November is Indigenous Education Month
In November, we honour Indigenous Education Month at the TDSB. This month provides an opportunity to centre First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives, histories and contemporary realities.
At the TDSB, all students should feel supported, have a sense of belonging and feel respected and valued. Ensuring these values are at the core of Indigenous education, is a priority.
By centering Indigenous perspectives across curriculum in all areas, we want to create inclusive spaces for students to see themselves reflected as individuals and validated within the school community.
Indigenous education is not just for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students, but for all students and staff. When non-Indigenous people learn about the rich histories, cultures and contemporary contexts of diverse Indigenous peoples, cross-cultural understandings occurs and a common commitment is formed, leading to equitable and more inclusive learning spaces.
Over the course of November, students, staff and community members will be recognizing a number of important days to deepen knowledge and build stronger relationships between non-Indigenous and Indigenous peoples in Canada. This includes Treaty Recognition Week (Nov. 4-8), Inuit Day (Nov. 7), Aboriginal Veterans’ Day (Nov. 8), Louis Riel Day (Nov. 16), and an opportunity to Rock Your Mocs (Nov. 9-16).
Hindu Heritage Month
In 2016, the Government of Ontario declared the month of November each year as Hindu Heritage Month. Further to this, on April 18, 2018, Trustees voted to recognize the month of November as Hindu Heritage Month. The theme chosen this year is OM – Sound of the Universe. The sound OM, or AUM, is energy, a vibration from which all the universe originates. It is believed that form and creation emanate from this vibration. OM symbolizes vibrations of being, life, and consciousness in all worlds and all creatures. By chanting OM correctly, one feels a connection to the creation and transformation of the cosmos. And then, it is traditional to pause, sit in silence, and experience that creative void of complete peace and understanding. Canadians of Hindu faith have greatly contributed to civic life in Canada for decades, and are a vibrant part of the growth and prosperity of Toronto, Ontario and Canada. November is an opportunity to celebrate the Hindu way of life, examine its impact and contributions to the world culture, and recognize values which promote compassion, tolerance and inclusion – and hey, it is the birthplace of the number zero, without which the binary code in computers could not exist!
$3.5 Billion and Growing
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has released its annual snapshot of the condition of Toronto public schools. The Board’s repairs backlog currently stands at $3.5 billion. However, without additional and predictable funding from the provincial government, the backlog could hit $5.2 billion by 2023.
The last province-wide repairs backlog reported by the Ministry of Education was almost $16 billion in 2017. Years of underfunding for school boards repairs, especially from the 1990s to the mid-2000s, saw the renewal needs backlog (RNB) rise rapidly at the TDSB. Despite a considerable increase in the annual provincial allocation to the Board during the last five years (an average of $290 million), the provincial funding hasn’t kept pace with the aging school facilities, pushing the backlog higher.
The RNB decreases as we complete projects and update our database over the year. Another contributing factor is the repair of building components that were scheduled for replacement (this usually extends their life cycle by 1-2 years). In these cases, during the school assessment, the Ministry of Education’s consultant postpones the replacement cost of these components, which decreases that year’s backlog. However, the long- term value remains the same as these components would need to be replaced at a later date.
Grassroots parent groups, such as Fix Our Schools, have been effective advocates for additional provincial funding for school repairs. Openly sharing each school’s Facility Condition Index and backlog information has helped this advocacy work tremendously. In 2016, the TDSB became, what is thought to be, the first school board in Ontario to report each school’s Facility Condition Index (FCI) and Renewal Needs Backlog (RNB).
TDSB has been also advocating for the Ontario Government to allow the Board to collect Education Development Charges (EDCs), which could generate approximately $400 million over the next 15 years. Access to EDCs would help the Board reduce its backlog and support urgent infrastructure needs.
This data is posted on the TDSB website annually, and is reported on a school-by-school basis, consistent with our commitment to increase transparency and accountability. It also aligns with the TDSB’s Open Data initiative which allows the public to access published Board data.
Labour Negotiations Update
Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) -
Update: November 1, 2019
Members of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) which represents elementary teachers at Ontario school boards (including those at the TDSB) has voted in support of taking job action if there is no agreement on a new contract. It is important to note that, despite this strike vote, it does not necessarily mean that job action/partial or full withdrawal of services will be taken by elementary teachers.
Previous Updates - https://www.tdsb.on.ca/About-Us/Labour-Negotiations/ETFO
Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) -
Update: November 1, 2019
The Ministry of Labour has released a no-board report for OSSTF Teachers and for OSSTF Education Workers. This means that OSSTF Teachers and OSSTF Education Workers will be in a legal strike position in 17 days, which is November 18, 2019. At this time, OSSTF has not indicated that strike action (partial withdrawal or full withdrawal of services) will begin. Negotiations between the OSSTF, OPSBA and the Ontario government continue.
Previous Updates - https://www.tdsb.on.ca/About-Us/Labour-Negotiations/OSSTF
A tentative agreement on a new contract was reached with CUPE and we are hopeful that a new contract can be negotiated with ETFO, OSSTF and all other school board employee groups.
