Keeping you engaged and informed
Keeping you engaged and informed
Ward 11 Weekly Update header
Week of December 6, 2015
National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women (UN)
December 6 is The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women was established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada. This coincides with the anniversary of the death of 14 young women who were tragically killed on 6 December, 1989 at l‘École Polytechnique in Montreal because of their gender. This day gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect upon the negative impact caused by violence against women within our society and to commemorate their lives.

Gender-based violence is defined as any aggressive action that threatens safety, causes physical, social or emotional harm and denigrates a person because of his or her gender identity, perceived gender, sexual identity, biological sex or sexual behaviour and has been identified as an area requiring immediate and significant attention. We are committed to promoting a positive environment and preventing violence against women at the TDSB. For more information on how you can help prevent violence against women, please visit

A Primer on Hanukkah Time Website
December 6 is the first night of Hanukkah, so here’s a quick primer on the Jewish Festival of Lights.
The holiday lasts eight days and will run this year through Dec. 14. The key ceremony at the center of Hanukkah, also spelled Chanukah, is lighting a menorah each night. The eight nights of lighting the branched candelabrum represent the eight nights a one-day supply of oil miraculously lasted for a small band of Jewish people in 165 B.C. fighting to defeat the Greek army.
These days, people also celebrate Hanukkah by eating foods fried in oil, such as potato pancakes called latkes. There are also customary games children play, like spinning a dreidel, and they receive chocolate coins called gelt for victory.

TDSB Chair and Vice-Chair  
At the TDSB’s Organizational Board meeting on December 1, Trustee Robin Pilkey was acclaimed Chair of the Board and Trustee Jennifer Arp was elected to the position of Vice Chair .I had the privlege of nominating Robin, who was acclaimed Chair in August 2015, was first elected as Trustee for Ward 7 (Parkdale-High Park) in the fall of 2014. Jennifer Arp, who was also first elected in the fall of 2014, is Trustee for Ward 8 (Eglinton-Lawrence).
This year I chose to be a member of the Finance and Accountability Committee as each trustee must be on one of the 3 Standing Committees of the Board (Human Resources and Professional Learning and Program and School Services are the others). I was also proud to be confirmed as the Trustee Liaison to the Parent Involvement Advisory Committtee (PIAC) and was elected to the Budget Committee, Negotiations Steering Committee, Policy Review Committee, Governance Review Workgroup, and the Documents for Access, Transparency and Accountability Workgroup. I am also incredibly proud to be confirmed as a Director of the Ontario Public School Boards Association and as Vice-President., representing the TDSB on the Executive.
To read the full committee memberships, please click here.

The Hall Report
On Firday, the Ministry of Education posted the Barbara Hall and TDSB Governance Advisory Panel report in error and subsequently removed it. In the interest of being open and transparent, they decided to release the report earlier than anticipated due to this error. Please find below Minister Sandals’ statement and the link to the report . “I would like to thank Barbara Hall and th Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Governance Advisory Panel for their report on improving governance at the TDSB. I would also like to thank all of th parents, staff and community members from across Toronto who provided their input in the consultations. We will release our next steps as a result of the report in the coming days. By working together with the TDSB, we will be abl to improve governance at the board, and ensure that everyone is focused on student achievement and well-being.” Please find the report here.
Chair Robin Pilkey has responded on behalf of the board - both initially in the local papers on Friday and in an interview with CBC - "Toronto District School Board's chairwoman says she does not believe that she and her trustees require supervision to make the governance changes called for by a scathing provincial report Friday.Instead, Robin Pilkey told CBC News that the document from the advisory panel is now months old does not reflect the changes that have happened since she and some new trustees were appointed in August...Pilkey said the board will continue to focus on finding an interim director of education, as Donna Quan ends her term early on Dec. 14. Once an interim director's been appointed, the board will then begin a search for a permanent replacement — someone to help guide the country's largest school board through this period of transition," Please click here to view the full interview
Having been away all weekend, I have not read through the report... but many of my colleagues have commented and my initial thoughts are similar... frankly, I am so tired of these distractions and hope when the ministry does comment it will be in support of the TDSB and all of our efforts, trustees and staff, to refocus on student achievement and well-being under a new interim director. It truly is up to the provincial government now as these are recommendations to the government and they determine which recommendations – if any they wish to implement.

Worth Repeating
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:
  • 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

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