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Happy Spring!
It has very busy since my last newsletter! I have attended several events across the TDSB and many events in Ward 7. Some of the highlights were; the NBA FIT at Western Technical Institute, the Pediatric Clinic Opening at Parkdale P.S. and the Best Buy Canada School Tech Presentation at Runnymede C.I. - all showcasing the wonderful work our students and teachers are doing collectively. 
As Chair, I continue to participate on several committees along with my Trustee colleagues to bring forward new and improved policies and to ensure our students needs are being met.
Finally, as you may know, Director Malloy has been piloting webcasts and chats with employees and parents, and several weeks ago the Director and I co-hosted our first live webcast/chat with parents. The discussion was engaging and touched on many subjects and issues of importance to families and communities including Special Education, school repairs, the curriculum, Learning Centres and many other topics. The feedback was very positive overall and we will be following up on a number of suggestions for the future.
As always, I want to hear from you and I can be reached me by sending me an email at Robin.Pilkey@tdsb.on.ca  or tweet @RobinPilkey
For more updates, please join the TDSB Ward 7 Council Facebook
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Board News 
TDSB Mourns the Loss of Trustee Howard Kaplan
With heavy hearts, the Board announced the passing of Trustee Howard Kaplan, on April 11th, 2016. Although we knew of Howard's health issues, his passing came very suddenly. In his memory, flags at the TDSB were lowered to half-staff.
Howard was first elected in 2010 as the School Trustee for Ward 5, York-Centre. From early years programming to special education, Howard was passionate about public education and was a strong believer in equity and in social justice issues.
We will celebrate Howard's life at our May 25th board meeting.
TDSB hosts 3 By-elections
With the recent passing of Trustees Sheila Ward and Howard Kaplan as well as the resignation of Trustee Michael Ford, there are 3 Trustee vacancies in Wards 14, 5 and 1 respectively. After some spirited debate, the Board decided to hold by-elections in all three wards (the alternative was to appoint a Trustee).
The by-election in Ward 14 will be held on June 20th, 2016 while Ward 1 and Ward 5 by-elections will be held July 25th, 2016.
TDSB Appoints First-ever Integrity Commissioner
Suzanne Craig has been appointed TDSB Integrity Commissioner. The TDSB is the first school Board in Ontario to create an Integrity Commissioner position.
Serving the Board of Trustees, the Integrity Commissioner will provide advice, and conduct inquiries and complaint resolution in an independent manner.

Suzanne has an extensive background in both the public and private sectors and has previously worked as Integrity Commissioner for multiple municipalities in Ontario. Learn more.
TDSB Graduation Rate at All-TIme High
The goal of supporting student success is demonstrated by the Board’s most recent graduation rate, which is at an all-time high of 85%. This marks a 1% increase over last year and an overall increase of 16% since 2000 when the TDSB began tracking rates.
By providing targeted supports for at-risk students, re-engaging early school leavers, expanding partnership opportunities with college, university, government and community agencies, the TDSB is able to connect students with the right programs and supports to help students graduate from high school. FYI, the 85% graduation rate is for the 2010-2015 cohort of students. To study graduation rates, the TDSB follows a group of Grade 9 students over five years — the time it takes most Ontario students to complete high school. Many thanks to our excellent teachers and education workers, fundamental to our students' success.
TDSB Learning Centre Strategy
The TDSB continues to implement its Learning Centres strategy to improve the effectiveness of our schools, make us more responsive to the needs of our communities, and increase student achievement and well-being. The creation of four new learning centres is one of the key elements of this new strategy.

Ward 7 schools will be in Learning Centre 4 and Sandy Spyropoulos will be the Executive Superintendent along with the following Superintendents; Tracy Hayhurst, MaryJane McNamara, John Chasty, Mike Gallagher, Jane Phillips-Long, Sandra Tondat and Lucy Giannotta.

These assigned roles will take effect mid May.Learn More.

