TDSB News and Info
TDSB News and Info
Ward 15 newsletter header

Happy New Year!

I hope you and yours had a joyful, restful and happy holiday season and that the new year has started off well. I'm sharing several updates with you today, including some details on recent provincial funding announcements.  
In this newsletter: 
  • Province Cuts EPO Grants
  • Pro Grants Finally Announced
  • trending@tdsb: Good News Stories
  • Tamil Heritage Month
  • policy consultations
  • optional attendance guidelines
  • extended french applications
  • high school open houses
  • school year calendar

Provincial Government Cuts Education Funding


On December 14 and 21, the TDSB received information from the Ministry of Education announcement that $25 million in Specialized Program Grants (EPO or "Education Program - Other" Grants) would be cut province-wide -- or about $744,500 at the TDSB. 
These cuts are extremely disappointing news. Many of these funds were aimed at helping youth-at-risk, and programs we know make a positive difference. We are also concerned that cuts made in the middle of the school year will even more negatively impact our students.
A more detailed report will be shared at the January 23 meeting of the Finance, Business and Enrolment Committee, and will be available on the board website a few days prior to that meeting, For more on the Ministry's Announcements as we understand them at this time, click here

Pro Grants Finally Announced

The Ministry of Education has now confirmed PRO grants will proceed and the Ministry has also announced approvals on a school-by-school basis The Ministry had previously placed the grants on hold pending a review.

PRO grants support local school councils, Parent Involvement Committees and not-for-profit organizations working with parents. This funding is for applicant projects that support equity, wellness and academic achievement.

TDSB System-Wide PRO Grants

The Toronto District School Board has been awarded $381,901 for the 2018-19 Parents Reaching Out (PRO) Grants. This funding is to support 374 School Councils and 2 Regional/Provincial projects. The total amount of PRO Grants for School Councils for which the TDSB has been approved is $369,901. The total amount of PRO Grants for Regional/Provincial Projects for which the TDSB has been approved is $12,000. The Transfer Payment Agreement(s) for the project(s) below will follow in January 2019:
Parent Engagement Conference and Networking Event ($8,000) and Mindful Parenting ($4,000).

 School-By-School PRO Grants

See the list of TDSB schools to receive PRO grants, in alphabetical order by school name.

The Ministry will be notifying grant applicants directly, on or before January 10, 2019. As a follow-up, the Ministry will be sending the Board a Transfer Payment Agreement in January 2019. The total amount above will then be transferred to the TDSB once the Ministry has received the signed agreement. School boards are asked to allocate these funds to individual school accounts. As per the 2018-19 Project Guidelines and Terms & Conditions, recipients are required to provide reports confirming expenditure of funds as well as the outcomes achieved to enhance parent engagement. Projects must be completed and the funds expended by August 15, 2019.

Good News Stories: Welcome Louise Brown!

trending@tdsb will take you inside schools across the Toronto District School Board to discover some of the exciting changes underway behind the classroom door. Fresh kinds of learning, new ways of teaching, reaching deeper into their communities, putting equity into action and all-around cool schools with stories to share. 
Louise Brown covered education for the Toronto Star for almost 20 years, over nearly four decades. She is fascinated by schools trying new ways to engage students in the most diverse school board in the country. These are the stories she will share on trending@tdsb.

January is Tamil Heritage Month

The TDSB is celebrating Tamil Heritage Month in January 2019 with the theme of “Remembrance. Resilience. Recognition.”
This month was chosen as it coincides with one of the most important celebrations for Canadians of Tamil heritage, the Thai Pongal Harvest Festival. Millions of Tamil people around the world, irrespective of their religion, celebrate Thai Pongal, and offer thanks for an abundant harvest. TDSB proudly marked Tamil Heritage Month for the first time in 2016.

As Toronto has the largest Tamil populations outside of the South Asian subcontinent, this committee aims to ensure that the objectives of TDSB’s January’s Tamil Heritage month are reflected in the curriculum and learning objectives for students. To explore these themes, the planning committee will be inviting students to learn about the rich culture of the Tamil heritage and how their own respective ancestry can be used to shape their future through essays, original artwork and public speaking contests. The poster for the month was designed by committee member and Wexford CI student, Ganga, and has been shared with schools across the system.

Policy Consultations


From the TDSB Website - We Want to Hear From You - The objective of these consultations is to gather public input regarding options, alternative courses of action, as well as to identify unintended effects for various participants and to find solutions. The TDSB would like to know your thoughts about policy decisions by inviting you to participate in the Board's policy consultations. Please click on the policy of your interest to see the current draft. You are welcome to provide your comments, including suggestions on the wording and provisions of the draft policies, questions or recommendations using the contact information below.

