Update from Discussions at Committee of the Whole Last Week
Secondary Program Review
Following the October 16, 2019 presentation of the Secondary Program Review Update report to Committee of the Whole, you may be interested in the current state and find the information about secondary schools and programs below helpful.
This document is available online and provides students, parents and guardians with important information about programs available in secondary schools. This is not specific to Grade 8 students.
Grade 8 Information Nights (including info on Specialized Programs offered)
This site provides the dates and times of the information evenings held at secondary schools, and identifies additional program offerings for each school (Specialized, French, LEAP, SHSM, etc.)
Labour Negotiations Update
Below is an update on central negotiations with Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) Education Workers, an affiliate of OSSTF, representing education workers who are not teachers.
In addition, there is an update on the negotiations trajectory of all three unions: OSSTF; Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO); and OSSTF Education Workers. While negotiations are continuing with all three unions, it is clear that they are all on a trajectory to be in a legal strike position starting as soon as mid-November, 2019. By the third week in November all three will be in a strike position assuming no agreement on a new contract is made.
Ontario Government Proposes Lower High School Class Size
On October 24, 2019 the Ontario government tabled language to OSSTF Teachers proposing that secondary class sizes be funded at an average of 25 students to 1 teacher. This is a change from the 28 to1 ratio announcement in March of this year. The Minister made this proposal public in a media conference.
Ontario Public School Board Association (OPSBA), the bargaining agent for Ontario public school boards, acknowledges the flexibility the government has indicated on this matter. OPSBA has significant concerns about the impact to secondary programs in a class size model of 25:1, and will continue to work toward a solution. Class size will continue to be negotiated at the bargaining table. OPSBA will continue to communicate the impact of class size changes to the Ontario government, as well as to the public.
Update: October 23, 2019 OSSTF Education Workers
OSSTF notified OPSBA and the Ontario government that they are requesting a no-board report for OSSTF Education Workers. This means that OSSTF Education Workers will be in a legal strike position 17 days after the no-board report is issued if there is no agreement on a new contract. A “no board report” is a technical term that signals, in the union’s view, negotiations are unproductive. If this request is granted, it is possible that both ETFO and OSSTF could be in a position to take strike action by the third to fourth week of November, if there is no agreement on new contracts.
OSSTF Education Workers at the TDSB represent about 700 full time employees in the following examples of type of work: psychologists, speech-language pathologists, social workers, occupational physiotherapists, child and youth workers, attendance counsellors and court liaison officers.
OSSTF has not indicated that its Education Workers bargaining unit will commence job action. Should it occur, job action could range from a withdrawal of selected services to a full withdrawal of service (strike). If job action takes place, it can happen at one or more school boards at the same time, or at different times.
It is also expected that OSSTF will be filing a no-board report for OSSTF Teachers at the next negotiations meeting which is scheduled for (October 24).
Ontario school boards and the provincial government continue to negotiate with OSSTF Teachers, OSSTF Education Workers and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO). Like CUPE, we are hopeful that new contracts can be negotiated so that we can avoid any strike action or disruption to students’ education.
Our website is being updated and we will continue to update parents/guardians as new developments arise.
School boards and unions share a commitment to public education and work together towards positive labour relations. The collective bargaining framework for the education sector features a two-tier bargaining process, involving both central and local bargaining. Learn more about the process at www.tdsb.on.ca/About-Us/Labour-Negotiations/The-Process.
Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) Update: October 17, 2019
ETFO is in contract negotiations with representatives of the OPSBA and the Ontario government.
ETFO has also begun the process of taking a strike vote across the province. The federation is asking its members whether they are supportive of elementary teachers taking strike action if there is no agreement on a new contract. Voting by its members is expected to be completed by November 1, 2019. It is important to note that a strike vote of its members does not necessarily mean that job action, partial or full withdrawal of services, will be taken by elementary teachers.
On October 16, 2019, ETFO applied to the Ministry of Labour to appoint a conciliator (a third-party person to act as a mediator) to assist the parties with central negotiations. As part of the conciliation process, ETFO could choose to ask for a “no board report”. If this request is granted, it is possible that ETFO could be in a position to take strike action by the third to fourth week of November, if there is no agreement on new contracts. Contract negotiations among ETFO and public school boards and the Ontario government are on-going.
On October 6, 2019 a tentative central agreement was reached between Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Government of Ontario and the Council of Trustees Associations. The details of the agreement remain confidential until ratified by all parties. Ratification should be completed by November 1.
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 CUPE. We anticipate local bargaining with ETFO in the near future and with OSSTF in the next two weeks.
All updates will be posted on the TDSB website at www.tdsb.on.ca/About-Us/Labour-Negotiations
Joint Ward Forum
Trustees Patrick Nunziata, Ward 3 and Dan MacLean, Ward 2 invite you to attend a ward forum:
Date: Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Time: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Location: Etobicoke Collegiate Institute, 86 Montgomery Road, Etobicoke
Guest Speaker: Dr. John Malloy, Director of Education
Light refreshments will be provided. Child Care will be available.
