Keeping you engaged and informed
Keeping you engaged and informed
Ward 11 Weekly Update header
Week of June 12, 2016 

Message About Events in Orlando, Florida - from Director John Malloy and Chair Robin Pilkey
"Sadly, we have once again seen another senseless act of violence unfold in the world, this time in Orlando, Florida. The thoughts of the Toronto District School Board community are not only with the victims, families and friends impacted by this act of terror, but the larger LGBTQ community that was targeted by an act of hate. As the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, this story will no doubt be prevalent in the news in the upcoming days. With this in mind, our Professional Support Services staff have prepared the following tips that may help with discussions with your children, who may experience a wide range of reactions and emotions at this time." Please click here to read the tips on the Board website.

Is Davisville Jr PS Building a Heritage Site?
The picture on the right is damage from the latest rains at Davisville PS. Although the roof has been repaired many, many times, its inherent design is completely problematic and when it rains, it leaks.
As many of you know, we first began conversations on rebuilding a larger Davisville/Spectrum School in 2010 – the recommendations came to board in 2012 and a replacement Davisville School was first identified as a Capital Priority for the TDSB in 2012 and it became the board’s number one priority in 2015. The province finally recognized this need by providing $14.7M in capital funding to replace Davisville.
TDSB staff have had a series of meetings with the City Planning, Parks Forestry and Recreation, and Traffic staff to discuss the site plan and confirm the City's commitment to the community hub. Councillor Josh Matlow has been completely supportive of the concept of the Midtown Hub and enhancements to the new school itself including gym expansion; to the need for underground parking to maximize playground and green space; and to the proposal to build an acquatic centre on site. There was discussion around aiming to have both the city’s projects and TDSB’s projects built concurrently. The timelines shared with us by City officials confirmed that the city’s proposed project would go to City Council for approval on July 4, 2016.
And then in mid-May we learned that the City of Toronto Planning Department’s  Heritage Unit requested to visit Davisville PS to take pictures in regard to a report they were preparing to seek a heritage listing for the site. When TDSB staff learned of that intention, they clearly outlined to the City officials from Parks Forestry and Recreation that a heritage designation would cancel the entire community hub project and frankly, jeopardize the Ministry of Education's funding for a new Davisville school.
Staff prepared an Impact Statement and together with the school’s Principal, parents and community representatives we presented at the Heritage Committee on June 2. TDSB staff made it clear to the Committee that although there are those that may consider features of the Davisville building to be significant from a design heritage perspective, they are completely problematic for building functionality or potential safety hazards within the school. The Impact Study summarized the condition of the existing school building as it impacts the ability to effectively run a school – specifically, administrative space; teaching and learning space; gymnasium space; movement and open space as appropriate for the anticipated expanded population as well as the current program expected from TDSB schools.
In my comments, I ensured the committee knew we understood their mandate, and that I respected the fact that according to their criteria, the building components of 43 Millwood Road meet the threshold – But I reminded them we were not speaking about a building with an address on Millwood Road but of an operating school in the Toronto District School Board that rose to number one on the Board’s Capital priority list for a replacement building to support enrolment growth, address facility condition and inadequate learning environments. In other words, their checklists and our checklists simply don’t support each other. As a school, Davisville no longer serves a functional program, and the passage of time has not been kind in this regard. The existing school is inherently is not suited to the current needs of the students in the community. Analysis of the site and facility by both professional staff and architects from the beginning determined that a replacement building was the only responsible and reasonable conclusion. Satisfying Heritage aspects should not imply that the community should be required to work with a lesser educational facility. A Heritage designation would mean we could not rebuild the school. Period. In conversations with Councillor Matlow we know he understands this.
But Toronto Preservation Board has voted unanimously to designate Davisville Public School at 43 Millwood Road. This recommendation now moves to Toronto and East York Community Council on June 14.
Along with the community, we will be speaking to the Community Council to not support the designation. From the Toronto District School Board perspective, approving a heritage designation for Davisville would be a poor business decision, an unacceptable community decision, and a completely misguided public education and city-building decision. 

