Keeping you engaged and informed
Keeping you engaged and informed
Ward 11 Weekly Update header
Week of January 20, 2020 

Chinese New Year - January 25, 2020 - Year of the Rat

Celebrations for Chinese New Year 2020 or the Spring Festival (Lunar New Year) begin on Saturday, January 25th according to the traditional Chinese Calendar. 2020 is the year of the Rat. The Rat is a representation of diligence, kindness, and generosity.
To all celebrating "Kung hei fat choy!"

Committee Meeting This Week

Finance, Budget and Enrolment Committee - Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. Committee Room A, 5050 Yonge Street
All committee and board meetings are open to the public - should you wish to speak to an item on the agenda at Committee, click
Agenda Items
5. Contract Awards
6. Property Matters
  • 6.1 Program and Sketch Plan Approval:  Right-sizing and Building Addition to  Kapapamahchakwew: Wandering Spirit School Over the years, Kâpâpamahchakwêw - Wandering Spirit School has had many additions to accommodate the rapid growth of students. These additions have created tight corridors, hidden stairwells and travelling distance issues. The right-sizing and building addition at Kâpâpamahchakwêw - Wandering Spirit School will eliminate all the inefficient spaces and create a barrier free functional entrance area, new assembly hall and a double gymnasium. This accommodation plan was submitted as a business case to the Ministry of Education (EDU) in September 2017 and approved in March 2018.
7. Budget Matters
  • 7.1 Insurance Renewals for 2020:  Update Staff committed to bring back the final premium rates for each line of insurance for 2020 once the contacts were put in place with the carriers.
  • 7.2 2019-2020 Ward-by-Ward Budget Breakdown - Appendix A provides a breakdown of budget reductions by ward for the 2019-2020 operating budget. The only reductions that can be attributed directly on a ward basis are those of Itinerant Music Instructors (IMIs) and school budgets reductions. It should be noted that some allocations increase as a result of a more equitable allocation of IMIs across the district.  
  • 7.3 Reconciliation of the 2018-19 Actual Results to Budget The initial 2019-2020 operating budget included the use of working funds reserves in the amount of $13M. During the year, this amount was revised to approximately $21.0M. The current ending working fund balance as of August 31, 2019 is $29.3M or approximately $8.3M better than forecasted. These funds are available to support any changes to the 2019-2020 budget or future years. 
  • 7.4 First Quarter Interim Financial Report: 2019-20 - It is important to note that this is an early look at the Board’s financial position after the first three months of operation in the 2019-20 school year. While there have been changes in enrolment and expenditure forecasts as outlined in Appendix A, the Board remains in a balanced financial position for the 2019-20 year, as outlined in the report. 
  • 7.5 Proposed 2020-21 Budget Schedule and Process - Staff have updated the 2020-2021 budget schedule based on feedback received from Trustees on 4 November 2019, Lessons Learned from Budget Process 2019-20. These timelines have taken into account the major milestones of the budget process which need to be achieved in order to complete the budget process. Adjustments to this schedule will be presented to the committee as they occur.
  • 7.6 2020-21 Education Funding Engagement Guide Consultation:  Final Response -  It is recommended that the Annual Report: 2020-21 Education Funding Engagement Guide Consultation: Final Response report and implementation plan be approved. We would like to focus on the following areas of interest for the TDSB:
     Transportation;
     Renewal Funding Backlog;
     Education Development Charges;
     Class Sizes;
     E-Learning;
     Challenging Streaming;
     Supply Staffing;
     Special Education; and
     Reducing Red Tape and Administrative Burden.
8. Matter Referred by the Board

Labour Relations

Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) Update: January 15, 2020
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has announced that, should there not be progress in negotiations, its members will conduct a one-day strike (full withdrawal of services) at a number of school boards, including the TDSB, on Monday, January 20, 2020 and return to work on Tuesday, January 21, 2020.
Should the walkout take place, the TDSB would have no other option but to close all elementary schools to students as there would not be sufficient supervision to ensure their safety. 5 days notice was given so parents/guardians could start making alternate arrangements for their children on this date. Should the ETFO walkout take place, all International Languages Elementary and African Heritage classes would also be cancelled.
Childcare centres located in elementary schools will be permitted to stay open. Please contact the childcare provider directly for more information. TDSB Extended Day Programs will also be open to currently enrolled students for a full day of programs.
Read the letter sent to parents/guardians regarding ETFO's one-day walkout announcement for more information. 

Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) Update: January 15, 2020
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) has announced that, should progress not be made in negotiations, its members (teachers and education workers) will conduct another one-day walkout (full withdrawal of services) at a number of school boards, including the Toronto District School Board, on Tuesday, January 21, 2020. They will return to work on Wednesday, January 22, 2020.
Should the walkout take place, the TDSB would, once again, have no other option but to close all secondary schools to students, including Adult Day Schools and Night Schools offering secondary credits, as there would not be sufficient supervision to ensure their safety. All classes, including secondary e-Learning classes, and any out-of-school activities (e.g. field trips, sports, etc.) would be cancelled on that day. As a result, parents/guardians should make alternate arrangements for their children, if required.
In the event of a walkout by OSSTF, elementary and middle schools would remain open, and General Interest and Adult ESL courses would not be impacted.
OSSTF has also indicated that the walkout on January 21 will be the last full withdrawal of services by OSSTF members until after the secondary school exam period.
OSSTF is in negotiations with the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) to achieve new collective agreements for secondary teachers and education workers (including Child and Youth Workers, Psychologists, Social Workers and Speech-Language Pathologists).
Read the parent/guardian letter regarding OSSTF's one-day walkout for more information.
All updates on labour negotiations will be posted on the TDSB website as they are available -

Come Learn With Us!

Starting school is an exciting time for your child. Our schools provide a rich learning environment for all children to learn and grow. Registration for those born in 2016 begins in February.
In the Kindergarten program, your child will develop their skills and abilities through inquiry and intentional play-based learning that includes math, science and literacy. Teachers and early childhood educators plan learning experiences where children are actively engaged in learning and thinking creatively.
To register or for more information, please click here

Update - Music By The Lake

The Arts team has begun planning for this year’s Music by the Lake scheduled for May 30 - June 5, 2020. We are excited to be offering the camp at a new location this year, and will release location details in the coming weeks.  
Music by the Lake is an overnight camp with a focus on music for Grades 6-8 students offering programming in band, strings, choir, steel pan, drumming, ukulele, jazz, and guitar. Students also participate in outdoor recreation and leadership development activities offered at the camp’s excellent facilities. Students from grades 10-12 will have an opportunity to apply for student counsellor positions at the camp to develop their leadership and musical skills. New this year, campers will have an opportunity to select an arts elective and try out a new musical or artistic discipline in addition to their main ensemble choice.  
The location is to be announced by the end of January with student camper applications and bursary information in February and secondary school student leader applications available in March. 
Please note that while planning is underway for the 2020 Music by the Lake Camp, we are monitoring the current labour sanctions carefully and the possible impact on Music by the Lake. We will continue to update the Spotlight on the Arts webpage with new information when it becomes available

School Year Calendar 2020-2021

I am getting a number of inquiries on when the first day of school will be for the 202-21 school year - short answer - we don't know yet!
Regulation 304 requires that there be a minimum of 194 school days between 1 September and 30 June, including a maximum of ten examination days for secondary schools and a maximum of seven Professional Activity (PA) days. It also establishes the dates for the Christmas Break (December 21, 2020 through January 1, 2021) and the Mid-Winter Break (March 15-19, 2021).
Each year, the Ministry of Education provides direction to school boards in determining their calendar for the following school year. It is a challenge with Labour Day not until September 7, 2020. The 2020-2021 calendar provides for 196 possible school days between September 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. It can be found here
Last year the School Year Calendar Committee presented their report to the Program and School Services Committee in February. I will update as soon as the information on next year's calendar is available.

Presto Card Distribution to Schools - On Hold

I received an inquiry from a parent about Presto Cards as I had noted in a previous update that there were initial plans to provide child and youth PRESTO cards to schools for distribution in the fall of 2018 -  However, in February 2019, the TTC was asked to pause the distribution of child and youth PRESTO cards for the school boards until stronger measures were in place to protect the fraudulent use of child PRESTO cards (the child card looked identical to the adult card). At this time there are no plans to distribute the cards to the schools. This may change in the future, but for the time being all card distribution is on hold.