2016-17 Operating Budget
Trustees will vote on the 2016-17 Proposed Budget Plan at the Board meeting scheduled for May 25, 2016 at 7:00PM. As required under the Education Act, the budget is balanced. More information on the TDSB budget and finances can be found here
Closure of Sir Robert L. Borden Business and Technical Institute  
On February 10, 2016, following a Pupil Accommodation Review with the school community, the Board decided to close Sir Robert L. Borden Business and Technical Institute in Scarborough effective June 30, 2016.
Since amalgamation in 1998, the TDSB has closed 30 schools because of declining enrollment and the need for consolidations. Nineteen of those buildings have been sold, eight are leased by the Toronto Lands Corporation, and three are being used for TDSB purposes. 
Also since 1998, the TDSB has disposed of 82 properties. Sixteen of those properties were disposed of by the TDSB before the formation of the Toronto Lands Corporation. The Corporation has disposed of 66 properties. Approximately 60% of the properties were purchased by public sector organizations.
Improving Playing Fields
The TDSB is developing a plan to improve the maintenance and general use of its playing fields. The plan will utilize fair and equitable funding priorities and develop partnerships with local sports clubs. Read the Board decision. 
SmartSAVER
The TDSB has partnered with SmartSAVER to launch a board-wide campaign to help families access the federal government's  Canada Learning Bond. Through a secure, online system - accessible at www.tdsb.on.ca/SmartSAVER - families can apply for the Canada Learning Bond, open a registered education savings plan (RESP) and access support throughout this process in multiple languages
TDSB’s New Online Permit System for Community Use of Schools
We are excited to announce that a new software package will be used to manage permit bookings for community use of schools. The software that we have been using for over 15 years is being retired. We gathered feedback from our clients to improve the booking system, see details of the new system in the link below.
Other News and Events
Continuing and International Education – Summer Music Camps
Enrich your child’s summer vacation with music camp. Through three unique programs – Summer Sounds, Downtown Summer Strings and Toronto Summer Music Camps – the TDSB offers band, strings and orchestral experiences for students from Grades 3-9. Registration is open now.
For more information please visit www.tdsbsummercamps.ca  
Gifted program screening: New Process

The TDSB will soon be using a multi-step process to screen all children in Grade 3 for potential gifted exceptionality. Currently children can be put forward for gifted level IQ testing at the request of a parent or teacher, but there is no universal screener. Starting this fall, all Grade 3 children will be given the Canadian Cognitive Abilities Test (CCAT). Students meeting criteria on the CCAT will be considered by the school team for the next steps in the process, which include the Gifted Rating Scale and, if they are suitable candidates, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-5). If all criteria are met (and there are special categories for English Language Learners and children with learning disabilities) and parents are in agreement, a child can be put forward to a IPRC committee for a potential gifted designation and the opportunity to learn in a congregated program adapted to giftedness exceptionality. More information is here. 
In Ward 7, the Primary Gifted Program is located at Queen Victoria Public School. The Secondary Gifted Program is located at Western Technical and Commercial School.
TDSB Healthy Schools 5k Run/Walk

On Saturday, June 4, 2016 the Health and Physical Education Department is hosting a celebration of all the healthy active living that happens in our schools and communities every day. Students, staff, parents/guardians and community members are invited to join us at Downsview Park for the TDSB Healthy Schools 5k Run/Walk. The run/walk will consist of a 5k loop and participants will have the option of finishing after 2.5k. Elementary schools will  participate at 10 a.m. and secondary schools will begin at 11 a.m. This day will also include a full program of activities and performances for participants from 9 a.m. to noon.

Bike to School Week
Trustees made Bike to School Week an official annual event at the TDSB. The last week in May each year will be declared Bike to School Week to encourage active, safe and sustainable transportation.
In support of the TDSB's Charter for Active Transportation and research from York University and the Hospital for Sick Children, the following key messages include:
  • Walking to school does not increase child pedestrian accidents if the built environment is safe.
  • Built environment modifications reduce unsafe driver and pedestrian behaviours leading to a reduction in collisions.
  • Schools with crossing guards have 14% more students walking to school. 
  • The installation of speed bumps was associated with a 45% decrease in collision rates in children.
News from Ward 7 Schools

 Pediatric Clinic Opening - Parkdale PS
Ribbon Cutting - Pediatric Clinic - Parkdale PS


Mountainview Alternative School Deputation at City Hall Budget Meeting 
Ms. Kim brought her Grade 5/6 class to depute at the City of Toronto 2016 budget meeting in January. Councillors were very impressed with the class presentation. For the complete deputation click here
Congratulations - Writer in Residence visit to Humberside CI
We have the great pleasure of sharing with you the news Humberside C.I. has been selected as a location for a guest presentation by well-known Canadian author Shane Peacock. As part of the TDSB Writer-in-Residence strategy to engage students in the joy of reading and literacy, Shane is now serving as a visiting Writer-in-Residence for the TDSB and is bringing his creativity and talent into classrooms.
For more information click here
French as a Second Language
For FSLAC March 2016 newsletter click here 
Upcoming Events 


May 28 -Runnymede PS 100th Anniversary 
Open House and Fun Fair from
11:30AM - 3:00PM

June 1 - Swansea PS Expansion
Official Opening at 9:45AM

June 2- Keele PS/Mountainview Alternative Expansion Grand Opening Celebration from 2:00PM - 4:00pPM

June 4 - Annette Fun Fair
from 11:00AM - 3:00PM


 Worth Repeating...............
Applications for Parents Reaching Out Grants 2016-17 Now Open
Grant applications for the 2016-17 school year are now open and will be accepted until May 29, 2016. In the 2015-16 school year, the province funded more than 2,200 projects that helped identify barriers to parent engagement and found local solutions to help more parents be engaged in their children's learning. For more information, click on http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/reaching.html