colourful line
Dear friends, 
As 2022 comes to a close, I have found myself having moments of reflection on the last year at the TDSB and thinking forward about what 2023 will bring and what trustees can accomplish in the year to come. 
I will admit, these reflections on the past have been few and far between, as I've been busier than ever since mid-November than any time that I remember. Taking on the role of Chair of the TDSB has been somewhat of a whirlwind, with a lot more meetings, a lot more phone calls, and lot more to consider each and every day! 
Much of the last month for me has been spent thinking and talking about youth mental health, well-being, and violence prevention. We face a lot of challenges in this city and in our large board. There has been a plethora of articles and news segments in the media about student safety and youth violence, and I know many parents are concerned. This past month, trustees met on several occasions to discuss this issue, and staff presented the first of multiple updates on their approach to working in support of student safety. It is a multi-pronged approach that lists 13 key actions, including safety audits, violence prevention education, and enhanced school supports such as additional child and youth workers, particularly in priority neighbourhoods. You can read about it and listen to two presentations, including one by SafeTO, by clicking here. The Board also adopted a motion to issue an urgent request to the government about reinstating Priority Schools Initiative (PSI) funding - a valuable and needed opportunity for investing in youth engagement and well-bring. 
A key ingredient to the success of this approach is partnership with outside agencies and other levels of government. To that end, over the last few weeks, the TDSB's Director of Education and I have begun a series of meetings with the Mayor, Toronto Police Services, and the city manager of SafeTO. By putting our heads together and leveraging all of our assets, we are committing to building bridges and programming that will better support our youth. And, to date, these meetings with the Mayor, TPS and city staff at SafeTO have been productive, and many items are actively being developed. Below is the joint statement the Mayor and I released after our most recent meeting on Tuesday:  
In addition, last week I also met with the Minister of Education to discuss this issue (and a few more items!), and he too expressed concern and committed to working with us and all Boards experiencing these challenges we are seeing across the province. I look forward to future conversations with the Minister, and am hopeful we will see concrete actions from the Province on this issue. 
It should be noted that the Board of Trustees reached out to all levels of government in March of last year, and received no significant response. That said, I do feel our municipal and provincial partners are now coming to the table with strong commitment. The issue of rising violence is truly something we here at the TDSB cannot solve on our own -- we need the support of community agencies and all levels of government -- and the steps taken this past month give me confidence that in early 2023 we will start to see concrete actions being taken by all levels of government in the form of funding commitments and program initialization. I will endeavour to keep you all updated as this work unfolds.
On a more upbeat note, this past month has been unlike the last couple of Decembers in our schools. Holiday concerts and events are back! These meaningful events have unfolded with joy, and it has been wonderful to see communities gathering once again in our buildings (too many to mention!), on our fields (Bedford Park!), and even in the community. One of our schools -- Maurice Cody -- took their show on the road to the local Starbucks where they were joined by Don Valley West's MPP, Stephanie Bowman! And this afternoon I am looking forward to joining York Mills high school students at the Thorncliffe TNO Food Bank as they donate the proceeds of their student-led food drive. As we all get ready to say goodbye to 2022, it fills my heart to know all of our schools in Don Valley West have found fun, joyful and thoughtful ways to end the year, wrapping themselves in their school communities and thinking about how to make this time of year better for all.
As I say goodbye to 2023, I want to take a moment to say thank you to all of our staff. It is their commitment to our students that truly makes a difference. It has not been an easy past couple of years, but their hard work, adaptability and care for our students and each other has truly made an impact in our schools. By working in partnership with our families, our staff ensure our schools make our communities stronger, supporting students in reaching their goals and having strong successful outcomes, and it is important to acknowledge and thank everyone for their part as it really does take a village! 
In closing, I look forward to seeing you all in 2023, whether it is on a school visit, event, or one of my community coffees! Below you will find information on upcoming coffees, dates to remember and much more. And with that, I wish all Don Valley West school communities, staff, families, and students happy holidays -- may you have a relaxing, safe and fun-filled break! And as always, feel free to reach out to me by email at
Warm regards,
Rachel Chernos Lin 
Chair and TDSB Trustee, Ward 11, Don Valley West
Coffee Mornings: January 25 & more
Looking ahead at the new year, I am happy to announce the dates for further Coffee Mornings this school year. 
As we alternate between in-person and virtual meetings, the first next meeting will be on Wednesday, January 25, 9:30 - 11:00 am, virtually! 
Please click for the Flyer and Registration.
Future dates:
  • March 8 (in person)
  • April 26 (virtual Zoom meeting)
  • June 14 (in person)
Meeting notes on previous Coffee Meetings will be available on the ward website
Inclement Weather
Winter is here! With our cold Canadian winter comes snow, ice, and severe weather. It is occasionally necessary to cancel student transportation, classes and/or programs. Occasionally, severe weather forces the closure of our schools and administrative offices.
Visit the website to learn more about 
- Snow/Cold Weather and
- the Procedure for Severe Weather

