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

Holiday Sing-Along

Saturday November 19

This year's Holiday Sing-Along will be on Thursday, December 15th from 6-7pm. There will be carols and a performance by the Junior Strings. Will we also draw the winners of the Gingerbread House Raffle.



Gingerbread House Raffle

Saturday November 19

It's that time of year again!

Flyers were sent home on Wednesday/Thursday about this year's Gingerbread House Raffle. The first 15 families to return their forms to the office get to build and decorate a gingerbread house.

The houses will be displayed in the hallway outside of the main office starting the week of December 5th and raffle tickets will be on sale ($1 for 1 ticket, $10 for 12 tickets). Enter as many times as you like to win your favourite creation. The draw will be held at the Holiday Sing-A-Long on December 15th.


Garden Variety 3 Was A Hit!

Sunday November 13

This year's Garden Variety show was a huge success, drawing a record crowd and raising over $2,500 for School Council.

Thanks to all those who came out for a night of fun in support of School Council. It was a fantastic evening made possible by our volunteers. 

Thank you:
Luke Jackson, Eli Klein, Jonathan Spence, Ji Yee, Sam Wong, Shirin Sabin, Eugene Andruszczenko, Shane Corkery, Zoe Baines, Sara Clark, Natasha Teoli, Sarb Nagra, Kam Nagra, Dave Cruickshank, Matt Miller, and Christine Hamilton.

Special thanks to our beer and wine sponsors for the evening, including Goose Island Beer Co., Mill Street Brewery and Shock Top Brewing Co.


Garden Gear! - Last chance to order is Monday 14 November

Sunday November 13

Last chance to order until Spring 2017... act now. Last date to order is Monday Nov 14th at midnight.
Over $500 has been raised for the school so far.

Order Garden Spirit Wear

Garden School News - Week of Nov 14-18

Sunday November 13

Progress Reports will be handed out to students on Tuesday November 15th. Parents will be receiving a letter or communication from each classroom teacher as to what their individual interview schedule will be. If you have more than one child at our school please do not hesitate to talk to your child’s teacher about organizing sibling’s interview in a way that will work for you and your family. Please remember that regular parent-teacher communication is an important part of your child’s learning. These interviews are your opportunity to ask questions about your child's progress and to discuss any issues. In addition to regular scheduled parent-teacher interviews, you can request a meeting at any time during the school year by contacting our school or your child's teacher directly.

Please remember to check out our lost and found area at the East Entrance. In this lovely Fall weather we have seen an enormous number of sweaters and coats finding their way into the lost and found. Please be sure to stop by and check to see if anything belongs to you before they are gone.

Ms. Hardy

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring,
all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
― Leo Buscaglia

Parent Week at a Glance - Week of November 14-18

Special Education Advisory Committee Survey

Sunday November 6


From the Special Education Advisory Committee of the Toronto District School Board:

The Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) wants to hear from you. This survey gives you a chance to give us ideas on how the TDSB can improve the education it offers to students with special education needs. It also lets you tell us what your experiences have been like for your special needs children.

Fill out Survey

While SEAC members are appointed by the Trustees of the TDSB, we are independent of them. Our role is to provide advice and direction to TDSB Trustees. The results of this survey will be going directly to SEAC and not to staff at the TDSB.

Please fill out this anonymous survey if you are a parent or guardian of student(s) with special education needs. We want to hear from you whether your child with special needs is currently enrolled or was in the past.

We appreciate whatever time you can take to do this survey. There are a total of 18 questions. We estimate it may take up to 20 minutes to complete if you have many comments you wish to leave. Not all questions will apply to you. You can skip any questions you don’t want to answer. If you have very limited time, please answer at least the first question which is a general question asking you to give us your recommendations on how the TDSB can better meet the needs of students with special needs.

Thank you!
Special Education Advisory Committee for the Toronto District School Board


Kindergarten Outdoor Education Project Wishlist

Friday October 28

Families, the Kindergarten Outdoor Education Program needs your help!

The program facilitated by Ms.Cox is STILL in need of:

  • Pots & pans
  • Shovels & utensils
  • Plastic & metal bowls
  • Collanders/sieves
  • Magnifying glasses & bug-catching containers
  • Large, heavy-duty plastic storage bins
  • Gently used children's snow/rain gear

Embrace the magic of tidying up. Pile all that kitchen stuff you've been meaning to get rid of into a bag and drop it off in the marked box beside the Lost and Found.

