School Council

The School Council at Fern Avenue Public School is a volunteer advisory body, formed by the parents and guardians of Fern students. Our purpose is to work alongside the staff at Fern to enhance our children’s educational experience and to strengthen their sense of community, both within the school and around our neighbourhood.

We encourage parents to attend School Council meetings so that they can have a voice in the decisions being made about their children’s experience at Fern. Council meets once each month during the school year, except December . . . so check the calendar.

Watch the message board for details.

TreasurerJoanna Van Viegen
Ward 7 RepsHeather Johnston
Ceiran Bishop
Jessica Chester


School councils in Ontario are governed by the Ontario Education Act and are further required to have their own by-laws in place to address such things as election procedures, the filling of vacancies, conflict of interest guidelines, and conflict resolution.

Below is a link to the latest version of the by-laws governing Fern Avenue Public School Council, together with related information on School Councils from the Ministry of Education’s website:


 The minutes of our School Council meetings, dating back to 2009, are now stored on Google Drive. Click here to access the folder.

Note: A small number of people have reported problems accessing and reading these files. If you are reading this blog at work, be aware than some companies restrict access to Google Drive and won’t allow you to download certain types of files. Our School Council documents are saved as PDF files. If you have an older computer system, you may have trouble reading this format. If so, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. This is a free application. After all that, if you’re still having problems, please send us a message at .


 There are a number of committees that operate under the School Council, and each has its own team leader and a set of goals for the year. The following descriptions have been supplied by committee members.

We are actively looking for new members to help support these committees. If you are interested in learning more about a specific committee or have any questions, please e-mail the contact listed below.

  • Playground Fundraising | Raise money to support the construction of a new outdoor environment that encourages cooperation, sharing, and laughter, running, jumping, and climbing, quiet discovery, making choices, and seeing the possibilities.
  • Community Events | Plan and execute events to bring the Fern Ave community together and foster a strong sense of school spirit.
  • STEM | Get kids excited about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); broaden delivery of STEM subjects in and out of class, improve Fern’s technology.
  • Arts Collective | Restore, inspire, and sustain quality arts education; provide local artistic talent to Fern classrooms, organize evening performances.
  • Communications | Maintain the school blog to provide timely updates and information to the Fern community, send weekly blog summary emails to Fern community.
  • Food | Oversee the Hot Lunch and Kindersnack program; promote participation in the program, liaise with school participants, the school and the school board. Improve access to nutritious food, including growing, preparing and eating healthier food at school. The committee is also exploring opportunities to address students' physical and mental health.
  • ECO Team | Educate and promote environmental issues within the school community; follow the TDSB EcoSchools guidelines, and attain Gold or Platinum certification.


Playground Fundraising Committee

 The goal of the Playground Committee is to revamp the current play space at Fern to create an outdoor environment that encourages cooperating and sharing, laughter and playing, running and jumping, leaping and climbing, quiet discovery, making choices, and seeing the possibilities.

 This is a huge endeavour and will take time, energy and resources to complete. But, with the help of Fern students, parents, teachers and staff we have completed the first step: a Playground Master Plan! For details on the work done to date, please click here.

 The Playground Committee is now working with our partners at the TDSB to ensure that any maintenance concerns, such as drainage and flooding, are corrected, before we move forward. The Committee will then pursue financial support for the project in the form of grants and donations. The final stage will see the implementation of the plan. We ask for your patience and continued support throughout this process.

 The Playground Committee looks forward to continuing to work with Fern students, staff and parents and the TDSB on this project! If you have a background in fundraising, grant writing or simply have an enthusiasm for creating a welcoming play space please join us!

Bliss Edwards
Dave Martin


STEM Committee

 The Fern STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Committee has a threefold mandate:
  • To get kids excited about science, math, and creative problem solving
  • To replace and improve Fern’s technology
  • To increase/vary parent engagement in the school community
The STEM committee aims to broaden Fern’s participation in STEM subjects, and increase science and math based extra-curricular activities available to students at Fern such as clubs or a science fair. However, Fern’s current technology is an obstacle to providing some of these classroom and extra-curricular activities. Improvements to the school’s technology would benefit all subject areas, and better prepare students for success in high school and beyond. Moreover, students with learning disabilities benefit from improved technologies.

 The STEM Committee seeks to work with the parent community and Fern students, administration and staff to:
  • Provide more resources, programs or training to teachers to assist in teaching STEM subjects
  • Provide STEM opportunities outside the classroom for students
  • Develop short and long term strategies for investment in new technology and regular renewal of existing technology at Fern, which will broaden the types of activities, lessons, and extra-curriculars that our kids have the opportunity to experience
  • Foster collaboration between students and STEM Committee to help guide programming and resources
Please contact the STEM Committee for more information, to provide suggestions, make requests or volunteer your time.