New Invitations

Additional Ward Forum on P023 Consultation

I look forward to seeing you at the next Ward Forum on February 6 where Trustee Rachel Chernos Lin and I welcome Director John Malloy.
In addition, my colleagues Trustee Alexandra Lulka and Trustee Alexander Brown, will host a consultation on the Parent and Community Involvement Policy (P023) Review. on March 5. Join in person in the Boardroom at 5050 Yonge St or join virtually! For those who would like to be part of the conversation just go to to stream the ward forum live (beginning at 7:00pm) and for instructions to send in your comments. We will be joined by Michelle Munroe, Central Co-ordinator, Parent and Community Engagement - Families are invited to join a conversation about how we can effectively support family and community engagement in the TDSB. Share your voice about our Parent and Community Engagement Policy.
Please hold the following Ward Forum dates to engage with other parents/caregivers -
  • February 6, 2020
  • March 5, 2020 
  • April 28, 2020
  • June 2, 2020 

Parents are Invited to Participate in Vice-Principal Interviews

The Toronto District School Board currently includes a Parent Representative on Vice-Principal Interview Committees and is seeking interested parent volunteers to be part of the interview team. The interview team is composed of one superintendent, two principals and one parent representative. In order to participate in the Spring 2020 Vice-Principal interview process, parents are required to:
1. Fill out an expression of interest survey
2. Attend a training session scheduled for February 11, 2020, between 6 to 7:30 pm, at the Board’s main office on 5050 Yonge Street
3. Be available all day to participate on two of the planned interview dates as listed below:
  • Tuesday, February 25, 2020
  • Wednesday, February 26, 2020
  • Tuesday, March 3, 2020
If you are interested, please complete the survey which closes on January 24, 2020.

Invitation to Join Toronto-St Paul’s Youth Council

As the Member of Parliament for Toronto-St. Paul’s, Carolyn Bennett invites the youth of our community to be part of her Toronto-St. Paul’s Youth Council, an exciting opportunity for youth to have their voices heard.
The Toronto-St. Paul’s Youth Council will be composed of young Canadians between the ages of 15-24 who will meet several times each year with her and her office to discuss important issues that matter to youth and our community. You will work together to create community projects that will help make a positive impact on Toronto-St. Paul’s.
The youth that are chosen will gain valuable leadership skills, have their voices heard, and can earn volunteer hours. Each member will also earn a certificate at the end of the Youth Council. 
To join the Toronto-St. Paul’s Youth Council, the participants need to visit to apply and fill out the application. The deadline for applications is Friday, February 7th 2020.

Worth Repeating

Secondary Program Review and Optional Attendance Policy: Virtual Public Consultations – January 30, 2020

We have held four public meetings on both Optional Attendance Policy (P013) and Secondary Program Review in November 2019 and you can review this presentation here. Two virtual public consultation meetings are scheduled for Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Join the 1:00 p.m. session here. Join the 7:00 p.m. session here. To learn more, please click here

Join the TDSB All-City Community Ensembles

Grade 6-8 instrumental students in TDSB band and strings programs are encouraged to apply for the All-City Community Ensemble program.  The program supports collaboration with peers across the TDSB in a large ensemble  - Band, String Ensemble, or R&B Ensemble, culminating in a performance at the 134th annual Spring Festival Concert at the world renowned Roy Thomson Hall, May 20, 2019. Parents/Guardians complete the application at by January 24, 2020. 

Global School Play Day - Feb 5, 2020

Restoring unstructured play to a generation of kids! 
Official Twitter Account - @GSPlayDay Hashtag: #GSPD2020
Global School Play Day Official Website -

2019 - 2020 School Council Learning Opportunities

Each of your offices has a binder of resources for School Councils that you are welcome to borrow - and hopefully by the end of the week a USB key with the same information to make it easier to search and print from. Learning opportunities have been organized for School Council 101, ByLaws and Effectiveness. Please find below the dates, times, locations and share broadly.
Date LC Location Time Room Topic
Jan 23 2 Drewry SS 6:00 – 9:00 102 School Council ByLaws
Jan 28 3 Woburn CI 6:00 – 9:00 105 School Council ByLaws
Feb 4 4 Central Tech 6:00 – 9:00 102 School Council ByLaws
Feb 13 1 John Polanyi 6:00 – 9:00 120 School Council Effectiveness
Feb 20 2 Drewry SS 6:00 – 9:00 102 School Council Effectiveness
Feb 26 3 Woburn CI 6:00 – 9:00 105 School Council Effectiveness
Mar 5 4 Central Tech 6:00 – 9:00 102 School Council Effectiveness
And the presentations from PIAC's Ready. Set. Engage. Event from November 16 are now posted online.
Save the date! Join us for the Parents as Partners Conference on Saturday, March 28, 2020! This all-inclusive conference is organized by TDSB parents for TDSB parents, guardians and caregivers. Participate in workshops, network with parents and community agencies and learn new strategies to support your child’s success. Registration opens soon.

