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Information from the ESA Student Agenda (Pages 4-16)

School Timetable

Important Information


Evaluation Policy

Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting in TDSB Schools

Students’ Guide and Code of Behavior

Stress Management Tips


Important Information:

Lunch Periods

Please help keep your school clean!  We are pretty relaxed about students eating food in the hallways, but this can only work if we all tidy up after ourselves.  Always remember to put your garbage in the bins provided after lunch and to recycle whenever possible.  If you choose to go out at noon it is your responsibility to get back in time for your next class.

Student Council

The Student Council is your voice – the elected members who support the student body through special events.  We are here to enhance your overall student life and create and foster an atmosphere of community throughout the school.  We are also here as a bridge between parents, staff and administration through School Council, and represent your interests and passion for creative expression!

The Council is elected in May and holds weekly meetings throughout the year.  A grade 9 rep is elected in September to represent their year.  We rely on the cooperation, support and enthusiasm of every student to make our endeavours successful, and make your year the best it can be.

The purchase of Student Activity cards makes it possible for the Student Council to sponsor various activities and projects in the school that directly benefit students.  We also extend beyond ESA and raise funds each year for a chosen charity.  Talk to your Student Council representative and let your voice be heard!

Activity Fee

All ESA students are required to pay an activity fee of $50.  This fee includes your Activity Card, your Agenda Book, your Yearbook, student photocopying, and support of clubs and athletic groups.  Students must have an Activity Card in order to participate in extra-curricular activities.

Arts Fee

All ESA students are required to pay an arts fee of $100.  This fee is used to support each Arts Major and all of the work that they do.  For a full breakdown of how this fee is used, please go to our website (  We encourage any family for whom this fee would be a hardship to contact their Vice Principal or the Principal.

School Dances

Tickets for school dances must be purchased during sales at lunchtime.  No tickets will be sold at the door.  Each student is allowed to bring one guest to the dance.  Alcohol/drug violations will result in disciplinary measures.

Bulletin Boards and P.A. Announcements

Posters and notices must be initialed by the staff advisor or a Vice-Principal before posting.  Posting should only be done with masking tape.  Posters should not go on painted doors or on windows in doors.

Announcements must be written on the prescribed form and initialed by the staff advisor.  Announcements are broadcast daily and posted outside of the office.

Student Photocopier Use

Free access to the photocopier is supported through your activity fee.  Students are allowed access to the photocopier machine in the library.  Students may use this copier for school purposes only and should conserve paper by remembering to always double side their copies.  Access to other machines within the school is not permitted.  Students should prepare handouts for class presentations well in advance of the due date to avoid disappointment should this machine be out of order.  Anyone caught abusing this privilege will lose access to the copier.

Lost and Found

All articles found in or near the school should be taken to the office.  Large sums of money should not be brought to school.  Do not leave money or valuables in the change rooms; leave them in your locker.  Unfortunately, the school cannot be responsible for the loss of personal property.

Ipods and Personal Electronics

iPods and personal electronics are permissible, but are not to be played in class.  If you choose to bring these items to school, please do not leave them unattended at any time.

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Student Services

Each student is assigned a counsellor, but you should feel free to seek help from any counsellor regarding educational opportunities, career planning, study habits, course selections, tutor lists and personal concerns.  At the beginning of the school year counsellors will visit grade 9 classes to introduce students to the services provided by the Student Services Department.

Library Resource Centre

The Elizabeth Downie Media Library is open 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday.  Student Activity Cards function as a library card and students are responsible for all items checked out on their card.  If you lose or damage an item signed out from the library, you must cover the cost of replacement or repair.

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Evaluation Policy at ESA

1. The school year is divided into three reporting periods with a Provincial Report issued in November, February and June.  A progress report will be sent home in April.  Assessment and evaluation plans for individual courses are distributed in September through the course teacher.

2. Evaluation is based on the curriculum expectations for each course.  70% of the grade will be based on evaluations conducted throughout the course such as tests, assignments, reports and presentations.  30% of the grade will be based on a culminating activity in the form of an examination, performance, essay and/or other evaluation administered towards the end of the course.

You will receive a Culminating Activity Calendar with your February report card to help plan for your final evaluations.

Students are strongly encouraged to attend summer school for failed courses (if available).  A minimum mark of 35% is necessary to attend summer school.

3. Students will also be assessed on the development of learning skills.  These are reported on the Provincial Report Card.

 4. The school honour roll criteria are: an overall average of 80% and no mark below 50%.  The student must be full-time.

5. Absence from the final exam or culminating activity must be supported by a medical certificate or the student will receive a zero.  If the appropriate documentation is received, the final mark will be determined based on term work.

