colourful line
It's hard to believe that we are now into the final days of the 2021 school year. Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting two Ward 11 schools, Bedford Park and Sunnyview. Everywhere I turned, students and staff were hard at work, engaged in deep learning; students were smiling, laughing, empathetic, contemplative, and questioning. It was a reminder and an example of the wonderful work being undertaken by our staff and our students, and a chance for me to meet and interact with administrators, students, and staff to learn more about what is working, and what we need to do to continuously improve as a school board. 
As many of you are likely aware, last week our Board was tasked with  considering a report from our Integrity Commissioner on whether a tweet by one of the TDSB trustees was a violation of the Trustees' Code of Conduct. Our Board rejected the report's finding. Following the vote, I moved a motion called Combating Hate and Promoting Understanding, and this was adopted unanimously by the Board. This motion was in direct response to many issues raised in the Integrity Commissioner's report, and provides a framework so that our Board can learn from the report and use it to focus on our work -- education. While the TDSB cannot solve all the problems in the world, it is important for us to create the best conditions possible for learning and discussion where students can develop into creative, innovative and compassionate critical thinkers and problem solvers, and it is my hope that this motion will help in that work. I encourage everyone to take a minute to read the comprehensive and powerful words of from our Director of Education, Colleen Russell-Rawlins, who spoke so eloquently on December 8th. The text of her speech can be accessed here.
As this is my last newsletter of the 2021 year, I do want to draw your attention to my next coffee morning, scheduled for the morning of January 12, 2022, by zoom. At that meeting, we will be holding elections for the Parent Involvement Advisry Committee (PIAC) and the French as a Second Language Advisory Committee (FSLCAC) representatives for our ward. If you are interested in learning more about these positions, please do not hesitate to email me at and remember to register
Important: Winter Break preparation
As Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Toronto, so too unfortunately does the possibility of individual classes or schools moving to remote learning for a period of time.
While we have received no indication
from either the Ministry of Education or public health officials about school closures in January, TDSB wants to make sure we are prepared to implement any decision they may make smoothly and efficiently and continue to support our students’ learning and well-being.
Therefore, out of an abundance of caution and to ensure your family is prepared for any potential shift to remote learning, be sure your child brings home all of their personal belongings such as shoes or clothing, and any tools or supplies they might need to pivot to remote learning.
Also, ensure that the school has your correct email address(es) and bookmark the
Student Virtual Learning IT Support page.
If you are travelling, please be mindfull of the established federal international travel policies – including the guidelines for unvaccinated, school-aged children – in advance, to prevent absences in January related to post-travel requirements. As of now, if the child/student is fully vaccinated they may be exempt from federal quarantine. If the child/student is not fully vaccinated, they are not to attend school/child care for 14 days, even if they traveled with a vaccinated companion. Please note that these policies may change, so please keep checking the federal website for the most up-to-date travel information.
By now your children should have brought home their box of Rapid Antigen Tests. Please make sure to read the letters about Covid precautions and how to use the tests (every 3-4 days over the break) from: Toronto Public Health, and the Ministry of Health. Today (Thursday), staff also received information about how to obtain a Rapid Antigen Test kit from TDSB to use over the holidays and prior to returning to work. 
This newsletter has a lot of information, updates and notices about events, so  please sit back, grab your favourite drink, and enjoy reading the many, many updates included below, including deadlines (like Middle French Immersion applications and switching learning models in Elementary schools). 
Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday and a safe and happy New Year, and I look forward to reconnecting with you in 2022 (and especially at my first Coffee Morning of the New Year on January 12!).  
Warm regards,
Rachel Chernos Lin, TDSB Trustee, Ward 11, Don Valley West
Elementary Switch Form (due January 7)
To switch between in-person and virtual learning for February 2022, parents/caregivers and students requesting a change must complete an Elementary Switch Form between Friday, December 3 and Friday, January 7.
A form must be completed for each student requesting a switch. 
Parents/caregivers and students who do not wish to make a change do not need to complete a form. 
If you are considering a switch, please speak with your child before submitting a Switch Form. We expect that parents/caregivers with shared decision-making responsibilities will come to an agreement before completing the form
We recognize that we are asking for this decision well in advance of February and thank you for your understanding, as this process takes time to complete. While we cannot guarantee that all switch requests will be met, it is our goal to accommodate as many as possible based on available programs and space (e.g. French Immersion, Extended French, Specialized Programs, Alternative Schools, other limited circumstances).
Elementary classes will reflect changes due to switches beginning on February 22, 2022. 
Whether you choose a switch in learning model or not, your child’s teacher or class (or school for virtual learning classes) may change due to a possible re-organization
For more information, please visit and/or contact the Principal at your child’s school with any questions.
Middle French Immersion Program - Application Information (January 3-28)
For families interested in the Toronto District School Board's system-wide Middle French Immersion Program (which begins in Grade 4), we offer an online process to apply. To apply for the Middle French Immersion Program (Grade 4 entry) for September 2022, applications for current grade 3 students must be completed online between January 3 and January 28, 2022
An offer of placement in the program (a specific school) is guaranteed to all on-time applicants and will be made in the weeks following the close of the application window.
Please note: Families with an older sibling currently enrolled in a French program and who will be in attendance next year are still required to complete an online application for the new student. Please select the “sibling option” within the online application.
For more information about the Middle French Immersion (Grade 4) application process, please join us for a Virtual Webinar Session on one of the following dates:
January 6, 2022 – 10 am 
Webinar ID: 957 9470 9338
Phone one-tap: Canada: +6473744685,,95794709338# or +16475580588,,95794709338# 
Dial: Canada: +1 647 374 4685 or +1 647 558 0588 
Webinar ID: 965 0951 9491
Phone one-tap: Canada: +6475580588,,96509519491# or +16473744685,,96509519491# 
Dial: Canada: +1 647 558 0588 or +1 647 374 4685  
Webinar ID: 998 7090 8992
Phone one-tap: Canada: +16473744685,,99870908992# or +16475580588,,99870908992# 
Dial: Canada: +1 647 374 4685 or +1 647 558 0588 
Families can request interpretation services for this event in advance, by completing this online form before December 17, 2021.
Information flyers about the Middle French Immersion Program are available in multiple languages. For details, please see the information package. For more information about French programs, the application process and important dates, please visit or click on Application Process.