Background from the Long-Term Program and AccommodationStrategy (LTPAS)
The TDSB has the responsibility to provide strong programs to students in quality learning spaces in schools across Toronto. Managing school facilities is part of that responsibility. School buildings and properties are valuable community assets and the TDSB is committed to managing them to support students and the broader school community.
As part of its annual planning process, the TDSB reviews school facilities to determine facility condition as well as current and projected utilization. Given that many schools were built in the 1950s and 1960s, most major building systems within the schools need to be renewed. Unaddressed repairs in aging schools over time have led to a rapidly increasing renewal backlog. The backlog, approximately $3.5 billion (as of May 2016), is the amount of funding required to bring our buildings back to a good state of repair.
The ongoing challenge for the TDSB is determining how to fund capital requirements including not only renewal, but also new builds and major renovations to address growth pressures. The main source of funding for renewal, new builds and major renovations is through grants from the Ministry of Education. In addition, the Ministry requires school boards to review surplus properties and consider them for sale to generate revenue.
Each year, the TDSB submits a capital budget to the Ministry that sets out how renewal needs and growth pressures will be managed. From 2008-2015, the TDSB received less than 3.8% of Ministry capital grants even though the TDSB supports 12.5% of students in Ontario. In many schools boards, growth pressures are fully supported through government funding and Education Development Charges (EDC). EDCs provide school boards with funds to purchase school sites and cover all related site preparation and development costs that result from growth. The TDSB does not have access to EDCs because the Board has surplus space – the Board’s total elementary or secondary enrolment does not exceed existing school capacity across the city.
The TDSB is faced with the challenge of having both high growth areas and aging neighbourhoods with declining enrolment. This, along with the Ministry’s expectation to generate revenue from the sale of property, has resulted in pressures in certain areas of the system.
Toronto’s Changing Demographics
Since the TDSB operates in a very dynamic and growing city, it is important to plan for the future and be adaptable when needed to respond to unforeseen changes. The TDSB has designed its long-term planning process to be flexible and accommodate this continuous change. For instance, the Long-Term Program and Accommodation Strategy is reviewed and updated each year to consider emergent trends and issues. As part of this annual update, the long-term enrolment projections are recalculated each year to reflect the most recent enrolments, Board decisions on program locations, boundaries and grade ranges, and residential development activity. Staff also conducts a system-wide review of pupil accommodation needs. This analysis includes reviewing operating and closed school sites in all wards with Trustee participation and input.
Staff monitors changes in demographics and neighbourhoods that impact both short-term and long-term enrolment projections to identify potential areas of over and under-utilization. That analysis could lead to reviews that are included in the Long-Term Program and Accommodation Strategy.
Toronto’s population growth is closely monitored to ensure that school capacity is maintained where it could be needed. Future growth could be accommodated by opening previously-closed schools, building new schools, adding additions on existing schools, adding portables on school sites, and changing boundaries to shift students to underutilized schools.
The annual process to update the Long-Term Program and Accommodation Strategy and capital budget ensures the TDSB is responsive in managing Toronto’s changing demographics.
To read the complete LTPAS, coming to the Program & Planning Committee Wednesday for approval, please click here.

Pupil Accommodation Review - Potential Closure of Vaughan Road Academy (PARC)
The Board’s Long-Term Program & Accommodation Strategy also examines areas of the City where declining enrolment has resulted in the underutilization of schools. A Pupil Accommodation Review involves studying a school or group of schools where significant underutilization and low enrolment impact the Board’s ability to deliver strong programming.
At this week's Policy and Planning Meeting, there is a recommendation to establish a Pupil Accommodation Review, or ‘PARC’, for the following secondary schools: Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, John Polanyi Collegiate Institute, Oakwood Collegiate Institute, Vaughan Road Academy, and York Memorial Collegiate Institute; and that the review proceed as a Modified Pupil Accommodation Review process as per the Accommodation and Program Review Policy P068.
Because of government policy change directives, PARCs now begin with a staff recommendation - in this case, the Local Feasibility Team is recommending that Vaughan Road Academy be closed effective 30 June 2017, and that students be accommodated at nearby TDSB secondary schools.
The Local Feasibility Team is recommending this option for the following reasons:
  • Enrolment at Vaughan Road Academy has declined to a point where the ability to deliver a strong secondary program is severely compromised.
  • Projections suggest that enrolment at Vaughan Road Academy is not anticipated to increase over the short or long-term.
  • Nearby TDSB secondary schools have sufficient capacity to accommodate the additional enrolment expected as a result of this closure.
  • Secondary students residing within the catchment area of Vaughan Road Academy have chosen and continue to choose other TDSB secondary schools and programs over their local school.
  • Given that students currently choose other schools for a variety of reasons, the accommodation impacts on the receiving schools are anticipated to be minimal.
  • Specialized programs currently offered at Vaughan Road Academy can be relocated to other TDSB facilities with available space (Oakwood CI and John Polanyi CI).
  • There is an adequate geographic distribution of secondary school sites in the area to accommodate potential long-term enrolment growth, if necessary.
  • Oakwood CI is currently underutilized and has been designated as the school to receive the majority of the Vaughan Road Academy catchment area. This will enhance program opportunities for students at that school while improving the utilization of the facility.
Under the option being put forward by staff, the existing elementary feeder schools to Vaughan Road Academy would be directed to other TDSB secondary schools as described below.
  • Forest Hill CI would receive Cedarvale CS as an elementary feeder school.
  • Oakwood CI would receive Humewood CS (Regular track), JR Wilcox CS and Rawlinson CS (Regular track and Extended French) as elementary feeder schools. Note that Humewood CS and Rawlinson CS also accommodate Early French Immersion programs that have been directed to Harbord CI at Grade 9.
  • York Memorial CI would receive Fairbank PS as an elementary feeder school. Note that a cohort of Grade 8 Fairbank PS graduates are currently directed to York Memorial CI by address (split attendance area). The accommodation option proposed by staff would align the entire Fairbank PS attendance area with York Memorial CI.
To read the complete report, please click here.

