Wednesday, 25 June 2014

News from the Office - June 2014

It has been another exceptional year serving the Brown Public School Community. I thank everyone for their ongoing support and commitment to our school.

A special thank you to our Parent Council Co-Chairs, Nina Moritsugu and Jenifer Glover and our vice-chair, Lisa Bernstein. Their enthusiasm and problem-solving skills served many of our families well this year. We look forward to working with Nina and Jenifer next year as our vice-chairs and ask if anyone is interested in chairing or co-chairing our Parent Council next year to please speak to Jenifer or Nina.

Sincerest thanks to all the parents involved in the many organizing committees for their dedication and hard work throughout the year. We extend our gratitude also to our parents who are in charge of the Brown Bulletin. Their patience with many of us is truly appreciated as they organize everyone to meet the deadlines each month. The parents in this community really help make Brown Public School a stellar place and one of the most desirable schools in the city.

A special thank you goes to the Brown Public School Kiss 'n Ride patrollers who worked so diligently on ensuring the safety of our students every morning on Poplar Plains Rd.

REMINDER: students are dropped off in the morning on Poplar Plains Road and not in the staff parking lot. The parking lot is for staff parking only.  There is no dropoff in the Avenue Road driveway. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation as the safety of our students is always uppermost in our minds.

It is time to say good-bye to many of our parents whose children have graduated from Brown Public School this year. We thank you for dedication and generosity throughout the years and we hope Brown Public School will hold a special place in your hearts. You will be missed.

Congratulations Mr. Costa! We will miss you!!!
A bittersweet good-bye to an integral part of our leadership team -- our Vice-Principal, Norbert Costa. Mr. Costa has been promoted to Principal of Hillcrest Public School. I have enjoyed working with Mr. Costa this year. He helped align our Fundraising initiatives, our technology networks and most importantly, worked well with our children, staff and community.

Mr. Costa coached baseball and soccer this year and spent many hours counselling our students when they needed some self-reflection time.  Mr. Costa was a breath of fresh air here at Brown P.S. and he will be sadly missed. Hillcrest Public School is lucky to have such a dedicated leader. We look forward to many visits with Mr. Costa during sports events with Hillcrest.  We wish Mr. Costa all the best and wish him luck in his new position.

Babies and weddings
Congratulations to Allison Fox.  Ms. Fox (Grade 1) had an early arrival bundle of joy. A little girl has been welcomed into her family.

Congratulations to Miss Pietrobon (Grade 2/3) on her upcoming wedding.  We are very happy for this special time in Miss Pietrobon’s life and wish her all the best.

Congratulations to Mona Taslimi (SK FI), Rm. 15 Early Childhood Educator. She had a destination wedding recently.

Farewell and hello
We have a number of staff leaving us once again this year. We are saying good-bye and thank you to Maryn Mahar who was the Long-Term Occasional teacher for Anne-Marie Sulymko while she was on parental leave.  Mme Sulymko is back and looking forward to reconnecting with her students.  Allison Fox, Elizabeth Warden and Jessica Hirsch are on parental leave until next year.

Our Early Childhood Educator, Sophia Efstathiadis will be on parental leave also. It appears we have many new bundles of joy that will be coming along and wish our staff healthy and happy times with their little ones.

Educational Assistants Rosa Humphrey and Jamal Morgan have been re-assigned and sadly, our clerical, Lily McMillan will be leaving us also.  We are always sorry to lose great staff especially when the connections they make with our students and parents are so positive.  We wish them all the best and hope to see them at Brown P.S. again one day.  We hope to have Lily back in a different role next year.

Each of our staff members has made a terrific contribution to the life of our school and will be missed.  We wish all of our staff great success!  Staff leaving us will be remembered fondly and will always be a part of the Brown P.S. family.

As I reflect upon this year, I cannot help but think about all the wonderful accomplishments of our students and staff.  We have more sports banners hanging in our gymnasium thanks to our teachers who coached our students and some spectacular memories from all the special events and activities that have taken place at our school this year.

We started the year with the Fall Fling, Winterfest, The Talent Show, our Spring Concert, Garden Fete, Song Sung Brown, Grade 6 Graduation, SK Graduation and the many drama and musical presentations from many of our talented students and staff.  These are just some of this year’s highlights.

