Keeping you engaged and informed
Keeping you engaged and informed
Ward 11 Weekly Update header
Week of September 6, 2016 - Welcome Back
In Memorium - Jeff Mann
It is with great sadness that I let you know of the death of much-loved Deer Park PS teacher Jeff Mann, who passed away unexpectedly last week. Jeff was a caring and key member of the Deer Park PS team for 15 years. As their gym teacher and leader of their student of the month assemblies, he knew and interacted with most students and will be remembered as a dedicated educator who, over the years, made strong connections with all those he encountered. Jeff will be sorely missed by staff, parents and students alike.

As a small gesture to honour Mr Mann, the Deer Park Parent Council is asking students to wear blue, Deer Park's school colours and Mr. Mann's favourite, on Tuesday to help students feel connected and express their gratitude and grief. Superintendent Ian Allison and social workers from the TDSB will be at the school Tuesday to support Principal Waldman, Vice-Principal Clarke, the staff, students and community.

I know you join me in expressing our deepest condolences to Mr Mann's grieving family, friends and the entire Deer Park community. May his memory be a blessing.

May Your Year be Filled...
Over the last few days I have been enjoying so many "tweets" from schools with comments and pictures on how they are ready to welcome students and look forward to a wonderful year ahead. If you're using twitter, please follow along @tdsb and use #TDSBfirstday. If I am not following you, please send me a quick e-mail to add you... I am always pleased to retweet the excellence in our schools.
As mentioned in last week's update, there are also new resource-friendly pages for both parents and students on the TDSB website. They can act as a one-stop resource page for all the information you need to know for the start of the year including school year calendar, homework tips, contact information and more. There are many other great resources that support parents, guardians and students getting ready for back to school. I have previously mentioned a few from KidsHelpPhone and others. People for Education also has tip sheets available in 15 languages. To access them, please click here.
I am very proud to be a Trustee on the TDSB... and am happy to share two awesome videos posted on the TDSB Official YouTube channel. There is a system-wide welcome back video that highlights the TDSB and Director John Malloy has also made a video specifically for students. Please enjoy!
What else is new this year? At the TDSB, honouring and continuing building respect between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples is a priority and as it is customary to acknowledge the Traditional and Ancestral lands of Aboriginal peoples at the beginning of events, gatherings and meetings... beginning this year, all schools will start their day with an acknowledgement of the territories. If you are interested in knowing more, please click here.
Wishing you all a wonderful "Labour Day"...

System Reorganization - mid-September

School Superintendents have been working with principals to prepare for the upcoming school year. Please remember that the teacher, class and room assignment for all students can be tentative as they are determined based on projected enrolments. Placements are subject to change in the event of enrolment fluctuations and staff changes which may result in reorganization within the school in mid-September.
In terms of staffing, FDK classes are funded at a system average of 26 students; this year the Ministry is asking that classes not be greater than 30, but as we know in our Ward, it is difficult to manage within the space allocated within the school. Grade 1 to Grade 3 classes are capped at 20 students for 90% of classes and at 23 students for 10% of classes; Grades 4 – 8 are required to have a system average class size of 23.24 students. A system wide average class size of 21.7 is projected to be achieved in secondary schools. It's important to remember that the average is not a cap but an average across the whole school board, so some classes may be larger, some may be smaller, and some may be combined. Regardless, teachers, ECEs and support staff will do everything they can to deliver the best possible education to ensure students are supported so they may achieve their full potential. Reorganization will take place in mid-September. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak with your Principal.

A Vision for Learning for 2016-17 (from the TDSB website)
Our Commitment is Equity of Access and Outcome for All Students

TDSB is committed to creating an equitable school system where the achievement and well-being of every student is fostered through rich,culturally authentic learning experiences in diverse, accepting environments where all are included, every voice is heard, and every experience is honoured. Each school will determine a learning focus in three areas: equity, well-being and achievement. In addition to identifying the three focus areas, this process will include engaging in the learning to support student improvement in these areas, determining the evidence and data to be collected and monitoring progress.
Of particular interest to parents/guardians, our goal is that we support students in our schools so that we are serving them effectively. If issues arise and parents/guardians have concerns, the principal feels supported to work through these concerns. If the concern continues to exist, our superintendents have the ability to consult, collaborate and listen, and then resolve the issue in collaboration with the parent and principal, while always keeping the school’s trustee informed of what is happening.
We believe the Learning Centre Strategy will support everyone more effectively because of the relationships that will form through the centres between system staff, school staff, parents/guardians, communities and trustees.

Our Expectations
  • Removal of any bias and systemic barriers that are hindering student achievement and well-being
  • All students reading by the end of Grade 1
  • All staff learning in teams leading to improved instruction and service
  • All students experiencing a sense of belonging in their school, supported by a caring adult
  • All students experiencing deep learning opportunities, supported by technology, leading to improved achievement
  • All students graduating
 Learn more in the A Vision for Learning in TDSB document.

TDSB Meetings This Week - Items of Interest

2016 Ontario Assessments of Reading, Writing and Mathematics Released
Provincial results for the 2015-16 reading, writing and mathematics assessments were released by Ontario’s Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) this week. The results are for the Primary Division (Grades 1-3), Junior Division (Grades 4-6) and the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics. Read highlights from the EQAO report.
While provincial EQAO results were released this week, EQAO results for the Toronto District School Board will not be released until September 21, 2016. Across the province, we know that math has been a challenge for a number of students and the results over recent years have reflected that. At the TDSB, we continually focus attention on improving results by creating targeted programs and initiatives to support all students to succeed. Once EQAO results are released on September 21, we will review the results in detail to determine next steps and what additional supports we can put in place for our students. You may be interested in reading the recent article No, Teaching Math the "Old"-Fashioned Way Won't Work: Paul Wells in the Toronto Star. 

HOLD the Date - First Ward 11 Forum September 29
Our first Ward Forum of the 2016-17 school year will be held on September 29th, location TBD. We are looking to feature an inter-active presentation on "Coding".  And we will need to elect new Ward representatives to both the Parent Involvement Advisory Committee (Information on PIAC is available by clicking here) and the French as a Second Language Advisory Committee (information on FSLAC here). it is important that our Ward is represented at the table. If you are an interested parent who would like to interact directly with trustees and senior staff at the Board level to provide us with your best advice, please contact me for more information. 
Please hold November 28th for the next Ward Forum. Do you have any ideas for a presentation or topic you wish to be discussed? I'd be happy to hear from you.

Worth Repeating...
Public Open House Concerning New School, Child Care and Midtown Hub at Davisville Junior Public School/Spectrum Alternative Sr School - Tuesday, September 20, 2016 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Hodgson Senior Public School 282 Davisville Drive (Gymnasium)
Parents and residents of the Davisville/Spectrum community are encouraged to attend a public open house at Hodgson Sr PS to receive information about the status of the project and provide community feedback on site planning parameters for the design of a new school, child care and midtown hub. Shortly following this public open house, consultants will begin preparing options for review by TDSB and narrowing of options.  A New School Review Team (NSRT), including representatives from the school and local community, will be formed to review, comment on and sign off a preferred option.
   
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