Ward 16 meeting Oct 24th, 6:30pm @Secord P.S.
Ward 16 meeting Oct 24th, 6:30pm @Secord P.S.
Ward 16 newletter header

October 22, 2019

October has been a busy month so far - International Walk to School Month, International Day of the Girl, the Canadian Federal Election, and now Local Government Week! At the TDSB we're also celebrating Diwali, Islamic Heritage month, Somali Heritage month, and of course Hallowe'en. Click on the images below for more information on Islamic and Somali Heritage celebrations.
I hope you will join me this Thursday October 24th, 6:30 - 8:30pm at Secord Public School for our first Ward 16 meeting of the year. We are still in need of a Ward 16 Alternate rep for PIAC (Parent Involvement Advisory Committee) and we will hold an election for the position at Thursday's meeting. Childcare and refreshments provided.
On this Day in Canada - Birth of Louis Riel - Oct 22, 1844
leader Louis Riel, founder of Manitoba and a central figure in the North-West Rebellion, was born at the Red River Settlement.
TDSB Islamic Heritage Month https://www.tdsb.on.ca/News/Article-Details/ArtMID/474/ArticleID/1358/October-is-Somali-Heritage-Month
Happy Diwali!
Diwali (also called Divali or Deepavali) is a “festival of lights” that celebrates the triumph of light over dark and good over evil, and the blessings of victory, freedom, and enlightenment. Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains across the world. 
To join in with local celebrations please come out to Diwali Mela in the Gerrard India Bazaar (Gerrard at the Ashdale Library) on Saturday Oct. 26th from 6:00pm - 10:00pm for free, family-friendly festivities hosted by the Gerrard India Bazaar BIA.  For something a little bigger there is a Diwali Festival of Lights celebration at Nathan Phillips Square on November 2nd.

Celebrating our Ward 16 Schools

As I visit our Ward 16 schools this year I will highlight the great work of our Parents, Staff, and Students. Here are a few highlights for the month of October:
  • Elevate! The George Webster School Council runs a program called Elevate throughout the school year. These are "micro projects" that have a big impact in Elevating school spirit. Previous projects include decorating school benches with positive messages and providing a "coffee cart" for the student led snack program.
  • Presteign Hts P.S. School Council funded an online math program subscription for all families and due to its popularity with students/families is now discussing with staff how to integrate online family resources with weekly math lessons in class.
  • Bowmore Rd. School Council recently hosted the TDSB Parent Engagement Office for a family seminar on "How to talk to your child about race and racism". 
  • Tonight I attended Islamic Heritage Celebration Potluck at Secord P.S. This fun, inclusive event featured cultural and historical materials, student performances, and delicous food. Secord regularly celebrates a cultural heritage events with free family events throughout the year.

Saturday Credit Program

The Continuing Education Department is offering a credit program in several international languages for current high school students. Classes run 3.5 hours a week on Saturday’s beginning on October 26 to June 13, 2020, depending on sufficient enrollment numbers. Please see the attached flyer or visit the TDSB Saturday Credit Program website for course list and registration information.

Encounters With Canada

Encounters With Canada is a unique opportunity for Canadian teens to meet other young people from across the country, provided by Historica Canada and the Government of Canada. Participants spend an adventure-filled week in Ottawa, while exploring future career options and discovering our country.  The program costs $750 for the full week, covering travel, accommodation, meals and all program costs - activities, visits and tours. Additionally, many provincial/territorial governments help subsidize these expenses. More information on programs and registration can be found HERE.

Local Government Week

Hot on the heels of the Federal Election, with congratulations to our returning local MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, we have Local Government Week celebrated Province-wide from October 20-26. Students in Gr. 5 Social Studies and Gr. 10 Civics will be studying the impact of Local Government on their Communities.
School board trustees are the oldest form of elected representatives in Ontario. Since 1807, generations of community-minded citizens have made decisions on behalf of local, publicly-funded schools, building the foundation of our system today. The TDSB has 22 elected Trustees and 2 annually elected Student Trustees. Trustees set the Board’s vision (Strategic Plan), establish policies, allocate resources, and lay the foundational goals for programs and operations. They also recruit and monitor the performance of the Director of Education. 

To learn more about the history and the roles and responsibilities of school board trustees, please refer to the following resource - Local Government Week 2019: Resource Guide. Follow #LocalGovWeek on Twitter to see how the TDSB and other organizations are celebrating the important work of local governments.

