ESA Updates from Principal Aitchison

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An Archive of the Emailed News from our Principal, Peggy Aitchison (most recent at the top):


Updates for the ESA Community on April 3, 2017

SPRING FLOWER SALE from SEASAT and ESA School Council!
April 3 – 27th available online.

After spring showers, comes the need for pretty flowers!

SESAT and the ESA School Council are partnering to run this fundraiser between April 3 – 27th, bringing wonderful items your way!

Easy ordering is available online through the ESA retail system via this link –https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?retail=esa

Thank you in advance for choosing your gardening favourites from SESAT and the ESA School Council this spring. All annuals and hanging baskets are provided by Zomer’s Greenhouses. Full ordering details are in the attached flyer.

Note: PICK UP IS ONE DAY ONLY – Saturday May 27 in the ESA south parking lot. 9am -2pm

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Last week at ESA…

• On Tuesday, we hosted the regional finals of “Poetry in Voice” and heard outstanding delivery of poems by students from eight area schools. The ESA team scored a solid second place. Katie Beale, ESA Grade 10 student, already qualified for the Canadian Championship competition in Vancouver in mid-April. I know your encouraging thoughts will be tucked in Katie’s suitcase and travel with her.

• On Wednesday, those of us in the sold-out theatre enjoyed the ESA student films featured in the Big Screen Student Film Festival at the Queensway Cineplex. The 30 films were cleverly done–sometimes poignant, sometimes funny–and totally entertaining. Awards were presented at the end of the screening:

Best Traditional Film: The Bard’s Play. Dexter Barker-Glenn and Emma Mills

Best Experimental Film: This. Astrid Mohr

Best Cinematography: Voyeur. Charlotte Lam and Claire Stradwick

Best Sound Design: Renege. Liam O’Connor-Savaria

Best Screenplay: Banarnia. Joey Phillipson

Best Animation or Use of Visual Effects: Beeno. Doc Sims Liptrott and Gray Gamble

Audience Choice Award: Banarnia. Joey Phillipson

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This week at ESA…

1. Grade 10 History students hear presentation by Max Eisen: Wednesday, April 5, Period 2

Max Eisen, Auschwitz survivor, will speak to a full theatre on Wednesday morning including Grade 10 History classes and additional classes who have signed up to attend this very special presentation. Mr. Eisen has spoken to our students on previous occasions and leaves a profound impact on those who hear him. I invite you to read about Mr. Eisen, his significant contributions, and his recently published memoir at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/auschwitz-survivor-max-eisen-revisits-horrors-for-memoir/article29656914.

2. Singers and dancers head to Boston: Wednesday, April 5

Our show choirs, SPLASH and GLO, board buses with their teachers on Wednesday for their trip to the Eastern Show Choir Festival in Boston. As well as seeing some of the cultural highlights of Boston, the students will participate in workshops and festival events. Our congratulations to Daisy Kurelek, who is being honoured on Wednesday with an Ontario Volunteer Service Award for her work with the Oakville Children’s Choir. Daisy is missing the award ceremony as she travels with the Boston group.

3. Chamber Music Night at Runnymede United Church: Wednesday, April 5

Please join me for a night of delightful music by our students as they perform at Runnymede United Church, 432 Runnymede Road, north of Bloor Street. The community program begins at 7:00 PM and is ‘pay-what-you-can.’

On behalf of the Music Department at Etobicoke School of the Arts, I am pleased to send you the attached Music Council Newsletter with updates of recent events and upcoming plans.

4. Ontario Strings Association Music Festival: Thursday, April 6 and Friday, April 7

Students in Concert Strings and Strad groups will be performing at York University as part of the Ontario Strings Association Festival on Thursday and Friday during the day. Concert Strings performs at 11:30 and Strad at 2:30. This event is free to the public and you are welcome to attend. If you can join us and need details about specific location, please connect with me and I will pass along those details.

5. ESA students depart for 100th anniversary of the Battle at Vimy Battle: Friday, April 7

As group of ESA students along with their supervising teachers leave Toronto on Friday for France to be part of the ceremonies to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle at Vimy Ridge.

The message of Vimy Ridge is one of bravery and sacrifice. The battle, which took place on April 9, 1917, is commonly highlighted as a turning point in Canadian history, where the four Canadian divisions fought together as a unified fighting force for the first time. While 3,598 Canadian soldiers were killed during the battle, the impressive victory over German forces is often cited as the beginning of Canada’s evolution from dominion to independent nation.

You can read about the full significance of the battle and plans for commemoration of this historic battle at http://www.vimyfoundation.ca/vimy-100/vimy-centennial/.

Looking ahead…

6. School Council meeting: Tuesday, March 11

You are invited to attend the monthly ESA School Council Meeting in the ESA library at 7:00 PM.

