Keeping you engaged and informed
Keeping you engaged and informed
Ward 11 Weekly Update header
Week of December 9, 2019 

Labour Negotiations Update

All updates will be posted on the TDSB website -
ETFO: Phase 2 Job Action to Begin on Tuesday, December 10
Friday, December 06, 2019
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced today that, in addition to the Phase 1 Work-to-Rule Strike Protocol currently in place, its members will begin Phase 2 on Tuesday, December 10, 2019.
ETFO’s Phase 2 Work-to-Rule Strike Protocol includes, but is not limited to:
  • Not planning any new field trips scheduled to occur before June 30, 2020
  • Not collecting monies or participating in the electronic collection of monies for school-based activities except those for charitable causes
  • Not distributing any memos/letters from a school and/or school board
A full list of ETFO’s Phase 2 work-to-rule sanctions is available online.
As this job action continues to be a partial withdrawal of services and not a full strike, elementary schools will remain open and instructional programs will continue. However, should the work-to-rule progress to include further sanctions, it may have a more significant impact on school activities, permits and school operations. If there is a full withdrawal of services or a full strike by elementary teachers, the TDSB would be required to close schools as there would not be a sufficient number of staff to supervise students and ensure their safety.
As a result of the job action, principals and vice-principals in our schools will continue to take on additional tasks. We appreciate the patience and understanding of parents/guardians during this time.
At this time, negotiations between ETFO, OPSBA and the Ontario government continue and we are hopeful that an agreement can be reached soon.
OSSTF: Another One-Day Walkout Announced for Wednesday, December 11 - Friday, December 06, 2019 
Dear Secondary Parents/Guardians,
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) has announced today, should a tentative agreement not be reached, its members (teachers and education workers) will conduct another one-day walkout (full withdrawal of services) at a number of school boards, including the Toronto District School Board, on Wednesday, December 11, 2019. They will return to work on Thursday, December 12, 2019.
Should the walkout take place, the TDSB would, once again, have no other option but to close all secondary schools (Grade 9 to 12) to students, including Adult Day Schools and Night Schools offering secondary credits, as there would not be sufficient supervision to ensure their safety. All classes, including secondary e-Learning classes, and any out-of-school activities (e.g. field trips, sports, etc.) would be cancelled. As a result, parents/guardians should make alternate arrangements for their children if required. General Interest and Adult ESL courses would not be impacted.
OSSTF is in negotiations with the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) to achieve new collective agreements for secondary teachers and education workers (including Child and Youth Workers, Psychologists, Social Workers and Speech-Language Pathologists).
Should there be any significant updates, we will communicate directly with parents/guardians. As always, for ongoing labour updates, please visit the TDSB website and follow @tdsb on Twitter.
Robin Pilkey, Chair of the Board        John Malloy, Director of Education 
A tentative agreement on a new contract was reached with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and we are hopeful that a new contract can be negotiated with ETFO, OSSTF and all other school board employee groups. 
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, involving both central and local bargaining. Learn more about the process more information, visit the OPSBA website for the latest updates on central bargaining
The TDSB is currently bargaining locally with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). We anticipate local bargaining with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) in the near future and with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) in the next two weeks.

Board Meeting This Week

Due to the OSSTF labour action set for Wednesday December 11, the Board Meeting has been postponed to Thursday, December 12 with public session starting at 5:00 pm.
For the revised agenda, please check

