Principal's Message


Clara's Past Principal's Notes:


Principal’s Note:  October 14, 2014

School Council Meeting:  Parents held their first Council on September 30.  I am always happy to see that parents come out to find out more about what students and teachers are doing.  We enjoyed a presentation by student council and club heads, followed by remarks from the admin your co-chairs and treasurer.  Your co-chairs will have the minutes posted on our website by the end of the week.

Club Fest:   On October 3, our students put on an exhibition of the numerous clubs we have at YM.  The purpose of the display is to recruit additional students to join their clubs.  Each club had a display that explained the mandate for that club and the time commitment.  We typically hold Club Fest in Titan Hall, but due to the large number of clubs we have this year, the fest was held in the single gym.  The student turnout students was quite incredible, and the sign-ups were numerous.

Volleyball Tournament:  Last Friday we hosted the Boys Jr. and Sr. volleyball tournaments.  It’s always exciting to see the number of schools who come here to participate in these opportunities.  We will be hosting the Junior girls tournament on December 5th, and the Senior girls tournament on December 12th.

Sr. Boys Golf:  Our Sr. Boys Golf Team is now the North Region Champions.  We wish them good luck in the City Championship.

Sr. Girls Tennis:  Our girls are in a celebratory mood for winning first place in the North Region finals.  Wish them luck as they move to the City Championships on October 16th at the U of T Scarborough campus.

Senior Boys A Tennis (Team):  Congratulations go out to the boys for becoming the North Region Champions.  They too will be competing this week for the City Championships.  We wish them good luck! 

Cell Phones & Personal Devices:  We regularly hear from students who have had their cell phones or personal devices gone missing.  Many missing devices are a result of leaving those items unattended.  The school is not responsible for missing devices.  It is the student’s responsibility to keep those devices out of the reach of others when not in use. 

ESL Week October 14 - 18, 2014:  ESL Week is a significant part of our efforts to raise awareness of the importance of English language learning opportunities in Canada.  An annual occasion to celebrate Ontario`s ESL educators and learners, ESL Week is designed to show support for all cultures.  Our Newcomer Club has organized several information displays over the lunch hour.  The club has also organized an event for October 15th in Titan Hall over lunch hour.  Students will be given a passport that is stamped only after the student has completed an information session about a country.  Then the students have to answer a few short questions, then drop their passport off in a ballot box.  Donated prizes will be given to those picked with the right answers. For more information and activities please go to:


School Website:  We have revised our website to include a monthly calendar, information about departments, news from Guidance, information from Parents, and my newsletters.  In order to see my recent newsletters, you will need to scroll down past my message.  Also, the TDSB scoreboard is available for our athletic teams – who they’re playing, where and when.

STEM Rollout:  Our school has become a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) school this year.  This is a teaching strategy that incorporates how and what students learn.  It is more focussed on inquiry-based learning, where students are made to think deeper and to come up with possible solutions.  STEM incorporates what students learn in other areas of their curriculum and then are asked to bring their learning together to solve problems in several disciplines.  

 Fibre Optics and  Fashion:  Our annual “Fashion For A Cause” initiative will, once again, be raising funds for PACT – a non-profit organization in the city where young men and women are given tools and skills to become contributing members of society.  In addition, through donations, they provide suits, formal gowns, tuxedos and accessories to those less fortunate.    Our models will be wearing some pieces which they created with Fibre Optics.  Students will be receiving additional workshops with Ms. Ferrier on how to incorporate Fibre Optics into fashion.  Some items will be available for our Haunted House on Halloween Day, and other items will be used for our Fashion Show.  Our STEM  (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) coach will also be on hand to lend her expertise.

Robotics:  Some of our tech students are well on their way to building small robots.  Here they will combine their Math, Physics, Engineering and Design skills to make their machines.  Together with the English, Visual Arts and Computer departments, and the assistance of our STEM coach, the teachers and students will be working to embed portions of what they’ve done in our “Fashion For A Cause.”  More information will be coming your way on this.

