TDSB Chair's Newsletter

Volume 4 - June 2016


Year-end Message
It has been a busy and productive year at the TDSB. We are incredibly proud of the tremendous work of our students and the many ways that staff, parents and community members came together to support student achievement.
This year, we celebrated the highest graduation rate ever of students – 85 per cent – a number that highlights the efforts we have made to connect students with the right programs and supports. 
To further this work, we also began laying the groundwork for Learning Centres, which will be a reality in September. For parents, these Centres will help identify and better respond to your child’s learning needs, improve our communication with you and help us resolve issues in a timelier manner. 
In addition, the Ministry of Education announced this week that the TDSB will receive $257 million in new funding for school renewal for 2015-16 and 2016-17. The funding will be used to repair roofs, modernize electrical and plumbing systems, as well as to improve visible elements such as flooring, walls, ceilings, playing fields and more in many schools. Read the Ministry of Education news release. Read the Fix Our Schools news release.
TDSB Update will resume in the fall. We hope you find this issue informative and wish you all a safe and enjoyable summer!
Chris Moise Elected TDSB
Trustee for Ward 14
Chris Moise was elected TDSB Trustee for Ward 14 (Toronto Centre-Rosedale) in a by-election on June 20, 2016.
The seat was vacant in Ward 14 as a result of longtime Trustee Sheila Ward's passing.
TDSB Approves Balanced Budget
Trustees voted unanimously to approve a balanced budget plan for the 2016-17 school year which will see more resources for schools, as well as programs that have a direct impact on students.
The budget reflects the reorganization of central staff to create four new Learning Centres that will allow the TDSB to be more responsive to schools. The budget contains a list of cost saving measures, including reductions to central department budgets and the restructuring of central positions. Learn more about the TDSB’s 2016-17 budget.
Capital Planning 2016
Trustees approved a 3-Year Capital Budget on June 22, 2016 that will see significant investments in schools for the future.
The Capital Budget presents both current capital expenditures required to address growth in our system over the next three years and future capital priority projects identified through the annual planning process.
Learn more about the TDSB's 2016-17 capital budget.
Board Approves Long-Term Program and Accommodation Strategy
The Long-Term Program and Accommodation Strategy 2016-2025 has been approved by Trustees. This 10-year strategy provides a flexible and responsive approach to TDSB program and accommodation planning. Read the strategy.
Join us at the Pride Parade!
Students, parents and community members are invited to join the TDSB at the Toronto Pride Parade on Sunday, July 3. 
Visit to learn more about the Pride Parade and how we support pride every day.
Construction of Two New Schools Set to Begin
It is anticipated that shovels will be in the ground for the construction of two new schools this summer. The replacement of Avondale Public School/Avondale Elementary Alternative School and George Webster Elementary School are both scheduled to begin in July 2016. When construction is complete, Avondale will accommodate 553 students and George Webster will accommodate 848.
On June 1, the TDSB officially launched the board-wide SmartSAVER campaign with a celebration at Ogden Junior Public School. Trustee Ausma Malik, Trustee Sheila Cary-Meagher and Director John Malloy joined staff, students and representatives from SmartSAVER to kick-off the campaign that aims to help families access the Canada Learning Bond. Through a secure, online system, accessible at, families can apply for the Canada Learning Bond, open an RESP and access support throughout this process in multiple languages.  
New Student Trustees Elected
New student Trustees Shams Mehdi, from Leaside High School, and Saad Wazir, from SATEC @ W.A. Porter Collegiate Institute, were introduced at the June Board Meeting (above left). They will officially begin their terms in August. Shams will be the first Student Trustee to serve a two-year term.
Our thanks to current Student Trustees Hamima Fattah and Sammy Al Rubaie (above right). They have both made tremendous contributions to the Board this year including extending the Student Trustee position to two terms.


Board to Produce Annual Human Rights Report The Board has asked staff to produce an annual report about human rights complaints. The report will enable the Board to identify and address trends that may emerge. Read the Board decision on pages 2-3

Board to Publish Annual Report on Student Discipline

The Board decided that an annual report be presented each fall on the student discipline process and the student experience in the caring and safe school program.

The report will support Trustees, TDSB staff and the public to understand what happens to a student who is expelled and provide information about the outcomes of caring and safe schools programs. Read the Board decision on pages 5-6.
Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Training to be Developed

The Board has directed staff to develop and launch mandatory anti-racism/anti-oppression training for senior staff and Trustees. A plan will be presented to the Human Resources and Professional Learning Committee in November 2016. Read the Board decision on page 3. Read the report.
TDSB to Mark Three New Months of Significance
Trustees voted to officially recognize three new months of significance.
In June, LGBTQ Pride Month will celebrate the contributions of the LGBTQ community and will provide a forum to have positive conversations where people of all gender identities feel empowered and supported.
October has been declared Somali Heritage Month and Islamic Heritage Month to provide an opportunity for Somali and Islamic heritage communities to share their vibrant cultures and traditions across the TDSB. Read the Board decision on pages 13-15.
Acknowledgement of Ancestral Lands/Territories in Schools
All schools across the TDSB will soon begin their day with an acknowledgement of the ancestral lands/territories on which it stands.
The Aboriginal Education Centre will provide each school with tools and guidelines to carry out the acknowledgement in a respectful manner. Read the Board decision on page 2. Read the report.
Permit Fee Increase
The Board approved a 1.5 per cent permit fee increase to adjust for the cost of living. Permits are required for community use of schools. The increase is effective September 1, 2016, except for outdoor fields for which the new fees will be effective January 1, 2017. Read the Board decision on page 6. Read the report.

Board Supports Amendment to Excise Tax
The Board voted to support Bill C-241, An Act to Amend the Excise Tax Act, a private member's bill introduced in Parliament by MP Kevin Waugh. The bill would allow school boards to receive a 100 per cent GST rebate.
In support of this bill, the Chair is sending letters to all members of Parliament. Read the Board decision on pages 10-11.
Re-establishment of the Inner City Task Force
The Board has asked the Director to establish a task force, which will include Trustees, community groups, government representatives and equity advocates, to carry out a comprehensive audit of all current TDSB initiatives and programs intended to improve outcomes for marginalized and under-served students living in urban poverty.
Recommendations are expected as early as April 2017. Read the Board decision on pages 3-4.
Pathways in the Alternative School System
Within the 2016-17 school year, the Board has requested a report from staff on access to pathway programs in alternative schools and opportunities for expansion. This work will be done in partnership with the Alternative Schools Community Advisory Committee. Read the Board decision on pages 4-5.
Bylaws Amended for Delegations
The Board amended the bylaws around delegations to include a new procedure to permit delegation hearings at committee meetings. Read the Board decision on pages 9-10.
Keyboarding Pilot Program

In order to ensure all students at the TDSB learn proper keyboarding technique and posture, the Board decided to develop and launch a pilot program for students in grades 3 and 4. This pilot project will begin in September 2016. Read the Board decision on pages 4-5.
Schools Within Commercial and Condominium Buildings 
The Board continues to explore the potential of opening schools in commercial and condominium buildings. Learn more about the opportunities and potential challenges in this report
New Process for Managing Trustee Absences
The Board has agreed upon new guidelines to cover short and long-term absences of Trustees. Read the Board decision on pages 8-9.

TDSB Trustees

TDSB Director
of Education

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