Student Dress Code Policy (P042) - To establish standards and fair and equitable practices for student dress in schools; centred on student engagement and student voice. To recognize that students need the freedom to express themselves and experience school as an important social environment, not a professional work environment, and that dress plays a fundamental role in how students build healthy relationships and express themselves. Click for Draft Policy (save as word document) Student Dress Code Policy Survey - Closes February 28, 2019 Contactkenneth.jeffers@tdsb.on.ca
Restrictions on Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco Use Policy (P0XX) - To promote a working and learning environment that is free from the harmful effects of drugs, alcohol and substance use, including tobacco, cannabis, and its related products. Click here for Draft Policy (save as work document) Closes January 31, 2019 Contact gillian.venning@tdsb.on.ca

Optional Attendance


Every year at this time, I get questions about how students can access programs at schools other than their home school. Below is a synopsis of the board's Optional Attendance process. 
To read the full policy and associated operational procedure, click here
Students have the right to attend schools based on their home address. Students also have the opportunity to access schools outside of the school that is designated to serve their residential address by applying on optional attendance. Acceptance at these schools is subject to space availability and program suitability. Check the status of schools here. The procedures, conditions and timelines relating to optional attendance are described in the Optional Attendance Policy and the Optional Attendance Operational Procedure. You can apply to 2 regular programs and 2 speciality programs out of area.
Elementary Form
1) Priority of placement in the requested school will be based on a lottery if applications exceed the space available at the requested school.
2) If admitted, a student is expected to continue at the requested school until graduation.
IMPORTANT DATES FOR SCHOOL ADMISSION BEGINNING SEPTEMBER 2019
(a) Applications must be received by Friday, February 15, 2019. 
(b) A lottery, if necessary, will be held to determine the successful applicants. 
(c) Parents/guardians will be informed of acceptance or non-acceptance no later than March 8, 2019. 
(d) Parents/guardians must inform the requested school of their acceptance of the offer by Friday, March 22, 2019. 
Note:  It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to deliver this application to the school or schools of choice.

Secondary Form
1. Priority of placement in the requested school will be based on a lottery if applications exceed the space available at the requested school.
2. If admitted, a student is expected to continue at the requested school until graduation.
IMPORTANT DATES FOR SCHOOL ADMISSION BEGINNING SEPTEMBER 2019
a. Applications must be received by Friday, February 1, 2019. 
b. A lottery, if necessary, will be held to determine the successful applicants. 
c. Parents/guardians or students 18 years of age or older will be informed of acceptance or non-acceptance prior to Friday, February 15, 2019. 
d. Parents/guardians or students 18 years of age or older must confirm the offer of admission by completing a course selection sheet by Friday, March 1, 2019. 
e. No student will be admitted into any secondary grade levels through optional attendance after Friday, March 1, 2019 unless the student does not have a timetable at another school.
Note:  It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to deliver this application to the school or schools of choice.

Other Items of Interest


The application process for the Junior Extended French program will open January 7, 2019 and close February 4, 2019. Please visit www.tdsb.on.ca/french. Please Note: While admission to the Early French Immersion (SK entry)/Junior Extended French (Grade 4 entry) program is guaranteed at the entry points to all eligible on-time applicants, admission to a specific school is not guaranteed if the school reaches capacity. Application to begin these programs is open to all students not already enrolled in an FSL program.
Open Houses for Secondary School - To help you make an informed decision when choosing a high school, TDSB schools host information nights for parents and grade 8 students each year between October and January. Learn everything you need to know about our incredible variety of schools, programs and courses. The dates and times for all High School Information Nights are available online at http://www.tdsb.on.ca/High-School/Going-to-High-School/Open-Houses-and-Information-Nights.

School Year Calendar 2018-2019

The official school year calendar for the Toronto District School Board runs from September 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019, inclusive. The last day of class for elementary students is June 27, 2019

The last day of class for secondary (full-year) students is June 25, 2019

The last day of class for secondary (semestered) students is June 26, 2019 

2018 - 2019 Dates to Remember: Official Holidays and PA Days 
Remaining PA Days & Statutory Holidays
School resumes January 7, 2019

Elementary PA Day January 18, 2019
Secondary PA Day - (Semestered Schools only)* January 31, 2019
Board-wide PA Day February 15, 2019
Family Day February 18, 2019
March Break March 11 to 15, 2019
Good Friday, April 19, 2019
Easter Monday, April 22, 2019
Victoria Day May 20, 2019
Elementary School PA Day June 7, 2019
Secondary School PA Day (Full Year Schools only)* June 26, 2019
Secondary School PA Day June 27, 2019
Board-wide PA Day June 28, 2019

Also please note Days of Significance - click for the complete list

Passover 2019 will begin in the evening of Friday, April 19 and ends in the evening of Saturday, April 27 (first 2 and last 2 days are considered holy).

Ramadan 2019 will begin in the evening of Sunday, May 5 and ends in the evening of Tuesday, June 4 (Dates may vary).

Eid al-Fitr celebrated at the end of Ramadan will begin on Tuesday, June 4.