Spirit Wear Samples & Garden Variety Tickets

Friday October 28

Check out Spirit Wear samples and get your Garden Variety tickets!

Both will be available in the school foyer on Thursday and Friday morning before school.

Halloween Costume Parade

Friday October 28

Kindergarten students are invited to wear their costumes to school in the morning. Their Halloween parade will begin at 9:15am, outside of the school on Garden Avenue. 

Grade 1-6 students will change in to their costumes after lunch. Their Halloween parade will begin at 1pm, outside of the school, and continue on to the Copernicus Lodge to greet the residents.

Reminder: weapons are not allowed at school as part of costumes (e.g. swords, knives, guns, lightsabers).

If you'd like to send a treat for your child's class party, please ensure that the snacks are nut-free. Fruits and veggies are always a welcome choice! 

Thanks to the Movie Night Crew!

Friday October 28

Our first Movie Night of the year was a lot of fun! Big thanks to the Movie Night team of volunteers.

Stayed tuned for details about Junior Movie Night, coming in November!

Junior Robotics Club Needs Your Help!

Tuesday October 25

Robotics Club is running for grades 4 - 6 from now until December 3rd, after which students will participate in the first LEGO LEAGUE competition!!

A 8 X 4 foot table is available for our kids - but it is in Scarborough. The group needs this table for their meetings and the competition.

We need help from anyone who has a truck and would be would be willing to help us pick up the table.

This is a big ask, but we would be very grateful for any assistance. Please contact Ms. Hardy if you can help, at (416) 393-9165.

-- The Junior Teachers (Ms. Umezawa, Mr. McClure, Ms. Childs, Ms. Chawla)

Join the conversation about Equity in the TDSB

Tuesday October 25

Garden Community - Have Your Say!

"We believe that equity of opportunity, and equity of access to our programs, services and resources are critical to the achievement of successful outcomes for all those whom we serve, and for those who serve our school system ... The Board is therefore committed to ensuring that fairness, equity, and inclusion are essential principles of our school system and are integrated into all our policies, programs, operations, and practices." -- TDSB Equity Foundation Statement

The TDSB wants to hear from all parents about how to achieve equity in its policies, budget, access & secondary program review, school improvement processes, leadership capacity plan, inclusion and special education and employment.

This is your chance to have your say in the first stage of the consultation process. Follow the link below to find out more and submit your comment:


image depicting difference between equality and equity

Garden Avenue Spirit Wear Available!

Sunday October 23

Garden paraphernalia is on sale again next week just in time for Christmas. There are new colours and styles in the sweatshirts and t-shirts. This year there are even toques. All items are available online:

Order Garden Spirit Wear

Deadline for orders is November 10th. Orders will be ready for pick up by the week of November 28.

There will be sample sizes in the foyer for students and adults to try.


Parents Needed for Garden's Caring and Safe Schools Committee

Saturday October 22

Garden's Caring and Safe Schools Committee is a team within the school responsible for fostering a safe, inclusive, and accepting school environment by implementing a Safe Schools Plan that includes prevention strategies and peaceful problem solving. 

The Committee must include : one student, at least on parent, one teacher, one non teaching staff member, a community partner and the Principal.

We are currently looking for parent volunteers who would like to be involved in making Garden the best place possible for our kids to be everyday!

The Committee meets once a month during lunch hour, so if you would like to get involved please email


Garden Movie Night - Thursday, October 27

Saturday October 22

Garden School Council is excited to announce 'Minions' as our first movie of the year!

*This is a Primary class selection but all are welcome.

Doors open at 6:00 pm and the show begins at 6:30 pm on Thursday, October 27 in the school gym.

There will be pizza, popcorn and drinks for sale, so grab your pillows, round up the fam and head out for an evening of entertainment.

Minion in apron

Garden Variety Show, Saturday November 5th

Friday October 21



SATURDAY NOVEMBER 5TH, 8:00 pm -11:00 pm

There is STILL time to buy your tickets and book your sitter.

Following in the footsteps of the amazing last two years, year three promises a fun night out for parents and neighbours, full of laughs, music and delicious snacks and adult beverages.

As any of our past attendees can attest, this is a VERY VERY fun evening so grab your pals and or neighbours and support the Garden School Council.

Tickets are $25.00 each - Tables are SOLD OUT!
Online ticket links:

Buy Single Tickets

We'll be unveiling the lineup over the coming weeks, but we're excited to announce that magician Ben Train and Rachelle Elie are returning to knock your socks off!

