Forest Hill Collegiate Institute

View From the Hill - Issue 6 - Week of October 3, 2021

Saturday, October 2, 2021

On Thursday, the TDSB and Forest Hill Collegiate observed the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.  All our classes participated in a virtual assembly to celebrate Indigenous culture and begin the discussion and broaden our student's learning about residential schools and the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee. Thank you to all our teachers and students who wore orange to show their support for Truth and Reconciliation and Indigenous peoples. 

We also hosted our first School Council meeting this week with a record turn out of parents and guardians. Thank you to those who were able to join us virtually as it was great to connect with the community.  A parent inquired as to what could be done to show support for our teachers.  As mentioned, patience and kindness are two ways to show your support.  Another thought - it is World Teacher’s Day on Tuesday, October 5th and a lovely gesture of support would be a quick email of appreciation to any of your child’s teachers!  All our staff emails can be found on our website


Yvette Duffy, Principal                Joseph Ghassibe, Vice Principal               Anita Love, Vice Principal

In this issue: 

  1. This Week is Week 1
  2. Cafeteria Service - Up and Running! 
  3. Reorganization to Reduce Large Class Size
  4. Spirit Week: Our Tradition Continues This Week!
  5. Extracurricular Clubs Are Back!
  6. Student Council – Campaigning This Week & Elections on Thursday, October 14
  7. Terry Fox Run/Walk – Thursday, October 7
  8. Early Dismissal - Friday, October 8 - Classes end at 2:00 p.m.
  9. Commencement Celebration - Friday, October 8 - Drop by between 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
  10. October is Islamic Heritage Month
  11. October is Somali Heritage Month
  12. Messages from Guidance – Loran, Post-Secondary Information Sessions & Other Happenings
  13. Mental Health Supports
  14. Message from Library Learning Commons
  15. Parents and Caregivers as Partners - Virtual Conference - October 16 & 17
  16. Message from School Council - Chair Tracy Kowal
  17. Trustee Laskin’s Weekly Updates

This Week is Week 1

Remember that this coming week is a Week 1. Students will be attending the Week 1 classes. 

Keep apprised of what is happening in our school by linking to our school year calendar which is live on our school website landing page.  The next two weeks at a glance include: 

Calendar of next two weeks at a glance

Cafeteria Service - Up and Running! 

We welcomed back our cafeteria service last week and our servery is now up and running!  We are pleased to offer our students the opportunity to purchase a hot lunch Monday through Friday at school. 

Reorganization to Reduce Large Class Size

Given the large size of one of our grade 12 Advanced Functions classes, our need to align with contracts, and our to desire to better support students, we are reorganizing three current classes:  Learning Strategies (GLS1O8-1A), English as a Second Language (ESLD/E08-4A) and Advanced Functions (MHF4U1-3A).  The reorganization will affect 36 students and will take effect on Tuesday, October 12.  Students who are affected and their families will receive direct communication about the reorganization this week.  

Spirit Week: Our Tradition Continues This Week!

Spirit Week is a tradition we hold twice a year to promote school spirit.  Due to Covid-19 restrictions this year, we cannot host all the usual activities.  But Covid-19 will not stop us!  Every day next week there will be a different themed day, where students can dress up accordingly to demonstrate their school spirit.  Daily announcements and posters around the school will remind students of what is happening.  

This year’s themes include:

Monday, October 4 - Spirit Day Theme:  Pajama Day

Tuesday, October 5 - Spirit Day Theme:  80s Neon Day

Wednesday, October 6 - Spirit Day Theme:  Jersey Day

Thursday, October 7 - Spirit Day Theme:  Blue & Gold Day

Friday, October 8 - Spirit Day Theme:  Beach Day

We hope all our students will participate and help boost Forest Hill’s school spirit!  Thank you to our Athletic Council, Ms. Homatidas, and Ms. Ibe for inspiring school spirit! 