Mathematics Action Plan

As part of our commitment to transforming student learning in mathematics, we have developed a TDSB Mathematics Action Plan. The action plan was developed after consultation with elementary and secondary teachers, Principals/Vice-Principals, learning coaches, Special Education staff, and Centrally Assigned Principals. Consultation input, along with an analysis of system-wide mathematics data, was used to create a Mathematics Action Plan that will guide our work and learning in the following key focus areas:  

1. Building Capacity and Content Knowledge
2. Ensuring Coherence
3. Differentiating Assessment and Instruction
4. Challenging Streaming and Promoting Inclusion
5. Engaging Parents, Families and Communities

The Mathematics Action Plan can be accessed on the TDSB website along with a video that explains the components of the plan.  Our centrally-assigned math team is developing resources to support educators in the classroom and developing resources and links for parents/families to support their child’s mathematical thinking at home, which will be shared in the near future.    

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 $133,405.00 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 further information on the PRO Grant, please contact Michelle Munroe, Coordinator of Parent and Community Engagement, at Michelle.munroe@tdsb.on.ca

Labour Negotiations Update

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, that involves both central and local bargaining. Learn more about the bargaining process HERE
The TDSB is currently bargaining locally with CUPE. We anticipate local bargaining with ETFO and OSSTF to commence in the near future. Updates on the state of both central and local negotiations can be found HERE.
October 16, 2019 - ETFO (Elementary Teachers) has 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. ETFO also began taking a strike vote amongst its members, to be completed by November 1st.
October 17, 2019 - Contract negotiations among the OSSTF (Secondary Teachers), public school board associations, and the Ontario government are on-going. OSSTF has begun the process of taking a strike vote across the province. Voting by its members will be completed by November 15, 2019. 
It is important to note that a strike vote of a union's members does not necessarily mean that job action/partial or full withdrawal of services will be taken by the unionized staff. 

TDSB Program Reviews and Consultations:

Secondary School Program Review

At the October 16, 2019 Board Committee Meeting TDSB Staff presented an update on the "Secondary School Program Review". You may be interested in reviewing the report and may also find the information about secondary schools and programs below helpful:  

Choices Brochure - This online brochure provides students and parents/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.)

'Beyond 8: Choices for 9 Interactive Guide' for Students, Parents and Guardians
This site is specifically designed for Grade 8 students and their parents/guardians as they begin the transition to secondary school. 
Secondary School Open Houses begin October 29th - Full list of Dates HERE.

Save the Date - Public Consultation on Optional Attendance

The TDSB Optional Attendance Policy (P013) is currently under review. A draft Policy will be posted on the TDSB website for public feedback at the beginning of November for a period of 90 days. Four Public consultation meetings will also be held in November. The dates and locations are as follows:
November 14, 7 p.m. – Western Technical-Commercial School, 125 Evelyn Crescent, Cafeteria
November 20, 7 p.m. – East Education Office, 140 Borough Drive, Committee Room 3/4
November 26, 7 p.m. – C W Jefferys CI, 340 Sentinel Road, Cafeteria
November 28, 7 p.m. – John Polanyi CI, 640 Lawrence Avenue West, Cafeteria

FSL Program Review Update

On October 16, 2019 Staff presented the French as a Second Language Program Review Update report to Committee of the Whole, please see the following updated links:                            

Educational Development Charges – Bill 108 Submissions

The Ministry of Education has proposed amendments to the Educational Development Charges (EDC) regulation of the Education Act under Bill 108 More Choice, More Homes Act, 2019.  The proposed amendments do not address the TDSB’s primary concern that it does not qualify for EDCs due to excess capacity in some schools. The TDSB felt it was important to take this opportunity to make its own submissions to the Province on the issue of eligibility. A copy of our submissions can be found on the TDSB EDC webpage, along with other information concerning our judicial review application. For additional background on Bill 108, please review our May 2019 analysis of Bill 108.

Looking Ahead - November 2019

  • November 3rd - Day Light Savings Time (yes we still do this) - Clocks turn backward one hour
  • November 5th - SPACE Stories "What's Happening with Community Use of Schools?", 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
    Hosted by the SPACE Coalition with guest speakers Trustee Norm DiPasquale and Trustee Michelle Aarts. Share your stories about recent funding cuts and changes to community access to schools. Metro Hall, 55 John St, Room 308/309. Register at spacecoalition.ca/space_stories
  • November 6th - TDSB Hindu Heritage Month Launch – The theme chosen for this year is "OM – The Sound of the Universe".
  • November 6th - Take our kids to work day for Grade 9 students.   https://www.thelearningpartnership.ca/events/take-our-kids-to-work-day/students
  • November 15th - Board-wide P.A. Day
  • November 19th - Crescent Town Bridge Update with Councillor Bradford and Trustee Aarts. Get an update on the City's investigation into the Crescent Town bridge collapse and the coming work to rebuild the bridge. Crescent Town Public School (gymnasium), 6:30 - 8:30pm.
  • November 20th - Ward 16 Meeting, 6:30pm, location TBD.
Full School Year Calendar and Days of Significance can be found HERE.
Board Meeting Dates - a full list of Public TDSB Board meetings can be found HERE.
Community Advisory Committees - Information on the TDSB's Community Advisory Committees and dates for their Public Meetings can be found HERE.

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