Keeping you engaged and informed
Keeping you engaged and informed
Ward 11 Weekly Update header
Week of October 3, 2016 
A Little Earlier This Week as Preparing for Rosh Hashanah 5777
You're receiving this a little earlier today as I will be observing Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) beginning the evening of Sunday, October 2. To all those celebrating “Shanah tovah”(שנה טובה), which means “Good year.” To learn more, click here.

PA Day this Friday for School Based Staff
As you may know, there is a Board-wide Professional Activity Day on October 7, 2016. School-based staff will be focusing on Compliance and Mandatory Training and School-Based Professional Learning which will include the School Improvement Planning Process and the Kindergarten Program 2016. 

October at the TDSB - Celebrating Islamic Heritage Month, Somali Heritage Month and Women's Hertiage Month (from the TDSB website)
In recognition of “the important contributions of Canadian Muslims to Canadian society, the cultural diversity of the Canadian Muslim community and the importance of Canadians learning about each other to foster greater social cohesion,” the Government of Canada officially declared October as Islamic History Month in 2007. And in June 2016, the TDSB Board of Trustees resolved that the month of October, in each year be declared as Islamic Heritage Month. The TDSB affirms our commitment to celebrating Islamic Heritage Month, and encourages students and staff to take this opportunity to learn about the history, heritage and diversity of our Muslim fellow Canadians. Islamic Heritage Month is an occasion to improve our knowledge about the many contributions of Muslim Canadians to the building of Canada’s democratic society through their work in the areas of political and social justice.
The TDSB affirms our commitment to celebrating Somali Heritage Month, and encourages students and staff to take this opportunity to learn about the history, heritage and diversity of the Somali heritage. As well as celebrating, facilitating and encouraging education excellence with Canadian students of Somali descent, Canadians of Somali descent have made and continue to make significant contributions to the City of Toronto, province of Ontario and Canadian society at large. The month of October will provide an opportunity for Somali-heritage communities to share their vibrant culture and traditions with the TDSB communities and the City of Toronto.
In October 1929, women in Canada won the right to be recognized as “persons” by law, with the right to hold public office.  Since then, women of all backgrounds and walks of life, from Indigenous peoples to New Canadians, have worked tirelessly to promote equal rights and freedoms for women in the public and private domain. Women’s History Month is an opportunity for all our schools and workplaces to improve our knowledge of women’s achievements and their contribution to the building of our democratic society.  It is also a chance to learn about women’s experiences and struggles around the world to achieve social justice on issues of poverty, discrimination, abuse and tyranny.  Such knowledge not only gives us the resolve to work together for a world of peace and prosperity for all, but also to commit ourselves to the values of respect and equality in our relationships with each other, in our own schools and communities. Women’s History Month will also give recognition to the heroic women of our communities who do extraordinary things every day to nurture and guide our children, who support our schools, and who work hard to preserve our neighbourhoods and our valued institutions. As we learn more about the history and achievements of women in our society and in our world, we commit ourselves to making such knowledge and understanding an ongoing feature of our teaching and learning environment for all students. 

Ward Forum - PIAC and FSLAC Elections and Coding and the Student Voice
Congratulations and thank you to Nadia Sapiro (parent at McMurrich) confirmed as the Representative for Ward 11 and Katia El kassem (parent at Eglinton)  confirmed as Alternate for the Parent Involvement Advisory Committee (PIAC). And thank you to Maureen Burnett (parent in French Immersion at Davisville) who is our Ward Representative on the French as a Second Language Adviosry Committee (FSLAC). Should you be interested in being an Alternate to the committee, please let me know. 
Zélia Capitão-Tavares, teacher from McMurrich JPS and her students made a wonderful inter-active presentation on "Coding and the Student Voice" - it was a wonderful experience for parents, Principals, Vice-Principals, Superitendents and your Trustee all learning to code from students and their teacher! I have included a link to the presentation The session was taped and will be up this week for those unable to attend.

