Your Ward 11 Trustee Newsletter
Your Ward 11 Trustee Newsletter
Ward 11 newletter header

Dear Parents,

The snow has arrived and it certainly feels as though winter is here! It may not quite feel like it, but we are now well into the first term of school. Our school are full of life, bustling with energy of kids engaged in group projects, field trips, sporting events and clubs of all types. I spent much of today visiting schools and watching their various ways of commemorating Remembrance Day and was uplifted by the level of thought, creativity and reflection put into these events by students and staff.

I have a few updates and announcements below including a reminder about my coffee morning tomorrow (with a special guest, see below!), as well as news regarding my upcoming ward forums, the PIAC conference (this Saturday!), French Programming, and much, much more.  

COFFEE MORNING: Tues. Nov. 12, 9:15-11:15

Please join me for casual conversation and coffee tomorrow morning. Over the weekend, I learned that Don Valley West's MPP, Kathleen Wynne, will be dropping by tomorrow morning as part of her constituency week. As a former Minister of Education, this is sure to be an interesting opportunity. My coffee mornings are informal roundtable discussions open to community members, parents and caregivers. We are often joined by superintendents and occasionally a principal or two! These meetings are a great chance to network and share information about what's happening in the Board and our Ward 11 schools. Coffee mornings run from 9:15-11:15 am upstairs at the Longo's on Laird in the kitchen. Coffee, snacks and great conversation, I hope many of you will be able to attend!
Trustee Rachel Chernos Lin community coffee flyer nov 12

Get Well Councillor Jaye Robinson! 

As many of you may be aware, Councillor Robinson is currently on a leave of absence while she undergoes treatment for breast cancer. Councillor Robinson is one of the strongest and most determined women I have ever met, and I am confident cancer has no idea what it is up against. I want to extend best wishes to the Councillor and her family for a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing her back at work soon. In the meantime, Don Valley West is in very capable hands as her staff is hard at work on behalf of all her constituents, as you will no doubt see from the update below regarding Laird in Focus.  

Laird in Focus/Rio Can Proposal (815-845 Eglinton Avenue East) Update -- TDSB and TLC Response

As mentioned in my last newsletter, there was a large community meeting on Sept.17, 2019 regarding the Laird in Focus Study and RioCan Proposal (815-845 Eglinton Ave. E.) in Leaside. This meeting was attended by well over 100 community members and TDSB's interests were represented by staff from the Toronto Lands Corporation (TLC), the group that oversees the real-estate interests of the TDSB. This meeting served as a public open house for the proposed Laird in Focus draft Site and Area Specific Policy (SASP) and for the RioCan proposal at 815-845 Eglinton Avenue East. 
As reported in my last newsletter, community members shared concerns regarding the growth and development, specifically as it relates to where residents of these proposed units will go to school. At the time of this community consultation, TDSB formally communicated to city planners that they had concerns with the SASP as it was written as the plans as registered did not have any mention of school capacity as part of the plan. You can read the letter sent by TLC here. In this letter, TLC requested the city plan for Laird in Focus include policy that required development be phased so that local pupil accommodation needs could be considered as part of creating a full and complete community.  
Unfortunately, the draft plan by city planners sent to North York Community Council did not incorporate TLC's suggestions. I was in touch with Councillor Robinson's office to raise TDSB and TLC's concerns about the absence of school infrastructure in the plan, and her office indicated their support for our very significant concerns. In fact, I was made aware that the councillor planned to introduce a motion via one of her colleagues that would speak to these concerns. When the matter came before North York Community Council last Tuesday, November 5th, I attended and deputed before the committee. To read the letter I submitted to the committee along with my verbal deputation, please click here. In addition to my deputation, city councillors present at the hearing all asked me extensive questions and we had a very productive discussion regarding schools as part of our essential infrastructure, especially in areas of our city undergoing rapid intensification like Leaside and Yonge and Eglinton.
Councillor Robinson introduced various motions via her colleagues (she is on a medical leave of absence, as noted above). One of the motions submitted was particularly important with respect to schools, suggesting an amendment be added to the SASP as follows:

"The City will monitor development applications in the Laird in Focus Area on an ongoing basis, taking into consideration the relevant service and facility plans of City divisions, public agencies, boards and commissions, including school capacity as part of ongoing conversations, to evaluate the evolving needs of the area's population and inform the delivery of new and enhanced community services and facilities.". 
I am hopeful that this is just the beginning of working together on this serious issue and look forward to this legislation working its way through City Council.
To read more about the city's plans for Laird in Focus, please see the City of Toronto offical page on Laird in Focus, linked here.


The Parent Involvement Advisory Committee is holding their annual parent conference this coming Saturday. This year's theme is "Ready, Set, Engage". It is free and a great way to network and learn all about parent councils and parent engagement. For more information, click here. I will be bringing greetings from the TDSB at the plenary session. I hope to see many of you there!


At Committee of the Whole last week, Trustees passed a motion to leave bussing as status quo for the 2020-2021 school year. This motion still has to be approved at the next Board Meeting on November 27, but it does look as though there will be the same level of bussing next year as we currently are providing. 
Please take note that registration for Early French Immersion is currently underway, closing November 29, 2019. For more information, click here


For 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. 
First day of classes for all students is September 3, 2019
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

Yours truly,
Rachel Chernos Lin
Ward 11 Trustee, Toronto District School Board
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