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Dear friends, 
It certainly now feels like summer is a thing of the past --  there's a distinct chill in the air, Halloween is around the corner, and things are in full swing in Ward 11 schools! Parents and caregivers have been visiting schools for curriculum nights and back to school events, and school fields have been hives of activity hosting tournaments and sporting events galore. Last Friday I had the chance to join students, parents and staff as we cheered on the Northern Red Knights on the football field. I'm not sure who was having more fun -- the mascot, the crowd, or the players!
Thanks to all who attended my first coffee morning of the school year on September 28th, and my Ward Forum on October 3rd. The meeting notes for both events (and the superb staff presentation from the Ward Forum) are posted on my Ward webpage at
Just as there is lots of activity in our schools, work continues full steam ahead at the Board, including committee work in preparation for upcoming Board meetings slated for October 26 and November 15.
Coming up this week at committee are a number of important reports that may be of interest to Ward 11 constituents. Today (Wednesday), at the Program and School Services Committee, we will have an update on Kindergarten Transition Supports for our Youngest Learners, and an update on our Covid-19 Pandemic Recovery Plan.
On Thursday, at the Planning and Priorities Committee, Planning Staff will present this year's Long-Term Planning and Accommodation Strategy (LTPAS). The LTPAS was the subject of our October 3rd ward forum referred to above, but the version being presented this week has been revised with an outlook and plan for the next ten years. For those with concerns about development and school space in Ward 11, this is a must-read roadmap that is updated yearly to lay out how the TDSB is responding to and planning for population changes and school accommodation. 
Finally, I want to draw your attention to a motion I am bringing forward together with Trustee Laskin (Ward 8) calling on the Ministry of Education to Extend and Expand Funding of the Tutoring Supports Program. The TDSB has a strong commitment to pandemic learning recovery, but the funding for tutoring is slated to end in December 2022. This was a new source of funding granted to boards last spring, and is proving very beneficial. The TDSB has implemented tutoring programs through three different mechanisms -- school-based programs, system-wide programs, and community-based programs. Now that this is up and running and beginning to have a significant impact, we believe the funding should be extended and expanded until at least August 2023 so that a wider number of students can benefit long-term. You can read our Notice of Motion here.
Below you will also find some news and a few announcements about upcoming events/activities, including registration details for the always wonderful Parents & Caregivers as Partners Conference coming up this weekend, so please read on!
Warm regards,
TDSB Trustee, Ward 11, Don Valley West
October 22/23: Parents & Caregivers as Partners Annual Conference
Join TDSB staff at the annual Parents and Caregivers as Partners Conference coming up this weekend on October 22 and 23, 2022!
Parents, guardians and caregivers are invited to participate in a weekend of learning, connection and engagement and learn strategies to support your child throughout the year.
New this year is the partnership with the TDSB’s Outdoor Education team as well as the City of Toronto to bring a unique, outdoor experience to the conference. All pre-conference sessions will run from 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Transportation from hub sites is available to all venues and leaves at designated departure locations at 8 a.m., and returns at 10:30 a.m. More information is provided in the registration materials. 

The virtual conference includes a keynote address on Sunday, October 23 by Randell Adjei, Ontario’s Poet Laureate, as well as a number of workshops in a range of areas including mental health and well-being, learning, special education, anti-racism and hate, and more.
For more information, surf to!

Mark your Calendar: PIAC Ready-Set-Engage: Bridging the Gap Conference (Nov.19/27)
Organized by the Board's Parent Involvement Advisory Committee, who advise the Board on all things to do with Parent Engagement and assist School Councils together with the PCEO (Parent & Community Engagement Office), this conference is another fall annual highlight for parents! To learn more, check out PIAC's brand-new website at
Early French Immersion (JK Entry) Application Opening soon!

Early French Immersion now begins in Junior Kindergarten. For families interested in the Toronto District School Board's system-wide French Immersion Program, we offer an online process to apply for Early French Immersion to those who will be entering JK in September 2023. An offer of placement in the program (not a specific school) is guaranteed to all on-time applicants. To apply to the Early French Immersion program for September 2023, please complete an online application between October 31 and November 25, 2022. 
Visit the TDSB website for more information about Early French ImmersionVirtual & In-Person Information Sessions, and the Application Process.
Note: The online information sessions are November 9 (7pm) and November 16 (10am). There are also multiple in-person informations sessions -- and one is in Ward 11/Don Valley West at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute (135 Overlea Blvd) on November 1 (7pm). 
Central Student Interest Programs
Applications for central student interest programs open in November! Visit our web pages for elementary programs (including arts-focus, cyberarts, and elite athlete programs; application information) and secondary programs (also including IB/International Baccalaureate, Math/Science/Technology and others; application information), respectively, to learn about each of the programs, review program and application requirements, get dates for upcoming open houses and webinars and all application timelines.
Secondary Central Student Interest Programs information sessions
The secondary central student interest program website contains a Google calendar highlighting all of the program open houses during November. Other important dates include:
  • November 1, 2022 - Grade 8 to 9 Information Webinar 
  • November 3, 2022 - Student Interest Programs Webinar 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.(elementary and secondary)
  • November 7, 2022  - Central student interest programs Online Application opens
  • November 25, 202 - Central student interest programs Online Application closes (4:00 p.m.) 
Virtual Support Sessions are available via Zoom:
Post-Secondary Information
Check out the following events for students preparing for their post-high school years!
2023 Prime Minister’s Teaching Awards competition is open!
Do you know a terrific teacher or early childhood educator? Consider nominating them for a 2023 Prime Minister’s Award! This program honours the remarkable educational achievements and commitment of elementary and secondary school teachers, as well as early childhood educators.

Looking for inspiration? Check out previous teaching and early childhood education award recipients.

For nomination information, see 2023 nomination packages. The nomination deadline is January 27, 2023.
A Look Back: Supporting Students and School Communities
Every day, TDSB supports students, staff and school communities across Toronto. Every decision made and action taken is with the intentional focus on ensuring that students have the resources, opportunities and welcoming and respectful learning spaces they need to thrive.
Here is a look back on some of our most impactful work, guided by the Multi-Year Strategic Plan, over the last several years that is making a difference in the lives of those we serve. Watch the video here.
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.
Happy Diwali
October 24: Diwali
This year, Diwali falls on Monday, October 24. It's the first of the season's festivals of light. Read more from the Hindustan Times - The most significant and holy festival of Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is almost here. Hindus celebrate this auspicious festival to observe the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil and hope over despair. Diwali also marks the death of many demons like Narkasur by Lord Krishna, the arrival of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after killing Ravana, and Lord Vamana defeating Bali. People pray to Goddess Lakshmi on Diwali by performing the auspicious Lakshmi Puja at their homes and offices and ask the goddess to bless them with prosperity, happiness, peace and wealth. In most places in the country, Diwali is celebrated for five days. To all celebrating, Happy Diwali!
TDSB Islamic Heritage Month
Heritage & History Months
The Toronto District School Board is proud to celebrate the following heritage and history months during October:
Somali Heritage Month
2022-2023 School Year Calendar
Mark your calendar! The first next Professional Activity (P.A.) Days is November 18 (both elementary and high schools).
There are no classes for students on the dates listed below (also check out the Days of Significance Calendar).

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

Rachel Chernos Lin, Ward 11 TDSB 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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