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Joint Ward Forum - February 27, 2020

I’m excited to join Trustees Chris Tonks (Ward 6) and Patrick Nunziata (Ward 3) in holding public consultation regarding TDSB Parent Engagement Policy P023. For information about this forum and to view the flyer click here for the PDF and JPEG.

A portion of this Ward Forum will also be dedicated to holding Ward 2 PIAC Representative Elections. The Parent Involvement Advisory Committee (PIAC) has a representatives and alternate representatives from all 22 wards. Elections are held in each ward for two year terms. Anyone in Ward 2 who is interested in running for either of these positions is encouraged to attend the meeting. A brief period of time will be provided to all the candidates to introduce themselves and share their thoughts prior to the election.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ward 2 PIAC representative Vivek Rao and alternare Shafoli Kapur for their service to PIAC and to our Ward 2 Community. I would also like to thank the Ward 2 elected members of the French as a Second Language Advisory Committee. Last year representative Rob Janes and alternate Lisa McAvoy were each elected to a two year term. It's great to have the commitment of these four individuals who give so generously of their time in the service of our community.

Presumptive confirmed case of Coronavirus

On Saturday January 25, 2020 Toronto Public Health received confirmation of Toronto’s first presumptive case of the coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Below are statements from TDSB and Ministry of Health, Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams.

Click here for Information About Coronavirus
Click here for Parent/Guardian Communications from Ministry of Health

Crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight

The recent downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 is a heartbreaking tragedy that claimed the lives of 176 passengers and crew members.  Included in that number were several TDSB students, members of their families, and a family member of at least one of our employees. On behalf of Toronto District School Board, we offer our sincere condolences to the family, friends, teachers, and classmates of the following students:

• Sophie Emami, Sr. Kindergarten at Lillian PS 
• Arsam Niazi, Grade 6 at Pleasant PS 
• Arnica Niazi, Grade 3 at Finch PS 
• Maya Zibaie, Grade 10 at Northern SS 
• Rahmtin Ahmadi, Grade 4 at Muirhead PS 
• Shahzad Eghbali, Grade 3 at Dallington PS 

Labour Negotiations

With the current job actions affecting both our elementary and secondary schools, this is a challenging time for students, families, and for all of us at Toronto District School Board. I want to assure you that senior staff are doing their utmost to make contingency plans so as to keep things as normal as possible for students. As always, please check our TDSB website for the most up to date information 

Labour Update: Secondary Report Cards
Labour Update: Elementary Report Cards

Kindergarten Registration 2020

Children born in 2016 can start Junior Kindergarten in September 2020. Registration for the 2020-2021 school year will open on Monday, February 3, 2020. Learn more about the program and how to register at

Music by the Lake - Update

The Arts team has begun planning for this year’s Music by the Lake program scheduled to take place 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.  the program offers 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 in 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 for this year's event will be announced soon and we will continue to update the Spotlight on the Arts webpage with new information as it becomes available.  

Parents Reaching Out (PRO) Grant Funding and Parents as Partners Conference

The Ministry of Education changed the PRO GRANT program this year, away from a parent-lead, application-based funding model to an allocation-based grant provided to each school board. TDSB has been allocated $133,405.  This is approximately one third of what schools received last year. All funds must be spent and reported to the Ministry by June 15, 2020. On November 27, 2019 the Board approved the allocation of these funds as follows:  

Learning Network / Centre & Ward Engagement ($103,405) 
On January 15 Learning Centre Superintendents, Trustees, and the Parent Involvement Advisory Committee met to identify initiatives that fall within the following areas of:
  • Supporting and enhancing School Council capacity; 
  • Enhancing the efficacy of families around mental health and wellbeing, equity or achievement; and/or, 
  • Engagement of diverse families and school councils in the School Improvement Process (e.g. workshops/training for families). 
2020 Parents as Partners (PAP) Conference ($30,000)
The PAP Conference is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 28, 2020 at the Toronto Congress Centre, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This free conference – planned by parents, for parents – includes a variety of workshops and resources that will help any parent support their child in their achievement and well-being at school and at home.

EQAO Math Testing Rescheduled 

Given the ongoing selected withdrawal of services by members of OSSTF, the TDSB does not have the ability to properly administer the EQAO Grade 9 math assessment scheduled to begin next week. As per direction from the Ministry of Education, the test will be rescheduled to take place in June, 2020. TDSB's Grade 9 students currently taking math in semester 1, at approximately half of the Board’s 110 secondary schools, will be impacted.

Ward 2 Administrative Changes

At Princess Margaret Junior School, the Winter Break also marked the conclusion of Principal Anna Viegandt’s career in education. I enjoyed a December visit with Principal Viegandt where I personally thanked her for her service throughout the years and I wished her a happy and fulfilling retirement. I’m pleased to report that Ms. Michelle Lawrence, formerly at Westmount Junior School, will be the new principal at Princess Margaret. Best wishes to Principal Lawrence in her new assignment! The vacancy at Westmount J.S. will be filled by Ms. Ifeoma Jabari.  Best wishes to Principal Jabari as well!

February 5 is a Special Day at the TDSB

Everyone is encouraged to participate in Winter Walk to School Day. February 5th is also Global School Play Day, to learn more about Journey Walk Day Outside and Global School Play Day, Please visit and
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