7. No classes: Friday, April 14 and Monday, April 17

All schools are closed for Good Friday and Easter Monday.


Updates for the ESA Community on March 27, 2017

What a marvelous week we had last week, full of singing, dancing and acting. Students and staff outdid themselves in the production, “On Broadway,” that ran through two previews and four full performances. The commitment of everyone involved in the production—teachers, guest artists, students on stage, in the wings and in the pit band—was clearly evident in the quality of the work we in the theatre enjoyed. The resounding cheers of the audience at the finale in each presentation said it all. Thank you to the members of SESAT (Supporters of Etobicoke School of the Arts Talent) who set up refreshments for purchase before and during intermission of each performance.

This week at ESA:

1. ‘Poetry in Voice’ Regional Finals: Tuesday, March 28

You are welcome to join us for the regional finals of the “Poetry in Voice” competition. We have several schools joining us for poetry presentations in the theatre all morning on Tuesday.

2. Snack Shack: Tuesday, March 28

SESAT will have snacks available for student purchase after school on Tuesday.

3. Late Start: Wednesday, March 29

Please note we will follow a late start schedule on Wednesday to allow for the monthly Professional Learning meeting involving all ESA teaching staff.

4. Pancake Breakfast: Wednesday, March 29

Students can enjoy SESAT-prepared pancakes from 8:30 to 9:45 AM prior to the start of classes.

5. Big Screen Film Festival: Wednesday, March 29 at 4:00 PM

I hope you can join us for The Big Screen Film Festival on Wednesday at the Cineplex Queensway, 1025 The Queensway, starting at 4:00 PM. The show is a cross-grade collection of some of the department’s best work so far this year. Over 40 ESA filmmakers will be showcasing their efforts as part of the film festival screening.

Tickets are $10 and will be sold on Monday in the foyer at lunch. Tickets are also available online at ‘Tickets’ at esainfo.ca.

6. Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT): Thursday, March 30

Students writing the OSSLT should plan on arriving at school on Thursday in time for the 9:00 AM start to the OSSLT. Writing locations are posted. Full information about the content of the test with previous test question and sample scoring of questions is at http://www.eqao.com/en/assessments/OSSLT/Pages/example-assessment-materials-2016.aspx#releasematerials

Please note there are no scheduled classes for students not writing the OSSLT.

Looking ahead…further information to follow

7. Great Soup Lunch Hour: Monday, April 3

8. SESAT Meeting: Monday, April 3 at 7:00 PM

9. Ensemble Night at Runnymede United Church: Wednesday, April 5

10. Ontario Strings Association Music Festival: Wednesday, April 5 to Friday, April 7

Peggy Aitchison

Principal


Updates for the ESA Community on March 21, 2017

If you are a student receiving this message, please share the information with your parent/guardian.

Special message for ESA students/parents/guardians/staff:

This is the message I made over the PA to students and staff first thing this morning. It was a follow up to my announcement Monday morning:

As I told you yesterday, sometime over the March Break our school was hit with hate graffiti in the form of two large black swastikas on an exterior school wall. I said this was very distressing to me as I knew it was to the whole school as well. If you are fearful as a result of this occurrence or wish to speak about its impact on you, please connect with our guidance counsellors. This has been reported to police and our school board for their follow up.

There is no place in this school or anywhere in our society for statements of hate.

ESA Musical…“Oh, what a night!”

I have just spent 2½ wonderful, toe-tapping hours watching the preview of this year’s ESA musical, “On Broadway.” Everything about the show was first class. If you have a free evening this week, give yourself the gift of music theatre and come to the see this delightful production. The preview runs again tomorrow night at 5:00 PM and then the show opens for a four-performance run at 7:00 PM on Thursday through Saturday, with a matinee performance Saturday at 2:00. Through Carole King comes the assurance that, when you get up from your seat, you will have a smile in your face, love in your heart and you will find, that you’re beautiful, as you feel.

This week at ESA…

1. Late Start: Wednesday, March 22, Staff Meeting

Please see Page 4 of the Agenda Book for Wednesday’s schedule.

Looking ahead…

2. Poetry in Voice Regional Finals: Tuesday, March 28

The library will be closed on Tuesday morning, March 28, to accommodate contestants and audience members from eight schools here at ESA for the regional finals of Poetry in Voice.

3. Late Start: Wednesday, March 29, Professional Learning Meeting

Please see Page 4 of the Agenda Book for Wednesday’s schedule.

4. Big Screen Festival: Wednesday, March 29

Details to follow

5. Literacy Test (OSSLT): Thursday, March 30

No classes. Students participating in the Literacy Test arrive by 8:45 AM for the 9:00 AM test start. If you believe your child is entitled to accommodations through an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and you did not receive an email from me with accommodation details, please contact me.

