Translated School Communications


Translated School Communications


Brookside Connect! October 2023!

Principal's Message


Dear Parents/Caregivers,

Is it October already? As we welcome in fall, Thursday, October 5th is special day this year at Brookside as it is World's Teachers Day! What a great date to host our annual Curriculum/Meet the Family Night!

Curriculum/Meet the Family Night is an opportunity for you to hear about what your child will be learning this year, meet our staff, and mingle with other parents and community members. Our program will begin at 6:30 P.M., in the gymnasium, and will go until 7:30 P.M. The format of the evening will be as follows:

  • Welcome in the Gymnasium! (Everyone in the Gym)
  • Meet Your Child’s Teacher/Family Visit Classrooms (Session 1 of 2)
  • Meet Your Child’s Teacher/Family Visit Classrooms (Session 2 of 2)
  • Special Education/Inclusion teachers will be available in the Library throughout the evening.
  • End of the Evening (7:30)

Please come out and join us!

*Please note the changes to the entry procedure for those families whose children go home for lunch in the Reporting Absence and Lates and Cell Phone Policy and Procedures section of this newsletter.

Click on our photo deck to see our latest events and the hallways of Brookside.


Eckleton Richards Jr.       Sarah Sirbos

Principal                           Vice-Principal


Follow us on Twitter: @BrooksidePSTDSB



Table of Contents:

  • School Community Council Election Results
  • Picture Day! Thursday, October 19, 2023
  • Cross Country Team
  • Cell Phone Policy and Procedures
  • Reporting Absence and Lates
    • Safe Arrival
  • Parents and Caregivers as Partners Conference!
  • Google Calendar
  • TDSB Days of Significance
    • Thanksgiving
    • Halloween
    • October Islamic Heritage Month at the TDSB
    • October Somali Heritage Month at the TDSB
  • Reminders
    • School Cash Online

School Community Council Election Results


School councils are an excellent way for parents to get involved in their child`s education. Our school has an elected school council that is an important forum for involving all members of the school community in issues that affect the education of students. The school council is made up of an elected committee of parents, staff and student representatives, appointed community members, the principal, and a general membership which includes all parent of children attending the school. The school council advises the principal on a variety of issues and activities relating to student achievement, curriculum goals and priorities, school budget priorities, school safety, renovation plans, after school activities, and criteria for selection of new principals.

Your 2023-24 Council Members are as follows:

  • School Council Co-Chairs – Praveen Molugu & Thulasi Kanagan
  • Secretary – TBD
  • Treasurer - Fazilath Sayeeda
  • Teacher Reps: Ms. Ng, Ms. Holman and Ms. Warren
  • Other members: Colleen Robson, Archuthan Ambigapathy, Amuthini Pararajasingam, Sajitha Radhakvishnan, Lylyana James, Hirah Qureshi
  • Next meetings:
    • Monday, October 30, 2023 – 6:307:30 PM
    • Tuesday, November 28, 2023  6:30-7:30 PM (Virtual  ZOOM)


School Council Co-Chairs - Praveen Molugu & Thulasi Kanagan


Picture Day - Thursday, October 19, 2023

Picture Day is almost here! Are your smiles ready?

On Thursday, October 19, 2023 come dressed in your school uniform ready to have your school photo taken. Photos will be taken in the school’s gymnasium.

Cross Country Team

Our Cross Country season is off to a great start with over 50 students from Grade 1-8 participating in morning practices and we are now preparing for their upcoming meets: the East Qualifier meet on October 12th for grades 1-8 at Thomson Park. Those who qualify in grades 3-8 on October 12th will advance to the East Finals on October 20. The City Championships will be held for grades 4-8 on October 26. More detailed information will be sent home with team members. Please note that only students that regularly attend practice will be allowed to go to the upcoming meets because they require a certain level of fitness. Thank you to all our Brookside runners for their continued effort and perseverance! Let's Go, Bulldogs!

Coaches: Mr. Westwood, Ms. Thompson, Mr. Thibideau and Ms. Ng

Cell Phone Policy and Procedures

Please see the update regarding the Brookside Cell Phone Policy (updates are in bold):

  • Cell phones are to be used for educational purposes, and under the supervision and discretion of the teacher. Students who have cell phones (in Grade 6 and under) should have them on silent/vibrate, and keep them out of sight unless they have been given permission to use them by a staff member.
  • Grade 7/8s are expected to keep their cell phones in their lockers, unless they have been given permission and are under the supervision of a teacher.  No photos or videos are to be recorded at a school without teacher supervision. Phones are to be locked up during the lunch hour and NOT used during lunch time indoors or outside.