The TDSB is currently bargaining locally with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). We anticipate local bargaining with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) in the near future and with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) in the next two weeks.
Davisville/Spectrum Replacement School
– Construction continues as per schedule (substantial completion date April 2021). The building substructure and superstructure are in progress. A more detailed breakdown of the different construction phases will be developed as the building shell is completed. The school's redevelopment page on their website (for both Davisville and Spectrum) has been updated - for information on monthly updates, visuals, construction meeting minutes, click here https://schoolweb.tdsb.on.ca/davisville/Davisville-Redevelopment
- The school receives regular updates from Metrolinx and Crosslinx about the ongoing Crosstown construction directly outside their front doors. All updates on our school’s website. You can read the most recent update about the extension of intermittent sidewalk closures at Mount Pleasant Station here: Crosstown Update for October 14, 2019
Baycrest @ Sir Sandford Fleming Building - In September 2020, the existing facility at 145 Baycrest Avenue will close. The current school will relocate to the site of Sir Sandford
Fleming, which is in the process of being refurbished. The key project components include general room and building improvements necessary for the school program; relocation of the existing Childcare facility – into rooms that meet Provincial licensing standards; creation of Full-Day Kindergarten spaces and related outdoor play areas and site development - the creation of outdoor play space and other improvements necessary for an Elementary School. A tour of the site with the Principal and School Council Chair is scheduled this week.
Safety Around Schools
Every elementary school in the ward has challenges with school pick up and drop off, traffic congestion and parking enforcement making it challenging to ensure the safety of student and community - it is especially challenging in those areas with construction projects where construction vehicles add to the traffic issues.
Please note that both Councillor Matlow and Councillor Colle take school safety seriously and work with us in every case to do what they can from a City perspective to help - actions have included changes to signage and speeds. And they are both strong supporters of Vision Zero. Please ensure you follow the rules established within each school pertaining to drop-off and pick-up to ensure safety of all.
Committee Meetings This Week
All committee and board meetings are at 5050 Yonge St and are open to the public
November 6 (Wednesday) Program and School Services Committee 4:30 p.m.
November 7 (Thursday) Finance, Budget and Enrolment Committee 4:30 p.m.
November 7 (Thursday) Special Committee of the Whole 6:30 p.m.
- 4. 2020-2021 Budget Reductions in Year 2 - To follow
We Want to Hear From You
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is committed to open and inclusive policy decision-making and values community input and participation through consultation. Consultation is a two-way communication process between the Board and external participants, including students and their parents/guardians, school councils, advisory committees, community members, different levels of government, service agencies, professional organizations and union partners. The objective of consultation is to gather public input regarding options, alternative courses of action, as well as to identify unintended effects for various participants and to find solutions.
Current Policy Review Schedule
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 - https://www.tdsb.on.ca/Portals/0/docs/Draft%20-%20P013%20-%20Post%20for%20Consultation.docx
Survey - https://surveys.tdsb.on.ca/index.php?r=survey/index&sid=556612&lang=en
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.
Note: Please note that in the Review Work Plan that was approved in June 2019, it was recommended to separate and clarify provisions related to requests for Regular Schools vs. Specialized Schools/Programs. This working draft Policy would only apply to Regular Schools and schools with French programs. A separate draft Policy on Specialized Programs will be developed and posted in the coming months for feedback and comment.
Priorities in new Draft Policy -
6.1.7. If sufficient space is available at the requested school, spaces will be filled by grade according to the admission priorities below. For each of the admission priorities (in priority order), the school principal will conduct a lottery if the number of applications exceeds available spaces:
- Priority 1: Students who are attending another school as an Out-of-Area student at and who wish to return to their designated school by address.
- Priority 2: Secondary students whose child/children is/are enrolled in a child care centre in the designated attendance area of the secondary school.
- Priority 3: Students who have siblings currently attending the requested school and the siblings are expected to be at the requested school for the next school year.
- Priority 4: Students currently attending a feeder school of the requested school.
- Priority 5: Children enrolled after January 1 in the school-based child care pre-school program of the requested school (see 6.1.6).
- Priority 6: Children attending child care programs in the designated attendance area of the requested school.
- Priority 7: Current TDSB students.
- Priority 8: Other students residing in the City of Toronto.
- Priority 9: Students residing outside the City of Toronto.
Personal Mobile Devices
As noted in last week's updated, at the TDSB, we encourage the use of technology in the classroom, but for educational purposes only. Recent changes to the Board Code of Conduct to address the direction of the Ministry of Education re: cellphones essentially formalizes what schools have already been doing — using cellphones where appropriate to the lesson or topic at hand. The use of personal mobile devices during instructional time is permitted under the following circumstances:
• for educational purposes, as directed by an educator
• for health and medical purposes
• to support special education needs
Specifically, the Code of Conduct was revised under the Standards of Behaviour section to include the following; respect the need of others to work in an environment that is conducive to learning and teaching, including by ensuring that personal mobile devices are only used during instructional time for the educational and other permitted purposes outlined on page 1 of this memorandum.
