Forest Hill Collegiate Institute

View From the Hill - Issue 14 - Week of November 28, 2021

Sunday, November 28, 2021

As the Winter Break is just three weeks away, our Student Council will begin their annual food drive to support the Daily Bread Food Bank. Three bins will be placed in high traffic areas in the school and all students who can give are encouraged to bring non-perishable items for donation.

There are also FHCI families who are in need of support at this time of the year. We are hoping to support Forest Hill families in need by raising money – in the form of gift cards – starting December 1. See below for more information.

As Chanukah begins, we want to wish peace, health and happiness to all our families who celebrate the Festival of Light. Chanukah Sameach.


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

In this issue:

  1. Next Two Weeks at a Glance
  2. Lockers – Assignment Begins on Monday, November 29
  3. Let’s Connect about Mental Health and Well Being – Virtual Session – November 29 @ 6:30 p.m.
  4. COVID-19 Vaccines & Children: Webinar for Parents & Guardians – November 30 or December 2
  5. Late Start – Wednesday, December 1 – Classes Begin @ 10:00 a.m.
  6. Noemi Weis’s Film – Connecting the Dots – Free Screening – December 1 @ 3:30 p.m.
  7. Requests for Switching Between Learning Models – Must Complete Form by December 6
  8. Student Vaccination Requirement and Winter Sports
  9. Winter Holiday Food & Gift Card Drive
  10. RBC Coding Opportunity for Self-Identified Black Students
  11. Planning An International Trip? Please review the Federal Travel Policies
  12. EQAO - Grade 9 Mathematics - Important January Dates
  13. Messages from Guidance
  14. Messages from School Council – Chair Tracy Kowal
  15. Trustee Laskin’s Weekly Updates
  16. Worth Mentioning Again… Grad Photos; Student Activity Fee $50

Next Two Weeks at a Glance

Keep apprised of what is happening by linking to our school year calendar which is live on our school website landing page.

Lockers - Assignment Begins on Monday, November 29

Locker assignment will begin on Monday, November 29 through homeform classes. Students will receive a personalized card with a locker number assigned. Please draw your student’s attention to the back of the card which outlines the student responsibilities regarding lockers. Students are encouraged to bring their own locks.

Let’s Connect about Mental Health and Well Being – Virtual Session – November 29 @ 6:30 p.m.

Parents, caregivers and students are invited to join our Professional Support Services staff for the next Let’s Connect About Mental Health and Well-Being session with a focus on student voice and mental health. Hear TDSB student voices and experiences about well-being and increase your knowledge of mental health strategies to better support your student’s overall mental health and well-being.

When: Monday, November 29 @ 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

How: via Zoom at

Find out more at:

COVID-19 Vaccines & Children: Webinar for Parents & Guardians – November 30 or December 2

Toronto Public Health invites parents and guardians to join an information webinar about vaccination. TPH Associate Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Vinita Dubey, will cover:

  • Risks of COVID-19 in children
  • Information on COVID-19 vaccines and children
  • Facts about vaccines and fertility
  • COVID-19 vaccination and schools

The webinar will also include a question and answer period. No registration required. Choose from one of two session dates:

  • Tuesday, November 30, 2021 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Join online via Webex or join by telephone 416-915-6530

Access Code: 2451 962 4232

  • Thursday, December 2, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. to noon

Join online via Webex or join by telephone 416-915-6530

Access Code: 2466 644 5793

Late Start – Wednesday, December 1 – Classes Begin @ 10:00 a.m.

This Wednesday will be a late start for students to support staff professional learning. Classes will begin at 10:00 a.m.

Noemi Weis’s Film – Connecting the Dots – Free Screening – December 1 @ 3:30 p.m.

Connecting the Dots is a raw and intimate documentary that looks at youth mental health from a global perspective. With heart-felt poignant stories of lived experience, the film showcases young voices breaking barriers surrounding youth mental health. Through highly cinematic and character driven storytelling, Connecting the Dots is emotional, reflective and hopeful.

All members of the Forest Hill community are invited to attend:

Requests for Switching Between Learning Models – Must Complete Form by December 6

For the 2021-22 school year, there is one opportunity to switch between in-person and virtual learning. To coordinate switches for February 2022, students requesting a change must complete the Switch Form between Monday, November 29 and Monday, December 6. More information can be found on the TDSB website at: Requests For Switching Between Learning Models.

