Keeping you engaged and informed
Keeping you engaged and informed
Ward 11 Weekly Update header
Week of May 8, 2016 
Happy Mother's Day

TDSB Celebrates Jewish Heritage Month and Asian Heritage Month in May
In April 2012, the Government of Ontario unanimously passed legislation naming May as Jewish Heritage Month. This month is an opportunity to build understanding and awareness of notable Ontarians of Jewish heritage and identify how they have contributed to our city, province and country. Across the board, schools will also participate in activities, research, and discussions about the Jewish culture, identity, history and heritage. We will be culminating the activities with a Social Justice Fair on May 25th.
The month of May is also Asian Heritage Month – a month that acknowledges the rich history of Asian Canadians and their contributions to Canada. Asian Heritage Month is an opportunity for all to celebrate the beauty and wisdom of various Asian cultures. Since its inaugural celebration in Toronto in 1993, and the official passing of the motion in the Senate of Canada, cities across the nation including Halifax, Montréal, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, have been holding annual festivities during the month of May to recognize Asian Heritage Month.

Hodgson Senior Public School Celebrates 100 years May 12-13
Please join me in celebrating Hodgson's Centenial!
  • May 13, 5-8 pm, Open House
  • May 14, noon to 5pm, Open House and Performances
  • 12-1pm: open house, student led school tours, photo booth, t-shirt and memorabilia Sales, etc.
  • 1-2pm: performances (music and others) in the gym
  • 2-3pm: Open House, student led school tours, photo booth, t-shirt and memorabilia sales, etc.
  • 3-4pm: more performances in the gym, including Alumni Stage Band
  • 4-5pm: Cake cutting, speeches, presentations and recognitions 

Learning Centres
As I mentioned a few updates ago, Learning Centres (LC) are part of a new strategy to improve school effectiveness and student achievement. Beginning in September 2016, all TDSB schools will feed into one of four Learning Centres. While the Board will continue to be guided by a strong central governance structure and central administration support, these Centres will be hubs of resources to support schools in meeting the learning needs of students. For parents, the Learning Centre model aims to be more responsive to their child’s learning needs, improve communication, help identify and respond to learning gaps, and bring more timely and successful resolution to disputes. Each centre will be staffed by:
  • Learning coaches who will provide extra support for teachers in the classroom
  • Seven superintendents, led by an executive superintendent
  • Staff from the TDSB’s professional support services department, including psychologists, social workers and counsellors
Click on the following link to learn more about the Senior Team positions and responsibilities and the Superintendents placed in the Learning Centres. As you will see from the information, our current Family of Schools Superintendent Sandra Tondat has been placed in a different Learning Centre that does not include Ward 11 Schools. Although Sandra will continue to support our schools and community through the end of this school year, and although I look forward to working with the new team, I have really enjoyed and appreciated working with Sandra in support of Ward 11 schools and I know you will join me in thanking her for her oustanding leadership.
As you can see from the boundaries for Learning Centres in the map below, each superintendent has responsibility for fewer schools and school administrators, allowing for more time to spend with schools and and connecting with parents/guardians and the community. The geographic boundaries of Learning Centres were established with the following considerations:
  • Equal number of students/parents served by schools and Trustee
  • Equal distribution of students and schools
  • Equal number of school Principals per Superintendent
  • Equal mix of socio-economic communities
Further details relating to, for example, who the Superintendent will be for your school will be communicated shortly. 

Bike to School Week 2016
Are you one of the 226 schools that have registered so far? Let’s get rolling! Join students and teachers across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area to celebrate Bike to School Week in the TDSB, May 30 to June 3, 2016. Register your school’s activities to support your EcoSchools and Healthy Schools programming, and to qualify for educational kits and incentives (while supplies last)! Check out the menu to the right for resources to help with planning and promoting events at your school. For more information, click on

School Traffic Safety in the City of Toronto
Below is an excellent infographic in support of TDSB's Charter for Active Transportation. It's based on research from York University and the Hospital for Sick Children. There isn't a week that goes by that I don't get an e-mail from either a school or community member worried about trafic around our schools. Many of the complaints are about illegal parking! The messages are clear - walking to school does not increase child pedestrian accidents if the built environment is safe. Built environment modifications reduce unsafe driver and pedestrian behaviours leading to a reduction in collisions. Schools with crossing guards have 14% more students walking to school. And interestingly, the installation of speed bumps was associated with a 45% decrease in collision rates in children. Let's continue to work with our local Councillors to ensure everything is done to ensure safety around schools. For the full infographic, click here.

Resignation of Michael Ford, Ward 1, Etobicoke North
Tomorrow the Chair has called a Special Board Meeting to deal with the resignation of Trustee Michael Ford who resigned from the BOard to run for his Uncle's seat on City Council. If the Board votes for a by-election. it is hopeful it can also be held on July 25. Michael has been a great colleague at the Board and he will be missed. Best of luck Michael!

New Invitation
Parent Conference on STEM Education May 14 at Richview Collegiate Institute, 1738 Islington Ave from 9:30 am - 3:30pm
STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathmatics) is the theme of this free parent conference happening at Richview Collegiate (Islington and Eglinton) in Etobicoke. The focus is broadening understanding of STEM education. The day will feature keynote speakers, hands-on workshops, a Kidzone, panel discussions and more. Special guest Dan Riskin (Co-host of Discovery Channel's Daily Planet Show) will be at the conference again to interact with conference participants. Key Note Speaker is Anthony Morgan founder of the Science Ninjas. Please register here

 Worth Repeating...
Applications for Parents Reaching Out Grants 2016-17 Now Open - Grant applications for the 2016-17 school year are now open and will be accepted until May 29, 2016. In the 2015-16 school year, the province funded more than 2,200 projects that helped identify barriers to parent engagement and found local solutions to help more parents be engaged in their children's learning. For more information, click on     
NOTE - Change of Date - Presentation by Jennifer Kolari, Wednesday, May 25, 7-8pm at Oakwood CI, 991 St Clair  Av - Oakwood Collegiate invites all parents to attend a Parent Presentation by Jennifer Kolari. This presentation will show parents the importance of communication in the parent-teen relationship and is for parents and teens. Light refreshments will be provided. Chilcare available if requested at
TDSB Healthy Schools 5k Run/Walk - On Saturday, June 4, 2016 the Health and Physical Education Department is hosting a celebration of all the healthy active living that happens in our schools and communities every day. Students, staff, parents/guardians and community members are invited to join us at Downsview Park for the TDSB Healthy Schools 5k Run/Walk. Elementary schools will  participate at 10 a.m. and secondary schools will begin at 11 a.m. Read all about the Run/Walk event day details.
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