National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30th is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada, a solemn occasion dedicated to acknowledging the historical and ongoing injustices faced by First Nations, Métis and Inuit. With this day falling on a Saturday this year, we are encouraging all students and staff at Rosedale Heights P.S. to wear an orange shirt to school on Friday September 29th.

The colour of the shirt is connected to the experience of Phyllis Webstad who was sent to Cariboo Residential School near Williams Lake, BC, in 1973. Six-years old at the time, Phyllis went to her first day of school wearing a new bright orange shirt. New clothes were a rare thing for the young girl, who was being raised by her grandmother. However, upon arriving at the school, she was forced to remove her orange shirt and wear the school’s institutional uniform instead.

The orange shirt has gone on to become a symbol of a national movement that recognizes the suffering of Indigenous children at residential schools across the country and to show a continued commitment to ensuring that Every Child Matters. The topic of residential schools first appears in the newly revised Social Studies curriculum in Grade 1, and many educators K-12 will take on this topic as part of their instructional program.

Across the York Region District School Board, staff and students will wear orange shirts on September 29th in the spirit of Reconciliation and to stand in solidarity with survivors and all those impacted by residential schools.

You Can Help Our Students to Blast Off!

At Rosedale Heights P.S. we emphasize the importance of our students demonstrating good character in their classrooms, the school, and the community at large, as reflected in the school’s touchstone. Our school is filled with citizens of good character. Every day we see students demonstrating respect, responsibility, honesty, empathy, fairness, initiative, perseverance, integrity, courage, and optimism. We also have students adopting growth mindsets – positive attitudes about themselves as learners, which recognize the importance of dedication, learning from mistakes, and hard work which nurture a love of learning and resiliency that contribute to their success.

At Rosedale Heights P.S., we are Rockets. So naturally, when our students do great things, it makes them Blast Off! We’d like to acknowledge our students demonstrating good character by sharing the Blast Offs in our school displays, during periodic assemblies and on our daily announcements.

We’d need your help, though! We only see what our students do at school, but we would like to extend our emphasis on positive behaviours and attitudes beyond the school, recognizing our students’ good character at home and in the community. Is there something you know of that would warrant blasting off for your son or daughter? Please send in your own Blast Off messages to be read on the announcements or displayed throughout the school by emailing

Consider some examples:

“We are sending out a Blast Off for Jennifer Smith for completing her yellow belt in Karate. She worked very hard over the last six months, practicing three times a week to reach her goal.”

“We are sending out a Blast Off for Kevin Lee for helping out at home when his mom and dad were sick. He showed tremendous initiative in making dinner for his younger siblings so his parents could rest.”

“We are sending out a Blast Off for Shelley Green for scoring her first goal in ice hockey. Six months ago she couldn’t even skate, but she was determined to learn, and we’re so proud of her perseverance.”

“We are sending out a Blast Off for Jeff Singh who volunteered all weekend at the community centre to run programs for younger children. He took the role seriously and showed great responsibility.”

Help be our eyes and ears in the community and share your Blast Off!

Rosedale Heights P.S. Annual Terry Fox School Run

As history recalls, on September 1st 1980, Terry Fox was forced to abandon his run across Canada in Thunder Bay, Ontario, when the cancer that had taken his leg returned, spreading to his lungs.  Refusing to be defeated, he charged Canadians with continuing his quest.  “Even if I don’t finish, we need others to continue.  It’s got to keep going.”

While it seemed that Terry Fox’s dream of raising $1 for every Canadian was in jeopardy, the nation responded.  The CTV network organized a telethon in support of Terry’s cause and helped raise over ten million dollars.  By February of 1981 the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope fund eclipsed twenty-four million dollars, the (then) national population.  Less than five months later, Terry would lose his battle to cancer.  He was 22 years old.

Though forty-three years have passed since the original Marathon of Hope, Terry Fox is honoured and recognized across Canada and internationally for his heroic quest to eradicate cancer and his trailblazing attitudes toward disability.  With more than three-quarters of a billion dollars raised in Terry’s name to date, schools across Canada honour him by participating in an annual school event.  This year Rosedale Heights will be holding its school run on Thursday, October 19th, 2023.

Over Rosedale Heights Public School’s twenty-one years of participating in the annual Terry Fox School Run event, the school has raised an incredible amount–over $50,000–and we’re hoping to continue this year.  You can help our fundraising efforts in one of two ways.  Donations in the name of the school can easily be made online, directly to the Terry Fox Foundation at our school-specific link simply by clicking on the ‘Donate’ button. Alternatively, pledge forms will also be sent home with students this week.  Any donation, whether online or returned to the school with the pledge form, is appreciated.  Our community will continue to contribute in an important way to the ongoing effort to eradicate cancer in our lifetime.

Conquering cancer is a challenging but especially worthwhile goal.  Terry never gave up.  “I am not a quitter – that means not giving up on things you hold close to your heart, be it people you care about or dreams for yourself and a better world. It means believing in the possible and committing to it.”  This year, once again, we will work together to honour Terry’s commitment to never quitting.

We thank you for your support.

Reminder: First School Council Meeting and Elections

We’d like to remind our community that our first School Council meeting and elections will be held on Thursday, September 28th at 7:00 p.m. in the school library. School Councils provide valuable advice and support on school matters and help to strengthen the important relationship between schools, parents, guardians and their communities.