Qs & As - Optional Attendance and Secondary Program Review

Given a few e-mails I have been receiving I'd like to provide further clarification on both the Optional Attendance Policy that is currently being reviewed to ensure consistency with the TDSB’s Mission, Values and Goals Policy, the Equity Policy and the Board’s Multi-Year Strategic Plan and the Secondary Program Review.
In the workplan for the review of the Optional Attendance Policy, it was recommended to separate and clarify provisions related to requests for Regular Schools vs. Specialized Schools/Programs. This working draft Policy that is currently in consultation would only apply to Regular Schools and schools with French programs. A separate draft Policy on Specialized Programs will be developed and posted in January/February for feedback and comment. There are no changes to the Optional Attendance Policy for September 2020.
Attendance at Schools Outside of Designated Attendance Area (formerly Optional Attendance) (P013)
Closes - February 03, 2020Draft Policy -
Q&A Optional Attendance
1. Why is the Optional Attendance policy being reviewed? Optional attendance is a TDSB process outlined in Policy P013 that allows students to apply to attend schools other than their designated school by home address, including specialized schools. As a function of declining enrolment over the years, optional attendance has become widespread across the system. Today, the reality is that past practices of choice combined with the harsh reality of declining enrolment have created inequities where students are opting out of certain schools and neighbourhoods in favour of others.This policy will be reviewed in the 2019-2020 school year to ensure consistency with the TDSB’s Mission, Values and Goals Policy, the Equity Policy and the Board’s Multi-Year Strategic Plan. The Optional Attendance policy has not been fully examined or reviewed since its development in 1999 when the TDSB was created. The review of the Optional Attendance policy and its procedures will be an important component of the Secondary Program Review.  
2. Will optional attendance be eliminated? No. The TDSB has no plans to eliminate optional attendance. TDSB staff recommends having three policies. One for optional attendance (regular schools and schools with intensive French programs), one for specialized programs, and another one for alternative schools. All policies and procedures will establish clear application and admission processes, dates, etc. The Optional Attendance policy is currently under review. To provide feedback, please visit:  
3. Why are you conducting both the Secondary Program Review and Optional Attendance policy review at the same time? Only 52% of our students attend their local schools; therefore, any review of programming at the secondary level requires an examination of current policies and procedures related to admission.  
4. How will future changes to optional attendance affect access to French programming? Changes to the Optional Attendance policy will not affect access to French programming. French pathways may change as new programs are opened or existing programs are consolidated. Optional attendance to schools that offer French programs outside of the designated French pathway will still be an option to families where the requested school has “Limited” status for optional attendance.

Secondary Program Review
Although the public consultations as part of the Secondary Program Review have completed, there is still time to provide your comments via an on-line survey or by e-mail.
Final recommendations may include the following:
  1. Potential consolidation of schools
  2. Relocation or consolidation of existing program(s)
  3. Repurposing of secondary school buildings to address other system needs, i.e. using a secondary school facility for a large elementary school
  4. Different models of school organization, including full-year programming and campus models
The presentation from the consultation is available here -
Q&A Secondary Program Review
1. Why is the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) undertaking a Secondary Program Review at this time? This Review aims to ensure that all students have equitable access to programs and opportunities, as close to home as possible. Some secondary schools are operating with fewer than 500 students, resulting in limited course choices and limited opportunities for students. The current and projected enrolments at the secondary panel do not support the number of facilities in operation. The current utilization rate of TDSB secondary schools is 78.6%, the equivalent of close to 20,000 surplus pupil places.
2. What is the vision of this Review? The vision for the Secondary Program Review includes fewer schools with stronger programming, and increased access to courses that support all pathways, including apprenticeship and the workplace. It also supports the revitalization of neighbourhood secondary schools, many of which, over time, have experienced significant enrolment decline.
3. Is the TDSB looking to close secondary schools to reduce its budget? The Secondary Program Review aims to ensure that all students have equitable access to programs and opportunities, as close to home as possible. In order to achieve that, the Board will consider potential consolidation and/or relocation of schools. Although reducing its budget is not the reason why this Review is being conducted, the consolidation and/or closure of schools would result in savings that can be invested on other areas, including fixing our schools and investing in existing programs.
4. Will the TDSB be naming specific schools for closure? No. Although the Secondary Program Review will provide recommendations that may include school closures or consolidation, relocation or consolidation of existing programs, and repurposing of secondary school buildings to address system needs, the recommendations will be made without naming specific schools. The needs of the system will be identified by geographical cluster. School closures must follow the Ministry of Education’s Pupil Accommodation Review process. Currently, the Ministry has a moratorium on school closures. Once the moratorium is lifted, affected school communities will be notified and invited to participate in a consultation process.
5. What are the different types of programs currently offered at the TDSB? Currently, the TDSB has 111 secondary schools including:
  • Neighbourhood secondary schools
  • Technical and Commercial Schools
  • Alternative Schools
  • Specialized Schools
  • Congregated Special Education Schools
  • Adult Education Centres (EdVance programs)
  • Specialized programs accommodated within a number of secondary schools
  • French Immersion and Extended French programs accommodated within a number of secondary schools
6. Are there plans to eliminate Specialized Programs? There are no plans to eliminate Specialized Programs. TDSB staff’s recommendations may include the creation or duplication of Specialized Programs in parts of the city where they do not exist, the consolidation of existing programs to support program viability, and the relocation of programs to ensure equity of access. As well, the Review will look at current admissions practices and criteria to increase equity of access across the system.
7. How long will it take to conduct the Secondary Program Review? The Secondary Program Review is underway. Monthly updates will be provided at Committee of the Whole meetings throughout the 2019-2020 school year. A final report will be presented to the Board of Trustees in June 2020. 
8. Will students be consulted as part of the Secondary Program Review? Yes, in addition to the feedback we received from the Student Voice consultations that the TDSB conducted in 2016-2017, we are planning to engage students in Grades 7-12 from schools across the TDSB. 
9. Will information about the Secondary Program Review be translated into other languages? The TDSB website, including the Secondary Program Review page, can be translated into several languages. Visitors to the site can click on the “Translate” button in the top right corner of the screen and select their preferred language. If you would like to receive a survey translated into another language, please contact  
10. Where can I get updated information? Please continue to visit the Secondary Program Review page for regular updates.
Feedback on Optional Attendance & the Secondary Program Review: Send questions or comments directly to You can do the survey here