Also appearing:

The extremely amusing comedy of Todd Graham:

Sublime harpist Sahra Featherstone:

and Hula hoop superstar Amber Lynn.

To purchase tickets by cash, cheque or email money transfer, email us at

Stay tuned for more announcements of music, circus acts, comedy and more!!

Keep track of the latest lineup updates on the Variety Show page:

Featuring (so far!):

Master illusionist:

Ben Train

The extremely amusing:

Todd Graham

Sublime harpist:

Sahra Featherstone

Your host, the mellifluous:

Rachelle Elie


Garden Variety Show 3 poster (PDF, 1.8 MB)

Garden Variety 3 - Saturday, November 5

Tuesday October 18

Don't forget to book your babysitter - Garden Avenue's annual variety show is on Saturday, November 5 at 8pm at Roncesvalles United Church.

Following in the footsteps of the amazing last two years, year three promises a fun night out for parents + neighbours full of laughs, music and delicious snacks.

As any of our past attendees can attest, this is a VERY VERY fun night out - grab a parent pal and your neighbour and come support your School Council.

Tickets are available online at the link below. We will also be selling tickets at school in the weeks ahead. Tickets are $25 each or $125 for a table of 6.

To purchase tickets by cash, cheque or email money transfer, email us at

We'll be unveiling the lineup over the coming weeks, but we're excited to announce that magician Ben Train will be returning to astound everyone with his sleight-of-hand magic and stunning psychic abilities and the show will be hosted again by the outrageously funny Rachelle Elie.

Stay tuned for more announcements of music, circus acts, comedy and more!!


Primary Choir (Grades 1-3) Begins Thursday 13 October

Sunday October 2

Garden Ave’s Primary Choir for grades one to three students will begin on Thursday, October 13th, 2016 at lunch.

Children need to be ready to sing and in the music room (room 105) by 12:05pm each Thursday.

There are no auditions for this choir.

Please let Ms. Zampiero know if your child will participate by placing a note into her mailbox in the office.

TDSB Letter - Back to School - From Robin Pilkey

Friday September 30

A back to school letter from Robin Pilkey, the TDSB Chair and the Trustee for Ward 7 was sent home with students today. The first page of the letter is reproduced below. The rest of the letter can be downloaded below.

Dear parents and guardians,

Welcome to the 2016-17 school year. I hope you and your family had a restful and safe summer.

As TDSB Chair and Trustee for Parkdale-High Park, I wanted to begin by apologizing to students and families who have been impacted by the busing issues this fall. We are working to find a solution for each family as soon as possible. We are also working with staff to come up with new processes for the future. Thank you for your patience during this time.

I am pleased to welcome a number of new Superintendents of Education into our ward this year. On the reverse side of this letter you will find your superintendent and their contact information in case you need to contact them directly. As you settle into this school year, we have created a webpage with key information and resources including homework tips and the school year calendar. Learn more at

As a parent/guardian, there are many ways to participate in your child’s education. One way is through the school council which acts as an important forum for student, parent and community voices and advises the principal and the Board on important school issues. To learn more about school councils contact your school or visit

I also wanted to share some good news with you about school repairs. In June, we received an additional $257 million in funding for school repairs from the Ministry of Education. The additional money means the TDSB will invest a total of $579 million in schools by the end of August 2017. This is a clear concern here in Ward 7, where the majority of schools were built decades ago. We have posted extensive data on the website about the condition of the TDSB’s schools. This includes repairs listed on a school-by-school basis and is part of our commitment to be more open and transparent with parents, students and community members.

As part of our ongoing Solar Schools projects, three additional schools in Ward 7 will have solar panels installed – Humbercrest Public School, Runnymede Collegiate Institute and Warren Park Junior Public School. The solar panel project has enabled the Board to replace more than 300 roofs across the district, including many in Ward 7.

Finally, to stay informed please join my Facebook page and sign up for my e-newsletter by visiting my webpage at For system wide news about the TDSB, visit

Thank you and I look forward to working in partnership with you this year,

Robin Pilkey, Chair
Trustee for TDSB Ward 7
Parkdale – High Park

TDSB Letter - Back to School - from Robin Pilkey

School Letter - Curriculum Night

Friday September 30

Garden’s Curriculum Night
Kindergarten-Grade 6

Thursday October 6, 2016

Curriculum night provides an opportunity for parents to visit the classrooms and learn as the teacher shares information such as classroom routines and homework expectations. It is also a time to learn about the curriculum.