S Trips:  Please be advised that York Mills C.I. and the TDSB do not sanction any trip provided by this organization.  The trips usually coincide with school holidays and functions:  Family Day, March Break, Semi-Formal and Prom, etc.  If you don’t hear about a trip from me through my emails, the trip is not a York Mills CI trip.  Currently, the S-Trip group has planned an “after semi-formal” party at a night club on November 13th

Bike Rack:  Last year we purchased a large bike rack.  Over the past few months the racks have been quite full.  Since more students are biking to school, we will be ordering an additional large bike rack.

Cardboard Boat Races:  Tech Design students used their skills to build and test their cardboard boats in our pool.  The competition makes quite a splash with students, and it is one of many categories in the Skills Canada competitions.

Caring & Safe Schools Committee:  The committee, comprised of parents, teachers, students, admin met on Friday, Oct. 10th to review our emergency response protocol.  We will be scheduling a “Threats to School Safety” drill once the revisions are made to our protocol.  The drill will be a scenario where we will have a combination of a “Shelter In Place,” which will then become a full “Lockdown.”  Students will be made aware of their responsibilities prior to the drill.

After-School Math Tutors:  Tutors are available for Grade 10 students who are at risk in their math classes.  As well, we are extending the invitation to Grade 10 students who will be taking math in Semester 2 and who want to be prepared for their course.  Grade 11 students who need the extra help are also encouraged to attend.  The sessions run on Monday and Thursday after school in room 113.  Commitment to this program is essential for success.

Academic Awards Ceremony:   Last year’s top in class students received their proficiency awards on Thursday, October 9th at a ceremony in Titan Hall.  Many parents attended, making the ceremony much more meaningful.  We wish all students continued passion in these subject areas.


October 8:           PLC for Staff – Classes begin at 10:00 a.m.

October 9:           Academic Awards Reception – 8:45 a.m. – Titan Hall – By invitation

October 9:           TOEFL Information Session

October 13:        Thanksgiving Day – No classes

OCtober 17:        Interim Report Card Distribution

October 23:         Parent/Teacher Interviews 2:00– 4:00 p.m. & 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

                                  Early Dismissal


October 24:        LATE START – 10:00 a.m.

October 27:        National Band Week

October 28:        Picture Re-take Day

October 29:        LATE START – 10:00 a.m.

                             Business Council Movie Night – 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.

October 31:        Halloween – Haunted House – Lunch

November 2:     Daylight saving time ends – set clocks back one hour

November 4:     School Council Meeting – 7:00 pm. – Titan Hall

November 11:   Remembrance Day

November 13:   Semi-Formal 

November 14:   P.A. Day

November 19:   PLC – Late Start – 10:00 a.m.

November 25-

November 27:   Hosting educators from Kazakhstan


November 27-

November 28:   Talent Show – 7:00 p.m. – Cafetorium 




Principal’s Note: September 22, 2014 

Ms. Zappone will be hosting a presentation for ESL Parents of Grade 12 students on the Application Process for College and University on: 

TIME: 1:30PM TO 2:30PM 

Our Settlement Workers, Catherine and Kelly, will be available for translation. 

The same presentation will be delivered to all parents at the Parent Council Meeting that same evening. All are welcome to attend. 

Dropping off and Picking up students at the front of the school in the circular driveway has always been a problem. One of the reasons for this is the volume of those being dropped off late –- 8:35 to 8:45 a.m. Students being dropped off at this time are likely to be late for class. Students must be in class at 8:45 a.m. In addition, the volume of vehicles in the circular drive presents a traffic jam on York Mills Rd., resulting in many phone calls from motorists, as well as heightened tempers between parents. Please DO NOT block the two-way driveway closest to the school electronic sign. This has also resulted in unpleasant exchanges between motorists. A solution may be for students to leave earlier and walk to school, or be dropped off at the side streets across the road or close to the school. 

Night School and E-Learning – IMPORTANT 
If students have registered on line, the process is not complete. Students must see their counsellor for approval, together with the parent consent form before September 23rd. We have several students with a “pending” status, who must see their counsellor with the above information. 

Late Start – Wednesday, September 24th – Classes begin at 10:00 a.m. 

IMPORTANT DATES will follow the School Council Agenda below. 