 6. At the end of the year, the overall progress of every student is carefully reviewed by the staff.  Students must pass the courses in their major in order to continue at ESA.  If it is felt that the student is not benefiting sufficiently from attending ESA, students will return to their home school.

7. Full Disclosure:

 The Ministry of Education requires that the Ontario Student Transcript (OST) indicates: course withdrawals, failing grades and multiple attempts at a course.  At ESA, the date before which withdrawals will not appear on the OST is February 22, 2013.  Following that date, all withdrawals (drops) will appear on the OST with the mark earned at the time of withdrawal.


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Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting in TDSB Schools

“The primary purpose of assessment and evaluation is to improve student leaning.”  (Growing Success: Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting in Ontario Schools, Grade 1 – 12, 2010, p.6)

In the TDSB, there is an expectation of fair, consistent and transparent assessment, evaluation and reporting strategies.  Assessments and evaluations are designed to provide students with multiple, positive opportunities to demonstrate their learning skills and work habits and their understanding of the curriculum expectations.

Academic Honesty: Cheating and Plagiarism

All students in the Toronto District School Board are expected to submit their own work for evaluation.  Cheating and plagiarism will not be condoned.

Cheating is usually defined as the act of practicing deceit or breaking the rules.  In the context of assessment and evaluation, cheating would be defined as the deviation from the behaviour expected in an evaluation situation.

Examples include but are not limited to: Using another student’s work on a test or any other evaluation; unauthorized use of electronic media to obtain answers during an evaluation or bringing unauthorized notes or notations into an evaluation.

Plagiarism is defined as the use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another without attribution, in order to represent them as one’s own original work.  (Growing Success, Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting in Ontario Schools, Grade 1-12, 2010, p. 151) Examples include: Copying and pasting from the internet or other electronic sites without citing the source; or omitting quotation marks for direct quotations even if the sources have been cited.

To ensure a full understanding of academic honesty students are expected to:

  • Seek clarification from teachers about actions that constitute plagiarism;
  • Seek assistance when their research skills need improvement;
  • Understand the penalties for academic dishonesty and plagiarism; and
  • Ensure that all their work is original and that they cite sources accurately and consistently.

Schools currently have the option of using a plagiarism detection service offered through Turnitin to confirm the originality of the work assignments submitted by students in the classroom.  (See Operational Procedure PR.590)

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty

 When plagiarism/cheating is detected, it will be investigated.  If plagiarism/cheating is confirmed by the teacher, he/she will inform the principal/vice principal, the student, and the parent/guardian (when the student is under the age of 18) of the specific details regarding the plagiarized assignment or the allegation of cheating and the resulting consequences.

Minimum Consequences for Plagiarism

 A consequence for cheating and plagiarism may be a mark of zero for the assignment/exam in question.

A repeated pattern of academic dishonesty may result in an escalating severity of consequences.

All students who face the consequences of plagiarism or cheating have the right to appeal the teacher’s decision to the principal/vice-principal.

The Evaluation of Late and Missed Assignments

Students are responsible for their own behaviour and for completing and submitting work for evaluation on time.  Students must make themselves aware of each due date and the ultimate deadline which is the last opportunity a student has for submitting an assignment for evaluation.

Should the need occur, students must advise their teacher when a challenge will prevent the student from submitting work on time.  The teacher will use professional judgement and consider extenuating circumstances for individual students.

Students must also understand that there are consequences for incomplete, missing and late assignments

When a significant number of strategies have been tried, marks may be deducted up to and including the full value of the assignment.

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Students’ Guide and Code of Behavior

These guidelines have been developed in consultation with students , parents and school staff.  They reflect the ESA philosophy of personal best, mutual respect and a sense of community.  If there is anything in this guide that is not clear to you, please speak to your teacher, counselor, VP or Principal.

Respect for Others:

The school should always be a positive space for each one of us.  The ‘Golden Rule’ can be found in every culture and is a great guide for each of us: ‘Treat others the way that you would like to be treated’.  Be courteous and considerate and help your fellow students whenever possible.  You should also expect the same from your peers.

That said, it should be clear that to harass others is unacceptable.  Bullying, whether physical, verbal, social or cyber will not be tolerated.  Similarly the use of profane or improper language anywhere in the school is inappropriate. If these reasonable guidelines are not followed, students will meet with staff and may receive consequences that include, but are not limited to: verbal caution, home contact, loss of privileges, severe reprimand, suspension.


