Week of February 17, 2020
On the third Monday in February we observe Family Day... On one of the sites it notes "this holiday celebrates the importance of families and family life to people and their communities" It makes me think about the timing of Family Day this in the midst of labour action... let's not forget we are a community - all of us - students and staff and their families... whether you be elementary or secondary; a teacher, education worker, DECE, VP or Principal... or central staff supporting the system... We all have a role to play... and although these are stressful and difficult times, let's work hard to keep our communities together, now more than ever. Relationships matter. Public education matters... thank you to everyone doing their part to support...
Information About Coronavirus
World Health Organization names the new coronavirus: Covid-19 - The CO stands for corona, the VI for virus and the D for disease.
The health and safety of all students, staff and school communities is our top priority. In partnership with public health officials, the Toronto District School Board is closely monitoring the current situation with regards to the novel coronavirus.
As always, it is important to remember to cough into your sleeve, wash your hands as washing your hands properly can help prevent the spread of the germs and if you feel sick, stay home and/or seek medical advice.
Chair Calls on Government to Translate Coronavirus Info - Tuesday, February 11, 2020
On behalf of the Toronto District School Board, I am writing you to express our deep concerns with how your government is publicly communicating information about the coronavirus, in particular, the lack of translation.
Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in North America, made up of a large number of people and communities that represent various cultures, backgrounds, religions and languages. Here, at the TDSB, nearly one-quarter of our students were born outside of Canada and, collectively, our school communities are home to more than 120 languages.
The containment of the coronavirus continues to be a high priority for health officials and the public; however, your public communications about the virus – including your website, letters and other informational materials – have only been issued in English. This is a major concern when Toronto, and all of Ontario, is so linguistically diverse. It is important that our communities receive clear information about the virus and containment strategies, and we believe it is your government’s responsibility to consider the diverse languages that make up our communities, city and province.
In saying that, we ask that you translate all public communications and information – including your website – about the coronavirus into multiple languages that represent the people and communities of Ontario.
We look forward to your response and action on this matter.
School boards and unions share a commitment to public education and work together towards positive labour relations. The collective bargaining framework for the education sector features a two-tier bargaining process, involving both central and local bargaining. Learn more about the process.
Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) - Update: February 12, 2020
Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) - Update: February 12, 2020
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) announced that both unions will be participating in a one-day walkout (full strike) on Friday, Friday 21, 2020.
As with previous strike days, the TDSB would have no other option but to close all elementary schools (JK-8) and all secondary schools (9-12) to students on Friday, February 21 as there would not be sufficient supervision to ensure their safety. Parents/guardians should make alternate arrangements for their children on this day, if required.
Child care centres located in elementary schools will be permitted to stay open. Please contact the child care provider directly for more information. TDSB Extended Day Programs will also be open to currently enrolled students for a full day of programs. EarlyON Child and Family Centres will operate during their regular hours.
Should the strike continue as planned, all International Languages Elementary and African Heritage classes would be cancelled on strike days only. However, all adult non-credit programs, such as Adult ESL and Learn4Life, will continue to run.
In addition to all TDSB secondary schools, Adult High Schools and Night Schools offering secondary credits will also be closed to students. Secondary e-Learning classes and any out-of-school activities (e.g. field trips, sports, etc.) will be cancelled.
Communication to School Councils re Activities
TDSB’s Labour Contingency Committee (senior staff) are meeting daily to address emerging issues, which in some cases require rapid decisions. "As you can appreciate, these are unprecedented, highly complex times and we are nowhere near “business as usual” at the TDSB right now."
Below is the latest information available with regards to activities and events happening in our schools. According to the TDSB’s Labour Contingency Committee, these decisions were based on a number of factors, but first and foremost was the ability of our school administrators to take part and/or organize. Amid the ongoing job actions, school administrators are taking on a number of additional duties at the same time they are doing all the things they would normally be doing to manage day-to-day school operations and engagement with students and parents. This information has been shared with PIAC and school councils. I am sharing the decisions of the Labour Contingency Committee below -
Before and After School Activities (Elementary) Ward Forums and School Council meetings will continue. If they involve outside speakers or presentations, they also can continue. If they occur on a strike day, they would be postponed or relocated. Other activities, including those organized by school councils, are being postponed or cancelled.
Before and After School Activities (Secondary) Given the current OSSTF labour sanctions, secondary teachers are permitted to continue their involvement in extracurricular activities. Therefore, when before and after school activities have the participation of teachers and the support of principals, those activities (i.e. Semi Formals, Parent Teacher Interviews, athletics, musical events and competitions) may continue.
During School Day Activities (Elementary School) The TDSB’s Labour Contingency Committee is currently reviewing the range and scope of activities that take place during the school day and anticipate making a decision on how these may continue by the end of the week.