Reporting Absence and Lates

Regular attendance and punctuality is expected of all students as it supports continuity of programming, promotes academic success, and builds personal responsibility. All students should plan to be at school approximately 5 minutes before the morning entry time (8:10 A.M.) and afternoon entry time (12:00 P.M.). In the mornings, if you arrive after the entry time, the side and back doors will be locked, so please use the front doors. If your child goes home for lunch, please return at approximately 12:00 p.m. and a staff member will remain at Doors 1 and 2 to greet students until 12:05. Regardless of reason(s), the school is accountable for informing parents/guardians of the number of lates and absences each term. Starting in November, attendance and lateness letters will be sent home based on our school records. Please remember that you, the child’s parent or guardian, have the important responsibility of calling the school before the start of classes to report when your child is going to be absent or late. An answering machine will take your messages the evening before an absence or before 8:10 in the morning. The number to call is 416-396-7940. Ensuring that your child comes to school on time every day also helps to avoid confusion around his or her arrival. Brookside staff take considerable time to ensure the safe arrival of our students. We sincerely appreciate your help in making this process efficient and effective.

Safe Arrival

The Toronto District School Board uses SchoolMessenger as its automated call-out system for our Elementary Safe Arrival Program.

  1. Parent/Guardians may now call SchoolMessenger directly Toll-Free 1-833-250-2290, (between 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.) to report their child(ren)’s absence for the current day or a future date. If Parent/Guardians do not report their child(ren)’s absence(s) prior to the start of school, they will be contacted by SchoolMessenger and must indicate the reason for the absence. The telephone number 1-833-250-2290 will display on the caller ID. For unexplained absences, the system call-out will work as follows:
  • Parents/Guardians identified in the TDSB’s student database who have access to student records and are an emergency contact with priority 1 or 2 will receive both e-mail notification and call(s) of the unexplained absence.
  • If you are aware of the absence, you will be asked to enter the reason for your child’s absence. The following options will be provided for you:
    • Illness
    • Doctor Appointment
    • Dentist Appointment
    • Family Matter
    • Weather
    • Other

For a late arrival, you will be prompted to enter a time of arrival. Once the child signs in at the school office, the absence will be changed to a late (provided they arrive prior to the lunch hour).

At the end of the message, you will have to press 2 to confirm you received the message. This same process will be followed for the afternoon attendance. With this in mind, it is important that your contact information on file at the office is up to date. Please let the office know immediately if your contact information changes at any time throughout the school year. We recognize that regular attendance is essential to the safety, academic success, and well-being of all students.

Thank you for your continued co-operation with keeping your child safe and accounted for.


Parents and Caregivers as Partners Conference!

Join us on Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22, 2023! This year, you can attend the conference virtually and also join our in-person presentations

TDSB is committed to parent, caregiver, and community engagement as an essential element in our shared efforts to improve outcomes for children throughout their lives. Our role is to help build capacity by successfully engaging parents and caregivers, strengthening home-school partnerships, and aligning our collective efforts.

The Parents and Caregivers as Partners Conference 2023 provides an opportunity to highlight innovation and high-impact strategies for partnering, collaborating, and nurturing parents' and caregivers╩╝ partnerships and alliances.

Help US Spread the Love for Reading - Raise A Reader Part 1 - Wednesday October 11, 2023


TDSB Days of Significance

Thanksgiving Day (Canadian Government)


Many cultures and regions around the world have a time to celebrate the end of the growing season when all crops have been harvested. Historical texts have shown that ancient civilizations celebrated at harvest time and thanked their gods and goddesses. Today, cultures throughout the world that experience a change of seasons from sowing to reaping still celebrate this time.

Thanksgiving is a day when people get together with their families to express gratitude for all the good things that have happened during the year: for health, family, friends, and, of course, food of the harvest.

We often think of European settlers as having started the celebration in North America. However, harvest feasts were held long before that. Original peoples throughout the continent harvested and preserved food to be stored for the long winter ahead and gave thanks.

Regardless of the country or culture, the story is similar. Peoples throughout the world gave thanks for a successful harvest. As many other people have immigrated to Canada and the United States, they have also brought different customs of giving thanks.

Further Reading



This year, we will be having our annual Halloween Parade on Tuesday, October 31st at 12:15 P.M. This will make Halloween a non-uniform day for those who wish to dress in costume. Please leave accessories such as masks, weapons and tools at home. Parents are invited to attend the parade and are welcome to observe the parade from the front lobby. As always, we continue to promote equitable practices by ensuring that students who come from families that object to Halloween will have alternative activities during our parade. Please see your child’s teacher if you have any concerns.

This History of Samhain/Halloween

Samhain is an ancient festival (pronounced: Saa-win). Celebrations of the harvest have long been in existence. The circle of birth, death and rebirth has been linked to the seasons and the harvest in many cultures. Since ancient times October 31st has been celebrated as a feast for the dead, and also the day that marks the New Year. The last gathering of crops was celebrated with fairs and festivals.

Samhain is a very spiritual time. It is exactly between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice and is considered a very potent time for magic and communion with spirits. The "veil between the worlds" of the living and the dead was said to be at its thinnest on this day; so the dead were invited to return to feast with their loved ones.