Student Vaccination Requirement and Winter Sports

The TDSB has made a decision to require all students aged 12+ to be fully vaccinated to participate in winter sports (e.g. basketball, ice hockey, swimming, etc.). Specifically, this vaccination requirement applies to sports/teams that involve competition between schools, mixing of students and travel to other TDSB schools and/or external venues.

Additionally, many sports competitions and finals take place at facilities in Toronto where a vaccine mandate is already in place. In these cases, all students will be required to show proof of vaccination to enter the building and would not be able to access the facility to participate if unvaccinated.

Students will be required to upload proof of vaccination to the Service Now App to participate on any inter-school team. In rare cases where a student is unable to be vaccinated, we will work with Toronto Public Health and staff to develop a process to support these students so they can safely participate where possible.

For students participating in sports that occur only within our school and only with students from our school, vaccination is recommended but not required at this time. This decision is consistent with recommendations from Toronto Public Health and has been made with the health and safety of students and staff in mind.

Our coaches will be joining the TDSB Coaches Meeting on Wednesday, December 1 to learn more about which sports may be offered. Our morning announcements will share more information this week about upcoming try outs and possible winter sport teams. Stay tuned!

Winter Holiday Food & Gift Card Drive

As mentioned in the introduction, starting Wednesday, December 1 our school will be begin two drives to support our community in the hope of making the holiday season brighter:

  1. Daily Bread Food Bank Drive – students and staff are encouraged to donate non-perishable food items. These food items can be placed in the three bins located inside the entrances of our building. Student Council hopes to raise 500 pounds of food.
  2. Gift Card Drive – Many of our own students and families are experiencing financial or personal difficulty this year. We will be collecting gift cards from staff, students, and community members to share with Forest Hill families in need. Students are welcome to drop off gift cards to the main office. Gift cards can be in any amount from grocery, big box, clothing or local stores. Any amount is appreciated. Please record the value of the gift card on the back.

Please spend the word in the community that we will be hosting these drives until December 17. Unfortunately, tax receipts are not available for these donations. Thank you in advance for your generous support. And thank you to Student Council, Ms. Pawlowski and Ms. Beattie for helping us organize these important donation drives.

RBC Coding Opportunity for Self-Identified Black Students

RBC is very excited to announce a Winter Session of Code Crunch! This popular program was designed for self-identified Black students to work on their coding skills over the Winter break. Many TDSB students participated in and enjoyed the last round of programming hosted by RBC. There are limited spots available and they are sure to fill up quickly so apply now. More information can be found by linking to this flyer and the FAQ sheet.

What: FREE Winter Break program for students to learn how to code OR upgrade their coding skills

Who: Individuals in grade 8-12 who self-identify as Black

When: December 20 to 22 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily

Where: Completely virtual

How to apply: Link to

Planning An International Trip? Please review the Federal Travel Policies

Families who are planning international travel this Winter Break are reminded to review the established federal international travel policies – including the guidelines for unvaccinated, school-aged children – in advance of the break in an effort to prevent absences in January related to post-travel requirements.

Also, please note that the Ministry of Education has announced in the media that it will be sending students home with five antigens tests to self-administer over the Winter Break; however, schools have not received any additional information at this time. When additional information is provided this will be communicated to the community.

EQAO - Grade 9 Mathematics - Important January Dates

The Ministry of Education has announced that all Grade 9 students who are enrolled in math this school year will write the grade 9 EQAO math assessment. Students currently registered in grade 9 math will write the mandatory test in January. The test consists of two booklets written over a two day period. The following are important dates:

  • Week 1 Grade 9 Math Classes - Thursday, January 13 and Friday, January 14.
  • Week 2 Grade 9 Math Classes - Thursday, January 20 and Friday, January 21.

Note: This assessment will not be counted towards a student’s mathematics grade this year.

Messages from Guidance

Grade 12 – Applying to Post-Secondary – Guidance Drop-In Support Session – December 1 @ Lunch

Guidance will be hosting our second drop-in sessions at lunch for students who want support with applications on Wednesday, December 1 @ 11:45 a.m.:

If students want or require additional support, they are also encouraged to book an appointment with their guidance counsellor.

Community Involvement Activities

TDSB approved activities include events or activities to support a not-for-profit initiative. Opportunities are posted and updated regularly on the Volunteering page of the FHCI Guidance website. Students may submit their hours by completing the Volunteer Hours form posted on this page.