Exciting news from the ESA Dance Department…

The dance department students had a week residency (March 6-10) with Sashar Zarif. Sashar Zarif is a multi-disciplinary performing artist, educator and researcher whose work invites a convergence of creative and cultural perspectives. He shared his passion for movement and his knowledge of his travels. He discussed his work in dance that is about identity, globalization and cross-cultural collaborations. The students experienced his artistic practice, which is steeped in the artistry and history of traditional, ritualistic and contemporary dance and music of the Near Eastern and Central Asian regions.

Sashar Zarif is the recipient of numerous national and international awards for his collaborations with outstanding Canadian artists, along with international icons such as Alim Quasimov (a collaborator on Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project), and universities and arts institutions across continents. Zarif is a research associate at the York University Centre for Asian Studies, a sessional faculty member of York University’s Dance Department and on the board of directors of Dance Ontario and the World Dance Alliance – Americas.

Please enjoy the five-minute video (attached) of some of the student experience working with Sashar Zarif.

And more from the Dance Department…

The Dance Department is very proud to be releasing our first official newsletter (attached)! Directed by Colleen Friedman and edited by Dance Department students, the newsletter contains photography and written works from Dance Department students and alumni. Find out what we have been up to from our students’ voices.

Peggy Aitchison
Principal, Etobicoke School of the Arts

ESA Dance Newsletter.pdf


March 6, 2017

Athletics at ESA… 

• Congratulations to the members of the Girls Hockey and their coach, Mr. Tinker, in reaching the Quarter Finals of regional play.

• Ms. Pong and Mr. Berkan are happy to report the Junior Girls Swim Team won the West Region championship and the Boys Team took second place. At the City Swim Meet, eight of our ten swimmer hit personal bests!

• ESA will run the following sports teams in the spring; Jr. and Sr. Boys Soccer, Girls Slow Pitch at the Varsity level, Girls Soccer, Varsity Boys Baseball, Ultimate Frisbee, and Track and Field where we are the defending West Region Champs!

• In the gym at lunch: Table Tennis Club runs on Tuesdays Open Gym Basketball on Monday – Thursday Indoor (Futsal) Soccer every Friday at lunch; Intramural floor hockey league starts this week

After March Break: drop in Badminton club Thursday’s at lunch .Strength Room is open every lunch hour and every morning at 8 am!!

 Last week at ESA… 

Drama Showcases:I was pleased to watch the performance on Monday of the second of the two Grade 9 Drama Showcases. Grade 10 Drama Showcases kicked off on Wednesday and Thursday and continue this week.

Toronto Sing:On Friday, after a day of intense workshops, Toronto Sing wowed the audience with performances by show choirs from FAME, Centre Stage, Essex/Hawthorne, Don Mill CI, York Mills CI and from GLO and SPLASH at ESA. The costumes, sets, musicians, technical details and on-stage performances left us tapping our toes and applauding the energy and expertise that we witnessed. It was a stunner of a night!

This week at ESA… 

1. Grade 10 Drama Showcases:  Wednesday, March 8 and Thursday, March 9 at 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM.If your child is in Grade 10 Drama, please join us for your child’s class performance.

2 “Turn Off Your Sites 24 Hour Challenge”: Wednesday, March 8Everyone at ESA is invited to take a day off from electronic devices. Sign up is in the foyer. Come and enjoy some electronics-free time in the library during lunch.

3. Early Closing: Friday, March 10We will operate full classes on Friday, with shortened classes. Teachers will be involved in a completing a mandatory survey during the last portion of the day. Friday’s schedule is:Period 1: 8:48 – 9:58Period 2: 10:05 – 11:10Lunch: 11:10 – 12:10Period 3: 12:10 – 1:15Period 4: 1:15 – 2:30

Looking ahead:

4. March Break: March 13 to March 17, no classes 5. Preview of ESA Musical, On Broadway (poster attached): Tuesday, March 21 at 5:00 PM*This year’s show is entitled, “On Broadway,” and is a revue-style show featuring Grade 11 and 12 Music Theatre ensembles and SPLASH performing pieces from Jersey Boys, Rent, Spring Awakening, and Beautiful.  6. Late Start – Staff Meeting: Wednesday, March 22. See schedule on Page 4 of the Student Agenda Book 7. Preview of On Broadway: Wednesday, March 22 at 5:00 PM* 8. On Broadway: Thursday, March 23 at 7:00 PM* 9. On Broadway: Friday, March 24 at 7:00 PM* 10. On Broadway: Saturday, March 25 at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM* * For tickets, go to https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?ticketing=esa
 Special messages for the ESA Community… From TDSB Community Outreach… Parents as Partners Conference 2017  The Parents as Partners Conference 2017 is on Saturday, 1 April and all parents are welcome! Please see the attached flyer describing about valuable opportunity. This free conference – planned by parents, for parents – includes a variety of workshops (transitions, planning, special education, mental health and well-being, literacy and more!) and resources that will help any parent support their child in their achievement and well-being at school and at home. Transportation, childcare, food and translators are all provided. Registration is open until 20 March 2017 at www.parentsaspartners.ca  From Toronto Public Health Dr. Vinita Dubey, Associate Medical Officer of Health, Toronto Public Health (TPH) has asked that schools share the information below with their communities. Toronto Public Health is investigating a mumps outbreak in the city. The mumps virus is found in saliva, and is spread through coughing, sneezing, kissing, and sharing drinks, utensils, food or water bottles. The risk in Toronto schools is low because most schools have high vaccination rates. However, a case has been identified at a Toronto school. Please review the attached letter that contains information regarding general precautions. For further information, visit www.toronto.ca/health. If you have any questions, please contact TPH’s “Health Connection” at (416) 338-7600 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM on business days.