While the heart of the school is always the children, our children have big hearts. Our great faculty kept our students engaged in and out of their classrooms throughout the year and our students never missed a beat. Our World Changers events and activities kept students focused on those less privileged around the world and many of the World Changers even helped host Full Day Kindergarten Tours.

Our equipment helpers loaned sports equipment during recesses and the Character Education assemblies continued to recognize our Brown students who exemplify the TDSB character traits.  We had many wonderful and memorable performances such as Fit 2 Dance, Ballet Creole, Eco Rangers, The Maurice Ruddick Story, The Power of One, Gold Medalist Rebecca Johnston and we were chosen as a tour stop for the Free the Children Tour with special guests, Spencer West, Hannah Alper and the rock band, NEVEREST. Special thanks to Michele Breslin for her efforts making this a great opportunity for our school.

Brown P.S. will always be a great place because of the dedicated staff, parent community and in my opinion, the best students I have ever met.  It has been a pleasure visiting classes, planning and escorting excursions, coaching the Girls Baseball team and helping plan activities and events throughout the year for our students, staff and community.

Space issues and construction concerns are always challenging as our school continues to grow. We are up in enrollment again next year and there have been some classroom changes and organizational logistics that we have been working on all year.

Due to increased enrollment, we have had to re-claim one of the Day Care spaces on the first floor, Rm.11. This room will be under construction this summer as it is being retrofitted to be a Kindergarten classroom. Construction will begin in July and will not be finished until October. Children assigned to Rm. 11 in September will be evenly dispersed into the other Kindergarten classrooms until construction is completed.

Parents of Kindergarten students were informed of this construction during Kindergarten Tours. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience; however, we will ensure that all of our Kindergartens are safe, engaged and learning in the other Kindergarten classrooms.  We will have extra support in the classrooms to help us with the larger class sizes.

The Second Term Report Cards will be issued to students on the last day of school, June 27.  We will not be issuing report cards prior to these dates.  Report cards will be mailed home if students are not here on the last day of school.

EQAO results will not be available until September.  Students will be receiving their individual results in late September or October 2014.


Grades 1-6
Entry 8:35 AM
Dismissal 3:10 PM

Entry 8:30 AM
Dismissal 3:00 PM

Supervision ends at 3:25 PM.
Reminder: Yards to be cleared for Day Care permit by 3:30 PM

We anticipate some delays for students arriving by school buses during the first week.  We will sort out any concerns as they arise.

The first day of school is Tuesday, September 2, 2014 and will look similar to last year.

Grades 1 and 2
Classroom lists for Grades 1 and 2 students will be posted in the Primary yard. Teachers will meet their students in the Primary yard when the morning bell rings at 8:35 AM and will escort the students to their classrooms. Teachers will escort the students to the Primary yard at the end of the day for dismissal at 3:10 PM.

Please ensure you or your caregivers are there on time to avoid any anxiety which is often associated with the first few days of school.

Grades 3-6
Classroom lists for Grades 3-6 students will be placed on the fences by the turf. Grade 2/3 students will line up by their classroom list at the baseball diamond fence.

All students will be escorted into the school by their new classroom teacher.

Supervision in the Primary yard will begin at 8:20 AM for the Grade 1 and 2 children only.

Supervision in the Junior yard will begin at 8:20 AM for the Grade 3, 4, 5 and 6 students only.

Full Day Kindergarten classroom lists will be posted in front of the Kindergarten classrooms.  Students in Room 9 will go directly to their classroom from the yard. Students in Rooms 13, 14 and 15 will enter their classrooms from the Primary Playground area on a daily basis.  Room 11 and 12 students will enter their classrooms from the school’s main hallway indoors.

As we anticipate many primary children in the playground, we ask that the Kindergartens are brought directly to their classrooms at 8:30 AM. (Please see below for Frequently Asked Questions)

Staggered Entry for Kindergarten students
Kindergarten students will be staggered in to school during the first week.

Sept 2 - Only children registered in Unicorn Day Care early and/or after care (Junior and Senior Kindergartens) will begin school on Tuesday September 2.