Extracurricular Clubs Are Back!

Our Virtual Club Fair is now live!  A Google Drive has been shared with all students, showcasing the 20+ Clubs currently being offered, along with information as to on how to join clubs. Please note that the Drive is only accessible by students using there TDSB credentials. If you’d like to view the Clubs being offered, please ask your child to share this with you. Asking your child to view the Virtual Club Fair is a great way to help us stress the importance of joining a Club, getting involved in our school community, and promoting school spirit!

Thank you to over twenty teachers who have eagerly agreed to act as staff sponsors for our clubs! 

Student Council – Campaigning This Week & Elections on Thursday, October 14

It is extremely exciting to see that a record number of applications for our next School leaders have been submitted! Campaigning will take place this week.

All candidates received detailed information from Mr. Ghassibe on September 28 and an all candidate meeting before the start of campaigning will be held to share campaign rules and information on Monday, October 4.  Recorded campaign speeches are due to Mr. Ghassibe by the morning of Tuesday, October 12 for sharing later in the day with all our students.  Elections will take place online on Thursday October 14 and our elected Student Council members will be announced on Friday, October 15. 

Good luck to all our candidates!  And thank you to Mr. Ghassibe, Ms. Pawlowski, and all our staff who are supporting the campaign. 

Terry Fox Run/Walk – Thursday, October 7

As mentioned last week, our students will now be participating in a Terry Fox Run/Walk on Thursday, October 7 and will complete a few laps on our track. 

We invite you to donate in increments of $2 to our campaign: Toonies for Terry.  Thank you for supporting Toonies for Terry as we try to reach our goal of $1000!  If you need support to login or set up an cash online account link to:  School Cash Online Instructions

Thank you to our Athletic Council, our Prefects, Ms. Homatidis and Ms. Ibe for leading this campaign. 

Early Dismissal - Friday, October 8 - Classes end at 2:00 p.m.

On Friday, October 8, students will be dismissed at 2:00 p.m. Both classes will be shortened by 20 minutes and lunch will be shortened by 5 minutes.  This will allow us to end the school day 45 minutes early at 2:00 p.m.  Link here for the Early Dismissal Schedule.

An early dismissal will allow our staff to finish organizing our Commencement Celebration that begins at 2:30 p.m. 

Commencement Celebration - Friday, October 8 - Drop by between 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Graduates have received multiple emails about our upcoming celebration.  What will the Commencement Celebration look like?  Graduates will arrive anytime between 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.  Graduates, accompanied by up to two guests, will be encouraged to wear the cap and gown that they were provided in June.  

Upon arrival, graduates and guests will be required to line up in front of the courtyard gates of Mayfair Avenue.  All individuals will be required to be masked and physically distanced while waiting in line. Graduates and their guests will be ushered into the courtyard where there will be an opportunity to take a photo under our ballooned archway.  Once the photo is completed, graduates will pick up their diploma, the Commencement Program and any awards. 

A very special thank you to Ms. DeJesus, Ms. Everett, Mr. Conley, Mr. Grey, Mr. Hobbs, Ms. Homatidas, Ms. Lima, Ms. Manolakos, Ms. McKinnon, Ms. Neumann, Mr. Pollard, Mr. Sladic, Ms. Stamatopoulou, and our Prefects, who are all working hard to ensure that this event is a success! 

October is Islamic Heritage Month

The Toronto District School Board proudly recognizes Islamic Heritage Month during the month of October. Our main theme for the month continues to be:  Reflect. Celebrate. Learn.

Read more in the TDSB news article about Islamic Heritage Month 2021.

October is Somali Heritage Month

The Toronto District School Board also proudly recognizes Somali Heritage Month during the month of October. The TDSB has been marking Somali Heritage Month since June 2016, and as a Board continue to expand on the theme of Educate. Elevate. Excel. Read more in the TDSB news article about Somali Heritage Month 2021.

