Application deadlines - BSA, IB funding, PRO, City Music
Application deadlines - BSA, IB funding, PRO, City Music
Ward 16 newletter header
Crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight
The recent downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 is a heartbreaking tragedy which claimed the lives of 176 passengers and crew members, including a number of TDSB students and their family members and a family member of at least one of our employees. On behalf of the Toronto District School Board, we offer our sincere condolences to the friends, family, teachers and classmates of the following students:
• Sophie Emami, Sr. Kindergarten at Lillian PS 
• Arsam Niazi, Grade 6 at Pleasant PS 
• Arnica Niazi, Grade 3 at Finch PS 
• Maya Zibaie, Grade 10 at Northern SS 
• Rahmtin Ahmadi, Grade 4 at Muirhead PS 
• Shahzad Eghbali, Grade 3 at Dallington PS 
Social work staff are already working with the impacted schools and we are supporting the victims’ loved ones in any way we can. In honour of those who lost their lives, flags at the victims’ schools and all TDSB administrative sites were lowered to half-staff.
Children may experience a wide range of reactions and emotions when faced with loss or tragedy. TDSB Professional Support Services staff have prepared tips that can help during this difficult time:
Upcoming Ward Meetings
  • Special Education and Inclusive Classrooms with guests Jennifer Newby (Centrally Assigned Principal, Special Education) and Valia Reinsalu (Resource Teacher). Monday January 20th at 6:30pm at Kew Beach P.S. Light dinner and childcare provided. 
  • An Evening with Director John Malloy. Joint Ward 15/16 Forum. February 20th at 6:30pm at Earl Haig P.S. Refreshments and childcare provided.
  • RSVP -
Tamil Heritage Month in the TDSB
During the month of January we’re excited to be celebrating Tamil Heritage Month. This year the chosen theme is, Vision 2020: Yengal Kathaigal - Our Stories / Vision 2020: எங்கள் கதைகள் - Our Stories.

Toronto has the largest Tamil population outside of the South Asian subcontinent with thousands of TDSB students and staff members heritage identified as Tamil. All have stories of how they or their families arrived in Canada, and how they  embrace this country as their home. The poster (right) reflecting this year's theme is being shared with all schools. Our intent is that it will be used as an educational tool to examine stories within and across cultures of students in the TDSB and how those stories shape our individual and collective identities.
TDSB Appoints First Indigenous Student Trustee
Clarity M. Smoke, a Grade 9 Anishnaabe student from Monarch Park Collegiate Institute, has taken her seat as the first ever Toronto District School Board Indigenous Student Trustee
This position will provide Indigenous students, families, and communities with additional representation at the highest level of the TDSB; help improve the Board’s decision-making process; and increase understanding about Indigenous ways of knowing and being, as well as the issues that matter most to Indigenous students and their families.
For more information, please read the news release
Nominations for the Black Student Alliance Awards - Deadline January 17th
Nominations for the first-ever Black Student Alliance Awards are open until January 17. These awards, launched by the African Heritage Month Committee, will recognize up to three outstanding groups that support Black students, build their leadership capacity and create more inclusive schools.
These inaugural awards celebrate the achievements of Black Student Alliances (BSAs) – student groups that increase student voice, build capacity in student leadership, and are supported by a TDSB staff member – that seek to empower Black students, create safer and more inclusive spaces, and provide leadership opportunities for students of African Heritage.
The award is open to both elementary and secondary schools for students in grades K - 12. One award will be given in each category: grades K - 3; grades 4 - 8; and grades 9 - 12.