The School Council Meeting Agenda follows: 

York Mills Collegiate Institute 
School Council Meeting 
September 30, Titan Hall 
7:00 p.m. 
A G E N D A 

Co-Chairs: Grace Chen Teacher Rep: Michele Frensch 
Naziha Mahmoud Musical Interlude: Paris Yang, Gr. 11 

1. Student Presentation: Councils and Clubs 

2. Application Process for College & University Tina Zappone 

3. Principal’s Report Clara Williams 

4. VP Reports Mira Wong 

Paul Joblin 

5. Co-Chair Report Naziha Mahmoud 
Grace Chen 

6. Treasure’s Report Ayse Ozguven 

7. New Business 

8. Meeting Adjournment 

To contact us: 

Naziha Mamoud: 
Grace Chen: 


September 23: Ryerson University Presentation – Lunch – Titan Hall 
Business Council Movie Night – 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. 

September 24: Staff Meeting – Classes begin at 10:00 a.m. Please encourage your child to be on time. 

September 25: “Threats to School Safety” Drill 

September 25: US University Application Process -- TBA 

September 30: School Council Meeting 
The first School Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 30 at 7:00 p.m. Please join us at 6:45 p.m. for a musical interlude performed by our music students. Your co-chairs, Naziha Mahmoud and Grace Chen, have arranged an information-packed evening for parents to learn more about our major clubs, athletics, awards, etc. Please mark this evening on your calendars. 

October 3: Club Fest: Established clubs will showcase their purpose with the ppurpose of recruiting additional members. This is an excellent opportunity for students to build their volunteer portfolio and to work with peers who share like interests. 

October 8: PLC for Staff – Classes begin at 10:00 a.m. 

October 9: Academic Awards Reception – 8:45 a.m. – Titan Hall – By invitation 

October 9: TOEFL Information Session 

October 13: Thanksgiving Day – No classes 

October 17: Interim Report Card Distribution 

October 23: Parent/Teacher Interviews 2:00– 4:00 p.m. & 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. 

October 24: LATE START – 10:00 a.m. 

October 27: National Band Week 

October 28: Picture Re-take Day 

October 29: LATE START – 10:00 a.m. 
Business Council Movie Night – 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. 

October 31: Halloween – Haunted House – Lunch 


Principal's Notes:  September 12, 2014


Hello Parents and Guardians:


Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year.  Many of you are familiar with my periodic emails, and for those whose children are joining York Mills C.I. for the first year, I hope that you will find my emails/blogs informative.


I trust that your children have completed the registration process and are now immersed in their first semester classes.  We have completed all of our Grade assemblies, and are confident that our students are on their way to enjoying the numerous activities at York Mills C.I., as well as enjoying their courses.  Some of the highlights of the assemblies were:   

  • Arrive at 8:30 a.m. to make your 8:45 a.m. period 1 class.
  • Go directly to Period 1 if you are late in Period 1.
  • Sign in (in Guidance) if you miss the first FULL period of the day --  A NOTE FROM PARENT/GUARDIAN  is appreciated.
  • Sign out ( with a note ) if going to an appointment –  sign back in  when returning to school.
  • We are an eco school – pick up after yourself, recycle, place your garbage in the bins provided.
  • Food in designated areas – no flavoured beverages allowed in the classrooms.
  • Exams and special dates are engraved in stone.  Please avoid taking your child out of school for family holidays during exam schedules.
  • The school  IS NOT RESPONSIBLE  for any lost or stolen items.
  • Electronics are permitted before Period 1 begins, at lunch, and at the end of the school day.  All electronics are to be  powered off  at all other times in classes, unless used during class under the direction of a teacher.  Failure to comply to these rules could result in the confiscation of the item by a staff member.  It is your child’s responsibility to listen to the morning announcements and deadlines announced.
  • If announcements are missed, they are displayed on our information monitors during the day – Library, Main Office and Cafeteria.
  • Dress appropriately  for school, not the beach or yoga class.


I want to thank parents for your support in helping to maintain an atmosphere of mutual respect and professionalism at York Mills.


Over the past year, we’ve been addressing the transition from Junior High School to High School.  In addition to our traditional Grade 10 Frosh day the last week in August, our teachers met last June and developed three workshops for our Grade 10s.  Mr. Meyer and Mr. Doig presented the  Growth Mindset  workshop, which we feel should help students improve their intellectual ability based on their outlook that improvement is possible.  The Health and Wellness  workshop presented by Ms. Howell and Ms. Melconian covered the issues of stress, sleep and nutrition.  Mr. Keogh, Ms. D’Silva and Ms. Tadros presented a third workshop on  Organization , which included a habit log sheet and a promise certificate.  Staff will have an opportunity at our September 24 Staff Meeting to reflect on the success of each workshop. 


