itself should direct concerns to the Ministry of Education at; see the Contact Us options on the right side of the webpage.

The Ontario government will be reviewing the Health and Physical Education Curriculum (Grades 1-8) and will be consulting with parents. Once consultation details are available, we will be providing parents with that information.


Robin Pilkey

Dr. John Malloy
Director of Education

TDSB Letter to Parents About HPEC

October is Islamic Heritage Month

Monday October 1

The Government of Canada first established October as Islamic History Month (IHM) in 2007, recognizing, “the important contributions of Canadian Muslims to Canadian society, the cultural diversity of the Canadian Muslim community, and the importance of Canadians learning about each other to foster greater social cohesion.” On 22 June 2016, TDSB Trustees voted to designate the month of October as Islamic Heritage Month (IHM). The following autumn, “Reflect. Celebrate. Learn.” was chosen as the theme of our inaugural IHM 2017.

This year, the TDSB’s theme for IHM 2018 is, “Our Journey Continues...” We encourage all members of the TDSB community to join us in continuing to learn about the heritage and history, culture and ongoing contributions of our Muslim fellow-Canadians. A variety of IHM 2018 events and learning activities are planned throughout the month of October for students and staff across TDSB.

See the TDSB IHM 2018 Resource Guidebook (37MB, PDF) and IHM 2018 Poster (54MB, PDF)

Follow @TDSB_IHM on Twitter throughout October for the latest IHM 2018 event information and photos.

Islamic Heritage Month poster

Updates and Reminders

Tuesday October 2

Dear Parents/Guardians/Caregivers,

We are trying to improve our Lost and Found procedures. We have put some new procedures in place, therefore we are asking that you label the lunch bags, containers, water bottles and clothes of your child with the name of your child and the room number your child is in. It will help us to find the correct owner of the lost item. Please put the info on the outside of the lunch box, water bottles and containers in a very visible section using a sharpie. We are trying to teach students to be responsible, so we would appreciate if you remind your children to check their lunch space after finishing their lunch to make sure they are not leaving any items behind.  Please send along a litter-less, healthy lunch. Please remind your children that any uneaten portion of the lunch should come home and not thrown away into the garbage. That way you are aware of how much your child has eaten and at the same time the food is not thrown in the garbage bins at school.

Also, a reminder that skateboards, scooters, hockey sticks, bicycles, baseballs and hardballs and the like are not allowed on school grounds between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm unless they are part of a supervised school activity (e.g., gym classes, team sports). Wall ball games may be played against school walls where there are no windows. Bicycles, scooters, skateboards, sleds etc. ridden to school should be locked to the bicycle racks or to the fence. No scooters, skateboards, bicycles or sleds are to be brought into the school for safety reasons. Expensive equipment/toys and electronic devices should be left at home. The school will not be responsible for their safekeeping.

Thank you for your cooperation and support,

Ms. Guffin

Garden School News - October 1-12

Friday September 28

Monday, October 1st is Orange Shirt Day.

Orange Shirt Day is an annual event that started in 2013 to recognize the legacy of the Residential Schools system for First Nations, Métis and Inuit families and communities. It is a show of support and understanding of the history of Canadian school system, which impacts many First Nations, Métis and Inuit families today. The phrase “Every Child Matters” reminds everyone that children are such an important and integral part of our communities, and that they are our future generations of change makers. By wearing orange, we have an opportunity to bring awareness to the history of Residential Schools and to stand up against other injustices that may impact our children/students. We encourage every child to wear an Orange shirt on Monday (or anything orange would be fine).


Cross Country Meet will be on October 4th at Ashbridges Bay. We were finally able to secure a school bus, therefore students will not be traveling by TTC.

Students must be at school by 8 AM. We anticipate arriving back to the school by 3:30pm.


A reminder that Friday, October 5th is PA Day. There is no school on Friday.

Thanksgiving is on Monday, October 8th.

Happy Thanksgiving! No School!


Look for more news at Weeks at a Glance attachment

Please follow us on twitter @GardenAvePS

Ms. Guffin

Weeks at a Glance

Orange Shirt Day - Monday, October 1

Sunday September 23

Sunday, September 30 is Orange Shirt Day, a day to teach reconciliation, and learn the history of children who were taken from their families to residential schools.

Garden will participate on Monday, October 1 by asking kids to wear orange tops.

Learn more about Canada's history with residential schools at

If you'd like to pick up some books from the library that are age appropriate in order to start discussing the residential school system, Orange Shirt Day, or reconciliation, there is lots of great info at the links below:

orange shirt with every child matters slogan and design

Cross-Country Meet - Thursday, October 4

Friday September 28

The Toronto South Qualifying Meets will be held at Ashbridges Bay on Thursday, October 4.

Please ensure that all participating students are at the school by 8am Thursday morning. We will be meeting in the gym.

It is important that students have a healthy breakfast and bring with them a lunch, snacks and water. Students should dress appropriately for weather. Also remember that no student will be allowed to participate without a signed permission form.

