Ward 16 newletter header

Happy International Women's Day!

International Women's Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. Students from around the TDSB gathered to mark this year’s IWD theme #BalanceforBetter - we continue to strive for a gender-balanced world. Additional community activities will take place this weekend including a IWD Toronto Rally at UofT's OISE: https://www.facebook.com/IWDToronto/
Greek Heritage Month Poster
March is Greek Heritage Month! 
This year’s theme is 
“Wisdom, Hope, Love” – “Sofia, Elpida, Agape.”
Many celebrations will be happening around Toronto including events for Greek Independence Day on March 23rd, the Greek Independence Day Parade on March 25th on the Danforth, and TDSB celebrations on  
Saturday, March 30 from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.at East York Collegiate Institute, 650 Cosburn Avenue.
Parents, students, educators, and community members are invited to come to celebrate with us!  Events will feature music, dance, art, food, cultural displays, and special presentations from TDSB elementary and secondary student and community members.

The TDSB is Seeking Community and Staff Input for the 2019-20 Budget

Join Trustee Jennifer Story and myself on March 18th for a joint Ward 15/16 Budget Forum at Monarch Park Collegiate. Parents/caregivers, students, staff, and community members can provide the Toronto District School Board with input on its 2019-20 Budget Priorities. Staff will provide an overview of our budget process and lead discussions around funding priorities. A 2019-20 Budget Public Discussion Guide and Community Survey are also available online. More information about the TDSB Budget process, timelines, and surveys are available on the TDSB Budget web page.
Ward 16 School Highlights:
Congratulations to East York Collegiate's DECA Team for their recent success at DECA's Provincial competition
On February 7-9, 2019 over 8,200 secondary students representing 291 schools attended the Provincial DECA competition held at the Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto. Eleven EYCI students proudly represented our school in a variety of business themed events. Of special note, two EYCI competitors, Dimitri Papadopoulos and Hans Arndt, qualified for the next round of competition, the International “ICDC” DECA competition, which will be taking place in Orlando, Florida this spring. To qualify for the ICDC, Dimitri and Hans developed a 20-page business proposal and presented it to a panel of subject-expert judges. In addition to qualifying for the ICDC, Hans and Dimitri were awarded prestigious 'Provincial Champions' plaques at an award ceremony. Good luck to these two students as they represent EYCI as part of the DECA Ontario team in Florida

Congratulations again to the Glen Ames Robotics team for qualifying for Provincial and International competition! Four TDSB schools, including Glen Ames, are preparing to go “into orbit” at FIRST Robotics Canada’s Ontario Innovation Celebration (OIC). In addition the Glen Ames team, dubbed the Guardians of the Galaxsee, have already qualified for the US Open Championship in Carlsbad, California in May. It will be third consecutive year, and the fifth time overall, that the Beach-area school will be representing Canada on the world stage.

Thank-you to all the schools who shared their celebrations and highlights of African Heritage Month and Chinese Heritage Month. From celebrations with dragon dances or steel pan bands to the study of historical figures, traditional stories, and modern day authors our schools are providing diverse and rich learning experiences for our students. 

Thank-you to our school's Principal's for sharing insights into how to cope with our challenging winter weather. I particularly enjoyed Adam Beck's "snowpeople challenge", which gets the students outside on their hands and knees (no falling) building as many snow people as possible before the bell rings. And G.A. Brown's drop-in sports in the gymnasium and swimming in the pool at lunch to keep those tweens moving when they'd rather not go outside.

