School Council Meeting – Important Update and Date Change (now Nov. 23)

Please note the November meeting date has been changed to November 23rd at 7pm in the library.
Thank you to all those who attended our October budget meeting. It was a successful meeting and we allocated a good chunk of our budget. You will be pleased to hear we continued direct funding to our classroom teachers, arts, sports, tech spending and support for our chess and environment clubs among others. A full copy of the budget as approved will go out on the blog shortly.  We did table three issues to the November 23 meeting due to both time and wanting a broader community input. The first is the issue of nutrition and how the lunch room works. We now have a nutrition committee headed by Zoe Traiforos which is looking into ways to improve the lunchroom. You may have seen their survey on how to improve the lunchroom already. It was clear in the meeting that this is a topic that deserves more time so we tabled the discussion to November.
We had two financial requests that we are asking parents to consider and come out to the November meeting to have their voices heard. The first is the issue of a charitable donation. We have a request to use the proceeds of the dance-a-thon (a fundraiser that occurs in February and typically raises $4-5000) to support sister schools within the TDSB. One such school would be Frank Okes, a small secondary school over by Rockcliffe and Alliance that serves students across the TDSB with mild intellectual disabilities. One of the Okes teachers spoke to us about the school and their students and told us all about their amazing programs and some of the challenges their school faces in generating funds on its own: no local school community as students bussed in, many students face cognitive, medical and social/emotional learning barriers, there are only 104 students which makes it hard to raise enough funds to support its goals, it is number 13th on the TDSB learning opportunity index (facing large challenges of external challenges to student success). Two opportunities exist to support the Okes, one is the purchase of a SMART Board for its autism class and a computer laptop cart for its academic program; the other is an alumni night to get together its graduates and their families.  Those at the October meeting felt strongly about supporting this donation and we would like to hear from the wider parent community.  Please read the attached for more information.
Our second outstanding financial request is a request from the music department to refurbish the Heintzman piano in the music room. It will cost just over $15,000 to completely refurbish the piano of which the TDSB is willing to provide $5000. At the October meeting we discussed several options: paying for it out of our School Council budget; holding separate fundraisers like an adult social evening; asking the Friends of Howard Trust to fundraise with a direct ask; providing a more stop gap repair of $5000 to keep the piano going; or letting the piano be used without repairs until it dies out. As this is a sizeable request, we deferred any decision making until the November meeting and we invite you to come out and give your opinion.
We hope to see you all at the meeting.
Linda Torry, Sara Tweedie, co-chairs
Heath Feldman, vice-chair
Tory Millar, treasurer
Jana Jedlovska, member at large
Michelle McBride, secretary

Howard at the Marlies Game – Sunday, December 4th

There will be over 500 of us in the stands at the Marlies game on Sunday, December 4th, 2016.
What a wonderful way to support the choir!
Because we have such a large group…
*there will be a family skate after the game
*two lucky kids will get to ride on the Zamboni
*the school will receive a Marlies jersey signed by the team
The absolute last day to order tickets is tomorrow.
Tickets and game day info will be sent home the last week of November.

IMPORTANT Music Reminders (Photos, DVDs, Tickets)


We are asking the students to bring in copies of photographs of family members who have served or are serving in the Canadian Armed Forces.  These photos will be displayed on the bulletin board outside the gym. Please include a short description of the person’s contribution to Canada’s efforts to foster peace in the world.

Drop your photos off with Ms. Spademan in the music room.


Howard Primary and Junior Choirs will be singing the national anthems at a Toronto Marlies game (vs. the Hartford Wolf Pack) at the Ricoh Coliseum on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 3:00 pm! All Howard families are encouraged to come out and hear the choirs sing, then stay and enjoy the game. An information letter and permission form will be sent home with the children in the next few days.  Following the singing of the anthems, the choir can watch the game with their family and friends (tickets DO need to be purchased for all choir members).

Tickets are $30 each with a portion of the sales going to support the Howard Parent Council (tickets are normally $37). If we sell 300 tickets there will be a Post-Game Family Skate.  If we sell 400, we will have two lucky students riding on the Zamboni at first intermission, a 30 second spot on the videoboard and a team signed Marlies jersey.