Policy Consultations

We Want to Hear From You
Attendance at Schools Outside of Designated Attendance Area (formerly Optional Attendance) (P013) As per the Secondary Programs Review and the TDSB Policy Review Schedule, the Optional Attendance Policy is currently being reviewed. We are asking all members of the TDSB community for feedback on the proposed draft.
Closes - February 03, 2020
Draft Policy -
Survey -
Objective: To provide policy direction about access to schools outside a student’s designated attendance area. The Optional Attendance policy allows students to apply to schools other than their designated school by home address. This is possible because there is excess capacity at some schools across the system. This has afforded students choice of school and program as well as enabled students to remain with cohorts if a family changes residence. However, optional attendance has prevented equity of access and has created an imbalance of enrolment in our secondary schools (under and over-utilized schools). It has also created an environment where schools are forced to compete with each other to attract more students in hopes of increasing their enrolment.

Please note - The new draft policy on Specialized Programs is coming to the Board on February 5. It is found here

2020-2021 Optional Attendance 

Information on Optional Attendance
Elementary Schools (applying for September 2020 admission)
For the form, click here Applications must be received by Friday, February 14, 2020.
Secondary Schools (applying for September 2020 admission)
For the Form, click here  Applications must be received by Friday, January 31, 2020.
Note: It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to deliver this application (no faxed or scanned copies) to the school or schools of choice.
NOTE - the Optional Attendance Status for 2020 - 2021 has now been updated on the school websites. Find your school here -

Secondary Program Review

The vision of the Secondary Program Review, which will address both under and over-utilized schools, includes fewer schools with strong programming and increased access to courses that support all pathways. In order to achieve that, the Board will consider potential consolidation and/or relocation of schools, re-purposing secondary school buildings to address other system needs, and different models of school organization (e.g. full-year programming).
To learn more about the Secondary School Review, please read the Questions and Answers

French Programs Update

French Immersion Application/Placement Update
Applications for Junior Extended French which begins in Grade 4 must be completed online between January 6, 2020 and January 31, 2020. Please note that this will be the last entry class for this program as it will be transitioning out - Grade 4 Immersion Program will continue. There will be NO gap in access to Grade 4 entry to intensive program. Students in Grade 3 in 2019 will apply to Junior Extended French for September 2020, and students in Grade 3 in 2020, will apply to Middle French Immersion for September 2021.
The grade 7 Extended French program offers students who have successfully completed three years of Core French the option to enter into a more intensive program in grade 7. These students spend approximately 40% of their day in French classes at the Extended French school. The attendance area for an Extended French school is created by "associated" English feeder schools. To locate the Grade 7 entry Extended French school in your area, you must first confirm the English school for your home address, then visit our Extended French Location Finder. Applications should be submitted directly to the Extended French school by January 31, 2020 Please note that this will be the last entry class for this program as it will be transitioning out but  the Grade 4 Immersion Program will continue.

High School Information Nights

To help you make an informed decision when choosing a school, TDSB schools host open houses and information nights for parents and students each year between October and January. Learn everything you need to know about our incredible variety of schools, programs and courses. Please click here for the schedule you have questions about a specific school or open house, please contact the school directly for more information.
Upcoming Elelmentary Info Nights & Open Houses
As a result of the selected withdrawal of services by members of ETFO, all elementary school open houses and elementary visits to secondary schools scheduled during the school day have been cancelled. Where possible, open houses and visits will be rescheduled. 

School Year Calendar 2019-2020

The 2019-2020 school year at the TDSB begins on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 following the Labour Day long weekend. For more 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.
  • 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
PA Days & Statutory Holidays
  • Secondary PA Day (Semestered Schools only) January 30, 2020 
  • Board-wide PA Day February 14, 2020
  • Family Day  February 17, 2020
  • March Break  March 16 to 20, 2020
  • Good Friday  April 10, 2020     
  • Easter Monday  April 13, 2020
  • Victoria Day  May 18, 2020
  • Elementary School PA Day  June 5, 2020
  • Secondary School PA Day (Full Year Schools only) June 24, 2020
  • Secondary School PA Day  June 25, 2020
  • Board-wide PA Day June 26, 2020
Also please note - 
  • Passover begins sunset of  Wednesday, April 8, 2020 and ends nightfall of Thursday, April 16, 2020
  • Ramadan 2020 will begin in the evening of Thursday, April 23, 2020 and ends in the evening of Saturday, May 23, 2020 (dates may vary)
  • Eid al-Fitr 2020 will begin in the evening of Saturday, May 23, 2020
Gr. 9 Math:  2nd Semester: June 2-15, 2020
OSSLT:  March 31, 2020
Primary/Junior EQAO:  May 19-June 1, 2020

Also please note Days of Significance - click for the complete list 2019-2020
You may also find this Days of Significance Resource Guide helpful
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