Note to Grade 12 Students: Owing to Covid-19 and limited opportunities for our current grade 12s to volunteer over the last few years, this graduating class must complete 20 hours by June 2022. The completion of the mandatory community involvement hours will not affect offers of admissions to post-secondary at this time. Any changes or updates to community hours will be shared with OUAC and OCAS when transmissions occur in February and June.

Grade 12 – Full Disclosure of Marks – Wednesday, December 15

The Full Disclosure of Marks date has been shifted for all secondary schools to Wednesday, December 15. This will allow students an opportunity to complete approximately 75% of a course prior to deciding whether to continue in or drop a course. If students wish to drop a course, please advise them to complete the FHCI Drop Form which can be found on our Guidance website.

Words of Advice from FHCI Alumni

Our FHCI Alumni have shared their thoughts and post-secondary experiences with our Grade 12 this year. To find out what our Alumni are saying, link to the slideshow on the FHCI Guidance website.

Virtual Employment Information Sessions – City of Toronto

  1. City of Toronto is now hiring for the winter and spring sessions. Find out more by connecting to the City of Toronto Recreation Job Board. re are opportunities in aquatics, skating, skiing and snowboarding, and Recreation Support to name a few.

Thank you to Ms. Ng, Mr. Oosteroff, Ms. Robles Evans for all they are doing to support our students.

Messages from School Council – Chair Tracy Kowal

Voluntary Donation to School Council

School Council – which is comprised of parents and guardians – is requesting that once a year, each family make a voluntary donation of $15.00. This is a suggested amount only and any voluntary donation for this year will be gratefully accepted. We ask that you kindly consider making a voluntary donation this year through Cash Online.

Please note that funds raised benefit students in all grades. School Council intends to use the funds raised for:

  • Guest speakers for parent and guardian community event on topics such as mental health in teens, impacts of social media and gaming, cyber safety and crime prevention
  • Staff appreciation breakfast and/or lunch to thank our amazing staff for all of their work during the school year
  • Graduation scholarships and awards
  • Support for student initiatives and clubs
  • Student nutrition and outreach

Wish List Campaign 2021

This year, the Wish List Campaign is raising funds to help with the installation of a new Calming Wellness Room for students. This room will be a safe space for students feeling stressed, anxious or in need of a quiet space and will be monitored by our Youth worker. We are reaching out for your support as we cannot do this without you. You may donate in increments of $5, but this donation method will not generate a tax receipt. To donate without receiving a tax receipt, link to 2021 Wish List Campaign. If you wish to receive a tax receipt for your donation, please link to TDSB Donation for FHCI. Thank you on behalf of the FHCI School Council Wish List Committee. Questions can be addressed by Genevieve Korman at

Our School Council Chair, Tracy Kowal, can be reached at

Trustee Laskin’s Weekly Updates

Learn more about upcoming events and keep informed by linking to Trustee Laskin's Weekly Newsletter.

Worth Mentioning Again…

Graduate Photos – Monday, November 29 to Friday, December 10 – Appointment Necessary

An email was sent to all potential graduates, parents and guardians on November 16 indicating that Grad Photos will begin on Monday November 29 by appointment and run until December 10. Grad Photos will take place in our Music Vocal Room. All Covid-19 protocols will be followed to ensure student and staff safety.

To book an appointment, please visit Upon accessing the website, under the Schedule tab scroll to the section labelled Don’t have an appointment code, select Ontario and enter Toronto. On the next page, select Forest Hill Collegiate. Enter the student name, and begin the booking process.

Students will not be able to take a Grad Photo without booking an appointment. Simultaneous learners will also need an appointment. Taking a Grad Photo ensures that students make it onto our walls in our graduate composite! More information can be found in this flyer or by contacting Vice Principal Joseph Ghassibe:

​​Student Activity Fee: $50 Request

Each year schools collect a student fee to support costs that are not covered by the Ministry or the Board to provide an even richer school experience for our students. This year our school is requesting a Student Activity Fee of ​​$50. A separate email will be sent to all students and families on Monday, November 22 with a link to School Cash Online.

The fees will cover the following:

  • $30 Forester Yearbook (hard cover, colour printed - delivered in June)
  • $7 Academic programming (FHCI Photo ID card and student printing costs)
  • $3 Athletic programming (teams and Intramural for students)
  • $10 Student programming (Student Council, Clubs & organizations, Hillstock, nutrition for students in need)

Thank you for supporting student engagement at Forest Hill. Note: In the event of financial hardship for a student or family, please speak with an Administrator. Confidentiality will be respected. If you have any further questions regarding the Student Activity Fee, please contact the school.