  • Attendance matters.  Irregular attendance is a leading cause of failure in secondary school.  If you are going to be absent from school for any reason, you must have a parent/guardian phone the school at 416-394-6910 and report the absence.
  • If you need to leave during school hours, bring a parental/guardian note to the office and sign out.
  • If you go home at lunch and do not return for the afternoon classes, your parent/guardian must phone the school to confirm your absence.
  • Every unexplained absence will be reported home through a personal or automated phone call.

For unexplained absences, the following may/will occur:

  • Teachers will discuss the absence and counsel the student;
  • Teachers may assign classroom consequences/detentions;
  • Teachers may contact parents;
  • Teachers will refer persistent, unexplained absences to the appropriate Vice Principal, Guidance Counsellor and/or Student Success Team;
  • Vice Principals will reiterate the need for regular attendance; may assign lunch or early morning detentions; may utilize a student tracking/monitoring sheet for a period of time.

If attendance does not improve, the vice-principal may arrange a meeting with the parent. The purpose of the meeting is to clarify school expectations, to develop strategies for improving attendance, and to establish a set of clear consequences culminating in a review of school program and school placement.

Please note that there will not be any accommodation for evaluations that are missed due to unexplained absences.

Absence due to vacations – Parents should contact the principal in writing if their son or daughter will be absent from school due to a vacation.  It is the responsibility of the student to make arrangements with another student in class to determine what was missed while away.    If an evaluation is conducted during the vacation days a mark of zero may be assigned.


Punctuality is a good habit which will be important to you both on the job and in your personal relationships.  At school you are expected to be on time for each class. All lates will be recorded on your Attendance Profile.

If a student arrives at school during any period within the first 15 minutes of class, the student must report directly to class.  If the student is more than 15 minutes late, the student must report to the main office in order to sign in.

If a student is late, there will be a discussion between the teacher and the student. The student may be assigned a detention to be served at lunch or in the morning to make up time.  Teacher will contact home to inform parents.

For persistent lates the teacher will refer the student to the vice-principal. The vice-principal may inform parents.  An office detention may be assigned.  The student may be required to sign in at the office or follow a tracking sheet.

If there is no improvement, the vice-principal may request a parental meeting to review the attendance pattern and discuss a plan for improvement.  The student may be disqualified from attendance on field trips, or extra-curricular activities for a fixed period of time.  Students may continue to serve detentions as determined by the vice-principal/teacher.

Being Prepared – Doing Your Best

The better prepared you are for your classes, the better your chance for success.  Being prepared means your homework is done, you have the necessary equipment for the class and you are ready to participate in the lesson.  Homework includes not only the completion of daily assignments, but also a review of previous work, and a look at the material to come.  To state that you have no homework is to claim that you are completely familiar with all of the work presented so far in the term in all subjects.  If you have difficulty understanding the work, ask your subject teacher and counsellor for help.

As a student it is your duty to get the most from each class.  Neglect of duty will result in consultation with the teacher, the vice-principal and your parent/guardian to determine a course of action.  This discussion may include a consideration of program and school placement for the next school year.

School Dress

The school should be a great learning and working environment for all.    So that we can all feel comfortable in our school/work environment, clothing must be respectful – it shouldn’t be too revealing or display inappropriate language.   Students may be asked to change or cover up if their clothing is deemed inappropriate by the school administration.


Smoking is not permitted anywhere on school property.  Students who are found smoking on school property will receive consequences up to and including suspension.

Alcohol and Drugs

You are expected to come to school free from the influence of alcohol or any illegal substance.  The use of alcohol and drugs, other than prescribed medication, is not compatible with academic success or continued good health.  If you come to school under the influence of alcohol or non-prescription drugs you will be interviewed by an administrator, your parents will be contacted and you will be sent home.  A suspension may also result as dictated by the TDSB Safe Schools Policy.  In addition, if you are found to be in possession of illegal drugs at school the police will be contacted.  If you are caught dealing drugs at the school the police will be contacted and you may be expelled from ESA.

Illness and Accidents

If you become ill during the day, inform the teacher in charge and report to the office.  If you suffer or witness an accident, be sure to report it to the supervising teacher or to the office immediately.  An accident form must be completed.

Emergency Procedures

Fire, Hold and Secure and Lockdown drills will be held throughout the year.

Fire Alarms

 In each room a fire exit sign is posted near the door indicating the direction (right or left) you are to go as you leave the classroom and the exit number you must use.

 When the alarm sounds, assume there is an emergency.  Walk quickly and quietly, and leave the building.  Once outside, do not block the exits and move well away from the building.  No one may re-enter the building until the fire department official has deemed it safe.  A bell will be rung to signal when students and staff can re-enter the building.