Messages from Guidance

Loran Award

The Loran Scholars Foundation is searching for the 2022 scholars. Do you demonstrate strength of character, dedication to serving others in the community, and the promise of leadership potential?  This year, there is a single deadline for all applicants: October 13, 2021 before 8pm. Valued at up to $100,000, the Loran Award includes study at one of our 25 partner universities in Canada, a living stipend, funding to access summer experiences in Canada and abroad, mentorship, and participation in a community of supporters and alumni working towards a better country and world. Learn more here.

Post-Secondary Information Sessions

Our FHCI Guidance Department presented a Post-Secondary Information Session to all grade 12 classes on Friday, October 1st.  If your child missed the session or you wish to review the session, the recording and slideshow will be available on the FHCI Guidance Site early this coming week.

As mentioned in last week’s newsletter, the TDSB is hosting a Post-Secondary Information Session for TDSB families on Wednesday, October 6th 7:00 p.m. Link to this webinar: Additional information is posted on the Post-Secondary page of the FHCI Guidance Site.

Virtual Information Sessions from various universities and colleges begin this week. These virtual sessions are great opportunities to meet with representatives from different post-secondary institutions to learn about their campuses and programs.  Please check the schedules on our Post-Secondary page

Other Happenings

Guidance Counsellors will be visiting Grade 10 classes this week to speak to our grade 10 students about graduation requirements, mental health resources, and how to book an appointment with their counsellor. Our Counsellors will also be visiting Grade 9 classes for a Guidance Orientation later this month.

Thank you to our Guidance team for all they are doing to support our students: Ms. Delos Reyes, Ms. Ng, Mr. Oosterhoff, and Ms. Robles Evans.

Mental Health Supports

Is your child struggling with their mental health?  If they need someone to talk to, they are welcome to speak to any of our guidance counsellors, Child & Youth Workers and/or social worker.  Drop by the Student Services Centre to find out how to connect. 

You might also want to reach out to the following agencies for support: 

  • Telehealth Ontario - 1 866 797 0000
  • Kids Help Phone - 1 800 668 6868 or text CONNECT to 686868 or visit
  • Black Youth Helpline - 1 833 294 8650
  • Inuit & First Nations Hope for Wellness Line - 1 855 242 3310
  • LGBT Youth Helpline - 1 888 687 9688
  • Trans Lifeline - 1 877 330 6366

As well, the TDSB Professional Support Services is offering virtual drop-in hours for parents and guardians to discuss strategies to help support the mental health and well-being of your child: 

  • Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
  • Thursdays from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m

A special drop-in for parents and guardian of students with special or complex needs is being held on Wednesdays from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  

Link to the TDSB Mental Health and Well-Being Resource page to locate the calendar and Zoom links for these sessions.

Message from Library Learning Commons

Did you know that students can get help from their school library even when they’re not at school?  The Toronto District School Board Virtual Library provides easy access to digital resources 24/7 to support K-12 learning at school and home. Check out the Learnmark that was shared with our community via email this week.  

Parents and Caregivers as Partners - Virtual Conference - October 16 & 17

The 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.

The Parents and Caregivers as Partners Conference 2021 provides an opportunity to highlight innovation and high-impact strategies for partnering, collaborating, and nurturing parents and caregivers╩╝ partnerships and alliances. These two days will be filled with workshops, networking opportunities and keynote speakers Dr. James Makokis and Cherry Rose Tan. Further details and information about registration can be found at:

Message from School Council - Chair Tracy Kowal

Please mark your calendars and save the date of Monday, November 1st at 7:30 p.m. for our next School Council meeting. 

Trustee Laskin’s Weekly Updates

Learn more about upcoming events and keep informed by linking to Trustee Laskins Weekly Newsletter

Download and print a copy of this week's newlettter:  View From the Hill - Issue 6 - Week of October 3, 2021

Last Updated On 10/9/2021 1:20:38 PM