Archives for February 2017

Updates for the ESA Community from Principal Aitchison

If you are a student receiving this email, please be sure to share the information with your parent/guardian.

What a Family Day Weekend with weather on Saturday more like May than February! I hope you and your family were able to enjoy time together.

Congratulations to:

  • the students who performed in Poetry in Voice on Tuesday after school. We are hoping for a finalist heading to the west coast for the Canada-wide competition.
  • the Junior Girls Volleyball team who won their semi-final game last week and is going for the gold on Tuesday at Silverthorn Collegiate, 291 Mill Road. The opening whistle sounds at 3:00 PM. Join us, if you can, and cheer on the Eagles.
  • every student and staff member whose hand touched the African Heritage Month assemblies and showcase on Thursday. The morning and evening programs both entertained and reinforced important messages for the audience.

Reminder: If your child was absent on Thursday and did not pick up the February report card, please have your child stop by the office and pick it up on Tuesday morning.

This week at ESA…

  1. Sears Drama Festival: Tuesday, February 21 at 6:00 PM
    Our entry in this year’s Sears Drama Festival will be staged at ESA on Tuesday at 7:00 PM. Come and settle into your seat to watch “What If,” five short, comedic plays. The show runs just short of an hour. This is a run-through in advance of the actual Drama Festival competition on Tuesday, February 28 on the stage at 7:00 PM at Lakeshore Collegiate, 350 Kipling Ave.
  1. Late Start: Wednesday, February 22
    Please note we will follow the Late Start Schedule on Page 4 of the Student Agenda Book. This late start is to allow our teachers to meet together in professional development activities.
  1. Swim Team City Finals: Wednesday, February 22
    Channel positive energy to our swimmers as they are in competition throughout the day on Wednesday. If your child is competing, it would be great to have you there to watch. Please connect with me if you want specific event timing and location.
  1. Grade 9 Drama Showcase: Wednesday, February 22, 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM.
    I will send a separate email to parents/guardians of our Grade 9 Drama Major students with details of this event.
  1. Parent/Guardian-Teacher Interviews: Thursday, February 23 from 2:00-4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 PM
    Please be sure you have booked your interview time slots. Instructions were emailed last week. If you need help, please let me know and I will direct you to the right folks who will get your appointments booked. Appointments are set for five minutes. If you need more time, please make arrangements for an additional meeting time following February 23.

We will run an altered schedule on Thursday morning, Day 2A:

Period 5: 8:48 – 9:40 AM

Period 6: 9:45 –10:32 AM

Period 7: 10:37 –11:24 AM

Period 8: 11:29 – 12:16 PM

Students will be dismissed at 12:16. There are no afternoon classes.

  1. Semi-formal: Friday, February 24 from 6:00-10:00 PM
    The ‘Semi’ is slated for Berkeley Church on Friday evening. Staff will be present to supervise. Please remind your child that this is a school-sponsored event and behaviour expectations outlined in the Agenda Book apply at the Semi as well. We want this to be a happy evening for all students and staff who attend.
  1. Grade 9 Tafelmusik Fiddle Project Performance: Sunday, February 26 at 5:30.
    Our Grade 9 Strings students will be taking part in a short concert on Sunday, February 26th between 5:30 and 6:00. This is the culmination of the work the students have been engaged in with fiddle ‘aficionado’, Anne Lederman, and Tafelmusik’s Christophe Verrette. The students will join Tafelmusik onstage and perform with them. If your child is performing, I hope you will be able to join me for the event.  The concert is at Trinity St. Paul’s United Church on Bloor Street W. If you want more details, please connect with me.

Looking ahead…

  1. Grade 9 Drama Showcase. February 27, 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM
  1. Course Selection Sheets due to Home Form Teachers: Tuesday, February 28
  1. Grade 10 Drama Showcase. March 1 and 2, 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM
  1. “Music Theatre,” hosts Toronto Sing: Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4. “GLO” and “Splash” will be participating.

