Keeping you engaged and informed
Keeping you engaged and informed
Ward 11 Weekly Update header
Week of September 13, 2015
Entering Week 2
Thanks to all for ensuring a great kick off to a new school year...  and for some of us it's another New Year as well... this update is being sent a bit early than usual as Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year 5776) begins this evening – I always look forward to observing the traditions with family; it’s been a busy weekend cooking! According to tradition, Rosh Hashanah (“beginning of the year” in Hebrew) is a universal, stock-taking holiday of hope and renewal. For those of you also celebrating, may this New Year be sweet, healthy and happy. L’shanah Tovah.
2015 ‐ 2016 Days of Significance
The TDSB posts a Days of Significance calendar lists major days of significance and is provided as a resource for schools and others for observing holy days that should be considered when planning events, tests or exams, and other activities. The calendar is not comprehensive, but a selected representation. Every attempt has been made to ensure its accuracy. Please also note you can check the School Year Calendar for your planning purposes .

Collective Bargaining Update
CUPE bargaining continues this week – and this week it is also expected that OSSTF members will vote on terms of their central agreement as recommended to them by their executive. There are also developments with the Elementary Teachers. Minister Sandals issued a statement late Friday. “OPSBA and the Crown have tabled a comprehensive proposal to the ETFO, the union representing English public elementary teachers, that is in line with the tentative agreements reached with the other teacher federations.  In particular, the offer presented mirrors the tentative agreement with OSSTF, the union representing the English public secondary school teachers, with whom OPSBA also has a bargaining relationship. No additional bargaining dates have been set. We understand that the ETFO Executive is meeting with local union presidents on Monday and we are hopeful that they will consider this settlement offer seriously. OPSBA and the Crown remain hopeful that a settlement can be reached.”
This Toronto Star Article from Saturday also provides some additional context. The TDSB Labour Negotiations webpage will be updated as there are additional developments. 

Yonge-Eglinton Local Feasibility Study – Next Steps
The TDSB’s Long-Term Program & Accommodation Strategy (LTPAS) is a work plan for ensuring all students have equal access to inspiring programs across the city. By identifying a series of studies that we will do each year, the strategy will give us a better understanding of program and space needs across the system. Implementation of the studies in LTPAS are coordinated by the Central Accommodation Team (CAT). The CAT is a cross-departmental team of senior staff who meet every 2 weeks to manage the work plan. A number of studies in the east side of our ward have been combined into the Yonge-Eglinton Feasibility Study. A Local Feasibility Study is a preliminary, internal analysis of an accommodation or program concept to determine its viability. The Local Feasibility Study is conducted by a Local Feasibility Team led by the local Superintendent. It includes the local Trustee, the directly affected Principals, and central planning staff. The goal of the Local Feasibility Team is to develop one or more feasible solutions to address accommodation issues. If the Local Feasibility Team is able to come up with one or more feasible solutions then the second step in the study is to conduct a review.
What were the key issues for Yonge-Eglinton Local Feasibility Team?
  • Addressing massive enrolment increases at Eglinton Jr. PS, a school that is facing imminent and significant accommodation challenges that is situated on a site with no ability to accommodate this growth.
  • Addressing increasing enrolment growth, inadequate learning environments and facility condition at Davisville Jr. PS, a Prohibitive‐to‐Repair (PTR) school that is accommodating full instructional classes in 16 resource‐sized classrooms that were not constructed for typical regular classroom use. Addressing increasing enrolment growth in the other closed schools in the area including Maurice Cody, Oriole Park and Hodgson.
  • Determining the most appropriate means of accommodating students in the area by introducing change. These measures will be implemented in order to minimize the amount of capital investment required.
As detailed in my May 3rd Update, Emerging Capital Priorities, Boundary Change Studies, Grade Change Studies, Program Relocation, New Program Studies were all considered by the Yonge-Eglinton Feasibility Team. 
The rebuilding of Davisville/Spectrum and a multi-classroom addition for Hodgson have both been included in the Board’s Business Case submission to the Ministry of Education for capital funding – they are the Board’s number 1 and 2 accommodation priorities. The Yonge-Eglinton Feasibility Team Report will be going to the Central Accommodations Team (senior staff) later in September. Following approval, information will be posted on the TDSB website and public meetings will be scheduled to review all data, options and staff recommendations. I have made a point of going to the affected schools’ council meetings in September to answer preliminary questions. I am waiting to schedule my Ward Forums until the dates of the public meetings are set as to not to conflict. The Community Update deck being presented to School Councils is on my webpage.
Parent Engagement
The board is committed to supporting parents in engaging in our system. We have a web page created to support members of our parent Parent Involvement Advisory Committee (PIAC), Community Advisory Committtees (CAC), and School Council Chairs. 
If you are a School Council Chair, thank you for volunteering on behalf of the parents within your school! There are resources to help on my website.
Thanks to Rania Saleh (Forest Hill Jr/Sr PS and new alternate Sanaa Homsi (NITCI our Ward’s PIAC representatives; and to our French as a Second Language representative Steph Rickard Chadda ( Do not hesitate to contact them.