For more information, please click HERE.
TDSB Arts Programming
Arts programming and education is a priority for the TDSB and to highlight programs and events the board has launched a new webpage titled "Spotlight on the Arts". The webpage will be updated with events and features of our arts community, programs, and schools through web stories, photos, and videos. Current videos highlight specialized programing and schools; talented staff from the arts community; and the many options available to all of our students in all of our schools.
Join the TDSB All-City Community Ensembles (deadline January 24th)
Grade 6-8 instrumental students in TDSB band and strings programs are encouraged to apply for the All-City Community Ensemble program.  The program supports collaboration with peers across the TDSB in a large ensemble  - Band, String Ensemble, or R&B Ensemble, culminating in a performance at the 134th annual Spring Festival Concert at the world renowned Roy Thomson Hall, May 20, 2019. Parents/Guardians complete the application at by January 24, 2020
Expansion of Itinerant Music Instruction (IMIs)
Starting this school year, the TDSB has expanded its IMI enrichment program to include 17 new schools. As a result of this expansion, more than 1,200 new students will have access to the program.  The expansion of the program is the result of a review of the distribution of IMI hours, which found that some schools had a disproportionately high allocation of hours, while others had none. The program will continue to evolve as individual schools apply for new programming.
More information, including a list of schools, is available HERE.
Further information about music programs, events, camps, concerts, and celebrations can be found HERE
NEW! Virtual Public Consultations - Secondary Program & Optional Attendance Review
January 30, 2020
As you are aware, the TDSB is undertaking a review of secondary schools to ensure all students have equitable access to programs and opportunities. As part of this review, the Board is also reviewing the Optional Attendance Policy (P013), which allows students to apply to schools other than their designated school by home address. Online feedback for both the program review and policy consultation is open until February 3, 2020, please consider sharing your thoughts and ideas (by email at or via online survey. We have held four public meetings on both Optional Attendance Policy (P013) and Secondary Program Review in November 2019 and you can review this presentation here.
Two new virtual public consultation meetings are scheduled for Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Financial Assistance for International Baccalaureate (IB) programs
As part of last year’s budget process, when we were faced with unprecedented funding cuts, the decision was made to begin charging registration fees for the International Baccalaureate program in order to keep the program in the 5 Secondary Schools where is currently runs - Monarch Park CI, Parkdale CI, Sir Wilfrid Laurier CI, Victoria Park CI, and Weston CI. This fee structure, which is in line with what other GTA boards charge for the IB program, covers the cost of running the program (i.e. teacher training, annual dues, program coordination, and participation in IB examinations) and will not result in any extra revenue for the TDSB. Starting in the 2020-21 school year, there will be a registration fee of $1500 per year for Grade 11 and Grade 12. There is no fee for pre-IB (Grades 9 and 10). 
In order to ensure equity of access to the program, a financial assistance program has been developed for IB, through the TDSB Central Equity Fund, managed by the Business Services department to ensure privacy and confidentiality.
  • Family income level is less than $30K the fee of $1500 will be fully covered;
  • Family income is $30K to $50K, up to  $1000 of financial assistance ($500 program fee);
  • Family income is between $50K to $75K one can receive up to $500 of financial assistance
  • In addition to the amounts listed above, families (whose income is $75,000 or less) with three or more children (dependents under the age of 16) are eligible to receive $500 of additional financial support. 
The deadline to apply for financial assistance for IB is January 22, 2020
Information about the financial assistance program for IB has also been posted to the TDSB website 
Parents Reaching Out (PRO) Grant Funding and Parents as Partners Conference
The Ministry of Education changed the PRO GRANT program this year, away from a parent-lead, application-based funding model to an allocation-based grant provided to each school board. The TDSB was allocated $133,405.35, which is about 1/3rd of what schools received last year. All funds must be spent and reported to the Ministry by June 15, 2020. On November 27, 2019 the Board approved the allocation as follows:  
  • Learning Network / Centre & Ward Engagement ($103,405.35) 
    On January 15th Learning Centre Superintendents, Trustees, and the Parent Involvement Advisory Committee will meet to identify initiatives that fall within the following areas: Supporting and enhancing school council capacity; Enhancing the efficacy of families around mental health and wellbeing, equity or achievement and/or Engagement of diverse families and school councils in the School Improvement Process (e.g. workshops/training for families). Please direct any ideas for our Learning Centre (LC4) to 
  • 2020 Parents as Partners (PAP) Conference ($30,000)
    PAP is scheduled for Saturday, March 28, 2020 and will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at The Toronto Congress Centre.This free conference – planned by parents, for parents – includes a variety of workshops and resources that will help any parent support their child in their achievement and well-being at school and at home. This year’s keynote speaker is Kim Katrin, an internationally acclaimed award winning educator, writer, artist and consultant. Please hold the date now!
On behalf of the Board Chair Robin Pilkey wrote to the Minister of Education to express the Board’s concerns with the new funding model for the Parents Reaching Out Grants and the reduction in funding for the 2019-20 school year. Read the letter.
Winter Health and Safety
Traffic Safety Tips: Help Make this a Safe Winter Season
We know that severe weather will be part of our daily lives for the next several months. Traffic safety is important all year long, but can be particularly challenging during wet, icy, and snowy conditions. The need to be aware and alert at all times, on any road, and even in the most routine circumstances is key to traffic safety. This applies to students and drivers alike. Road conditions can be challenging in the winter months. Drivers, please take extra care on the roads and in parking lots, especially in areas where children might be present, or consider leaving your car at home and especially planning to walk to school.

School staff periodically review street and traffic safety with students. Parents can help reinforce these safety messages with children at home. Below are some tips that might be helpful to review. 
  • Stop, look, and listen for traffic. 
  • Only cross at corners and crosswalks and obey crossing signals.
  • Make eye contact with drivers.
  • Wear appropriate footwear to reduce the chances of slipping.
  • Never run into the street.
Stay Healthy During Influenza Season
Flu season is here again and the primary concern is for the health and safety of all students and staff. The Ontario government is encouraging Ontarians to avoid getting sick by getting their annual flu shot.
Toronto Public Health is recommending that whenever students and staff experience flu-like symptoms, they are sent home and do not return to school until they are no longer infectious to others. Therefore, ill students and staff should be symptom-free (especially from vomiting and diarrhea) for at least 48 hours before returning to school
In addition to vaccination, you can also assist by:
  • Reminding children to wash their hands often especially after using the washroom, after sneezing, and before and after eating;
  • Reminding children to cover their sneeze and cough (in a tissue or sleeve);
  • Watching for symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and/or high fever;
  • Informing the school if your child is ill;
  • Keeping your child at home when he/she is ill.
For more information, please visit the Toronto Public Health website, contact your family doctor, or call Telehealth Ontario. 1-866-797-0000.
Toronto Automated Speed Enforcement Program
The City of Toronto’s Transportation Services has begun the installation of Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) systems across the city to enhance road safety in Community Safety Zones near schools. The system captures any vehicle travelling in excess of the posted speed limit, without exception. This includes emergency vehicles and fleet vehicles. Further information on the program can be found ONLINE. Kindly note that the TDSB was not directly consulted with the locations of the photo radar installations, however they are mobile and it is anticipated they will rotate every three to six months within the City ward.
The following additional resources are also provided:
  • In Ward 16 (Beaches - East York) the first cameras will be located on Barrington Ave and Gower St.
  • A map showing the location of the 50 cameras and their proximity to TDSB schools
  • An Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) Question & Answer document.

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