Hold and Secure and Lockdown

Hold and Secure will be called over the Public Address system when there is an external threat to the safety of students and staff.  When Hold and Secure is called, external access to the building is restricted and students must listen for specific instructions over the PA system.

Lockdown will be called over the PA when there is an internal threat. When a lockdown is called, students in washrooms or halls should quickly and calmly return to their class or the nearest classroom.  Students in the cafeteria should proceed to the library.  Students should be prepared to stay in secure mode for an extensive period of time.  The use of cell phones, radios, or any noise making electronics is prohibited.

In both cases, there will be a PA announcement to end the security status.


You will be assigned a locker at the beginning of the school year.  You must use a school approved Dudley lock and the combination must be submitted to the main office.  The locker is on loan to you and therefore, no permanent adornments/writing/stickers will be attached anywhere on the locker.  You are responsible for the maintenance of your locker.  At the end of the year you will be required to clean your locker.

Care of School Property

School property belongs to everyone and it is everyone’s responsibility to take care of it.  A student will be held financially responsible for willfully marking or damaging school equipment, books and all school property.  Malicious vandalism will result in one or more of the following: home contact, suspension, police action.

The Use of School Facilities and Vacating School Premises

The use of rooms, studios, gyms, auditorium, the mini-theatre, and Library Resource Centre require staff supervision and when unsupervised are out of bounds to students.  Students who are working in school after hours require a teacher supervisor.

Equity Foundation Statement

 The Toronto District School Board values the contribution of all members of our diverse community of students, staff, parents and community groups to our mission and goals.  We believe that equity of opportunity, and equity of access to our programs, services and resources are critical to the achievement of successful outcomes for all those whom we serve, and for those who serve our school system.

 The Board recognizes, however, that certain groups in our society are treated inequitably because of individual and systemic biases related to aboriginal peoples, and to race, colour, culture, ethnicity, linguistic origin, disability, socio-economic class, age, ancestry, nationality, place of origin, religion, faith, sex, gender, sexual orientation, family status, and marital status.  We also acknowledge that such biases exist within our school system.

The Board further recognizes that such inequitable treatment leads to educational, social and career outcomes that do not accurately reflect the abilities, experiences and contributions or our students, our employees, and our parent and community partners.  This inequitable treatment limits their future success and prevents them from making a full contribution to society.

The Board is therefore committed to ensuring that fairness, equity, and inclusion are essential principles of our school system and are integrated into all our policies, programs, operations, and practices.


Human Rights Policy

 The Toronto District School Board is committed to maintaining a learning and working environment which actively promotes and supports human rights.

 The Toronto District School Board is committed to meeting its obligation under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code by providing safe schools and workplaces, that respect the rights of every individual.  Every student, employee, trustee, parent and community member has the right to learn and work in an environment free of discrimination and harassment.  Discrimination and harassment based on legislated prohibited grounds will not be tolerated.  Such behaviour must be addressed not only for its cost in individual, human terms but also for its cost to our social, economic and civic future.

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Stress Management Tips


1. Getting organized:

  • Use your student agenda. Record assignment due dates & when each section of the assignment needs to be complete so you are not causing undue stress by having to do everything at the last minute. Leave time before a due date to proofread, test your knowledge, practise presenting, etc.
  • Colour code your subjects so all subject materials are together
  • Before you go to sleep check your agenda and pack everything you will need for the next school day

2. Using Resources:

  • Ask your teachers at the beginning of the year ‘when’ and ‘how’ is the best way to discuss any questions or concerns with them
  • Get numbers and email addresses of your classmates in case you have assignment questions
  • Consider creating study groups if this is helpful for you

3. Relaxation (this may require some practise):

  • Close your eyes and visualize yourself in a relaxing place. Imagine hearing the sounds e.g. trickling water; feeling the sensations e.g. warmth of the sun; etc.
  • Take slow and deep breathes until you feel the tension leaving your body.  With each exhalation feel the tension leaving one body part at a time starting from the head and eventually all the way down to your toes.

4. Sleep, Nutrition and physical activity:

  • Get at least 8-10 hours of sleep each night
  • Eat according to the Canada Food Guide
  • Feeling rested and eating healthy foods will help make you feel refreshed and energized.
  • Include 60 minutes of moderate-to vigorous-intensity physical activity everyday (e.g. walking, biking, shooting hoops, skating, yoga, etc)

5. Stay positive:

  • Visualize yourself being successful at writing an exam, doing a presentation, etc.
  • Congratulate yourself when you do a good job.

Talk to someone you trust a about problems you may have (friend, family member, teacher, guidance counsellor or someone in the community e.g. family doctor, Kids Help Phone, etc) 

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