Other Recommendations regarding School Closure
Sometimes, as a result of changes in demographics or school board operations, it may be determined that a site owned by the TDSB but is not being used as an operating school is no longer required for future use and can be declared surplus to the needs of the board and sold. Proceeds of sales would be applied to the TDSB’s Capital Renewal Backlog. At this week's Planning & Priorities Committee the following recommendations are being proposed by staff -
  • That Buttonwood Hill (100 Allanhurst Drive) and Sir Robert L. Borden BTI (200 Poplar Road) be declared surplus to the needs of the Toronto District School Board and referred to the Toronto Lands Corporation for sale;
  • That McNicoll (155 McNicoll Avenue) and Silver Creek (65 Hartsdale Drive) be declared surplus to the needs of the Toronto District School Board, and that in order to preserve the current community services operating in these schools, over the next few months, Toronto District School Board staff continue discussions with the Province on ownership of these sites and report back to Board on the outcome of those discussions; 
  • That Thistletown (925 Albion Road) be declared surplus to the needs of the Toronto District School Board, and that over the next few months, Toronto District School Board staff hold discussions with the City on ownership of this site and report back to Board on the outcome of those discussions; and
  • That Nelson A. Boylen Collegiate Institute be closed effective 30 June 2016;
Also on the agenda are the results of the Program Area Review that included Alexander Muir/Gladstone Avenue Junior & Senior Public School, Givins//Shaw Junior Public School, Queen Victoria Public School, and The Grove Community School; and recommendations from the Eastern Commerce PARC that include:
  • That Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute be closed effective 30 June 2016;
  • That Greenwood Secondary School be relocated into the Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute building and School of Life Experience (SOLE) be relocated into the Monarch Park Collegiate Institute building, effective 1 September 2017; and
  • That the existing commercial boundaries for Monarch Park Collegiate Institute and Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute be eliminated effective 30 June 2016.
Jerry Chadwick, Trustee Ward 22, Scarborough East elected 1st Vice-President of OPSBA
At the Annual General Meeting this past weekend in OttawaJerry Chadwick was elected 1st Vice-President of OPSBA receiving the support of boards across the province. The "Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) represents 31 public district school boards and 10 public school authorities across Ontario, which together serve more than 1.2 million public elementary and secondary students. The Association advocates on behalf of the best interests and needs of the public school system in Ontario." 
Over the course of the two-day session, we learned alongside Director Mallow and fellow trustees Gerri Gershon and Parthi Kandavel and other trustees and staff from public school boards across the province. Key Note speaker David Usher spoke to creativity as a learned skill... but the key is to focus on the structure first - and then the creativity will come. I immediately thought of the new Learning Centres and as I was sitting next to Director Malloy he agreed! Learning Centres will provide the structure for collaboration and engagement. Sandra Herbst spoke to system alignment for deep learning stressing that leadership comes from all levels of the organization - and again, emphasized leadership and assessment of leadership is key. 14 boards, including TDSB presented on key initiatives - we spoke to newcomer services. 

Continuing and International Education - Adult ESL
In response to media reports that COSTI Immigrant Services will not be able to provide summer adult ESL, I am proud that Director Malloy has informed us that the TDSB has reached out to COSTI and offered to accept  all newcomer learners wishing to join TDSB’s Adult ESL classes this summer. In addition, we have opened a summer school with an ESL focus which will further address all newcomer elementary student‎ needs. 

Worth Repeating...

Ontario Gr 7s, 10 days left to register & apply for fall 2016 Page Program - The Ontario Government is now accepting applications for the fall 2016 session. Click here to register and begin your application. Application deadline - June 15th.
Dates to Remember

Secondary School PA Day  * full-year schools only

Secondary School PA Day

Board-wide PA Day

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