Ward 16 Upcoming Events: 
  • Friday March 8th - International Women's Day 2019
  • March 11 - 15th - March Break! 
  • March 18th - Ward 15/16 Budget Forum, 7pm at Monarch Park Collegiate
  • March 24th - Agnes McPhail Awards Ceremony, 7pm at East York Civic Centre
  • March 28th - 7pm at Cosburn Middle School - "Health at any size: Understanding the balance of food, exercise, and promoting a positive body image for your child.” A mental health seminar for families by National Eating Disorder Information Centre
  • March 29th - The TDSB will be celebrating Earth Hour by turning off unnecessary lights and unplugging electronic devices in schools and offices across the Board from 2 to 3 p.m.
  • March 30th - Parents as Partners Conference, 9am - 3pm at the Beanfield Centre
  • March 30th - Greek Heritage Closing Ceremonies, 3pm at East York Collegiate
  • April 13th - Bowmore Make It Fair! 11am - 3pm at Bowmore Rd. P.S., 80 Bowmore Rd.
  • April 25th - Ward 16 Meeting, 6:30pm at Secord P.S. "Special Education - Inclusive Design in the TDSB"
  • May 30th - Ward 16 Meeting, 6:30pm at Adam Beck J.P.S. - "The French Review"

Mental Health Forum

Join me along with Trustees Story, Chernos-Lin, and Moise for a joint forum on "Health at any size: Understanding the balance of food, exercise, and promoting a positive body image for your child.” A mental health seminar for families featuring a guest panel of doctors, therapists, parents, and staff from the National Eating Disorder Information Centre.
March 28th from 6:30 - 8:30pm at Cosburn Middle School.
Childcare provided.
Parents as Partners Conference
Register now for the Parents as Partners Conference featuring guest speaker Karl Subban!
PIAC POST - PIAC's Monthly Newsletter
snow shovel

Snow, Snow and More Snow!

Snow removal at TDSB schools is performed by 3 different parties; snow removal contractors, in-house trades staff, and on-site Caretaking staff.  Each school has a snow removal map posted in the Caretakers office outlining who performs what work.  

Typically, parking lots are plowed by contracted providers who are called out when there is 5 cm of snow on the ground in keeping with the standard used by the City of Toronto.  In house trades staff will assist site based caretakers and plow snow on long pathways, some public sidewalks, and remove excessive snow from school sites as required.  In addition, they salt parking lots and driveways when the snowfall is below 5 cm.  At some schools, staff may also plow the snow from the paved play areas provided the school meets an established criteria as follows:

• Schools with 6 or more portable classrooms
• Schools with students having mobility issues
• Schools with unique geographic features
Other District School Boards have been surveyed to determine what level of service is provided; the majority of Boards who responded do not clear paved play areas.  At present there are 45 TDSB schools that receive this service.   

