Winter Newsletter

Meeting Summary from November 30

Thank you to all who attended our second School Council meeting of the year on November 30th. Principal Parravano presented a school update, including EQAO results, announcement of Helen Saroglou as our new full-time administrative staff member and the TDSB’s search for our new head custodian. Please click here to view our full meeting minutes.

Fundraising at Withrow

A lot of people wonder why we have so much fundraising at a public school. Due to our socio-economic location, our funding from the TDSB covers only the basics. If our school community wants to see other purchases or initiatives above the basic level, then we, as a parent body, need to fundraise to provide for all the “bells and whistles” that make Withrow extra special. In the past, the money raised has been used to fund technology for the school, garden education, school yard improvements and, recently, purchases of musical instruments and sports jerseys.

Historically at Withrow, we have done our fundraising through three main avenues: the Annual Giving Campaign, the Silent Auction and the Fun Fair. The AGC is a direct ask for cash and every dollar is used for the students. The Silent Auction uses the talents of a dedicated committee of parents to solicit donations and transform the gym into a posh venue for an elegant event. The Fun Fair has another fantastic body of parents remaster the school yard into a hopping, bouncing, singing, dancing, face painting bundle of fun.

This diverse range of fundraising vehicles means parents have opportunities to donate in the way that they are best able and that is most meaningful to them and their families. We all have a choice regarding how we donate to Withrow: you can volunteer time on one of these committees, or donate money to the AGC, or attend the events with an open wallet…or all of the above! Recently, we have received requests for other types of fundraising such as partnership programmes with local businesses. What a great idea! All of our Fundraising With Everyday Purchases can be found on our website, under “Ways to Support”. We currently have relationships with:

Important! All orders MUST go through the campaign pages of each fundraiser to get the fundraising dollars!

The decisions on how to spend the funds are always based on an open and democratic process. All parents and guardians at Withrow have a say! 

Annual Giving Campaign

Hopefully you’ve all checked your child(ren)’s backpacks and found our Annual Giving Campaign request. We have worked hard over the years as a community to make our schoolyard something of which we are proud.  This has been  accomplished through raising money via the fun fair, silent auction and your generous giving campaign donations. This year our primary focus is to install our climber in the area recently coined by our children: The Woodchip Area.

We hope you consider giving this year; donations of any amount are appreciated.  If you would like your donation directed towards a specific use, please make note of it via Paypal or include it with your cheque.

Property Update

In early November, H&S and our school administration met with the TDSB viability team to understand the process of installing an awesome climber in what is now being called The Woodchip Area. We were very excited to hear that this project could potentially be completed within a year. Of course, there are many levels to this process and we are hoping that before purchase, the children will have a vote on a choice of three. We have, as an outstanding community, raised enough money for the climber which we are hoping will fall under $20 000. The small surprise for some of us was that the installation generally runs two and a half to three times the cost of the actual item. Yikes!!! We are almost at a close with this 4 year project. The pit has been repaired, the trees have been planted (Thanks, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation), the track has been built and the field is solidifying as you read, and all this is thanks to a community that gets involved.

Withrow Cares Reminder

This year, with our increased awareness of Aboriginal issues and focus on the Canadian First Nations, we have chosen to support two charities:
1. Help send Inuit Care Packages to families in the North
2. Club Amik

Last year, Nanook Fareal decided to flip the Christmas tradition to send care packages to the north. As you may know, food in the northern part of Canada is quite expensive. She created a GoFundMe page and this year’s goal is to raise $10,000. Although this is not a registered charity, we hope that you would consider helping out this wonderful initiative. If you are interested please click on this link for more information.

Club Amik is an Aboriginal Literacy Initiative providing books and magazines to children in Ontario’s North. Club Amik is a registered charity. The charity provides books and resources to the Nishnawbe Aski Nation to approximately 35 communities. Please see the website for more information.

Lunchtime and After-school Programs

Lunchtime programs are open for registration starting on the morning of Thursday December 15.  Registration forms can be found on the afterschool blog. They will also be available for pick up from the office. Registration is on a first-come basis (with some priority given for students who have not attended a session this school year) and will close when programs are full. Programs are capped at 15 students for Chess and Drawing Club, and 20 students for Raising Readers.  Programs available for registration are: Chess for primary students for the winter and spring terms, Chess for junior students for the winter term, Drawing club for the winter term and Raising Readers for the winter term.  Registration will be confirmed by the end of the first week of school in January.

Registration for After-school Programs is also open.  Information can be found on the afterschool blog but registration is handled directly with the provider.

Silent Auction Update

The Silent Auction Date has been set so start booking your babysitters for April 7th 2017!
It’s the best night out in the neighbourhood, with delicious cocktails, friendly faces and great items for purchase. As always,  all proceeds go right to the school!
But…. we need your help! As you are out celebrating and shopping this season and in the coming months, please consider asking your favourite watering holes, restaurants, shops and service providers if they would like to support our school! It’s a great way for businesses to gain exposure and clientele. After all, don’t we all love to find a new delicious eatery, massage therapist, or nightspot?!

Please consider sharing your faves and any outreach you do with us at We look forward to hearing from you!

Upcoming Dates of Interest

December 14 – Winter Concert
December 15 – Pizza Lunch 🍕
December 16 – Carols by Candlelight in Withrow Park (7pm-8pm at the Fire Pit)
December 23 – Last Day of School

January 9 – First Day Back
January 20 – PA Day
January 26 – Pizza Lunch 🍕

Published by Withrow Parent Council

This is the official website of the Withrow Parent Council