So talk to all the hockey fans in your family and circle of friends.  Come out and cheer on the Marlies and the Howard Choirs!  Fill out the order form sent home with students and return to the Music Room with cash or a cheque payable to “Howard Home and School Association” no later than Tuesday, November 1st.  Tickets will be distributed  the week before the game.  Contact Ms. Spademan ( if you have any questions.


Many people purchased “Peter Pan” DVDs that didn’t play properly on their DVD machines.  Replacement DVDs are now available.  Please see Ms. Spademan for your new copy.

Roots of Empathy Looking for Babies and Parents for Howard Program

Are you a proud parent with a new baby? Will your baby be 2–4 months old in October? You and your baby could be a Roots of Empathy family at Howard Junior Public School.


Roots of Empathy is a program for children in kindergarten to grade 8. The program’s aim is to increase empathy – the ability to understand another person’s feelings. Children learn to care and respect each other and there is less bullying and aggression.

A Roots of Empathy family:

  • A mother and/or father visits a classroom in a local school with a Roots of Empathy Instructor.
  • The visits are about 30 minutes long, once a month from October until June.
  •  The program helps children to learn about a baby’s needs and how babies develop and lets children observe the loving relationship between a parent and baby.
  • Babies must be between 2 to 4 months old in October.
“Roots of Empathy is about changing the world classroom by classroom” – Mary Gordon, Founder/President
For more information please contact: Angela MacDonnell, Toronto Program Coordinator Phone:
(416) 204-7907 or

Last Chance to Win a Massage just by Signing up to Volunteer for 2 hours!

We hope that you are enjoying this wonderful long weekend spending time with family, cheering for the Jays and/or watching the debate from down South.
The Fall Fete is THIS SATURDAY OCTOBER 15th, and we still have LOTS of volunteer positions to fill (close to 100 slots)!  If we don’t have enough volunteers, we will have to cancel some of our most popular games and activities! That means less money raised for our school and fewer opportunities for our kids to do cool stuff like going to performances and having access to current technology.  
Please have a look at the schedule, email a friend to join you and sign-up for a 2 hour time slot. You will still have a chance to enjoy the Fete with your kids and most importantly we are showing our kids what it means to be a part of a community that works together and has a great time giving back to our kid’s school.
This is also your last chance to win 1 of 3 massages at Evolve Complete Chiropractic! 
Everyone who is signed up by 10pm tonight will be entered to win!

Sign Up Now!


While you are celebrating and giving thanks this weekend, please think about what you might donate to the Fall Fete which is only ONE WEEK AWAY on Saturday, October 15th.
Basket Raffle
One of the highlights of the Fall Fete is our Basket Raffle. It takes a lot of time to organize and assemble the baskets and we need donations as soon as possible to make interesting baskets to raffle off.
Please, if you are out shopping this weekend, think about picking up a few new items for the baskets. We really need items related to: men’s items, women’s items, gourmet food & kitchen items, health & exercise, home spa and beauty items, gardening, and items for a movie night or a rainy day.
You can drop these items off in the basket outside the Office (the sooner, the better).
Fish Pond
Make a reel difference! Tackle your annoying toy clutter!
Cast out your small unbroken items for the Fall Fete Fish Pond. Think about items no larger than a deck of cards, things that aren’t broken and please no plush toys.
Just one week left to help bait our Fish Pond hooks! We need TONS more lures. Please send with your child to the tackle box just outside of the school office.
Silent Auction
One of the key fundraising events at the Fete, the Silent Auction gives parents and kids the opportunity to bid on some fantastic experiences and articles. We are looking for hot items, including tickets (sports, music, theatre) and getaways at a cottage, hotel or resort. Any exciting connections you have can help make the auction even better.
Please contact Alli McColl at if you have something to donate.
Sign up for a shift and recruit your neighbours
It takes an army of 200 volunteers to make the Fete magic happen.  Please sign up for a shift to keep this event running like a well-oiled machine.

Sign Up Now!