Sept 3 - All English and French Immersion Senior Kindergartens should be in their classes by Wednesday September 3.

Sept 4 - Junior Kindergartens not registered in Day Care will begin on Thursday September 4.

Sept 5 - All Full Day Kindergarten (Junior and Senior) children should be in by Friday September 5.

We anticipate a construction delay as Room 11 gets retrofitted over the summer.  The students in Room 11 will be allocated to another JK class until construction is over.  This only affects 15 students. We appreciate your patience and understanding as our school continues to grow. Please check for Brown Bulletin Alerts during the summer.

Below is this year’s staffing model, which is based on projections only. Some classes may have more or fewer students in them, as of September 2014.

Happy Summer Holidays!

On behalf of all Brown Public School staff, Mr. Costa and I extend our warmest thanks for all of your support throughout the year. We have appreciated the many ways in which you have become partners in the education of your children.

We could not offer the programs and special events which we do without your assistance. We look forward to another year of working together for the benefit of all of our children.

Have a safe and relaxing summer. Nous vous souhaitons de très belles vacances !

Gina Christakis - Principal        Norbert Costa - Vice-Principal

Brown Public School 

Kindergarten routines at the start of the new school year

Staggered Entry for Kindergarten students
Kindergarten students will be staggered in to school during the first week.

  • Tuesday, Sept 2 - Only children registered in Unicorn Day Care early and/or after care (Junior and Senior Kindergartens) 
  • Wednesday, Sept 3 - All English and French Immersion Senior Kindergartens
  • Thursday, Sept 4 - Junior Kindergartens not registered in Day Care 
  • Friday, Sept 5 - All Full Day Kindergarten (Junior and Senior) children

Start of the School Day

Q: Where do I bring my child on the first day of school? What time should we arrive?

Every school day at Brown P.S. begins at 8:30 AM for Kindergartens and ends at 3:00 PM. Kindergartens have their play recess at 11:20-12:00 and lunch from 12:05-12:35 PM
Children are to be brought directly to the classroom at 8:30 AM each day.  They will not be able to play in the Primary yard prior to this time due to the number of students that will already by in the yard.  This yard is shared with the grade 1 and 2 children during the school entry and dismissal times.  There will be too many children in the yard at the same time and we prefer the  Kindergartens to go directly to their classrooms.

Two Kindergarten classrooms - Room 11 and Room 12 - must be accessed from the main hallway on the first floor.

Please note: Our hallways get very congested. We cannot accommodate strollers. bicycles or pets in our hallways for safety reasons at any time.

Rooms 13, 14, 15 may be accessed from the Primary playground.   Room 9 is accessed from the junior yard area.  The teachers will give further instructions about entry and dismissal during the first week of school.

Kindergarten children are to be taken to their classrooms on the first day of school. The teacher will give further instructions to parents about entry for the rest of the school year. We anticipate high enrolment for Full Day Kindergarten once again this year. With such large numbers, congestion in the school yard needs to be alleviated and parents are asked to bring their Kindergarten children to the classrooms instead of the primary playground at 8:30 AM. Class lists will be posted in front of each classroom in the event parents are not aware of which classroom their child is in.

Unicorn Daycare Children
Students attending before and after school care at Unicorn Daycare on the first day of school will be brought to their designated Kindergarten classrooms where they will be greeted by their teacher and Early Childhood Educator.  Students in Hot Lunch and/or After care will be escorted to the assigned classes for care by the Day Care providers at lunch time and after school.

Pick-up at the end of the day
Primary students are to meet their parents/guardians in the Primary yard. This includes Kindergarten, grade 1 and 2 students. We understand that the beginnings can be very challenging especially for our Primary students. Please ensure you or the caregivers are on time to reduce any anxiety at the end of the day. The school yard must be cleared by 3:25 PM as the school yard is permitted by Unicorn Daycare after that.


Q: Can I bring my child home at lunch?
Children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver and may go home for lunch at 12:00 PM and return by 12:35 PM.