Those wishing to serve on the School Council as chair or co-chair, secretary, treasurer, or as an executive member need to complete the linked School Council Nomination Form (or contained within the School Start-Up Package that was sent home). School Council Nomination Forms should be returned to the office prior to the first School Council meeting. Those seeking a position must be in attendance at the first meeting. It is expected that School Council Executive members attend all regularly scheduled School Council meetings and events. Please note that there can be many parents and guardians who consistently attend School Council Meetings and strongly support the work of the School Council who are not executive members.

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend and support the work of the school.

We look forward to working with the School Council this year!

Some Important School Updates

We’ve had a great start to the school year and we’re so glad to have students join and rejoin us this Fall. We wish to share with the community that since our earlier Spring projections, we have registered more than forty new students to the school. To this end, the current school organization should continue to be considered a tentative organization and given enrollment changes it is highly likely we will need reorganize our current classes at the end of September. We are grateful for your support as we finalize our enrollments and plan to accommodate for our growing student body.

As well, we wish to share several important safety reminders:

  • School begins at 8:30 a.m., with supervision beginning 15 minutes earlier, at 8:15 a.m.  We would kindly remind families that students should not be dropped off at the school before 8:15 a.m.
  • As always, we encourage our parents and guardians and their child(ren) to walk to school or park lawfully on one of the nearby adjacent streets and walk to school.  For parents dropping students off, please do so in our Kiss and Ride area –the area marked with yellow lines—taking note of the bus drop off lane closest to the school.  Expectedly, traffic is very busy at entry and dismissal times and we ask that everyone be especially mindful in their driving in the interest of our collective safety.  Please remember not to park in the staff parking lot.
  • We ask all parents walking students home to make use of pedestrian walkways, sidewalks and the supervised crossing area by the front doors of the school.  Please do not cross through the bus and car lane at any other point.  We are appreciative of all pedestrians who cross the traffic lanes only at the designated crossing point in the interest of everyone’s safety.
  • We are grateful to see a number of students minimizing their environmental footprint by coming to school on bicycles.  Please remind your child that they should walk their bicycle once on school property (they should not be riding through the parking lot or on the pedestrian sidewalk) and that all student cyclists must be wearing helmets.

We extend our thanks to all our community members for their ongoing support of the school.

New to Edsby?

If you’re new to the York Region District School Board or have not yet set up an Edsby account, you will receive an invitation to do so.  Edsby is an intuitive, cloud-based platform that allows families to engage with the school in various ways, including enabling parents to report student absences or to schedule a Parent-Teacher Interview in November.

If your already have an Edsby account, there’s nothing you need to do.  If you do not have an Edsby account, please anticipate an email with instructions on activating your account. Additional details can be found in this Welcome to Edsby flyer. If you require any assistance with setting up your account, please don’t hesitate to contact the school office.

Our thanks for your support.

Celebrating Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot

YRDSB students, parents, caregivers and community members are invited to learn about Jewish traditions, customs and practices. You are welcome to join in fostering a cultural understanding to celebrate the Jewish holidays in September. Come meet fellow families and community members and help to create an identity affirming environment for Jewish learners.

The event is being hosted at Westmount Collegiate Institute on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Event attractions include: an acknowledgment of holiday traditions and games; holiday related art activities; Jewish resources; a Jewish holiday dance performed by Bounce Entertainment, and; Kosher food will be available for purchase. You will also have an opportunity to meet the YRDSB Jewish Community and Partnership Developer from Inclusive School and Community Services, Diana Talis.

For more information, including how to register for the free event, see the linked flyer.

Message from Our Trustee

Dear Rosedale Heights P.S. Families, 

It is my pleasure to welcome all new and returning families to school for the 2023-2024 school year. I hope everyone had a wonderful summer and wish you a positive start to the new school year. I know it can be a time of transition for many, and I am grateful for the dedication and professionalism of our school staff for all that they do to support students as they start the new school year, and create a warm, welcoming and inclusive environment in our schools.

The education of your children is a partnership, and we recognize that you are our most important partner when it comes to your child’s education. As a family member, there are many ways you can engage in your child’s learning, from speaking with your child about school and connecting with school staff to volunteering or becoming involved with the school council. You know your child best and we place great value on the relationship we have with families. I look forward to connecting with you throughout the school year. 

As your school trustee, it is my role to advocate for quality public education in York Region, and to ensure that our students remain at the centre of all of our decision making. The Board of Trustees has many responsibilities, including making policy and budget decisions, and communicating with the public. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns, and I will continue to keep you updated throughout the year on what is happening in the board. You can also visit our newsroom, listen to our podcast and connect with us on social media to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the board. 

This year, we are pleased to welcome our new Director of Education Bill Cober, who took on the role on August 1 this year. He brings nearly 30 years of experience in public education in York Region, a commitment to student achievement and well-being, and a strategic and collaborative approach. 

Later in the year, we will be undertaking a comprehensive strategic plan review. One of our roles as a board is to set the Multi-Year Strategic Plan that establishes our priorities and guides our direction as a school board. We will be reviewing that plan this year, and engaging with communities is a priority for us. Your input will be important and I look forward to sharing more information with you on this in the future. 

I wish you all a great start to the school year and a happy, safe and successful year ahead. 

Estelle Cohen, Trustee, Vaughan Wards 4 and 5