Parent Reaching Out Grants (PRO Grants)
Since 2006, the government has supported over 19,500 PRO Grants to school councils and 799 regional/provincial PRO Grants. Congratulations to the schools in Ward 11 who were successful this year. Please let me know when the sessions are scheduled so I can let the broader community know should you wish to open these up to neighbouring schools.

Brown Jr PS

Parent Speaker Series


A series of presentations for parents on a variety of topics that support student well-being and a positive school climate, such as mental health, internet safety, and bullying

Cedarvale Community S

Shifting Our School Culture


A workshop for parents on various topics identified by parents to support their children's achievement and wellbeing.

Cottingham Jr PS

Understanding Learning Differences


An interactive session for parents to understand differences in learning and provide tools to help parents support their children's learning

Davisville Jr PS

Serene Students: Simple Strategies for Sunnier Schools


Healthy living presentation for parents on the importance of balanced nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices in support of student success and well-being

Forest Hill CI

Coming Together, Learning Together


Sessions presented in multiple languages for newcomer parents to encourage participation in the school community and provide information to help support student achievement and well-being

Forest Hill Jr & Sr PS

Parent Resource Library


Parent resources with information on school and community resources to help parents support their children's health, success and well-being

Hillcrest Community S

Building a Foundation of Support


A seminar series for parents focusing on family communication to support student success.

Humewood Community S

Family Math Night


A presentation to provide parents with math strategies, ideas, and resources to support student success at home

J R Wilcox Community S

Parent Empowerment


Information sessions on topics such as literacy, numeracy, nutrition and bullying prevention to help parents support student learning at home and build stronger ties between school and community

Maurice Cody Jr PS

Financial Literacy for Parents


Workshop for parents to support their children's financial literacy skills

McMurrich Jr PS

Evening Workshop for Parents and Kids


A series of workshops to provide parents with information, resources and strategies on a variety of topics to support student achievement and well-being, including: literacy, numeracy, technology and mental health

North Toronto CI

Parent Speaker Series


A series of workshops to provide parents with information, resources and strategies on a variety of topics to support student achievement and well-being, including: literacy, numeracy, technology and mental health

Northern SS

Student Success Speaker


A presentation for parents about raising children today, highlighting a variety of topics in support of parent engagement, student achievement, and well-being.

Oriole Park Jr PS

Mental Health Toolkit for Parents


A workshop for parents to help them understand children's emotional and mental health issues and how to support student achievement and well-being

Spectrum Alternative Sr S

Mental Health Workshops


A series of workshops to support parents in understanding mental health and positive self-image, and its impact on student achievement and well-being

West Preparatory Jr PS

Parenting Speaker Series


Presentations on various topics that will provide parents with tools and information to support student achievement and well-being

Winona Drive Sr PS

Overcoming Local Barriers


Information sessions to connect and foster communication with parents on issues that impact student achievement and well-being

Update on Long-Term Program & Accommodation Plan - Studies Involving Ward 11
Pupil Accommodation Review for Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, John Polanyi Collegiate Institute, Oakwood Collegiate Institute, Vaughan Road Academy and York Memorial Collegiate Institute 
On June 22, the Board approved a modified Pupil Accommodation Review for Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, John Polanyi Collegiate Institute, Oakwood Collegiate Institute, Vaughan Road Academy and York Memorial Collegiate Institute due to the low enrolment at Vaughan Road Academy and the associated challenges the school faces in terms of the ability to deliver a strong program for students. To read the report, click here. The modified process requires a minimum of three months to complete and at least one public meeting. The process will include an opportunity for the general public and broader community to review the initial staff report and to provide feedback about the staff’s recommendation.To ensure community voice and encourage participation, two public meeting dates have been scheduled -
  • Thursday, October 13 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 18 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Both meetings will be held at Vaughan Road Academy, gymnasium, 529 Vaughan Road. In addition to attending the public meetings you can stay informed by visiting the TDSB’s website at From the drop-down menu, select: Pupil Accommodation 
Reviews 2015 and then Forest Hill CI, John Polanyi CI, Oakwood CI, Vaughan Rd. Academy and York Memorial CI.