Each student received a Student Agenda, which is a very important document.  The agenda contains the Code of Conduct, information about the life of the school, and most importantly, examination dates.  Students were advised at the grade assemblies that exam/evaluation dates are carved in stone, and no student will be exempt from exams.  One of the main functions of the student agenda is to record special events and assignment deadlines. I urge parents to become familiar with the special dates for late starts, early dismissals, exam dates, etc., and to  plan your family events outside of the exam dates.   Please note that staff meeting and Professional Learning Community meetings are late start schedules.


Bullying (verbal & electronic):   Students were informed at the assemblies that bullying of any kind will not be tolerated at York Mills.  Appropriate consequences will be imposed should a student be deemed responsible for bullying another student.  Students were taken through the suspensions and expulsion portion of the student handbook and we reinforced that ignorance of the Code of Behaviour is never considered a defense.  Please review the Chart of Consequences of Inappropriate Student Behaviour with your child.


Athletics and Clubs :  The SAC has many activities planned for the upcoming weeks, and we hope that all students take advantage of these opportunities.  These activities present numerous leadership opportunities for our students, which serve them well in building character and integrity.


Our numerous clubs are announcing application dates for new members.  This is an exciting time for students to become involved in the life of the school.  Lifelong connections are made with peers as they work together on school-wide projects with their teams.


YMCI coaches held their first meeting last Friday, and I’m happy to report that they are ready to tackle the fall season.  Students interested in athletics are to listen for try-out times for their specific fall sport.

Night School Registration Process:   Instructions for students are found in the E-Reg Student Login attachment and at


Students apply on-line through E-REG at the above website.


The deadline to apply is  Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 .  Students must apply online, print the consent form, have their parent sign it and meet with their counsellor for approval.  ALL THIS MUST BE DONE  BEFORE  Sept. 23rd



All classes begin the week of September 29th.

On-line registration opens September 8th.

On-line registration closes September 23rd.

Term ends on Monday, January, 26th, 2015.



All classes begin week of Feb. 9th, 2015

On-line registration opens January 5th, 2015


All courses run from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.


For more information on on-line courses visit:



Please note:  students are not eligible for on-line courses or night school courses if the course they want can fit in their day time program.



Calendar and Scheduled Events:   It is necessary from time-to-time to cancel or reschedule a previously planned event or to make corrections to published dates.  Please note that, for the most part, my communications to you will end with the IMPORTANT DATES section.  This section presents the most up-to-date schedule.



Highlights for September:


September 15:   Grade 12 College & University Homeform visits begin.


September 16:   Scholarship Information Meeting for students – Titan Hall at lunch.


September 17:    Photo Day.   Students will be taking their yearbook and student card photos in the morning.  Students received an envelope from Life Touch Photography which they will need to bring with them should you wish to order photos.  Please read the instructions in that package. 


September 18:   ESL Night – 5:30

                           Gr. 10 Curriculum Night – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.


Grade 10 students will be bringing home a flyer regarding this event.  Parents will have an opportunity to see the subject materials your children are using, and our curriculum leaders and teachers will be available to answer your questions.  Please be advised that this is not a parent/teacher interview evening, and that your child’s teacher may not necessarily be available. 


September 18:  Lunch-time University and College Information Sessions Begin:   For Grade 12 students, lunch-time information sessions regarding colleges and universities will begin and will continue into October.  Visiting universities and colleges will be posted outside of the guidance office.  As well, these dates are posted in the Student Agenda.  Information regarding the University Fair on September 20 & 21 will be posted in the Guidance office.  Please remind your child to check the Guidance bulletin board daily for important information


Student Services (Guidance) regularly posts upcoming events online, and I post a blog/email approximately once a month.  Please contact Michael De Rosario, our Office Administrator, at if your email address has changed or if you no longer wish to receive emails.  As always, you must indicate your child’s name for Michael’s email spreadsheet.



September 20 & 21:   Ontario University Fair – Metro Convention Centre – 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 


September 23:   Business Council Movie Night – 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.