Under PPM 128 schools are allowed to either adopt their Board Code of Conduct, in the TDSB PR 585, or create their own code of conduct. Regardless, schools who have created a local code of conduct will need to be in compliance with the new changes. In the end, we’d also rncouarge schools to work together with families and students to ensure that the use of personal mobile devices is understood and messaged consistently.
Should you have any questions at the local level, please speak with your Principal and/or Vice Principal.
PIAC Conference - November 16
School Councils. Ready. Set. Engage.
Saturday, November 16th 2019
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Earl Haig Secondary School
100 Princess Avenue
School council members and families please join the Parent Involvement Advisory Committee for a day of knowledge exchange, council capacity building and networking. Workshop descriptions.
Bussing, Child-minding and Interpretations are available when registering. Bussing Routes
Breakfast and lunch is provided.
Continuing Education - Community Programs
Register at www.learn4life.ca. Facebook.com/TDSBLearn4Life @TDSB_ConEd
Seventy-five years later, why should Canadians learn about the Holocaust?
Learn WHY this week at HEW programs throughout the city! The Holocaust offers multiple points of entry for learning about the dangers of hatred in today’s world. The Neuberger’s 39th annual Holocaust Education Week (November 3-10) examines the intersection of the Holocaust with what is going on today in the world around us.
Join us for a week of curated multi-disciplinary programs across the GTA, as we explore why the Holocaust matters NOW. Together, we can continue to build a brighter tomorrow for all. Click here
2020-2021 Optional Attendance
Please note that not all programs/schools are open to Optional Attendance if you do not live in the school's catchment area. Acceptance at these schools is subject to space availability and program suitability. The procedures, conditions and timelines relating to optional attendance are described in the Optional Attendance Policy and the Optional Attendance Operational Procedure.
Each year in December, schools are classified as limited or closed to optional attendance based on the space they have available for the upcoming school year.
Note: It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to deliver this application (no faxed or scanned copies) to the school or schools of choice.
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 https://www.tdsb.on.ca/OpenHouse. If you have questions about a specific school or open house, please contact the school directly for more information.
Early French Immersion Parent/Guardian Information Sessions
This year, there will be two virtual (online webchat) information sessions for parents/guardians interested in the Early French Immersion (SK entry) application process. For more information on dates/times for each virtual online webchat session, please visit https://www.tdsb.on.ca/Elementary-School/School-Choices/French-Programs w
ebsite or click on Information Sessions.
For families interested in the Toronto District School Board's French Immersion or Extended French programs, we offer an online process at this time, we guarantee an offer of placement in the program (not a specific school) to all on-time applicants. The timelines for applying for these programs for September 2020 are
- Applications for Early French Immersion which begins in SK (for a Junior Kindergarten aged child), must be completed online between November 4, 2019 and November 29, 2019.
- 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.
Offers of placement within your chosen program will be made to all on-time applicants in the weeks following the close of the application window.
Secondary Program Review
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is undertaking a review of secondary schools to ensure all students have equitable access to programs and opportunities, as close to home as possible. As part of this review, modifications and updates to current policies and procedures will be required. This includes the Optional Attendance policy (P013) and its procedures (PR545 and PR612). Please note, however, there are no changes to the Optional Attendance Policy for September 2020. For more information, please visit https://www.tdsb.on.ca/High-School/Secondary-Program-Review
Consultations on Optional Attendance P013 - Public Meetings:
- November 14, 7 p.m. at Western Technical-Commercial School, 125 Evelyn Crescent, Cafeteria
- November 20, 7 p.m. at East Education Office, 140 Borough Drive, Committee Room 3/4
- November 26, 7 p.m. at C W Jefferys Collegiate Institute, 340 Sentinel Road, Cafeteria
- November 28, 7 p.m. at John Polanyi Collegiate Institute, 640 Lawrence Avenue West, Cafeteria
Hold the Dates for Ward Forums
Please hold the following dates - A Ward Forum is a meeting of parents, school community, Trustee and Board staff of schools in a ward
Ward Forums -
- November 26, 2019 - Long-Term Program & Accommodation Strategy with Dan Castaldo, Senior Manager, Planning
- February 6, 2020 - Joint Ward Forum with neighbour Ward 11, Trustee Rachel Chernos Lin with Director John Malloy
- April 28, 2020 - TBC
- June 2, 2020 - TBC
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
- Board-wide PA Day November 15, 2019
- Board-wide PA Day December 6, 2019
- Winter Break December 23, 2019 to January 3, 2020 (inclusive)
- Last day of school is December 20, 2019
- School resumes January 6, 2020
- Elementary PA Day January 17, 2020
- 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 -
- Hanukkah begins sunset of Sunday, December 22, 2019 and ends nightfall of Monday, December 30, 2019
- 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: 1st Semester: January 13-24, 2020
Gr. 9 Math: 2nd Semester: June 2-15, 2020
OSSLT: March 31, 2020
Primary/Junior EQAO: May 19-June 1, 2020