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Dear friends,
What a start to 2022! Despite the snow and pivots between virtual and in-person, it is safe to say that we are relieved to have our buildings back in use and full of students excited to be at school in-person.
As you may recall from my last mailing, I announced pending elections for Ward 11 representatives of the Parent Involvement Advisory Committee (PIAC). At our recent Ward 11 Coffee Morning meeting, parent/guardian attendees elected two new Ward 11 Representatives to PIAC. I am excited to announce that Janice Barnett was re-elected to her second 2-year term, and we welcome Charles Zhu to his first term on PIAC!
I'd also like to express sincere thanks, on behalf of all of us in Ward 11, to Wilmar Kortleever, for his many, many years of service on PIAC. He will be missed around the PIAC table, but we know Ward 11 is in good hands with our new team.
This is just a short message today to announce a Ward 11 Virtual Forum for this coming Thursday, February 3rd from 5:30-7:30pm. For the first hour we will be joined by Dr. Janine McCready of Michael Garron Hospital. She has been an instrumental leader in Covid-19 infection prevention, testing, and vaccination efforts, as well as a tremendous resource and support to schools in East Toronto, including many Ward 11 schools. She will provide us with the most recent data on Covid-19 vaccines for children and answer questions from parents and caregivers. During the second hour, we will be joined by our two Ward 11 Superintendents, Andrew Howard and Roni Felsen, and open the floor to a more general discussion and information-sharing session about school reopening and the 2022 school year. Check out the event flyer, or register here
Finally, a reminder that today is the last day to register for Middle French Immersion (details and links below).
I hope to see as many of you as possible next Thursday, and wish everyone a wonderful weekend.
Warm regards,
Rachel
Rachel Chernos Lin, TDSB Trustee, Ward 11, Don Valley West
Rachel.ChernosLin@tdsb.on.ca
Middle French Immersion Program - Application Deadline = today, January 28
For families interested in the Toronto District School Board's system-wide Middle French Immersion Program (which begins in Grade 4), we offer an online process to apply. To apply for the Middle French Immersion Program (Grade 4 entry) for September 2022, applications for current grade 3 students must be completed online between January 3 and January 28, 2022
An offer of placement in the program (a specific school) is guaranteed to all on-time applicants and will be made in the weeks following the close of the application window.
Please note: Families with an older sibling currently enrolled in a French program and who will be in attendance next year are still required to complete an online application for the new student. Please select the “sibling option” within the online application.
Information flyers about the Middle French Immersion Program are available in multiple languages. For details, please see the information package. For more information about French programs, the application process and important dates, please visit www.tdsb.on.ca/french or click on Application Process.

Covid-19 Vaccines for children ages 5-11

Prior to the winter break, Trustee Trixie Doyle (Don Valley East) and I organized a Joint Ward Forum about the Covid-19 Vaccine for children aged 5-11. Supported by Michael Garron Hospital (MGH)/Toronto East Health Network (TEHN), it was geared to the Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park communities. It was so well-received, I decided to organize a second forum, this time for the whole ward (see flyer above).
You can read notes from that December meeting that are likely of interest to anyone with children 5-11, so please feel free to check out the
Joint Forum Meeting Notes/Q&A

Learn more about vaccination for children 5-11:

How to book an vaccine appointment:
  • Book an appointment online at the dark blue “Book a Vaccine” button on toronto.ca/covid-19 or by calling the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007).
  • Watch for emails from your school for information about school pop-up clinics in your neighbourhood.
  • Michael Garron Hospital and East Toronto Health Partners oversees the Thorncliffe Hub Vaccination Centre and a variety of pop-ups clinics in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park as well as East Toronto. For more information, click: wwww.tehp/VaccinePopUps.
Vaccine Hunters - Do-it-yourself resource for finding vaccine related info. Find details on eligibility, appointments, walk-ins, pharmacy search tools, vaccine receipts + more!

Winter Well-Being Guide

As parents and caregivers, we may be wondering what we can do to help keep our children active and healthy, and to positively support their mental health and well-being. Within this guide (click to download the online document) you find a variety of culturally responsive resources and accessible activities to help make this winter a little easier and fun for you and your family. Information on where and how to reach out for help is also included.
Mental Health & Well-Being Supports

TDSB Professional Support Services offers virtual drop-in hours for parents and caregivers to discuss strategies to help support the mental health and well-being of your child.

There are sessions open to all (Tuesdays 10-11am; Thursdays 7-8pm) and a special drop-in for parents/caregivers of students with special/complex needs (Wednesdays 7-8pm). 

Learn more about Virtual Mental Health Support and/or click on the images above for the session links. 

TDSB Winter Clothing Drive
One in every three children lives in poverty in our city, and too many children come to school without proper clothing to keep them warm during the winter months. In addition, many TDSB students are new to Canada and this may be their first time experiencing a Canadian winter.
The TDSB holds an annual Winter Clothing Drive to help ensure that all students have warm winter clothing to get to and from school, and are prepared to participate in all of the fun outdoor activities winter has to offer. This year’s Winter Clothing Drive will run from October 2021 to the end of February 2022. Donations help provide warm winter coats, pants, hats, gloves and boots for our students.
Our need for winter outerwear is greater this year. Canada is welcoming newcomer families from Afghanistan and the TDSB is welcoming many of these newly arrived students into our schools. The newcomer students are adjusting to their first Canadian winter and need proper winter outerwear.
Monetary donations can be made through School Cash Online. We will also accept new winter outwear items. Due to potential health & safety, hygiene, sorting and storage limitations, the TDSB can only accept new clothing items. Contact the Business Development department at BusinessDevelopment@tdsb.on.ca for more information about how to donate new outwear items. 100% of all proceeds and in-kind donations go to benefit our students.
New Google Calendar with Events & Activities

NEW: TDSB families can find scheduled events from the Mental Health & Professional Support Staff, the Parent & Community Engagement Office (PCEO), and tdsbHUB.ca (Model Schools Community Support Workers) plus other TDSB events and activities all in one calendar at https://www.tdsb.on.ca/About-Us/School-Year-Calendar


Click on specific events for details or to add them to your calendar. You can also use the +GoogleCalendar button on the bottom right to add all events to your calendar at once.
2021-2022 School Year Calendar
The first next Board-Wide PA Day is Friday, February 18 (Monday, February 21 is Family day). 
The last day of class is June 30 (for elementary students) or June 29 (for secondary students).
There are no classes for students on the dates listed below.

Wishing everyone good health, and hope to "see" many of you virtually next Thursday, February 3 at 5:30pm! 

As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments or concerns!

~Rachel
Rachel Chernos Lin, Ward 11 TDSB Trustee, Don Valley Wes
Rachel.Chernoslin@tdsb.on.ca

If you notice anything at a school that concerns you, please call the TDSB Security Call Centre (416) 395-4620 and the Toronto Police - non-emergencies can be reported by calling ‪416-808-2222.