Etobicoke School of The Arts will hold an information night on Arts Focus (AF) for students and for parents on Nov 7 2019.
Grade 8 Student Information Afternoon
Date: November 7, 2019 at 1:00 pm to 3:10 pm.
Students will have the opportunity to see a live performance of current ESA students and visit up to 2 different arts majors to learn about the program and the audition requirements. Students who are only interested in one arts major will have a session of Life at ESA from Guidance Counsellors, Student Council.
12:30 pm Arrival and Check-in
1:00-1:30 pm Performance or Arts Major Session
1:45-2:15 pm Performance or Arts Major Session
2:30-3:00 pm Arts Major Session or Life at ESA Session
3:10 pm End of Open House
The evening consists of 3 sessions to learn about our arts departments (including audition requirements) and watch the live performance by current students in the auditorium (all 3 performances and sessions are the same).
6:00-6:30 pm Arts Major Session #1 or Performance
6:45-7:15 pm Arts Major Session #2 or Performance
7:30-8:00 pm Arts Major Session #3 or Performance
8:00 pm End of Open House
Change re PR 585 re Personal Mobile Devices
The following bolded text will be added to Procedure PR585 Board Code of Conduct to meet the requirements of government direction.
Standards of Behaviour:
(a) Respect, Civility, and Responsible Citizenship
Under the Provincial Code of Conduct, all members of the school community must:
In essence this does not change current practice within the TDSB - from the Agenda - Use of Technology - Technology is used in classrooms to engage, enhance and support student learning. The TDSB is focused on enabling more technology-based learning tools by adding wi-fi in schools to help improve student learning in the digital age. Students may choose to bring their own devices, such as smartphones and laptops, to school. This can be an important way for parents and caregivers to stay connected and engaged with their child’s learning. It is important, however, to ensure that technology is used appropriately and responsibly and does not interfere with learning. Social media can enhance learning and networking for the future when used in a positive way, but don’t forget that online behaviour matters. As part of digital literacy, students will be taught strategies to engage responsibly on social media platforms. To learn more about your school’s rules around technology, speak with your teacher or Principal. Also, read the TDSB’s Code of Online Conduct at www.tdsb.on.ca/About-Us/Policies-Procedures-Forms/Online-Code-of-Conduct.
- 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 education purposes, as directed by an educator, for health andmedical reasons and to support special education needs; and not swear at a teacher or at another person in a position of authority;
- In addition cyberbulling has been added to bullying behaviours
2020-2021 Optional Attendance Dates
Elementary Schools (applying for September 2020 admission)
(a) Optional Attendance forms will be made available on the first Monday of November. Applications may be submitted to the school following release of the Optional Attendance forms, but no offers of admission can be made prior to February 17, 2020. Any offers of admission before February 17, 2020 will be considered null and void.
(b) Applications must be received by Friday, February 14, 2020.
(c) A lottery, if necessary, will be held the first week of March 2020.
(d) Parents/guardians will be informed of acceptance or non-acceptance prior to March Break, but no earlier than February 17, 2020 and no later than Friday, March 6, 2020.
(e) Parents/guardians must inform the requested school of their acceptance of the offer by Friday, March 20, 2020
(f) No student will be admitted into an elementary school through optional attendance after Friday, April 3, 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.
Secondary Schools (applying for September 2020 admission)
(a) Optional Attendance forms will be made available on the first Monday of November. Applications may be submitted to the school following release of the Optional Attendance forms, but no offers of admission can be made prior to February 3, 2020. Any offers of admission before February 3, 2020 will be considered null and void.
(b) Applications must be received by Friday, January 31, 2020.
(c) A lottery, if necessary, will be held the first week in February 2020.
(d) Parents/guardians or students 18 years of age or older will be informed of acceptance or non-acceptance prior to Friday, February 14, 2020 but no earlier than February 3, 2020.
(e) Parents/guardians or students 18 years of age or older must confirm the offer of admission by completing a course selection sheet by Friday, February 28, 2020.
(f) No student will be admitted into any secondary grade levels through optional attendance after Friday, February 28, 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.
Hold the Date - Public Consultation on Optional Attendance Policy
The Optional Attendance Policy P013 is currently under review. A working draft of the Policy will be posted on the TDSB website for public feedback at the beginning of November for 90 days, as per the approved work plan. Four public consultation meetings will be held in November. The dates and locations are as follows:
November 14, 7:00 pm – Western Technical-Commercial School, 125 Evelyn Crescent, Cafeteria
November 20, 7:00 pm – East Education Office, 140 Borough Drive, Committee Room 3/4
November 26, 7:00 pm – C W Jefferys CI, 340 Sentinel Road, Cafeteria
November 28, 7:00 pm – John Polanyi CI, 640 Lawrence Avenue West, Cafeteria
2020 Prime Minister's Awards Now Open
2020 nomination packages are now available at www.pma.gc.ca. The nomination deadline is January 14, 2020 at 11:59 a.m. (Pacific time).