If you need to speak to the classroom teacher about your child’s individual progress, please schedule a meeting at another time.

Curriculum documents may be accessed at:

Class visits from 6:15 p.m.  - 7:15 p.m.

You will have an opportunity to talk about your individual child’s progress at your child’s Progress Report interview in November.

** Good Minds, an Aboriginal Book Distributor will be hosting a Book Fair in the library.  Please join us from 3:30-7:30 PM.


School Letter - Curriculum Night 2016

School Letter - For Kindergarten - Outdoor Education

Friday September 30

Dear Families,

We are very excited to be developing an Outdoor Education program for our kindergarten classes this year.  As we are starting, literally and figuratively, from the ground up, we decided to compile a list of items that would be of great benefit for our program.  If you have any of the following items at home that are in gently used, safe condition (i.e., no jagged/broken edges, etc.) that you are no longer using, we would be delighted to accept your donation and use these items in our program:

  • pots
  • shovels
  • pans
  • magnifying glasses
  • colanders
  • bug-catching containers
  • sieves
  • bowls (big/ small; metal/plastic)
  • pails
  • utensils (forks/ spoons)

We are also in need of spare snowsuits, rain gear, winter boots and rain boots that are also in “gently used” condition and are kindergarten sizes as we will be going outside in all kinds of weather, and will need spare outdoor gear just in case!

As always, given that we will be outside each day, dressing appropriately for the weather (rain gear/ snow gear/ sun gear plus appropriate footwear) is extremely important so that your child can participate fully in our new outdoor education programming.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Cox.

Thank you as always for your continued support!

Yours in learning and growing,
Ms. Cox, Teacher-Librarian/ Kindergarten Outdoor Education

Happy kids holding hands in a heart

School Letter - Outdoor Education Request

Draft Minutes of School Council Meeting

Monday September 26

The draft minutes for the school council meeting on 22 September have been posted by Erica Spencer.

Pumpkin Patch - Saturday, October 15

Monday September 26

Mark your calendars: the 2nd annual Garden Avenue Pumpkin Patch is taking place on Saturday, October 15 from 10am-3pm.

Come out and buy your Hallowe'en pumpkins in our pumpkin patch in the back field. There will be hot chocolate, pumpkin pie, delicious BBQ, face painting and more!

All money raised goes towards the School Council budget for the year, to be spent on field trips, classroom enrichment, science and music programs. 

Pumpkin Patch Poster 2016

Help Wanted

Monday September 26

We have many roles, formal and informal, that need filling to make our school the best place to learn and grow.

We are still looking for people to help with the following roles:

- Silent Auction Lead (lead the effort to get donations for one of our biggest fundraisers)

- Pizza Lunch Lead (coordinate pizza lunches and other special lunch days)

If you can help, let us know at

Class Parents

Monday September 26

We have a full roster of Class Parents! Class Parents acts as a liaison between the teacher, school council and parents. They maintain and share a list of contact information for the parents/guardians of students in the class, coordinate volunteers for field trips and in-class activities, and organize group gifts for the teacher.

Please find a full list of Class Parents for 2016-2017 below:

  • Ms. Murray (JK/SK) – Mirjana Dingwall / Katey Witt
  • Ms. Cundari (JK/SK) – Laura Currie Ryder / Lina Marin
  • Ms. Petrowski (JK/SK) – Emily McInnes / Megan Cassidy
  • Ms. Bell (Gr. 1 /2) – Jennet Lees
  • Ms. Cochrane (Gr. 1 /2) – Jane Wu
  • Ms. Lawson (Gr. 1 /2) – Kelly Hoey
  • Ms. Bowman (Gr. 1 /2) – Katey Witt
  • Ms. Schultz (Gr. 2 /3) – Jennifer Alefounder
  • Ms. Baigent (Gr. 3) – Erica Spencer
  • Mr. McClure (Gr. 3/4) – Shirin Sabir / Niki Landau
  • Ms. Umezawa (Gr. 4) – David Leider
  • Ms. Chawla (Gr. 5 /6) – Patricia Huchez
  • Ms. Childs (Gr. 5 /6) – Christine King

You should hear from your Class Parent soon, if you haven't already! If you need help getting in touch, contact us at