September 24:  Staff Meeting – Classes begin at 10:00 a.m.   Please encourage your child to be on time.


September 25:  “Threats to School Safety”  Drill


September 25:  US University Application Process --  TBA


September 30:  School Council Meeting

The first School Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 30 at 7:00 p.m.  Please join us at 6:45 p.m. for a musical interlude performed by our music students.  Your co-chairs, Naziha Mahmoud and Grace Chen, have arranged an information-packed evening for parents to learn more about our major clubs, athletics, awards, etc.  Please mark this evening on your calendars.


October 3:      Club Fest:   Established clubs will showcase their purpose with the ppurpose of recruiting additional members.  This is an excellent opportunity for students to build their volunteer portfolio and to work with peers who share like interests.


October 8:      PLC for Staff – Classes begin at 10:00 a.m.


October 9:      Academic Awards Reception – 8:45 a.m. – Titan Hall


October 9:      TOEFL Information Session


October 13:    Thanksgiving Day – No classes


October 17:  Interim Report Card Distribution


October 23:  Parent/Teacher Interviews 2:00– 4:00 p.m. & 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.


Welcome back:           Katharine Benson                                Math/Physics

                                     Lisa Dupuis (formerly Olajos)             History/Co-op

Ileana Kuo                                           French Immersion/Spanish

Steven Kung                                        Phys Ed/Science/Math

Helen Summerfield                              English            



New Staff:        Jenessa Dworet          ACL – Spec Ed
                        Jennifer Freudenthal    ACL – ESL
                        Donna Kiousis              Music
                        Titi Olubuyide               Guidance

                        Alba Doudoumis           Science 

I am extremely happy to welcome our new Vice-Principal,  Paul Joblin.   Mr. Joblin will be responsible for students with last names from  L-Z.   Both Ms. Wong and I look forward to working with Paul.


Note:  If you haven’t done so, please forward your email address to, along with your child’s name.





Welcome to the 2014 – 2015 school year!


September - a month for a new beginning and a fresh start for us all. Teachers have been working hard to prepare learning materials, resources, and curriculum for a stimulating school experience. I know that our students are excited and maybe a little nervous about making new friends.

 Parents can best help their students by staying informed about school activities and communicating with teachers and the Principal. I also encourage all parents to get involved with the Parent School Council. Parents working together with the school staff to provide opportunities that promote student success.

As your School Board Trustee I am available to parents who need help navigating the school system. Stay tuned for dates of my monthly meetings which are either evening Ward Forums or morning Community Coffee sessions. You are welcome to attend. To contact me or to receive my email newsletter updates please email


I’m also on Twitter @gerrigershon and Facebook


Best wishes for the school year


Gerri Gershon   Trustee Don Valley West




Toronto District School Board


Twitter @gerrigershon

Phone   416 395 8408




Principal’s Note – May 15, 2014

Prom Tickets: 
The prom is on May 23, at the Marriott on Bay Street. Parents need to be aware that neither York Mills C.I., nor the TDSB will take responsibility for any after-prom parties that are organized by the students.

This event will take place on June 27th at The People’s Church. We will be holding an assembly for all potential grads on May 29th to cover expectations during the ceremony, and some housekeeping rules. This year, students will receive their own caps and gowns. Tickets will be available for pickup at Michael De Rosario’s desk in the main office. The grad pack includes one ticket for the grad and 2 tickets for guests. The cost is $40.00. Tickets will go on sale June 2nd. Additional tickets may be purchased for $20 each. 

Athletic Banquet: 
The banquet will be held at Spirale’s Banquet hall on June 5th. Parents are welcome to attend. This is a very special celebration of the year’s athletic accomplishments, and one of the major highlights of the year. Announcements will be made for ticket sales.

Campus Tour: allows Canadian high school students to take virtual campus tours of every university and college in Canada. Students can also click to the school's website, social media and more. Virtual tours of Canadian high schools are also being added to the website. Please take a look at this new resource.

Spanish Contest: 
Daniela Sosa-Miranda in grade 12 got FIRST PLACE in the native speaker category!!! A trophy with her name on it will be delivered to our school sometime next week.

Also Iulia Iancu in grade 11 got an honorable mention (top 5) and Rachel Han was an amazing volunteer!