Lunch and snack times
When planning lunches and snacks, please remember that we are a nut-free school, this includes sesame seeds. Many of our students have allergies and we want to ensure the safety of all of our students at all times. We are an Eco school and have a Boomerang Lunch policy at Brown. All uneaten food and garbage goes back home with your child to reduce our waste at school. We are trying to reach our Platinum status as an Eco school again and would appreciate everyone's co-operation.

Q: Where will my child eat lunch?
Kindergartens are on a staggered lunch schedule 12:05-12:35 PM. Daycare providers will pick up the Kindergarten children involved in the hot lunch program. The hot lunch program is in designated Kindergarten classrooms.

Q: How much food should I send for the day?
Try to send the right-sized lunch for your child as well as 1-2 snacks. We ask that you encourage healthy choices for your child to support our school’s healthy habits.

We also ask that children bring their lunch and snacks in reusable food containers. Remember: All lunches and snacks MUST BE NUT-FREE.

Brown has a “Boomerang” policy in effect, which means that all uneaten food (and any wrappers) will go home with your child. This will allow you to monitor how much food your child eats during the day, and also to add any food waste to your green bin at home.

Any leftover milk or juice will be poured into a container and milk cartons will be recycled. We ask that you remind your children not to be wasteful and to remember their manners when eating in their designated areas. Food and other objects should never be thrown at other children, floors or walls.

Q: Will my child have access to a fridge or a microwave?
No. Please use cold packs and/or thermoses to help keep your child’s lunch at the right temperature.

Q: Is milk available?
A daily milk program and a monthly pizza lunch are offered at Brown for students in Grades 1-6 only who wish to participate. Sign-up forms and fees for each program will be sent home in September – please look for these forms in your child’s backpack sometime in September.

Q: How much time do the children have for eating? How much time for play?
Kindergartens play from 11:20-12:00 PM.  They eat from 12:05-12:35 PM.

Q: What do they do at lunch after they eat?
After eating lunch, students are supervised in the classroom by the Lunchroom supervisors and daycare supervisors.

During the School Day

Q: What will Kindergarten be like? Do the children sit in desks all day?
At the beginning of the school year, your child’s teacher will send home information about the routines specific to their classroom.
Each class runs a bit differently than others; however a typical day will include time as a group on the carpet, time at a desk for seatwork, inquiry based learning, activity centres, guided and independent reading time and play time. Each week, the children will receive instruction in physical education, music, swim, library, drama and/or dance.

Q: How do I prepare my child for a full day at school?
While most children are more than ready for a full day of school, all will go through a period of adjustment as they become accustomed to longer time away from home and a busier schedule. You may find your child to be a bit tired at the end of the day initially, but by the middle of the first term they will have adapted to life in full Day Kindergarten.

Q: What should I send in my child’s backpack on the first day of school? Do they need a pencil case?
Nothing special is needed for the first day, aside from a good lunch and 1-2 snacks. Your child’s teacher will send home information about any supplies that the children may need to bring to class.

End of the School Day

Q. What happens at the end of the school day?
Kindergarten and Grade 1 students in Unicorn will be picked up in their classroom for the first week of school.

Students registered in after school programs at the Avenue Road Arts School meet in front of the Brown School office. The Arts School staff will take attendance, walk the students over to the Arts School and supervise them until their program starts.

Please call our office if you will be late picking up your child as we do not want children left alone after 3:15 PM in the yards.
Parents are advised to arrange the same meeting spot on the playground daily, so that your child knows where to find the person who is picking them up.

It is important for all children to know that they should not leave the playground with anyone other than the designated person responsible for picking them up.

Q: Do they need a note if there is a change in their usual routine? (for example, going on a play date with a friend)
Yes. Please advise the teacher by note if there is a change in routine.

Q: Do I need to tell the teacher if they have been signed up for an afterschool program? (e.g. Brown After Four, Brown Community Centre, Avenue Road Arts School)

It is a good idea to let your child’s teacher know if they have signed up for after school programs through the Community Centre or the Avenue Road Arts School as some children may forget during the course of the day that they have a program to go to. In the case of Brown After Four programs, teachers will receive a list of all students enrolled in the programs as well as the location.

Other Questions?
Please call our office for more information or speak to your child's classroom teacher. (416) 393-1560