Implementation of Parking Enforcement on School Property
The implementation of parking enforcement in school parking lots caught a few of us off-guard… signage has been posted in all our lots for some time noting that it is private property and for TDSB staff and visitors only during school hours, but informal arrangements were put in place around some schools – in others gates have been locked for some time.  In early August as I understand it, central staff issued an order to all caretakers to begin enforcement after a 2-week grace period. This was not a local decision but central one. Long story short, I have asked for a discussion of this at Board Committee to clearly understand the rationale… for now, however, as staff have the authority for operations, the orders are in effect.

Revised Health and Physical Education Curriculum
In February 2015, the Ministry of Education released the revised Health and Physical Education (HPE) curriculum to all school boards in Ontario for implementation beginning September 2015. This curriculum had been developed after extensive consultation, but put on hold for more than 5 years.The TDSB will begin implementation this fall with staff training, followed by delivery in the classroom. The TDSB has always work with parents and students when it comes to religious accommodations — and have for years — for such things as wearing religious attire during sports activities. However, with regards to the specific idea of accommodations around the topics of gender identity or sexual orientation within the new curriculum, we believe that would be a misuse of the procedure and will not be making those accommodations. It’s important for parents to learn the facts about what is and is not included in the revised Health and Physical Education curriculum as there has been so much sensational and false information alleged.  
Because there is much false information out there in terms of what students will be learning in the revised curriculum, the government has launched a public awareness campaign includes TV, print and digital advertising to reach parents, guardians and grandparents. The strategy is to dramatize to parents how the world has changed, and to help them understand what our kids are dealing with.  The call to action is to learn how the HPE curriculum can help by providing accurate and current information that help our kids navigate today’s complex world. Click on Sex Education in Ontario - Show of Hands
The following materials developed by the ministry can also be accessed via the ministry’s curriculum page.
Grade by Grade Overviews for Parents of the Health and Physical Education Curriculum

Office of Integrity Commissioner & Whistleblower Policy
The TDSB is taking a number of steps to increase accountability and transparency, including the creation of an Office of Integrity Commissioner. The TDSB will be the first school board in Ontario to have such a position and it will help ensure respect and adherence to good governance and oversight. The Board is also creating a Whistleblower Policy that will allow employees and members of the public to come forward with concerns about wrongdoing. Approved earlier this year, both initiatives are in the final stages of development and will be introduced this fall. More information about these initiatives will be shared with you in the coming weeks.

Page Program for Grade 7 and 8 Students On-line Registration Open
Each year approximately 140 young students from across Ontario are selected to participate in the Legislative Page Program.  This unique educational experience open to all Ontario students enrolled in grades 7 or 8, provides an opportunity to experience the provincial legislature in action, and to learn about the history and traditions of the Legislative Assembly. The program is designed for outgoing, high-achieving, community-involved students who have demonstrated responsibility and leadership.  Selected students are excused from their school to serve their term of duty as Legislative Pages.  While at Queen’s Park, they are under the direction of the Page Program Coordinator who is a certified Ontario teacher.  Pages receive an honorarium of $15.00 per day during their term of duty. On-line applications accepted from September 15th until November 15th.

International Languages Elementary and African Heritage
In an increasingly globalized world, it is important to set our students on the path to being active global citizens. The TDSB takes great pride in providing International Languages and African Heritage programs to all students from K to Grade 8. No background knowledge is necessary and we encourage students to explore all languages. Term 1 language classes are offered from September 21 - December 17, 2015. Term 2 language classes are offered from January 4 - June 19, 2016.
Please note additional language classes may be offered, provided there is a minimum of 23 students registered. Click  on Brochure.

Other dates to remember
Ontario Universities Fair – September 25-27 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily – Metro Toronto Convention Centre. For more information, click
Learn4Life adult general interest classes start Sept 19th. There's still time to register

Caring and Safe Schools Week September 14 – 25, 2015
This year, September 14-25 is Caring and Safe Schools Weeks 2015. During this time, we focus on caring and safe school initiatives and also promoting and celebrating the outstanding partnerships and programs that promote harmony and respect in our schools. 
During Caring and Safe Schools weeks, we focus on promoting a positive school climate, reiterating the Board’s support of bullying prevention and intervention practices and promoting the activities of our Caring, Safe and Accepting Schools Teams. 
All of us have a part to play in making and keeping schools safe. By working together, we can provide learning environments that are caring, safe, accepting, respectful and inclusive, where students can acquire the knowledge, skills and values they need to become responsible members of their communities. More information on our policies and programs can be found by visiting

Have a great second week!
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