A Time to Honour Ancestors

In many cultures honouring ancestors is an important part of the season. Many families use this time of year as an opportunity to introduce their children to the people whose blood runs through their veins. Common activities include: filling out a family tree; looking at photos; talking about family heirlooms; celebrating ethnic or cultural backgrounds.

Where Did Halloween Come From?

The name Halloween is a contraction of 'All Hallow's Eve'. With the arrival of Christianity, the Church discouraged the fortune-telling and communing with spirits as 'evil'. A day of celebrating the Saints of the Church on November 1 was created in hopes of displacing the Pagan customs. This holiday is called “All Saints Day”.

Modern Traditions Explained

Many Halloween traditions, as many other Christian celebrations, are thinly disguised adaptations of the more ancient Pagan traditions.

-The flickering candles inside hollowed out pumpkins were thought to help the spirits who were abroad that night find their way.

-Dressing in scary costumes [ghosts, skeletons] was done by villagers who then escorted the spirits to the edge of the town.

-'Trick or treating' was for money or food. Those who gave generously were blessed, and those who did not, were cursed [trick or treat]. As this evolved in the US, giving candy to the little 'hobgoblins' became a way to insure against vandalism and pranks.

October Islamic Heritage Month at the TDSB

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) proudly recognizes Islamic Heritage Month (IHM) during the month of October. This recognition follows the motion passed by the Board of Trustees on June 22, 2016. Our main theme for the month is Salaam: Joy, Excellence, Belonging.

Islamic Heritage Month has been recognized across Canada in different ways since October 2007. In November 2016, the Province of Ontario established October as Islamic History Month through the Islamic Heritage Month Act, and further stated that “proclaiming a month to be Islamic Heritage Month in Ontario will provide all Ontarians, both today and in future generations, with an opportunity to reflect, celebrate, and learn about the rich and longstanding Islamic history in the Province and the diverse roles and contributions of Muslim people in communities across Ontario. This new understanding will in turn help combat anti-Islamic sentiment.”

During the month of October several Islamic Heritage Month educational opportunities are being organized for all TDSB students to further learn about Islamic traditions and customs. These offerings include:

  • Workshops from the Aga Khan Museum for all grade levels.
  • Workshops with Project Include Outreach. One of their goals is highlight the contributions of Muslims to modern-day technology and utilize coding principles to facilitate an understanding of Islamic heritage & culture.

TDSB IHM Volunteer Planning Committee invited all TDSB students to participate in a Poster Contest last spring and the poster below will be shared with all schools in the TDSB. This poster was selected as it captured this year’s theme of Salaam: Joy, Excellence, Belonging. Salaam means ‘peace’ in Arabic and is a shortened version of the Islamic greeting, ‘peace be upon you’. This year, the TDSB Islamic Heritage Month Committee would like staff, students, and community members to greet, or say ‘salaam’ to, joy, excellence and belonging within the activities planned and learning available during this important month.

As we reflect and learn this October, we practice joy in celebrating rich Islamic heritage; we honour the excellence of diverse Muslim identities and cultures; and foster belonging for the many Muslim students who attend TDSB schools. Selected winning poster images are also posted to the TDSB website.

October is Somali Heritage Month at the TDSB


The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) proudly recognizes Somali Heritage Month during the month of October. The TDSB has been marking Somali Heritage Month since June 2016, and we continue to expand on the selected theme Educate. Elevate. Excel.

In October 2020, the Government of Ontario proclaimed Somali Heritage Week Act, 2020 which will take place on June 25 through July 1.

"By proclaiming the week of June 25 through July 1 as Somali Heritage Week, the Province of Ontario recognizes the economic, political, social and cultural achievements and contributions of Somali Canadians in all aspects of Ontario society. Like many refugees and immigrants who have made Ontario their home, Somali Canadians are proud to be part of diverse communities across the province."

During the month of October several Somali Heritage Month educational opportunities are being organized for all TDSB students to further learn about Somali traditions and customs. These offerings include primary students having an opportunity to engage in a bookmark challenge where their creative talents can shine! Our intermediate and senior level students will be provided with the opportunity to participate in a creative writing challenge by answering questions about Somali traditions and share their thoughts on a variety of topics. We are excited to have an author reading and rich resources available to our staff to further our learning. Our students and staff are enriched by guest speakers and their knowledge as they inspire us to seek additional information.

The Somali Heritage Month volunteer planning committee is planning on putting together a special project to spotlight Somali students! Stay tuned for more information!

The poster above is being shared with all Toronto District School Board schools, and sites.

Please follow us on X (formerly Twitter) for daily messages throughout the month of October: SomaliHM@TDSB



Brookside will continue to use School Cash Online! This is a system that allows you to pay for pizza lunches, class trips, etc., online. If you have not registered already, please see the step-by-step instructions on how to register in your First Day Package.

Please help us with reaching our goal of having 100% participation in this school wide program by registering today! It is easy to register! Click here to register: