Keeping you engaged and informed
Keeping you engaged and informed
Ward 11 Weekly Update header
Week of November 8, 2015
100th Anniversary of Flanders Fields   
Across the TDSB students have been exploring themes tied to Remembrance Day including the significance of November 11th, modern-day conflicts, governance, democracy and human rights. At schools and board offices we will be holding ceremonies and assemblies at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. We will be reciting In Flanders Fields. We will remember them.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky the larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe, to you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die we shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.

Labour Negotiations Update (from the TDSB website)
We are pleased to let you know that both the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents school support staff, have reached tentative agreements with the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA), which represents the province’s public school boards.
ETFO and CUPE have agreed to bring province-wide job actions to a close, effective immediately, while these agreements are ratificed. Both unions are also in ongoing local negotiations with the TDSB. We will send you updates as our talks continue.
This means that elementary students will receive their fall progress reports, which will be issued on December 10, 2015, pending ratification of the tentative agreement with ETFO. As part of the tentative agreement, teachers will conduct parent interviews at their discretion if the teacher has a concern about a child’s progress. If you have concerns about your child’s progress after receiving the progress report, please contact the teacher directly.
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) Professional Student Services Personnel Unit, which represents education workers (not teachers) including Attendance Counsellors, Child and Youth Counsellors/Workers, Social Workers, Speech- Language Pathologists and others, has not reached an agreement and negotiations are ongoing. 
The TDSB will continue to update parents and guardians on labour issues. For more information and updates visit 

9th Annual Conference  Saturday, November 14
This is a one-day conference for all TDSB parents and school council members. The conference is free, however registration is required. Please register here.
This inspirational day-long event will take place on Saturday, November 14, 2015 from 8 a.m. to 3:45 Earl Haig Secondary School (100 Princess Avenue). 

People for Education Conference
Yesterday's P4E Conference - "Making Connections" was excellent Professional Development for all who attended. There were many highlights including a great keynote by Dr Alan Sears, from UNB who is the lead researcher on Citizenship for P4E’s "Measuring What Matters" - his presentation was titled "Beyond Rocket Science: Educating Citizens for a Complex World". He spoke to complex questions of Canadian Citizenship in the curriculum at many grade levels – and his thesis was it was much harder than “rocket science”! He supported taking the complex nature of civic knowledge seriously; taking students seriously as knowers and actors and taking the teaching of citizenship seriously. The Plenary Session "Connecting the Dots" featured Panelists – Craig Alexander, CD Howe; Dr Carolyn Bennett – Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs; Faisal Moola – David Suzuki Foundation; Wanda Nanbush – Guest Curator at Art Gallery of Ontario. It was an outstanding session on the direction public education needs to go in order to create a better Canada. "Take your kids outside!" Minister Sandals closed the event with a status updte on Ministry initiatives. Of interest was her answer to a question on the release of the Barbara Hall Report on the TDSB - she committed to its release in full once labour negotiations settle.To read a Globe & Mail article on the Conference, please click on Advocacy group’s annual education conference.

Maclean's Education Hub
A great resource for Secondary students (and their parents!) considering future educational opportunities - Rankings, university and college profiles, and more.

Peel District School Board's New Resource for Parents
Congratulations to the Peel District School Board for creating and distributing A parent’s guide to the revised Health and Physical Education (HPE) curriculum 2015–16.
To download the guide, click here.
To read endorsements from community leaders and agencies, click here

Program & School Services Committee - Thursday, November 12, 5pm
Advisory Committee Reports begin this week's Agenda... in addition there is a Research Brief on the Characteristics of Students in French-as-a-Second-Language Programs and an update on the Implementation Plan for Volunteer Supervisors of Extra-Curricular Activities in Schools on the Agenda that will be of interest. 
Some of the insights from the Research Brief include the following:
  • The percentage of students enrolled in FSL programs varied by gender, language, country of birth, recent arrivals, and Special Education Needs (excluding Gifted) for both 2006-07 and 2011-12.
  • A relatively higher percentage of students who primarily spoke English at home and born in Canada were enrolled in the French Immersion program compared to students in the Extended French program and TDSB in general.
  • A higher percentage of female students compared to male students were enrolled in both the French Immersion and Extended French programs.
  • A lower proportion of students with Special Education Needs (excluding Gifted) were enrolled in the FSL programs compared to the TDSB in general. There was a slight increase in 2011-12 from 2006-07.
  • Family Demographics: overall, the majority of students from two-parent households, higher parental education and SES were enrolled in a FSL program compared to the TDSB in general.
  • In general, with few exceptions, a slightly higher academic achievement pattern can be seen amongst students in Extended French compared to French Immersion and the TDSB in general.
The Update on Extra-Curricular Volunteers speaks to revising PR558 to faciliate volunteers to continue to support school extracurricular activities and supervise students provided they adhere to TDSB policies and procedures. Specifically:
  1. Volunteers who make contact with students must complete Police Reference Check (Appendix E);
  2. Volunteers must complete the appropriate forms and receive approval from the School Principal (Appendix F, Appendix G, and Appendix H);
  3. If applicable, volunteers must meet all the eligibility requirements from the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association (OFSAA), Toronto District School Secondary Athletic Association (TDSSAA), Toronto District Schools Elementary Athletic Association (TDESAA); and
  4. If applicable, volunteers must adhere to the Ontario Physical Education Safety Guidelines, while leading/coaching any sporting activities in TDSB schools.
  5. The Board’s liability insurance policy protects both staff and volunteers who are working within the scope of their duties for the Board. 
Please review the report and let me know if you have any questions or concerns to raise Thursday.

New Invitations
Hebrew classes at JRWilcox underway - registration continues
The program is held Tuesday afternoons from 3:30-6pm at JRWilcox, 231 Ava Rd. $20 in material costs cover the entire year. Enrolment is a little low this year, and if it doesn't improve, the class will be closed. Therefore – but mostly because it is great fun, and very instructive – why not consider to give it a try! Sign-up remains available to Nov.23, $20, after-school program. Parents can call Irene Tseng (Program Officer of International Languages – Elementary at the TDSB) at 416-948-5567 to sign-up.
Northern Secondary School Council is pleased to be hosting two very interesting speakers and is extending the invitation to all  -
MediaSmarts - Social Media Workshop for Parents and Teens - Thursday November 12th,  7:30-9:30 - Northern SS Cafeteria (students) and Library (parents)
Here's what you'll learn: Did you want to talk to your teens about their social media use but don't know how? Get an insider look at what young people are doing online and find out what you need to know to help them navigate their digital world. There will be separate streams for parents and students. Please encourage your teen to attend with you! 
Alyson Schafer - Family Talk About Drinking - Tuesday Dec. 1st,  7:30-8:30 - Northern SS Library  
Here's what you'll learn: Teens today face enormous pressures that can put them at risk for underage drinking. Is there a way we can ease the stress and keep kids on a positive path? Delivered by renowned parenting expert Alyson Schafer, Family Talk about Drinking gives parents and educators the tools and strategies required to navigate this important phase of development. The goal is to help adults better understand what is happening in the lives of teens and take an active role to prevent underage drinking. 
Worth Repeating
tdsbCARES: Refugee Crisis Appeal - This TDSB fundraising appeal will run until December 11. The federal government has announced that they will match all eligible donations made by that date (up to $100 million) and set aside each dollar in its own Syria Emergency Relief Fund. For more information or to make a donation online, please visit the TDSB website at and click on the Refugee Crisis Appeal banner. With thousands of people impacted by this ongoing crisis, the need is great. With that in mind, we are asking students, staff, parents and our school communities to do what they can. No gift is too small or insignificant. Your donations are much appreciated.
Supper with Syria - On November 29th, a few Ward 21 and area residents will be hosting Supper with Syria at Wychwood Barns in the hope of raising $70,000 to bring two Syrian families to Ward 21. or information on tickets and how to get involved, please e-mail
High School Information Nights - To help you make an informed decision when choosing a high school, TDSB schools host open houses and information nights for parents and grade 8 students each year. Open houses take place between October and January and are an opportunity to learn everything you need to know about our incredible variety of schools, programs and courses. This link shows all the open houses.
French Immersion & Extended French Timelines - A reminder that the TDSB guarantees an offer of placement in the Early French Immersion or Junior Extended French program (not a specific school) to all on-time applicants.  Timelines for the application process to French Immersion and Extended French programs for September 2016 are as follows:
  • Early French Immersion (EFI):  Families must apply on-line (for a JK aged child) between November 2nd 2015 and December 3rd 2015; 
  • Junior Extended French or Middle Immersion:  Families must apply on-line (for a child currently in Grade 3) between January 4th and January 28th 2016. For further information, please click here
Kindness Week Fundraiser - November 16, 2015 - the movie is a 45 minute documentary titled Teaching the Life of Music about Venezuelan children who rise out of their slums by being given musical instruments and instruction. The movie is Monday, November 16th at the Cineplex Empress Walk at 7:15 (between Sheppard and Finch). See for more detail. Tickets are $20. If you can't go yourself, please consider buying one and sending a student! 
Beginning Wednesday, many families will be celebrating the Hindu Festival of Lights called Diwali. This festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. It is celebrated among Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, each community bringing its own significance and practices to the day. Everywhere that it is celebrated, it signifies the renewal of life. To celebrate this joyous and important festival, people get together with friends and family, exchange gifts of sweets, and greet each other with the words “Subh Diwali.” Some set off fireworks and wear new clothes. Many light small clay lamps, called dipas or diyas, candles, and even neon lights. Happy Diwali to all of you who are enjoying these festivities. 
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