Middle French Immersion Application Process
The entry point to the Middle French Immersion program for September 2023 is Grade 4. The online application process for Middle French Immersion will take place between January 9 and February 3, 2023. An offer of placement in the program (not a specific school) is guaranteed to all on-time applicants.
Families with an older sibling currently enrolled in a French program and who will be in attendance next year are still required to complete an online application for the new student. Please select the “sibling option” within the online application
Visit the TDSB website for more information about 
- Middle French Immersion
- Virtual & In-Person Information Sessions, and/or
- the Application Process.
FSLCAC newsletter
Speaking of French Programming: check out the December news from the FSLCAC: the French as a Second Language Community Advisory Committee: here.
TDSB System-wide Virtual Tutoring Support for Students
The TDSB is continuing to support students with unfinished learning. Through the Ministry’s funding for Tutoring programs, we are pleased to announce that TDSB students will now have free, unlimited online tutoring available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We are working with Paper and Brainfuse, who will be providing online Tutoring services. All tutoring services are voluntary. There is no obligation for any student to participate in tutoring.
Information about Tutoring @ the TDSB will be available on the website . 
More information about What’s New and Online Tutoring opportunities is available in this Parents/Caregivers/Guardians & StudentsTutoring Fact Sheet

Community-based agencies
Tutoring at the school level continues, and our partnerships with community-based agencies have expanded. Parents/Guardians/Caregivers can contact these organizations directly for tutoring.  
Elementary Alternative Schools - New Online Application Process & Form
On October 26, 2022, the Board approved revisions to the Alternative Schools Policy.
As part of the TDSB’s commitment to ensure equitable access, admissions, and opportunities for all students and to support implementation of the Board decision regarding elementary alternative schools (May 26, 2021) and the revised Alternative Schools Policy (P062), the TDSB has developed a new centralized application process and online application form for elementary alternative schools. The accompanying procedure to the policy will be shared with the Board in the spring 2023
The centralized application process and online application form will be in place for students and families to request admission for September 2023. Families will be able to access information related to elementary alternative schools on the TDSB website in the coming weeks and the application period will open starting January 16, 2023.
Mental Health and Well-Being
The TDSB's Professional Support Staff (PSS) are here to help with anything you need to support your mental health and well-being and to help you navigate the tools and resources you may need. During these times it is especially important.
Winter Well-Being Guide
The Winter Well-being Guide for 2022/23 is created by the Mental Health and Well-Being Committee with System Leader for Mental Health and PSS, Shameen Sandhu. The guide has been updated to provide ongoing resources and ideas for Families/Guardians to promote mental and physical wellness during the winter months. Resources are culturally relevant and responsive with resources for students with Complex Needs.
Kids Help Phone is available 24/7 for ages 5-29 for anonymous care from professional counsellors. Call 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868.
Save the Date: EnVision Conference
The annual EnVision Conference (in-person) will be from Tuesday, February 28 to Wednesday, March 1. The focus of this year's conference is 2SLGBTQIAP+ Indigenous, Black and Racialized Joy, Intersections, and Futurity.
All 2SLGBTQIAP+ elementary and secondary students, as well as their allies/co-conspirators are invited come together in collective care to address biphobia, homophobia and transphobia. There will be keynote speakers, workshops on a continuum for those beginning their journey in allyship and those who would like more support in student action. The entire conference will be an opportunity for students to share the multiple ways gender and sexual diversity can be celebrated within the Toronto District School Board.
Tamil Heritage Month at the TDSB - January 2023
Tamil Heritage Month is proudly recognized during the month of January at the Toronto District School Board since January 2016. It has also been marked across the province of Ontario since March 2004 with the implementation of the Tamil Heritage Month Act, 2014., as well as nationally since January 2016. 

This year our theme for Tamil Heritage Month is: Community. Belonging. Joy - சமூகம்  சார்ந்த  சந்தோசம்   
Belonging comes with a sense of acceptance and inclusion for who you are, and there is great joy that comes from knowing you belong within any given community. This year’s Tamil Heritage Month theme was selected to highlight that joy and belonging and is intentionally aligned with one of the TDSB’s priorities - Joy, Engagement and Belonging.

Toronto has the largest Tamil population outside of the South Asian subcontinent with thousands of TDSB students and staff members who identify as Tamil. The importance of building awareness, creating a strong self and collective identities, and understanding one's own roots and rights are important objectives of the Tamil Heritage Month volunteer planning committee.  To mark Tamil Heritage Month at the Toronto District School Board in January, various educational opportunities will be offered to students to learn about the history, culture, and traditions.
For further information about Tamil Heritage Month, please follow @TDSB_Tamil on Twitter to learn interesting facts on Tamil customs and traditions. 
2022-2023 School Year Calendar
Mark your calendars! Upcoming Professional Activity and Professional Development days are January 13 (elementary only), February 2 (high schools only) and then February 17 (both elementary and high schools).
There are no classes for students on the dates listed above (also check out the Days of Significance Calendar and the key school calendar dates listed below). 
Stay Connected with your School
The TDSB is offering two new ways to stay connected with your school and the TDSB. Learn about opting in for text messages and using the School Messenger app, which provides a faster and easier way to report absences. Learn more.
TDSB Update
Sign-up for TDSB Update and stay informed about recent Board decisions and district-wide news.

Upcoming Meetings

The next Regular Board Meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 1, 2023. For a list of upcoming meetings, please click on the calendar on the main webpage of

Follow the TDSB

Join the conversations happening on TDSB's social media communities. You'll find the most up-to-date information about us on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. 

As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments or concerns!

Rachel Chernos Lin, Chair, Toronto District School Board and Ward 11 Trustee, Don Valley West

If you notice anything at a school that concerns you, please call the TDSB 24-hour Call Centre (416) 395-4620, 311 Toronto, and/or Toronto Police Services Dispatch (non-emergencies via ‪416-808-2222). 

If you or a family member is in crisis, please contact Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 or get support right now by texting CONNECT to 686868.
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