27 February 2017

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

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We just finished a short and busy week at ESA.

On Tuesday afternoon, Ms. Tung and the Junior Girls Volleyball Team brought home a shiny silver medal from the championship game as the culmination of their terrific season. You made us proud!

On Tuesday evening, those of us in the Main Theatre we were treated to a run-through of the ESA entry in the annual Sears Drama Festival. The entry consists of five comedic sketches that were a delight to watch! Each of the sketches was witty, clever, and well delivered. The competition among schools is Tuesday night at Lakeshore Collegiate.

Wednesday afternoon and evening brought us the first of two Grade 9 Drama Showcase performances, presented by Mr. Laidlaw’s students. Here the audience was transported back to a fledgling record store in the 60s and were introduced to the customers who frequented the store over the next 40 years. Performed in the intimacy of the Mini Theatre, the audience hummed along to oh-so-familiar tunes.

On Thursday, it was our pleasure to welcome many parents/guardians who came to discuss student progress with the teachers. If you were not able to come on Thursday and would like to review your child’s results, please contact the individual teacher or your child’s counsellor. We are here to help.

We finished off Friday at Berkley Church where students enjoyed a happy, energetic three hours at the semi-formal that night. The organizers did a great job of planning a terrific evening.

Late on Sunday afternoon, a group of ESA violinists met up with Ms. Bettger at Trinity-St. Paul’s Church to fiddle around. Really! For several months the students have been learning about fiddling from Canada’s fiddle expert, Anne Lederman, and Tafemusik member, Christopher Verrette. Today was the performance opportunity for the students and they were terrific. Sitting in the balcony, I could hear and feel pairs of feet taping in time to the fiddling. You can read more about fiddling in Canada at http://www.fiddlingaround.co.uk/canada/.

This week at ESA…

  1. Drama Showcase: Monday, February 27 at 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM
    Please join us for either timeslot when Ms. Haynes Grade 9 Drama Majors present “Brash.”
  1. My Blueprint Submission Deadline: Tuesday, February 28
    Please be sure we receive your child’s printed and signed (by you) My Blueprint course selection sheet in Home Form class on Tuesday. We use these course selection sheets to set our classes for next year so it is critical that we receive a submission from each student by Tuesday’s class.
  1. Sears Drama Festival Competition: Tuesday, February 28 at 7:00 PM
    I invited you to come and watch schools in this area competition.
  1. Waterloo Math Contests, Grade 9, 10, 11: Tuesday, February 28
    Our ‘Mathletes’ will write the annual University of Waterloo math contests on Tuesday. Good luck to you all.
  1. Grade 10 Drama Showcases: Wednesday, March 1 and Thursday, March 2
    Grade 10 Drama Majors will be presenting drama showcases at 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM. If your child is performing, come to whichever time slot that works best for your schedule.
  1. Toronto Sing: Friday, March 3
    Toronto Sing is an exciting show choir festival created by the staff at ESA to offer GTA choirs and conductors a high quality performance and workshop opportunity in a festival setting. Now in its second year, this festival offers an opportunity for students to learn from each other in a non-competitive setting. The showcase performance is at 7:00 PM on Friday night. I have attached the poster with show details.

Looking ahead…

  1. SESAT Board Meeting: Monday, March 6 at 7:00 PM
  1. Grade 10 Drama Showcase: Wednesday, March 8 and Thursday, March 9, 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM
  1. Early Dismissal for OSSTF Survey: Friday, March 10.
    See schedule on Page 4 of ESA Student Agenda Book.
  1. March Break: March 13 to March 17
    Full classes continue until March 10. Please ensure your child is in attendance through to the end of that week.

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From our trustee, Pamela Gough…
Attached in an invitation to the Ward Forum on Thursday, March 2. Details are in the flyer [PDF].

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


February 20, 2017

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 7:00 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 7:00-10:00 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.
ESA