Access to Free Menstrual Products Update

The TDSB recognizes that students’ lack of access to proper hygiene products, especially before they enter secondary school, can cause significant health issues. In line with our ongoing commitment to providing equity of access to learning opportunities for all students, starting in early December, there will be an initiative in place to support these needs on an emergency basis school to school. This initiative follows a Board motion (August 28, 2019) to secure access to free menstrual products and build on established and new partnerships with our approved donor Brands for Canada, a non-profit organization.  
This partnership has been further enhanced to provide a variety of other personal hygiene products to students including toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and more. By providing these necessary products for students, we hope to increase students’ comfort and participation in school and improve their overall health and well-being. 
These products will be delivered to schools in phases: first middle, alternative schools and secondary schools followed by elementary schools. There will also be a focus on health education about menstruation and period stigma. Once schools have received their first box of personal care and menstrual products, they will be able to re-order directly from the donor (Brands for Canada). Schools will make local decisions about the best way to communicate and share the included supplies with students who may need them. 

Welcome Clarity M. Smoke TDSB’s First Indigenous Student Trustee! 

We are pleased to announce that the Toronto Indigenous Youth Council (TIYC) has decided that Clarity M. Smoke, a Grade 9 student at Monarch Park C.I., will be TDSB’s first Indigenous Student Trustee. Clarity will be welcomed and recognized at the upcoming Regular Board meeting.  
Clarity has been actively involved in raising awareness of Indigenous history and culture within post-secondary institutions, political agencies and community organizations. While in the position of Indigenous Student Trustee, she would love to introduce more Indigenous Knowledge into the education curriculum as well as providing more voices like hers to be heard when dealing with racial issues and situations. 
Clarity joins our other two student trustees - Adnan Habib, grade 11 student currently attending R.H King Academy and Ivy Deng, grade 12 student at Earl Haig Secondary School as colleagues around the table - and I look forward to continuing to support student voice.