After school Snack Program Starts Tuesday Feb 21st at 3:ooPM in the Cafeteria

Hello Students,  (Parents, please share this notice with your kids -thanks)

As parents, we see you all around the school after 3pm, completing assignments and rehearsing for performances and events.

Your SESAT team wants to be sure you have the energy needed to be at your best so each Tuesday and Thursday (excluding Thursday 23rd), we will be located in the Cafeteria between 3pm-4pm selling snacks, drinks and smoothies!

Prices for items range up to $4 max.  CASH ONLY Please!

This is a great way to curb your hunger, boost your energy and contribute back to your programs by spending your money with us.  Hope to see you there!




Juliette Leach Solo Exhibition at Les Enfants Terribles

Please join us this Friday February 17 from 7-9pm for our second opening at Les Enfants Terribles!

Juliette Leach will be presenting recent photo based work and paintings in our first solo exhibition held at our new and amazing exhibition space.


We are in the alley one block West of Ossington Avenue just North of Argyle Street.

Hope to see you all there!

Matthew Varey

Photography Summer Pre-College Program in New York City

Hi everyone.

This is an exciting moment for us. School of Visual Art in Manhattan – – has built an ESA specific, photography-based, Pre-College Program for our students. This is a three week course focused on contemporary photography and artistic practice. Students will receive college credit, work with photo based artists and art gallery staff and the photography staff of SVA towards an exhibition in New York.

This is an incredible opportunity to experience an intensive post-secondary class, and to try living and being an artist in New York City. Our participating students will have opportunities to meet other high school students from around the world participating in other pre-college programs at SVA – info here.

The application is attached.

Residency Dates: July 10 – July 28, 2017

Course Number for Etobicoke: PHP-ESA

Tuition Fee: $2,600 USD

Housing Fee: $1575 USD (optional)

Meal Plan Fee: $525 USD (optional, includes Breakfast and Dinner only)

Please feel free to contact me or SVA with any questions.

Thank you!
Matthew Varey
[email protected]

Summer 2017 Pre-College Registration FormSD

Graduation Photo’s

To all grade 12’s, grad photos are starting on Wednesday, February 22nd.  Please be sure to book your appointment online as soon as possible.  Spots are based on a first come, first serve basis.

Please visit: and enter our School code: ESA

There are different sessions available offering multiple poses, backgrounds and props.  An information flyer is available in the office.



Report Cards and Parent Teacher Interviews

Report Cards and Parent Teacher Interviews

A reminder to parents/guardians that report cards will be distributed to all students on Thursday, February 16th during first period classes.


Parent-Teacher Interviews will be held Thursday, February 23rd from 2:00 to 4:00 & 6:00 -8:00 p.m.  The online site will be available from 9:00 p.m. Friday, February 17th to 12:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 22ndParent Teacher Interview sign up

Free Hip Hop Class Wednesday at Lunch

The Dance department is proud to be offering a FREE HIP HOP CLASS this Wednesday February 15 from 12:10-12:50 in Dance Studio 1!!! The class will be taught be a GUEST ARTIST and is OPEN TO ALL ESA STUDENTS! All you need are indoor runners to participate.

African Heritage Month Evening Show – “More Than My Melanin”

The African Heritage Month Crew is excited to announce that we will be holding an evening performance this Thursday, February 16th!  The show, titled “More Than My Melanin”, is about different aspects and generations of black identity. The show calls into question the stereotypes that black people have had to live with for decades in an attempt to promote conversation and ultimately change societal views and rediscover what it means to be black in our society today.

There will be a visual art and film show from 5:30-6:15pm and then a performance in the Auditorium from 6:30-8:30.  The cost of tickets is $2 (or pay what you can).  There is no reserved seating for the event; tickets are being sold at the door, so come early!

See you Thursday!

Jada, Jenoya, and Jess (The African Heritage Month Crew Directors)

SESAT’s Monthly Newsletter – Issue #4 – February 2017


A new face at ESA- Principal Aitchison (pronounced H-S-N) 

by Ann Agar


Did you know?