Committees This Week
Program & School Services Committee Agenda Wednesday, February 19, 2020 4:30 p.m.
Committee Room A, 5050 Yonge Street
5. Opportunity for Oral Updates From Co-Chairs of Community Advisory Committees
7. Caring and Safe Schools Annual Report 2018 - 2019 -
Over the past three years in the Toronto District School Board, significant attention has been placed on challenging streaming through a number of key areas including early years, special education, academic programming and disciplinary processes in suspensions and expulsions.
We have seen substantial positive change through our improved understanding of systemic racism, resolving conflict through more cooperative ways and removing barriers for students. Specifically, there has been an overall decrease in student discipline measures as well as a narrowing of the gap of the overrepresentation of certain groups of students who are suspended and expelled. The foundation of this work is through a commitment to professional learning and supporting staff to examine bias, power and privilege as they relate to the student discipline process and encouraging the application of human rights, anti-racism and anti-oppression principles.
8. Written Notices of Motion
8.1 September as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Month
(Trustees Story and Chernos Lin) - Therefore, be it resolved that the Toronto District School Board annually recognize September as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Month and September 9 as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day.
What is OPSBA's Role?
The Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) represents public district school boards and public school authorities across Ontario, which together serve more than 1.2 million public elementary and secondary students.
The Association advocates for a strong and well-funded public school system on behalf of all of Ontario’s public school boards.
It is OPSBA's goal to negotiate fair and equitable collective agreements through the collective bargaining process. The improvement of student achievement and well-being remains the focus of OPSBA bargaining.
The collective bargaining framework for the education sector features a two-tier bargaining process, involving both central and local bargaining. Central bargaining typically includes significant monetary and policy issues (e.g. compensation, benefits and paid leaves), while local negotiations typically involve non-monetary issues or matters that are specific to the local board. At central negotiations, OPSBA represents all 31 English public school boards in Ontario. Participants at the central level include the government and trustees' associations as co-management partners, bargaining with teachers' federations and education worker unions. Read an in-depth backgrounder on Collective Bargaining in Ontario's public education sector (from OPSBA's Guide to Good Governance: 2018-2022).
OPSBA’s advocacy is not limited to collective bargaining discussions.
OPSBA, through its table officers and senior staff, interacts with the government in many ways, including, but not limited to in-person meetings, letters, submissions to government consultations, and media statements. The Association regularly advocates for increases in stable, responsive and equitable government funding. OPSBA’s advocacy positions are vetted and refined by the trustees, representing all English public school boards in the province, who sit on its Executive Council, Board of Directors and Education Program and Policy Development Work Teams, to ensure they reflect the perspectives of the school boards and trustees that we represent.
In the fall, the Association held a lobby day at Queen’s Park
where it announced a recent public opinion poll
commissioned by the Association on the issue of funding for public education. The results indicate that a majority of Ontarians agree that spending in public education is an investment in the future and they are twice as likely to say that spending on public education is more important than eliminating the deficit. Two-thirds of Ontarians oppose or somewhat oppose having larger average class sizes or less course selection in order to save money. Ontarians are also nearly five times as likely to say that trustees should be elected rather than appointed. When asked about a number of initiatives, expanding opportunities for students to learn skilled trades and earn apprenticeship hours garnered the highest intensity of support.
Additionally, the following links speak specifically to government decisions regarding funding, curriculum and more:
OPSBA is taking steps to inform and unify Ontario’s public school supporters – parents, students, teachers, education workers, trustees and taxpayers – to continue to advocate for a world-class public school system that is well-funded, supported by government and best supports the achievement and well-being needs of our students.
Summer Employment Opportunities
The Summer Employment Opportunities (SEO) program provides up to 5,000 students with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience through supervised summer employment in the Ontario Public Service.
These positions enable students to gain valuable work experience and develop skills which are transferable to the labour market. Positions for summer 2020 were February 10, 2020 and have six different closing dates between February 28 and April 3, 2020.
Spring 2000 Learn4Life
TDSB has served adults in Toronto for more than 160 years. Today, nearly 30,000 adult learners join 1700 general interest classes to take up a hobby, learn a skill and to meet people in their communities.
Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER: Uncovering Skills for Stress Resilience
Please mark your calendar: February 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the North Toronto Collegiate Institute
auditorium a screening of Screenagers - Next Chapter. From the director of Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age, screened at NTCI in 2017, filmmaker and physician Delaney Ruston finds herself at a loss on how to help her own teens as they struggle with their emotional wellbeing. Ruston sets out to understand these challenges in our current screen-filled society, and how we as parents and schools can empower teens to overcome mental health challenges and build emotional agility, savvy communication, and stress resilience. MOVIE TRAILER: https://www.screenagersmovie.com/nc-trailer
If you enjoyed the first Screenagers, you should not miss its sequel. And it’s in your area! It won’t be available on Netflix or Amazon, but only viewable at community screenings – decision of the producers – to facilitate discussions post movie. Dale Callender of Skylark will be the moderator of a Q&A. Admission is free, though donations at the door are welcome (we suggest $5 per person). Proceeds will be applied to offset the purchase of the screening license and to make a donation to Skylark. Click on the following link to book your tickets online in advance and for more info http://screenagers.ntcischoolcouncil.ca/
Worth Repeating -
Additional Ward Forum on P023 Consultation
My colleagues Trustee Alexandra Lulka and Trustee Alexander Brown, will host a consultation on the Parent and Community Involvement Policy (P023) Review. on March 5. Join in person in the Boardroom at 5050 Yonge St or join virtually! For those who would like to be part of the conversation just go to www.tdsb.on.ca/Laskin to stream the ward forum live (beginning at 7:00pm) and for instructions to send in your comments. We will be joined by Michelle Munroe, Central Co-ordinator, Parent and Community Engagement - Families are invited to join a conversation about how we can effectively support family and community engagement in the TDSB. Share your voice about our Parent and Community Engagement Policy.
Please hold the following Ward Forum dates to engage with other parents/caregivers -
- March 5, 2020
- April 28, 2020
- June 2, 2020
Come Learn With Us!
Starting school is an exciting time for your child. Our schools provide a rich learning environment for all children to learn and grow. Registration for those born in 2016 begins in February.
In the Kindergarten program, your child will develop their skills and abilities through inquiry and intentional play-based learning that includes math, science and literacy. Teachers and early childhood educators plan learning experiences where children are actively engaged in learning and thinking creatively.
2019 - 2020 School Council Learning Opportunities
Each of your offices has a binder of resources for School Councils that you are welcome to borrow - and hopefully by the end of the week a USB key with the same information to make it easier to search and print from. Learning opportunities have been organized for School Council 101, ByLaws and Effectiveness. Please find below the dates, times, locations and share broadly.
Date LC Location Time Room Topic
Feb 20 2 Drewry SS 6:00 – 9:00 102 School Council Effectiveness
Feb 26 3 Woburn CI 6:00 – 9:00 105 School Council Effectiveness
Mar 5 4 Central Tech 6:00 – 9:00 102 School Council Effectiveness
And the presentations from PIAC's Ready. Set. Engage. Event from November 16 are now posted online.
Parents as Partners Conference - March 28
The Parents as Partners Conference 2020 is planned by parents, for parents and we are so pleased to be able to offer a selection of sessions that cover a broad range of topics to provide parents with useful information and resources to help your child improve their achievement and well-being at school and at home.
Keynote Speaker - Kim Katrin is an internationally acclaimed award winning educator, writer, artist and consultant. As an educator, Kim travels around the world talking to people about justice, equity, and human rights. She has shared hundreds of unique resources and presentations on intersectional issues such as race, ability, orientation and gender on mental wellness. Emphasizing these connections allows for an inclusive discussion and a holistic focus on mental wellness and community engagement.
Registration will open shortly.
School Year Calendar 2019-2020
The 2019-2020 school year at the TDSB begins on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 following the Labour Day long weekend. For more information about important dates and holidays for the upcoming school year, please refer to the 2019-20 School Year Calendar
The official school year calendar for the Toronto District School Board runs from September 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020, inclusive.
- The last day of class for elementary students is June 25, 2020
- The last day of class for secondary (full year) students is June 23, 2020
- The last day of class for secondary (semestered) students is June 23, 2020
PA Days & Statutory Holidays
- Family Day February 17, 2020
- March Break March 16 to 20, 2020
- Good Friday April 10, 2020
- Easter Monday April 13, 2020
- Victoria Day May 18, 2020
- Elementary School PA Day June 5, 2020
- Secondary School PA Day (Full Year Schools only) June 24, 2020
- Secondary School PA Day June 25, 2020
- Board-wide PA Day June 26, 2020
Also please note -
- Passover begins sunset of Wednesday, April 8, 2020 and ends nightfall of Thursday, April 16, 2020
- Ramadan 2020 will begin in the evening of Thursday, April 23, 2020 and ends in the evening of Saturday, May 23, 2020 (dates may vary)
- Eid al-Fitr 2020 will begin in the evening of Saturday, May 23, 2020
Gr. 9 Math: 2nd Semester: June 2-15, 2020
OSSLT: March 31, 2020
Primary/Junior EQAO: May 19-June 1, 2020