Program Area Review (PART) for Deer Park Jr & Sr PS, Rosedale Jr PS and Whitney Jr PS

LTPAS identified a study to resolve an existing and future accommodation pressures at Deer Park Jr & Sr School. Currently, Whitney Jr PS and Rosedale JR PS are feeders to Deer Park JR & Sr PS. Due to the artificial turf field and playground Deer Park is unable to place portables at the school site. Deer Park will require an accommodation solution for the 2017/2018 school year. Whitney would convert to a JK-8 school and Rosedale would feed into Whitney instead of to Deer Park. Whitney Jr PS is currently operating at a utilization rate of 70% and has available classroom space. The Program Area Review Team is beginning to meet - a public meeting has been scheduled 

  • Thursday, October 20 6:30 p.m. at Rosedale JPS

Davisville/Spectrum Rebuild Update
The Meeting Notes with the answers to questions posed at the meeting is now posted to the site. Click here. I will continue to keep you posted as the project moves forward.

Join the conversation about Equity in the TDSB
The TDSB is a leader in equity and, to continue to improve student achievement and well-being, we must take a more strategic approach. Our vision is to create equitable learning environments to close the gaps and raise expectations for everyone. To do that, we have developed a draft Integrated Equity Framework Action Plan that will be the foundation for a system-wide, cultural shift. Real change will happen because schools will be empowered to address their own unique circumstances with the right tools, resources and supports from the larger system. This will create the conditions to improve student achievement and well-being. 

This is only the beginning of the conversation. Your voice and perspective will help inform the work that makes this vision a reality. Please learn more online, take a look at the framework (or the summary version) and share your feedback online or join us at an in-person conversation. Your voice and perspective will help inform the work that makes this vision a reality.  

Worth Releating
Toronto — St. Paul's Youth Council - Parents and community - calling all youth and young adults. If you are between 14 and 30, apply to be a member of St. Paul's Youth Council. Please submit your application by September 30th to be considered. Click here.If you have questions, please contact #YouthMatters

School Councils 101: How to Run an Effective School Council - My colleague Ausma Malik has invited parents from other wards to a School Council Information Session. Unfortunately, it is scheduled on the second day of Rosh Hashanna but if you are interested, it is on Tuesday, October 4th 2016, at 6:00PM, at Palmerston Ave Public School, 734 Palmerston Ave. School Council Chairs, executives, interested parents, staff, teachers and community members are welcome! Please RSVP to: .Child care is provided. Refreshments are served. Interpretation upon request.

Note - There are many resources available for School Councils on my website including applicable legislation, policies and parent engagement toolkit. Click here.

Casting Call - From Larissa Mari Casting - We are currently casting an exciting series called Emerald Cove! I am reaching out to you because we are doing a Canada wide search for two new faces to play the leads! The characters we are searching for are Lana and Larry. They are in high school, and best friends forever. They are very smart, they love technology, and they love to sing! They are of aboriginal decent, and they are both 15 years old (to submit you do not have to be 15, just look like you are around 15). Union or Non-Union may apply.This is a fully paid job, Actra rates apply. Here is a link to our website with all of the details on each role and how to submit:

West Prep P.S. 75th Anniversary - October 20 - Have you saved the date?  On Thursday, October 20th, from 7-10pm, West Preparatory P.S. will be celebrating 75 incredible years. Student and staff alumni are invited celebrate. Come tour the school and reminisce as you browse through  “Decade Rooms” prepared by current staff and students. There will be video presentations, guest speakers and refreshments. To learn more or to volunteer, join our Facebook group West Prep 75th anniversary or email the reunion event team at
Model Parliament - Applications will be accepted from September 15th to November 8th, 2015 for the Program February 22-24, 2017 The Legislative Assembly of Ontario Model Parliament is an educational program designed for civic-minded high school students in grades 10 to 12, who are interested in current events and provincial issues. This unique educational experience will bring together 107 students, representing each of the province’s ridings, for a three-day Model Parliament Program in Toronto. To apply, click here.
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