Monday, 22 June 2015

News from the Office - June 2015


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 School Council Chairs, Toni Wharton and Nick Bibassis and our vice-chair, Jenifer Glover; their enthusiasm and problem solving skills served many of our families well this year.  We look forward to working with Toni and welcome new members to our School Council.

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.

Special thanks to our Kiss ’N Ride Volunteer Parents!

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 drop off 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 hope Brown Public School will hold a special place in your hearts. You will be missed.

Congratulations to Alexis Lundy.  Alexis has been an integral part of our support staff helping our English and French speaking students.  Alexis has been at Brown during the morning and at North Toronto during the afternoon.  She will be at North Toronto Collegiate as of September 2015 for the whole day. We will miss her enthusiasm and wish Alexis the very best as she pursues this great opportunity.

Wanda Macfarlane, our Clerical will be leaving us and going to Crescent Town Public School next year.  It is closer to home for Wanda and we know she will be bringing her sense of humour and her compassion for children to her new school. We thank Wanda for service to our community this year.

Nancy White who is the ECE in Room 13 with Mme Oliveira’s class will be moving into the teaching world next year.  Many of our Early Childhood Educator’s also have their teaching degree and move on to start their journey as a teacher.  We wish Nancy all the best.

Nicole Bento has been our Room 9 Kindergarten ECE.  Unfortunately, we are unable to keep her at Brown P.S next year and hope she will be able to come back from time to time.

Mona Taslimi (SK FI), Room 15 Early Childhood Educator has been on leave this year and will not be returning to Brown.  We wish Mona well as she will be an ECE at Parkdale Public School next year.

Allison Fox (teacher) is currently on leave and will be returning in September as a Kindergarten teacher.  Allison has taught several grades here at Brown P.S. and we welcome her back to our faculty.

We have a few teaching staff leaving us once again this year.  We are saying good bye and thank you to Jennifer Kruk. Jennifer was our afternoon PREP teacher for our primary students. She was unfortunately declared surplus at our school and hope to see her somewhere in our neighbourhood next year.

Mme Anne-Marie Sulymko, our Grade 2/3 French Immersion teacher is leaving Brown P.S. and going to Morse Street P.S.  Anne-Marie has been a member of the Brown Faculty for several years. She has been an integral part of our school team and community.  She has helped facilitate World Changers with Mme Breslin over the years; organized several fundraisers and has coached several teams.  Morse Street is very fortunate to welcome Mme Sulymko as their Grade 2 French Immersion teacher next year.

Mme Natalie Ibrahim, our Grade 2 French Immersion teacher is leaving us for a school closer to home. Natalie has been spending several hours on the road commuting and landed at W.G. Miller P. S. in the east end for September.  While she was at Brown for only a short time, she was a positive and collaborative member of our primary division.

We are very sad to say good-bye to two of our Long-Term Occasional Kindergarten teachers, Natasha Khakoo and Rachel Harper. Natasha and Rachel have been an integral part of our Kindergarten team and have really demonstrated their abilities teaching this age group of children. Their energy and creativity will be truly missed and we wish them both the very best as they continue their teaching journey with the Toronto District School Board.

Liz Warden (teacher) will still be on leave 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.

We are currently in the hiring process for a Grade 2 French Immersion teacher and a half-time PREP teacher. The successful candidates for these positions will be announced at the end of August.


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, 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.

A couple of my personal favourites included the Junior Choir Massey Hall performance and the Grade 6 Grad Trip to Niagara. Admiring our students at Massey Hall brought back many fond memories of my childhood when I had the opportunity to perform at the Kiwanis Music Festival for several years. As for the Grade 6 Grad Trip…..what happens in Niagara stays in Niagara. We had a great time and it was a pleasure to escort the Grade 6 students on this trip.

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, Eco Rangers, 1, 2, 3 Yoga, and a Brown favourite, The Power of One.

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 are always challenging as our school continues to grow. While our enrollment is holding steady for next year, there have been some classroom changes and organizational logistics that we have been working on for September 2015.  Due to increased enrollment from a couple of years ago, we have had to re-claim another Day Care space on the first floor, Rm. 10. This room will be retrofitted to be a Grade 1 classroom for September. The work for this room will begin in July and will be ready for our students on the first day of school.


Due to the recent Labour unrest, the Second Term Report Cards will not be issued to students on the last day of school. Instead, the Board has an alternate plan and will be able to provide Grade 1-8 students and parents/guardians with a summary of marks.  As Kindergarten students do not regularly receive marks as a part of their final report card, those students will receive letters confirming their promotion for the upcoming school year. Parents/guardians may still contact teachers to discuss their child’s progress.

The Kindergarten placement letter and Grade 1-8 summary of marks will be mailed to parents/guardians during the week of July 13 to the address that is on file at our school.

Christine and I will be working to prepare the marks during the next two weeks.

Grades 1-6
Entry and class start at 8:40 AM
Dismissal 3:10 PM

Entry into classroom 8:30 AM
Dismissal 3:00 PM

After school Supervision ends at 3:25

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 of school.  We will sort out any concerns as they arise.

The first day of school for all English and French Immersion students is September 8, 2015.
The first day of school will look similar to last year. 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 8:40 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.

Classroom lists for Grades 3-6 students will be placed on the fences by the turf.

Grade 2 and 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 8:20AM for the Grade 1 and 2 children only.

Supervision in the Junior yard will begin at 8:20AM 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.

Grade 1, Rm. 10 students will enter their classroom from the school’s main hallway; however, will be escorted to their class by their teacher.

As we anticipate many primary children in the playground, we ask that the Kindergartens are brought directly to their classrooms at 8:30PM.

All Kindergarten students will begin school on September 8, 2015 at 8:30AM.

LUNCH - Everyone who eats lunch at school must bring their lunch. We do not have fridges or microwaves.  Our Lunch Mom program does not start until October.  The Milk Program will not start until October.

Ensure that all snacks and lunches are nut free.

Students in the Unicorn Day Care hot lunch program should only bring snacks for recess. The Unicorn Day Care hot lunch program will be servicing those students only.

We have an FAQ section on our website for more useful information. We also encourage you to please check for Brown Bulletin Alerts during the summer.


Below is this year’s staffing model.  This model is based on projections only. Some classes may have more or fewer students in them as of September 2015.

Happy Summer Holidays!

On behalf of all Brown Public School staff, Mrs. Pouliot 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        Christine Pouliot, Vice-Principal

By now, the community has learned that I will be leaving Brown P.S. and going to Cottingham P.S. for the September 2015 school year.  My decision to accept this opportunity was difficult considering how connected I have felt to many members of the Brown P.S. community but most importantly, the children. I have been humbled over and over again by the kindness and generosity of this community and the opportunities you have given to the students and faculty.

September will be very different as I will be in a new community not too far away from here.  I will cherish the many wonderful relationships I have forged with students and parents over the past four years. Brown Public School has grown and flourished and it will continue to be one of the most desirable public schools in the system thanks to the wonderful staff and community.

I would like to thank those who have helped me through some difficult times and those that have shared the joyous times. Some people judge their lives on what they do, others on who they are. I would like my life judged on the friends I keep, and how enriched I am from just knowing them. Thank you to those that have shown the kindness and caring of a good friendship.

As I bid you farewell,
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel“. ~ Maya Angelou

You made be proud to say I was your Principal. Thank you Brown P.S. students, staff and community.

Have a great summer!