We are looking forward to a great day. Garden does not have a bus this year, due to a lack of bus availability. We will be travelling by TTC and so, need lots of volunteers. If you are able to volunteer, please let Mr. Goetz or Ms. Cox know as soon as possible.

The races will start at 10am, alternating girls and boys, by grade. It is expected that the grade 2 races will begin around 10:30am. Grade 2s will run 1km, Grade 3s will run 1.5km, Grade 4-6s will run 2km.

Pumpkin Patch & Costume Sale - Saturday, October 20

Sunday September 23

Mark your calendars: the Garden Avenue Pumpkin Patch is coming back!

On Saturday, October 20 come out from 10am-3pm and buy your Halloween pumpkins in our pumpkin patch in the back field. There will be hot chocolate, pumpkin pie, face painting and more!

New this year: a Costume Sale! We will be collecting your gently used, children's Halloween costumes in the foyer starting October 1. The costumes will be on sale at the Pumpkin Patch on October 20. This is great opportunity to clean out your tickle trunk and give those old dress up clothes a second life.

Snoopy looking inside carved pumpkin head

Garden School News- Week of Sept 24th

Saturday September 22

Thank you to all the parents/guardians/caregivers for joining us at Curriculum Night and at Kinder Coffee! It was so great to see many of you come to meet and discuss children’s learning with the teachers.

Wednesday is our Photo Day and on Wednesday evening we will have the first School Council meeting of the year.  Please feel free to come and join us in the Gym.  All Parents/Guardians/Caregivers are welcome.  Babysitting will be available.  See you all there.

On Friday, we will be hosting our Terry Fox Assembly and walk.  We are asking that all students provide a toonie for the Terry Fox Foundation in support of cancer research.  Thank for your support in this great cause.  

Please follow us on twitter @GardenAvePS 

Ms. Guffin

Parent Week at a Glance - Week of September 24-28

Pizza Lunch Online Ordering Now Open!

Friday September 21

Online ordering for pizza lunches is now open at

Pizza lunch will run every Tuesday, starting September 25, to the end of the school year.

You can order now for the whole year, or even order a week or a month at a time. Orders must be placed, or changed, by noon on Sunday for the following Tuesday.

Kids love pizza lunches and parents do, too! It's also one of the biggest fundraisers for School Council. We can't do it without volunteers, though. We need at least 5 parent volunteers every Tuesday from 11:15am-12:15pm to help hand out pizza.

If you can help (every week, once a month, from time-to-time), please let Kathryn Witt know.

Pizza Lunch - Fall 2018

Garden School News - Week of Sept 17-21

Sunday September 16

We had another great week of school. We were very pleased with students’ behaviour. Lots of great and exciting activities have happened during these two weeks, including Black Canvas Art Workshop and Cross Country. It is so great to see that many students are participating and they are running and running.

Our Garden community grew this year. We have welcomed 278 students. 

Room 105 was formerly our quiet lunch space, but now it is a classroom and a shared space with the daycare. We don’t have a big space anymore to run the quiet lunch. Due to limited space, students in the quiet lunch room will be referred only from the teachers. The quiet lunch space is for a maximum of 12 - 15 students. Therefore, participating students will be those who teachers think can’t handle the lunch room and have an alternative IEP page for self-regulation skills.

A reminder to keep the strollers out of the main and back entrance as this is against the fire code.

Parents should drop off their child at the yard at 8:45 AM and 12:40PM.  If you are late, please drop your child off at the office.  Please do not walk your child directly to class. 

We are noticing that many parents are dropping off their child at the office. Thank you for your cooperation and for ensuring that our school stays safe by not walking your children to their classroom. We are now able to keep track of all the visitors in the school. 

Our first Curriculum night is this Thursday.

Session One:  6:00-6:30 PM in your child's classroom

Session Two:  6:30-7:00 PM in your child's classroom

Visit your child's classrooms and receive information from teachers explaining your child's program. We are looking forward to seeing all of you there! ☺

Please follow us on twitter @GardenAvePS

Ms. Guffin

Parent Week at a Glance - Week of September 17-21

Grade One Kilometre Club - Starts Wednesday, September 19

Wednesday September 12

Garden Avenue’s Grade One KM Club is back! Kilometre Club is a Grade One after-school running club that encourages an active lifestyle. Students will gather in Room 103 after school for attendance and a few short warm-ups, led by our Grade 3-6 leaders. After that, the group will run around the perimeter of the schoolyard a few times. All students will be dismissed from Room 103 at about 3:50pm.

The club will run for 4 weeks on Wednesdays, after school. The club starts on Wednesday, September 19. Permission forms can be picked up from Ms. Bell or Ms. Cochrane, and are due back by Monday, September 17. Any Grade 3-6 students interested in being leaders should see Ms. Cochrane for their permission form. Feel free to join in or cheer the group on!