March is Greek Heritage Month
March is Greek Heritage Month at the TDSB. It is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Greek Canadians to Canada, and an occasion to mark and enjoy the history of Greek culture. The theme for this year is: "Inquire, Innovate, Inspire - Σπουδή, Καινοτομία, Έμπνευση". How have Greeks of the past and present demonstrated inquiry, inspiration and innovation? Stay tuned...
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 24, 2020
Effective Wednesday, February 26, 2020, Phase 6 of work to rule strike action began. ETFO teacher and occasional teacher members will do only their scheduled teaching and supervision assignments during their regular instructional time. Teacher and occasional teacher members will not agree to, or participate in, any additions/modifications to their schedule, with the exception of attending meetings to support students with special needs or to discuss student safety. For full details on ETFO Phase 6 work-to rule please see ETFO website. ETFO has said if no settlement they will reassess on March 6, 2020.
Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) - Update February 28, 2020
OSSTF announced today that, should a tentative agreement not be reached, its members (teachers and education workers) will conduct a one-day walkout (full withdrawal of services) on Thursday, March 5, 2020 and return to work on Friday, March 6, 2020. Should there be a walkout on March 5, the TDSB would have no other option but to close all secondary schools (Gr. 9 to 12) to students as there would not be sufficient supervision to ensure their safety. As a result, parents/guardians should make alternate arrangements for their children if required. Please note that school offices will remain open.
2020-21 School Year Calendar Recommendation
Each year, the Ministry of Education provides direction to school boards in determining their calendar for the following school year. In January, a School Year Calendar committee with representative membership convened to develop recommendations around the 2020-2021 School Year Calendar. The Ministry still has to approve the Board's recommendations.
In consultation with the School Year Calendar Committee, Toronto Catholic District School Board and other neighbouring Boards it was recommended that Winter Break will be scheduled from December 21, 2020 - January 1, 2021. March Break is March 15 - 19, 2021.
The first day of school for students is Tuesday, September 8, 2020.
Boards are required to include in their 2020-2021 calendars, three PA days in which teachers will engage in professional activities that enhance teacher capacity and maximize student learning in priority areas. The school year will open with 2 PA Days.
For details, please click on the report 7.1 in the Agenda referenced next.
Committees This Week
Committee of the Whole Wednesday, March 3, 2020 4:30 p.m.
Boardroom, 5050 Yonge Street
5. Toronto Lands Corporation Reports
- 5.1 Governance Report - To be presented
- 5.2 Appointments to the Position of Citizen Directors, Chair and ViceChair of the Toronto Lands Corporation
6. Reports From Trustees Appointed to the Ontario Public School Boards' Association
- 6.1 OPSBA Board of Directors Meeting, February 21 and 22, 2020 - Separate document
7. Staff Reports
8. Written Notices of Motion for Consideration
9. Written Notices of Motion as Emergency Business
Currently, the TDSB spends approximately $67.2M on student transportation and we receive $63.7M in funding from the Ministry of Education. As part of last year’s budget process, to manage provincial government funding cuts and to address the Board’s structural deficit, Trustees approved changing school start and end times to provide more efficient transportation services for students to get to school. The changes are projected to save the Board $2.5M which still leaves a deficit in transportation funding of $1M.
To determine the changes to school start and end times, we used a software program to identify how we could achieve our goal to reduce school bus transportation costs by $2.5 million. We considered the length of the bus route and the street network settings including speed limits; turn restrictions, distance, one-way streets, etc. The software maximizes the use of each school bus to provide the most efficient routes for our students. Of the 131 elementary schools affected, 4 of 28 elementary schools in our Ward will have bell times change - of those 2 start later and 2 start earlier this September 2020.
We know these changes will be challenging for some parents, caregivers and staff, but by making these changes because of reduced funding received last year, we can maintain service levels for all students eligible for bus transportation. And this will result in 55 fewer buses (reducing our carbon footprint by approximately 2,750 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year) required to transport students to school. With the shortage of bus drivers that school boards are experiencing, reducing the number of routes will mean improvement and better driver coverage and service to students. These changes ensure that we don’t reduce other student services that would have negative and direct impacts on classroom teaching. The changes to school start and end times will vary between 5 and 30 minutes (the Board’s Transportation of Students Procedure states that school start and end times cannot be changed by more than 30 minutes). This results in 38 schools seeing a maximum bell time change of 15 minutes, while 51 of our schools will see changes of 20 to 25 minutes, 46 schools will see a change of 30 minutes.
Three In-Person Information Sessions will be held:
- 1st session – Thursday, March 5 at 7pm at Richview CI (1738 Islington Ave., Etobicoke)
- 2nd session – Thursday, March 12 at 7pm at David and Mary Thomson CI (125 Brockley Dr., Scarborough)
- 3rd session – Monday, March 9 at 7 p.m. at Earl Haig SS (100 Princess Ave., North York)
Two Virtual Information Sessions (Online Webchats) to ensure those parents and guardians who can’t attend an information session are able to access the information they require:
- 1st session – Thursday, March 26 from 10am to 11am
- 2nd session – Thursday, March 26 from 7pm to 8 pm
Child minding and interpretation services will be available upon request for the in-person meetings. Please email email@example.com to request these services.
Questions? Please read the Questions and Answers f
or more information. If you have any additional questions, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
School principals will work to find solutions for parents and guardians who are facing scheduling challenges because of the change to school start and end times. Final bus routes will be determined this summer and we will share those changes with the families of all students who require bus transportation.
OPSBA identifies clear funding priorities to address pressures facing school boards
Toronto, February 19, 2020
– The Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) is pleased to announce that it has submitted its response
to the Ministry of Education's call for feedback on the government's Grants for Student Needs (GSN) education funding plans for 2020-21 school year.