Notice - French Programs Application Deadline
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. Timelines to apply for these programs for September 2020 are as follows:
- 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.
Please note that families with an older sibling currently in a French program are still required to complete an online application for the new student.
Please also note that transportation for French programming is currently being reviewed and there may be reduced bussing offered for all in French programming from 2020 and onward. Please note there may be uncertainty at the time of the application.
For further information about French as a Second Language programs, the application process and important dates, please visit www.tdsb.on.ca/french.
Parent Reaching Out Grant (PRO Grant) 2019/2020
The Ministry of Education has announced that the PRO Grant will continue, however with significantly reduced funding and under a new, yet to be determined delivery format.
Provincial changes to the program include elimination of the parent-led, application-based funding model to an allocation-based grant provided to each school board. School boards have received a predetermined funding amount for parent engagement projects. Projects will be required to support a commitment to respecting the role of parents in students’ educational experiences by working with parents or seeking parent input on how schools can:
- Provide a safe and welcoming school environment;
- Maintain open communication with teachers;
- Respect parents as valued partners within the education system in relation to decisions about their child’s education; and,
- Ensure parents are informed about the content of the Ontario Curriculum Guidelines.
The TDSB was allocated $133,405 for projects that demonstrate a commitment to respecting the role of parents in students’ educational experiences. All funds must be spent and reported to the Ministry by August 21, 2020.
Over the next few weeks staff will consult with the Parent Involvement Advisory Committee (PIAC), as stipulated by the Ministry, other relevant stakeholders and the Multi-year Strategic Plan to identify appropriate TDSB programs, projects and initiatives that fall within the scope of the grant.
Please stay tuned for updates on PRO grant opportunities. For additional information about the PRO Grant, please contact Michelle Munroe, Coordinator of Parent and Community Engagement, at Michelle.Munroe@tdsb.on.ca
Donate to David Hornell JS Playground Project
David Hornell Junior School is looking forward to the installation of a new playground this coming spring. In partnership with the TDSB and in consultation with the community a team of landscape architects have created a plan to provide a beautiful space for this fast growing community to enjoy. While the basic costs of this project are covered by the TDSB, many extra elements will rely on fundraising from the local community.
I invite and encourage you to donate towards shaded walking paths, a soccer field, quiet sitting areas and dynamic new playground equipment for the large green space at David Hornell.
Donating is easy and can be done through SchoolCashOnline by following this link. For local businesses, this is a great chance to get your name into the school community!
Visit the TDSB's SchoolCashOnline portal to make a donation and immediately receive an official tax receipt for your generous support. Just click on the link below and follow the steps:
- Choose your donation amount under Gift information
- Verify that the Fund Destination is listedas "David Hornell Playground Revitalization
- Add to Cart and click Continue
- Sign-in to our account to register (registration as a new donor is simple and only requires your name, email and a password)
- Immediately receive an official receipt via email
If you prefer to pay by cheque, make your donation payable to Toronto District School Board with the memo line David Hornell Playground Revitalization
$500+ School Donor Wall * $5,000 Playground Plaque * $10,000 Commemorative Bench
TRICK OR TREAT
Halloween Safety Tips
Halloween provides an opportunity for parents and children to spend time together creating costumes, carving pumpkins, planning trick or treat activities and participating in family parties. Hallowe'en is a big event at schools and provides opportunities for parties, creative activities, art programs and impromptu history lessons. Hallowe'en is also a time for students, parents, and schools to take extra care to ensure safety and security. If parents are concerned about trick or treating, here are some basic safety rules to follow:
- Children should NEVER eat any treats until parents have had a chance to go through them and inspect them. Parents should look for tampering of packages and discard any they believe to be unsafe or unknown
- Have your child carry a flashlight.
- NEVER go into a stranger's house.
- NEVER trick or treat with people you do not know.
- Trick or treat only at homes you know.
- Children should always stay in groups if no parent is present
- Younger children should ALWAYS be accompanied by an older person
- Accompany your child when trick or treating
- If you can not accompany your child then know the route your child will take
- Flame resistant (retardant) costumes are in order. Keep costumes short and remind children to stay away from pumpkins with candles in them.
- Remind children to stay away from pets they do not know.
- Remind children of road safety rules. Cross only at corners. Do not criss-cross the road. Go up one side of the road and down the other side. Never cross between parked cars. Walk facing on-coming traffic if there is no sidewalk
- If adults are driving their children, drive slowly, with lights on and be cautious when pulling to the side of the road.
- Children should wear their own shoes when trick or treating. Wearing costume shoes/boots can be dangerous and uncomfortable.
- Remind children that not everyone celebrates Hallowe'en, and to avoid any homes that have no lights on. Also remind children not to run through neighbours yards or gardens
- With older children, be sure to know what other events (such as parties) they plan on attending
Set time limits when children should return home.