Keeping you engaged and informed
Keeping you engaged and informed
Ward 11 Weekly Update header
Week of June 26, 2016 - 42nd and Final Update 2015-2016 School Year
One week left! I am so proud of the work of our students, staff, parents and community in Ward 11. I am proud how our community also came together for an incredible and inspirational show of support to welcome Syrian refugees into the city and into our classrooms. I am so proud of the involvement of students supported by their teachers and families in social justice efforts. Experiences such as this are not only generous, they empower our students as 21st century global citizens. In each and everyone of the schools in our Ward, wonderful things happened this past year. It has been a pleasure to support this Ward. Thank you for your continued support of our students and schools.     
I am proud of the work of this Board under the leadership of Chair Robin Pilkey and Director John Malloy... I only regret that we were not able to settle all Collective Agreements. We have agreements in place with all employee unions except for the OSSTF. We are prepared to continue negotiations over the summer break to reach a fair agreement and avoid any disruption next fall. As the union has directed high school teachers to not electronically input marks for students in Grade 9 to 11, there may be a slight delay in report card availability at some schools. This will not be an issue for Grade 12 students, as the union has directed teachers to electronically input marks for Grade 12 as not to affect admission to post-secondary institutions. The last day of school for teachers is June 30. We encourage secondary students and parents to contact teachers directly by June 30 should they have questions or concerns about student progress and/or final marks. 

Changes to Principals and Vice-Principals in Ward 11
Over the last few Board Meetings there have beens staff changes that have resulted in new adminsitrative teams in Ward 11. I have already mentioned Superintendent Sandra Tondat has been assigned to a different Learning Centre. But in addition, Principal Andrew Howard, currently at Maurice Cody has been promoted to Superintendent of Education. Robert McIntosh, current VP of Northern SS has announced his retirement. And VP Lara Schneider at Davisville Jr/Spectrum Sr PS has been transfered to Gracedale PS. We wish them all the best in their new roles. We welcome the following to Ward 11:
  • Ian Allison, Kathleen Garner and Leila Girdhar-Hill, Superintendents of Education
  • Robert Nigro, Principal of Maurice Cody.
  • Andrew Paladino, Principal of JR Wilcox
  • Adam Marshall, VP of Northern SS
  • Cécile Robertson, VP of Davisville/spectirum
  • Nadine Clarke, VP of Deer Park
Key Decisions from Final Board Meeting
There were many key decisions made at the last Board Meeting of 2015-16 - among them was the dedication of October as Islamic and Somali Heritage Month as well as June as Pride Month. There is no coincidence to the importance of the vote on these months together in light of the tragedy in Orlando last month.
The Board also voted for the Director to report to the Board in October 2016 on the development of an Action Plan for an Integrated Equity Framework, as described in the Report, that will guide the Board’s strategic efforts. Because of the Board vote, staff will undertake a comprehensive, system-wide Equity evaluation and strategic planning process to support the development of a Integrated Equity Framework with a phased multi-year implementation plan. This action plan will include the following components:
  • Budget and Policy
  • School Improvement Process
  • Programs and Professional Learning
  • Secondary Program Review
  • Inclusion and Special Education
  • Employment Equity
We believe that ensuring equitable and inclusive learning opportunities for all our students is a moral imperative, because we understand that education is the most critical factor in an individual’s ability to fulfill his or her potential. Our commitment to Equity is clearly articulated in the very first Guiding Principle of the Board’s recently adopted Learning Centres Strategy: “Improve student achievement and well-being, and ensure equitable access and outcomes.”
More on the Long-Term Program & Accommodation 
I have added information on the updated Plan on my website. Please click here for the Context and Background to the Report. Please click here for all the program studies and please click here for the studies specific for Ward 11. Also included on my site is background to the decision to enter into a process for the potential closure of Vaughan Road Academy and the presentation with the data that was presented to their School Council.
More on the Capital Plan
We approved a 3-Year Capital Budget on June 22, 2016 that will see significant investments in schools for the future. The plan reinstates four previously-closed Board properties —   Bannockburn PS, Castlebar PS, Sir Sandford Fleming Academy, and Boyne River Outdoor Education Centre — for future use by the TDSB. The plan also identifies eight priority projects to be submitted to the Ministry of Education for funding approval including a 12-room addition at Hodgson Sr PS.
We also voted to declare five schools as surplus to the Board’s needs, including three already-closed schools and two to be closed as of June 30, 2016.McNicoll PS (closed as an operating school in 2000) and Silver Creek PS (closed as an operating school in 1982) have been declared surplus but have not been transferred to the Toronto Lands Corporation (TLC) for sale at this time. Instead, the Director of Education will continue discussions with the Province on the transfer of ownership of both properties. The goal is to keep current community services operating in these sites. Thistletown MS (closed as an operating school in 1985) has been declared surplus but has not been transferred to the TLC for sale at this time. The Director will continue discussions with the City on the transfer of ownership of the property to keep current community services operating in this site. The Director of Education will present a report to Board with regards to these three school sites before any further action is taken. Sir Robert L. Borden Business & Technical Institute and Nelson A. Boylen CI will close June 30, 2016 and be referred to the Toronto Lands Corporation for sale. Finally, Trustees voted to maintain Buttonwood Hill Public School (closed as an operating school in 1983) as a core holding.  
And although we made a record investment this year of $156 million in capital repairs to improve our schools and expect to make a further investment of $166 million for capital repairs next year, we still face a renewal backlog of $3.5 billion (May 2016) – the cost to complete every identified repair – we continue to make this work, and the health and safety of our students and staff, a priority... but we must not stop advocating to fair funding to Toronto schools including access to Education Development Charges. For more on what you can do to support visit

EcoSchools in Ward 11 as of June 2016
12 schools in our Ward have been certified this year as bronze, silver, gold or platinum EcoSchools. Schools not only have to apply or re-apply each year, but they are also audited before receiving their certification level. In total the TDSB has certified 321 sites inclusive of schools and Outdoor Education Centres this year. All certified EcoSchools have shown leadership and good environmental responsibility. We congratulate them on their achievement!.