1.  She’s recognized as one of Canada’s Outstanding principals by CLP;

2. Her first impression was that students and parents are happy at ESA; students are friendly and welcoming;

3.  She considers ESA to be one of the (if not the) elite/premier schools in the TDSB;

4.  Her first priority is to listen and learn and then determine what she can bring of significance to take the school to the next level;

5.  She cites Communication as the key to success;

6.  She has travelled with her students around the globe to help them pursue their goals;

7.  She comes from a family of teachers, is an art lover who regularly travels to attend events, visit galleries, conservatories and she loves to take pictures;

8.  She has particular expertise in math, guidance, special ed and giftedness

9.  She firmly believes that Teachers and the Principal are responsible for student learning and success; and

10. She believes her greatest accomplishment is the success of her students and teachers and her commitment to bring forth new ideas, inspire, coach, provide direction, listen and have a plan;

Ms. Aitchison enjoys hearing from parents and students alike, so don’t hesitate to drop by to see her, give her a call or send her a note!

Joint Council Meeting drove new ideas for fundraising 

creative focus

There’s no shortage of creativity among our parents.  A swift 30 minute focus group generated over 30 ideas for fundraising and social events to bring our community together.  This list, broken down into Short, Medium and Long Term goals will be spearheaded by SESAT and School Council Members and focuses on everything from new fundraisers, community events, social outings and general interest courses to annual shows, alumni outreach and a focus on our social media footprint.  If you couldn’t join us yet have more ideas to share or want to get involved in some way – big or small, contact us at [email protected]  A special thanks to Gr. 9 Dad, Randall V. for planning this Focus Group and to Gr. 12 Mom, Ardys B. for facilitating.

we want you to runReady for another Presidential Election?  SESAT is!

In May, SESAT elects our new Board.   So far, we have some folks interested in throwing their hats into the ring for President, Vice President, and Secretary.  We are seeking more nominees and in particular, someone with a knack for numbers to be our Treasurer.   If sitting on the board is not your thing, no problem – we have many opportunities that do not require as large a commitment of time or effort.

Parent Social Night at Crooked Cue – Monday March 6th. 
crooked cue

Our last Parent Social held Jan 30th at Kelsey’s was such a blast that we have decided to have another night out.

Mark your calendars for Monday March 6th- The Crooked Cue – 3056 Bloor Street West. 6:30pm, Dinner and Billards Tournament.  More details to follow via

Upcoming Calendar of Events – Volunteers Welcome

  1. February 16th  – 5:30-8:30pm – African Heritage Showcase
  2. February 23rd -2pm & 6pm – Parent Teacher Interviews
  3. February 27th -7:00pm- Grade 9 Dramacalendar
  4. February 28th – 8:ooam Pancake Breakfast
  5. March 1st & 2nd -7:00pm – Grade 10 Drama
  6. March 3rd – 7pm – Show Choir Festival

AND starting next week – we are introducing our NEW Rehearsal Night Tuck Cart – every Tuesday and Thursday. SESAT will sell nutritious snacks starting at 3pm.   CASH ONLY PLEASE

NB:  There is no SESAT Council Meeting in March.  We meet again Monday April 3rd at 7pm in the Library

February Volunteer Shout Out

A big thanks goes out to Randall V and Dougall S for representing the Dads of ESA.  Whether it has been selling concessions, running the Tuck Cart, planning events and focus groups or just attending our meetings, you have both done it so willingly!  Way to go Dads!

Show me the Money – How is SESAT doing so far?

We are pleased to announce that we have been able to hit an all time high in disbursals to the 6 Arts Majors – $4500.00 each.  This is wonderful yet we are still trending to fall short of our 2017 year end $40,000.00 goal.   Anything you can do to help would be appreciated – we will happily accept general or ear marked donations for Arts Majors.

Tips to help you take a break from Social Media

by Trish Drynan

More and more we are seeing, hearing or reading about the number of people tools for teensaddicted to their social media sites and technology. They are struggling to unplug, and even when they do they are thinking about what they might be missing out on. Many are suffering from the “Fear of Missing Out”,(FOMO).

Here are the Top Mindful Breathers to help you manage Social Media.