PISA 2018

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results released December 3 indicate that Canadian students remain among the top 10 performers in the world. Of the 79 countries and economies that participated in PISA 2018, Canada ranked fourth in reading, 10th in mathematics and sixth in science. Ontario ranked second in Canada in Reading & Math results, and third in Science results. Most importantly, the Impact of socio-economic status on PISA 2018 is less in Ontario (4.8%) compared to Canada (6.7%) & OECD average (12%) in spite of the fact that Ontario has highest percentage of immigrant students in Canada. That said, there are still opportunities to improve. One in seven Canadian students tested scored at the lowest levels in reading, and the gap in achievement between girls and boys persists.
To read more about Canada, click here
Please note that not all educators feel PISA is beneficial - many academics and educators critique PISA as an economic measurement, not an educational one. 

Worth Repeating

2019 - 2020 School Council Learning Opportunities

Each of your offices has a binder of resources for School Councils that you are welcome to borrow - and hopefully by the end of the week a USB key with the same information to make it easier to search and print from.
Learning opportunities have been organized for School Council 101, ByLaws and Effectiveness. Please find below the dates, times, locations and share broadly.
Date LC Location Time Room Topic
Dec 10 3 Woburn CI 6:00 – 9:00 105 School Council 101
Jan 9 4 Central Tech 6:00 – 9:00 102 School Council 101
Jan 16 1 John Polanyi 6:00 – 9:00 117 School Council ByLaws
Jan 23 2 Drewry SS 6:00 – 9:00 102 School Council ByLaws
Jan 28 3 Woburn CI 6:00 – 9:00 105 School Council ByLaws
Feb 4 4 Central Tech 6:00 – 9:00 102 School Council ByLaws
Feb 13 1 John Polanyi 6:00 – 9:00 120 School Council Effectiveness
Feb 20 2 Drewry SS 6:00 – 9:00 102 School Council Effectiveness
Feb 26 3 Woburn CI 6:00 – 9:00 105 School Council Effectiveness
Mar 5 4 Central Tech 6:00 – 9:00 102 School Council Effectiveness
And the presentations from PIAC's Ready. Set. Engage. Event from November 16 are now posted online - you can click on them here -

Policy Consultations

We Want to Hear From You
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is committed to open and inclusive policy decision-making and values community input and participation through consultation. Consultation is a two-way communication process between the Board and external participants, including students and their parents/guardians, school councils, advisory committees, community members, different levels of government, service agencies, professional organizations and union partners. The objective of consultation is to gather public input regarding options, alternative courses of action, as well as to identify unintended effects for various participants and to find solutions. 
Current Policy Review Schedule

Attendance at Schools Outside of Designated Attendance Area (formerly Optional Attendance) (P013) As per the Secondary Programs Review and the TDSB Policy Review Schedule, the Optional Attendance Policy is currently being reviewed. We are asking all members of the TDSB community for feedback on the proposed draft.
Closes - February 03, 2020
Draft Policy -
Survey -
Objective: To provide policy direction about access to schools outside a student’s designated attendance area. The Optional Attendance policy allows students to apply to schools other than their designated school by home address. This is possible because there is excess capacity at some schools across the system. This has afforded students choice of school and program as well as enabled students to remain with cohorts if a family changes residence. However, optional attendance has prevented equity of access and has created an imbalance of enrolment in our secondary schools (under and over-utilized schools). It has also created an environment where schools are forced to compete with each other to attract more students in hopes of increasing their enrolment.

Note: Please note that in the Review Work Plan that was approved in June 2019, it was recommended to separate and clarify provisions related to requests for Regular Schools vs. Specialized Schools/Programs. This working draft Policy would only apply to Regular Schools and schools with French programs. A separate draft Policy on Specialized Programs will be developed and posted in the coming months for feedback and comment.
Please note - The new draft policy on Specialized Programs will be coming to committee in January 2020.