Laura Watts
Join our Google group:


Arts Collective

 The Arts Collective is comprised of a dynamic group of parents who are dedicated to restoring, inspiring, and sustaining quality arts education at Fern through the four strands of the arts curriculum: Dance, Drama, Music, and Visual Arts. Together we aim to bring quality art education into every Fern student’s life, and to support Fern's teachers in their efforts to meet curriculum guidelines.

 North American research shows that children who participate in the arts do better in other academic areas as well. Arts education has been shown to foster literacy and math skills, and to strengthen communication, critical and creative thinking, team building, as well as leadership and cultural competency skills.

With the support of the Fern School Council, we aim to offer our students artist-led educational experiences whenever possible. We also plan, develop, and facilitate music, drama, film, and dance performances for students and families. These expose students to a range of performance styles and bring the Fern community together for an evening of fun and entertainment. They’re not to be missed!

 We are always looking for volunteer parents to bring their artistic skills into Fern’s classrooms. If you are interested in leading a workshop or activity, or know someone who is, please be in touch.

Here’s how you can help support the Arts Collective:
  • Join our committee
  • Volunteer your artistic skills on a project or in a classroom
  • Ask artist friends (musicians, potters, painters, photographers, graphic artists, etc.) to volunteer their time.
  • Let us know if you have any art supply contacts. (printing, building and paint supplies, craft supplies)
  • Send us your ideas!
We welcome your suggestions and questions.

Tanis Darling
Adrienne Phillips


Communications Committee

 The Communications Committee is a group of parent volunteers who update the school’s website with information provided to them by Fern School community members. The Communications Committee also sends out a weekly summary of blog postings to community members on the mailing list, and updates the integrated google calendar.

The Communications Committee uses the email address: to receive most of its content but also relies upon hardcopy information from time to time. The Committee has a set of goals for what they would like to achieve over the next year.
  • Supporting school staff and troubleshooting technical issues
  • Updating the blog
  • Sending out weekly blog summary emails
  • Creating online banners to promote school events
  • Conducting surveys in order to improve our communication with the community
  • Maintaining confidentiality and working within school policy on privacy and liability issues
Michelle Stewart


Fern Food Committee

The Fern Food Committee and Ferncliff Daycare are working together to re-introduce a schoolwide lunch program. More than 100 hot, nutritious, and reasonably priced lunches are served every day to Fern students and staff. The meals are nut-free and contain no pork products, and when possible, the ingredients are fresh and locally sourced.

 The committee is composed of parent volunteers who help administer the lunch program, serve the lunches, promote participation in the program, and provide a liaison between the daycare and participating parents/students.

Click here to learn more about the lunch program.

Kelly Giddy


Eco Team

 The aim of the Eco Team is to educate and promote environmental issues within the whole school community. We follow the TDSB EcoSchools guidelines, and have proudly attained Gold and Platinum certification in years past.

 The Eco Team is made up of students from grades 4-6, teachers and parents. The team meets every Tuesday at lunch in room 204. The students have worked diligently on creating posters for recycling, composting and garbage (for every floor of the school), preparing and giving mini-presentations to every classroom, conducting classroom audits (lights off, vents clear, proper sorting of recycling and garbage), making announcements during the week, and keeping our school clean.

 In the coming weeks, we will be conducting a waste audit, planning a variety of Earth Week activities, and cleaning our schoolyard and community. We are also excited to be working as a club with some classes to plan, plant and grow some gardens! We will require some parent help with maintaining these gardens over the summer months. We also look forward to having a guest speaker come in to speak to the entire school about the importance of caring for our world.

 We run a very efficient and effective recycling program at Fern, and have recycling every Friday. We also recently started our Green Bin Program at Fern. Every classroom has a small compost bin for paper towels and tissues. The cafeteria, daycares, kindergarten rooms and staffroom house the large green bins for food waste and scraps. Classes in every division integrate environmental issues into the curricula, and we encourage teachers to share their lessons and activities with each other. In the photocopier rooms, we have boxes with one-sided paper to encourage teachers to use their paper wisely.

 We have applied for new bicycle racks for the front of our school and refillable water stations. Luckily, we have received a few bicycle racks last year. We will hear soon if we will be the successful recipients additional bicycle racks and/or new refillable water stations.

 Parents and caregivers can be involved in many ways, by helping with a particular project such as planting seeds on Earth Day to chaperoning students to events. You can be involved by attending a meeting, or even from home by promoting environmental issues via the Fern newsletter/blog, and encouraging other parents and community members to support our initiatives.

 Thank you for everyone's ongoing support and interest in Fern's Eco Team! If you would like to help out in any way, please get in touch. Together, we can make a difference.

Larissa Mohan
Kirsten Colley-Lussier

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