  • Resist making the first thing you see in the morning, and the last thing you see at night be your phone or social media site;
  • Log in and log off your social media sites. You might not check as much, as it takes more time to log in;
  • Avoid bringing the phone to the dining table,whether you are with friends or family, at home or in a restaurant;
  • When at the office, place your phone somewhere away from where you can see it;
  • Every day try and consciously connect with someone face to face;
  • Avoid looking at your phone, texting, emailing, and checking social media while driving. It is extremely dangerous and it is illegal;
  • Experiment with tech/social media-free moments throughout your day, and possibly a day per week turn off from social media;
  • When you are using social media, use it in a way that is respectful of others. “THINK” before you post: T is it true, H is it helpful, I is it inspiring or interesting, N is it necessary, and K is it kind?;
  • Find an app on your phone that promotes mindfulness; and
  • Most importantly: make sure you are setting a great example of breaking free from the incessant use of technology and social media.
Join us March 8, 9am to March 9, 9am for the “Turn of your Sites 24 hour Challenge”

Need to reach SESAT?

Feel free to contact us via email at [email protected] or phone at 416 708 3091

and Finally, from SESAT to all of you

happy belated valentine's day


Poetry in Voice: In-School Finals

The day has finally arrived.  Join us after school – on Valentine’s Day – to cheer on the contestants participating in Poetry in Voice.

Two students – one in the English stream and one in the Bilingual stream – will move on to the on-line semi finals, competing for the chance to participate in the National Finals in Vancouver BC in April.

  • Bring a mug and a sweet tooth.
  • Recitations scheduled to begin promptly at 3:20pm in the ESA Library.

White Pine Spotlight: Fifteen Lanes by SJ Laidlaw

Screen Shot 2017-02-12 at 9.21.29 PMFifteen Lanes by SJ Laidlaw

  • Difficult, but sensitive novel about two young girls, one of whom was born into life in Mumbai’s red light district.
  • I loved that the focus is fundamentally on Noor and her story.
  • I was worried at first how the author was going to bring the second story – Grace’s – to bear on Noor’s, how to make the reader see the similarities in their situations, but she does it simply and believably.
  • The themes are many: gender status and roles, secrets, hope, privilege and poverty/wealth disparities/juxtaposition, cultural relativism, reproductive choice/access to contraception, the value of human life, HIV/AIDS epidemic, friendship, and so much more.
  • Ultimately though the novel forces to reader to challenge their own assumptions/beliefs/ biases about the nature of sex work, the ‘value’ of sex workers, and western notions of ‘what to do about the situation’…
  • Clearly there are no easy answers.

Read the review at Quill and Quire.


  • Check out Forest Fridays, virtual visits with featured authors.  We will be hosting a couple of them here at ESA.
  • Students who would like to join us at the Festival of Trees, at Harbourfront, on Tuesday May 16th should see Ms. Wray in the Library.
  • Permission forms will be available closer to the date.



Information for Graduating Students who have an IEP or a diagnosis that requires accommodations:

If you have an IEP or a diagnosis that entitles you to accommodations, and you are considering attending an Ontario College or University, the following website has specific information about the accessibility services available at all of the main colleges and universities in Ontario.

Once you accept an offer, make an appointment (in the spring) with your institution’s Accessibility office, and take all of your documentation with you (this would include your IEP if you have one, any psychological testing reports that you have, and any applicable doctor’s letters). They will guide you about how their department handles accommodations, what you need to do to access them, and whether they require any additional information or testing.

If they do require further testing, and you are also eligible for OSAP, you might be eligible to have some of your testing paid for by OSAP. The accessibility office will direct you as to how to apply. It is not advised that you go and get tested before you have this meeting, because different institutions may have different requirements, and they usually give you a period of time in which to meet their requirements.

Another thing to consider is that if you have a diagnosis that makes it easier for you to work in a quiet setting, you may find that a private room in residence is best for you. Since many institutions do not normally allow first year students to have single rooms, you can get a letter from your doctor stating that you require a private room because of your need for a quiet setting.

You do not tell them during the application process that you have an IEP.