Ontario's Immunization of School Pupil's Act
Many of you may have received notice through your school or from Toronto Public Health regarding your child's immunization status and suspension from school. The required vaccination schedule is set by Ontario Legislation (Ontario Immunization of School Pupils Act) and monitored/enforced by Toronto Public Health. School Boards are required to comply with the orders of both the Province and TPH. For more information on the vaccination schedule and how to update your child's information please visit the City of Toronto's Public Health website or contact the Immunization Information Centre, Toronto Public Health, 235 Danforth Avenue, Floor 2. Toronto, Ontario M4K 1N2
Telephone: 416-392-1250.
School Council PD
School Councils are an important part of a strong and vibrant school community. The ⁦‪TDSB‬⁩ Parent and Community Engagement Office is hosting webinars to help parents/guardians learn more about how School Council management. Click on the links below at the specific times to join in.
  • Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 7:00 p.m.: School Council Bylaws  To be an effective School Council, you need a firm foundation. This webinar will take participants through the writing School Council Bylaws.
  • Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 7:00 p.m.: School Council Effectiveness This webinar examines how communication, committees and volunteers will connect with your community and will ease your workload.
Update on Ministry of Child, Youth, and Community Services Autism Plan: Potential Implications for TDSB
The recent government announcement has shifted significant funding from school-aged children to pre-school aged children in order to prioritize early clinical intervention for students aged 4 or younger. The reality is that the funding provided for school-aged children has been reduced dramatically, likely resulting in many families no longer being able to afford clinical services. We anticipate the result of this being more school aged children transitioning from a clinical setting for part of the day or week to being in school with us full time. The TDSB does not provide clinical services, however we do provide support in the form front line staff working with the principles of Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) as part of our scope of practice as educators. We have reviewed the government’s announcement and we
estimate that funding changes may result in 100-150 of our current students, who are receiving clinical therapy for at least a portion of the day or week, now being in school for longer portions of the day or for more days during the week.  While we cannot make up for the reduction or elimination of clinical services for students, we are committed to supporting students within our education system. Our support for all students, particularly students with Autism, involves increased access to behavioural expertise, staffing, and to critical capacity building to support the effective use of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) strategies by our front line staff throughout the system. There is the likelihood that we will experience additional demands on these support services. 
Worth Repeating - Ministry of Education Funding and Program Cancellations
The Ministry of Education's recent memo to Directors of Education implied changes to class sizes and education funding may be coming this spring. A secondary announcement is expected on March 15th. This seems a particularly good time to remind our community that the Ministry recently cut funding to programs that support our neediest communities AND school boards are still waiting for an update on Focus on Youth funding. If the Ministry does not fund FOY immediately school boards will not have time to implement this highly valuable and impactful program:
  • Community Use of Schools - this EPO grant allows school boards to offer free facilit permits to non-profit organizations so that those organization can provide low cost programming in high needs school communities. The TDSB's CUS funding has been cut by $1 million, jeopardizing programs in Priority neighbourhoods
  • Focus on Youth - this funding program supports employment for at-risk youth in Priority neighbourhoods and is highly praised for helping youth gain valuable experience and combatting youth violence. The program also allows non-profit organizations offer low cost programs, summer camps, and activitites for our city's most needy students. The TDSB alone employs 600 students through the FOS summer program and the program's employees serve 11,000 youths in TDSB supported summer programs. The Province has cancelled all FOY after school funding and is declared that FOY summer funding is "on hold".
  • Support for Community Programming is critical to the success of Toronto's youth and neighbourhoods. If you would like to express your support for CUS and FOS funding as well as other programs please write to our Minister of Education Lisa Thompson (lisa.thompsonco@pc.ola.org) and our local MPP Rima Berns-McGowan (RBerns-McGown-QP@ndp.on.ca). Feel free to use TDSB Chair Pilkey's letter to Minister Thompson as a template.
Upcoming TDSB Community Advisory Committee and Board Meetings:
  • Audit Committee - March 18th, 2019 @ 4pm @ 5050 Yonge
  • Alternative Schools Community Advisory Committee - March 18, 2019 @ 7pm in Committee Room A 5050 Yonge St.
  • Community Use of Schools Community Advisory Committee (CUSCAC) - March 19th @ 8am @ 5050 Yonge St.
  • Finance, Budget, & Enrollment Committee - March 19th @ 4:30pm @ 5050 Yonge St.
  • Parent Involvement Advisory Committee (PIAC) Meeting - March 19th @ 7pm @ 5050 Yonge St.
  • Board of Trustees Meeting - March 20th @ 7pm @ 5050 Yonge St.
  • Aboriginal Community Advisory Committee (ACAC) Meeting - March 20th @ 5:30pm @ Aboriginal
    Education Center 16 Phin Ave. Rm. 12
  • Equity Policy Community Advisory Committee - March 21st @ 6:30pm @ 5050 Yonge Street,
    Committee Room A 
  • Early Years Community Advisory Committee (EYCAC) Meeting - March 22nd @ 10am @ 5050 Yonge St.
  • Governance and Policy Committee - March 26th @ 4:30pm @ 5050 Yonge St.
  • Programs and School Services Committee - March 27th @ 4:30pm @ 5050 Yonge St.
  • Inner City Community Advisory Committee (ICCAC) Meeting - March 28th @ 9am @ 5050 Yonge Street, Committee Room A
  • Black Student Achievement Community Advisory Committee - April 1st @ 7pm @ Committee
    Room A 5050 Yonge St.
  • Environmental Sustainability Community Advisory Committee - April 2nd @ 6pm @ 5050 Yonge,
    Committee Room
  • Finance, Budget and Enrollment Committee - April 3rd @ 4:30pm @ 5050 Yonge St. 
  • French as a Second Language Advisory Committee (FSLAC) Meeting - April 9th @ 7pm @ 5050
    Yonge St.
  • Committee of the Whole - April 10th @ 4:30pm @ 5050 Yonge St.
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