2020-2021 Optional Attendance 

Information on Optional Attendance
Please note that not all programs/schools are open to Optional Attendance if you do not live in the school's catchment area. Acceptance at these schools is subject to space availability and program suitability. The procedures, conditions and timelines relating to optional attendance are described in the Optional Attendance Policy and the Optional Attendance Operational Procedure.
Each year in December, schools are classified as limited or closed to optional attendance based on the space they have available for the upcoming school year.
Elementary Schools (applying for September 2020 admission)
For the form, click here Applications must be received by Friday, February 14, 2020.
Secondary Schools (applying for September 2020 admission)
For the Form, click here  Applications must be received by Friday, January 31, 2020.
Note: It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to deliver this application (no faxed or scanned copies) to the school or schools of choice.
NOTE - the Optional Attendance Status for 2020 - 2021 has now been updated on the school websites. Find your school here -

High School Information Nights

To help you make an informed decision when choosing a school, TDSB schools host open houses and information nights for parents and students each year between October and January. Learn everything you need to know about our incredible variety of schools, programs and courses. Please click here for the schedule you have questions about a specific school or open house, please contact the school directly for more information.

French Programs

While admission to the Early French Immersion (SK entry)/Junior Extended French (Grade 4 entry) program is guaranteed at the entry points to all on time applicants, admission to a specific school is not guaranteed if the school reaches capacity.
Please Note: At the November Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees approved to leave transportation status quo for the 2020-2021 school year. Therefore, there will be no service changes for transportation in K-8 in French Immersion/Extended French programs for the 2020-2021 school year.
For families interested in the Toronto District School Board's French Immersion or Extended French programs, we offer an online process at this time, we guarantee an offer of placement in the program (not a specific school) to all on-time applicants. The application for Early Immersion has closed. Applications for Junior Extended French which begins in Grade 4 must be completed online between January 6, 2020 and January 31, 2020. Please note that this will be the last entry class for this program as it will be transitioning out - Grade 4 Immersion Program will continue.
Offers of placement within your chosen program will be made to all on-time applicants in the weeks following the close of the application window. Please click here for more information -
And please click here for information on the French Review -

School Year Calendar 2019-2020

The 2019-2020 school year at the TDSB begins on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 following the Labour Day long weekend. For more information about important dates and holidays for the upcoming school year, please refer to the 2019-20 School Year Calendar.

The official school year calendar for the Toronto District School Board runs from September 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020, inclusive.
  • The last day of class for elementary students is June 25, 2020
  • The last day of class for secondary (full year) students is June 23, 2020
  • The last day of class for secondary (semestered) students is June 23, 2020
PA Days & Statutory Holidays
  • Winter Break  December 23, 2019 to January 3, 2020 (inclusive) 
  • Last day of school is December 20, 2019
  • School resumes January 6, 2020
  • Elementary PA Day  January 17, 2020
  • Secondary PA Day (Semestered Schools only) January 30, 2020 
  • Board-wide PA Day February 14, 2020
  • Family Day  February 17, 2020
  • March Break  March 16 to 20, 2020
  • Good Friday  April 10, 2020     
  • Easter Monday  April 13, 2020
  • Victoria Day  May 18, 2020
  • Elementary School PA Day  June 5, 2020
  • Secondary School PA Day (Full Year Schools only) June 24, 2020
  • Secondary School PA Day  June 25, 2020
  • Board-wide PA Day June 26, 2020
Also please note - 
  • Hanukkah begins sunset of Sunday, December 22, 2019 and ends before nightfall of Monday, December 30, 2019
  • Passover begins sunset of  Wednesday, April 8, 2020 and ends nightfall of Thursday, April 16, 2020
  • Ramadan 2020 will begin in the evening of Thursday, April 23, 2020 and ends in the evening of Saturday, May 23, 2020 (dates may vary)
  • Eid al-Fitr 2020 will begin in the evening of Saturday, May 23, 2020
Gr. 9 Math: 1st Semester: January 13-24, 2020
Gr. 9 Math:  2nd Semester: June 2-15, 2020
OSSLT:  March 31, 2020
Primary/Junior EQAO:  May 19-June 1, 2020

Also please note Days of Significance - click for the complete list 2019-2020
You may also find this Days of Significance Resource Guide helpful
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