"The recommendations contained in this submission are the culmination of in-depth consultations with our member school boards, and they reflect the priorities of parents and students from across the province," said OPSBA President Cathy Abraham. "Our message to the ministry is clear – strong, predictable, and equitable education funding is necessary to create the conditions that promote and sustain improved student achievement and well-being. We know issues like Special Education, mental health, and school renewal and repair directly impact the lives and educational experiences of students. It is our hope that when GSN funding is released, the government will demonstrate that it shares these priorities."
OPSBA's identified funding priorities include investments in the following areas:
Special Education - Due to pressing needs and circumstances, most school boards are forced to spend more on Special Education than they receive in funding from the provincial government. These funds must be taken from other areas of board budgets. This is an area in which school boards continue to request more supports and resources given the complexities of student needs, especially in northern, rural and remote communities. As well, urban areas attract families of students with significant needs because of greater access to services and supports such as treatment centres.
School-based mental health and addictions services - We know early investments in school-based mental health and addictions services will yield long-term benefits for the healthcare system and the wellness of students. The province should maintain and expand existing resources and supports.
Indigenous Education - We support the creation of a mandatory curriculum that contains clear expectations that every student will acquire knowledge and understanding of Treaties and of the historical context that gave rise to residential schools, the impact on Indigenous children and their families, and the ongoing legacy that is the responsibility of all Canadians.
Classroom and learning technology - OPSBA supports using technology as a vehicle to facilitate learning, but it should never be considered a replacement to the guided face-to-face teaching and learning that occurs in school classrooms. Issues of poverty and a lack of reliable and affordable internet across Ontario lead us to argue against mandatory e-learning. A mandatory approach could create greater gaps in equitable learning opportunities for vulnerable and marginalized populations.
School facilities and infrastructure - Many school boards are dealing with very unique circumstances and as a result they are being challenged with capital and renewal costs for their aging facilities. Schools have needs that are serious and urgent, impacting the ability to meet current program requirements, including funding to adapt or change classrooms that are no longer relevant or being used. We're recommending the government release its list of capital priority projects as soon as possible, and the Ministry of Education conduct a review of benchmark funding amounts to more accurately reflect market costs, which vary from region to region.
Reducing Red Tape and Administrative Burden - This year, the ministry has asked stakeholders for "initiatives that could support reducing red tape and administrative burden for the education sector." It must be stated that efficiencies are constantly being found by school boards and schools so that as much funding as possible is directed to students in the classroom. School boards have long been streamlining back office functions and taking advantage of technology. With regard to reducing red tape, we suggest the ministry consider the following:
- Lift the moratorium on school closures and release the revised Pupil Accommodation Review Guidelines (PARG). This will allow school boards to make prudent programming and financial decisions. Amend the Education Development Charge (EDC) regulation.
- Allow for flexibility for non- eligible boards to collect EDCs and increase the EDC rates to one that accurately matches actual land purchase costs.
- Use current census data and authentic benchmarks for funding calculations.
OPSBA's submission can be read in its entirety on the OPSBA website
Share Your Voice About Parent and Community Engagement!
We are reviewing of our current Parent and Community Involvement Policy
to help set standards, improve consistency and further develop meaningful approaches to parent and family engagement. We want – and need – to hear from you. Your voice will help develop and draft this policy in a way that is meaningful, relevant and valuable to you, our parent community.
Research tells us that parent and family engagement and involvement is critical to a student’s success in school. It also tells us that there are different types of engagement, not all engagement leads to student success and families engage in different ways.
Our challenge is to move towards a policy that enables us to respect and value the ways in which all our families engage and ensure that as a Board, we are committed to supporting that relationship, ensuring that parents and caregivers have the resources and opportunities they need and want to participate in their child’s education.
Specialized Schools and Programs Policy Consultation
Public consultation for the Specialized Schools and Programs Policy will begin this week. This new policy was drafted following the recommendations from the Optional Attendance working group where it was determined a stand-alone policy for specialized schools and programs would allow us to be clearer when it comes to admission procedures, practices and timelines, which differ from those in regular schools. The development of this policy supports our efforts to improve access to programming to students across the TDSB. Please watch for this on the site here - https://www.tdsb.on.ca/About-Us/Policies-Procedures-Forms/Policy-Consultations.
I will include details next week. We look forward to your advice.
Screenagers now March 11 @ NSS
In light of the recent OSSTF one day strike announcement for Thursday March 5th; The Screenagers film viewing event hosted by Northern Parent Council has been rescheduled for Wednesday March 11th from 7 - 9 pm. If you have previously registered for your "free" ticket and can no longer attend on March 11th, please cancel your ticket order. If you can still attend, you don't need to do anything. You will receive an email reminder a few days prior to the event.
If you are still interested in registering for this event: please click on the Eventbrite link here for your "free" ticket and to learn more about this film. Donations will be accepted at this event. 75% of tickets have been reserved so don't delay https://www.eventbrite.com/edit?eid=93583108597
Future Ward Forums
Please hold the following Ward Forum dates to engage with other parents/caregivers -
- March 5, 2020
- April 28, 2020
- June 2, 2020
Secondary Program Review
The vision of the Secondary Program Review, which will address both under and over-utilized schools, includes fewer schools with strong programming and increased access to courses that support all pathways. In order to achieve that, the Board will consider potential consolidation and/or relocation of schools, re-purposing secondary school buildings to address other system needs, and different models of school organization (e.g. full-year programming). To learn more about the Secondary School Review, please read the Questions and Answers. Find additional resources here https://www.tdsb.on.ca/High-School/Secondary-Program-Review
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
- 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