June 2016

Brown P.S.


Cedarvale Community School


Davisville Jr. P.S.


Eglinton P.S.


Forest Hill Jr. & Sr. P.S.


Hillcrest Jr. P.S.


Hodgson Sr. P.S.


Humewood Community School


North Toronto C.I.


Northern S.S.


Oriole Park P.S.


West Preparatory Jr. P.S.


Update on Bill C-241, An Act to amend the Excise Tax
To fulfill the Board's decision from the May 25 Board Meeting, a letter has been sent from Chair Robin Pilkey to all federal Members of Parliament (MP) in support of Bill C-241, An Act to Amend the Excise Tax (School Authorities). If passed, this bill would increase the goods and services tax rebate for school boards to 100 percent, up from 68 percent. OPSBA has sent a reminder to sign their e-peition. For federal MP Kevin Waugh to be able to present the petition, it requires 500 signatures. Find the petition at

“Mental Health and Well-Being Belongs to Us” – Monthly Newsletter
We are pleased to provide you with the June edition of the "Mental Health and Well-Being Belongs To Us" newsletter. This month’s publication is entitled “Thank you for Another Successful School Year”. This edition as well as all previous editions can be found by clicking the following link

New Invitation from Hon. Carolyn Bennett, M.D. - Celebrate Canada Day!
Face Painting | Live Music | Family Friendly Activities Delicious BBQ | Free for All | All Are Welcome
Canada Day Picnic on Friday, July 1st, 2016 Noon—2:30PM at Wells Hill Park (Bathurst St. & St. Hill Av W., across from the Loblaws)

Hold the Date - 

Public Open House Concerning New School, Child Care and Midtown Hub at Davisville Junior Public School/Spectrum Alternative Sr School Tuesday, September 20, 2016 7 – 9 p.m. at Hodgson Sr PS
Parents and residents of the Davisville/Spectrum community are encouraged to attend a public open house to receive information about the status of the project and provide community feedback on site planning parameters for the design of a new school, child care and midtown hub. Watch for the notice shortly!

Worth Repeating...
Ward 11 Forum Representatives Needed
As mentioned in my last update, at our first ward forum in the fall we will need to elect new Ward representatives to both the Parent Involvement Advisory Committee (Information on PIAC is available by clicking here) and the French as a Second Language Advisory Committee (information on FSLAC here).  
And as mentioned, it is essential to have our Ward represented at the table. If you are an interested parent who would like to interact directly with trustees and senior staff at the Board level to provide us with your best advice, please contact me for more information. 

Come Join the TDSB PRIDE Float July 3rd
All members of the TDSB community are invited to join me and the TDSB PRIDE Parade contingent on Sunday, July 3, 2016. Everyone who wishes to march with or ride on the TDSB float should gather at Asquith Green Park at 12:45 p.m. We will then travel as a group to our mustering location (please note that we will not be advised of the exact TDSB mustering location until just before parade day).
If you are unable to make it to the Asquith Green gathering location, but would like to join us en route, please watch for details and updates on Twitter (#PrideTDSB).
TDSB e-Summer School
TDSB e-Summer School is available to all Ontario residents, age 14-20. This FREE* high school credit program is for Ontario secondary school students who wish to pursue secondary school courses online! TDSB e-Summer School offers dozens of online courses available in July and August sessions.  We look forward to having you during the summer sessions of 2016. Thank you for your interest in the TDSB e-Summer School. Registration for July eLearning has now closed. The last day for August eLearning registration is July 18 (midnight). For more information, please click here

Dates to Remember

Secondary School PA Day  * full-year schools only

Secondary School PA Day

Board-wide PA Day

First day of classes for all students

The 2016-2017 Days of Significance document is available for your reference at

Thank You... with Gratitude 
Lastly, as this year comes to an end I want to say thank you to parents and guardians for supporting your child and working in partnership with the administration and all school staff; to school council members for your leadership and to all who volunteer, you lighten the load and improve the experiences of students – we cannot do it without you; to community members for supporting public education; to our administration teams who understand the value of engaged and empowered students, staff and communities in safe and nurturing environments; to teachers and early childhood educators and all education workers for making a difference for students in and out of the classroom –  thank you for all you do in support of student achievement and well-being. And to all the students who motivate all of us... thank you!
Over the summer, or at any time, if you notice anything at a school that concerns you, please call the TDSB Security Call Centre (416) 395-4620 and the Toronto Police so that they can follow up. 
As always, please continue to monitor the TDSB website at and social media (@TDSB on Twitter or Toronto District School Board on Facebook) for any updates on negotiations and everything else.
      If you have questions for me, do not hesitate to e-mail at I will be back to you formally the last week of August. You can follow me on twitter @shelleylaskin.
      And if you are leaving the Board and no longer wish to receive my Weekly Updates for 2016-17, please use the link below to unsubscribe.
      THANK YOU! Have a safe and wonderful summer break...
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