Covid-19 Vaccines for children ages 5-11

TONIGHT: Town Hall with the South Asian Community

Please note that on Thursday, December 16 (7-8pm) a group of ten community organizations, including FHC/Flemingdon Health Centre, is organizing a Covid-19 & Kids Vaccine Town Hall with the South Asian Community (QR flyer) - with translations provided in Bengali, Tamil, Urdu, and Punjabi
The meeting will be recorded, and I will post a link to it on my website 
Ward 11 & 14 Thorncliffe Park & Flemingdon Park Community meeting about Covid-19 Vaccines for children ages 5-11
Earlier this week, Trustee Trixie Doyle (Don Valley East) and I organized a Joint Ward Forum about the Covid-19 Vaccine for children aged 5-11. Supported by Michael Garron Hospital (MGH)/Toronto East Health Network (TEHN), it was geared to the Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park communities. 
However, almost all information included is of interest to everybody with children of those ages, so please feel free to check out the Joint Forum Meeting Notes/Q&A

Learn more about vaccination for children 5-11:

How to book an appointment:
  • Book an appointment online at the dark blue “Book a Vaccine” button on or by calling the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007
  • Watch for emails from your school for information about school pop-up clinics in your neighbourhood.
  • See the attached picture for a flyers from East Toronto Health Partners with information about pop-ups clinics in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park between December 7-30. For more information, click: all East Toronto Health Partners/Marc Garron Hospital Mobile and Pop-up Clinics (including Sunnyview School on 450 Blythwood Road on December 14). 
  • Families of children with disabilities & complex care needs can join Holland Bloorview on 17 for a child and family-friendly vaccine clinic for children 5+. Learn more:
Vaccine Hunters - Do-it-yourself resource for finding vaccine related info. Find details on eligibility, appointments, walk-ins, pharmacy search tools, vaccine receipts + more!
Covid-19: Out of Province Travel Paused
The TDSB recognizes the importance of out-of-province travel both for professional learning purposes and student trips/competitions as a learning tool to enhance curriculum, student and staff learning and support student competitions. At the same time, we must also recognize that health and safety must always be prioritized as the pandemic continues. With that priority in mind, please find below our direction at this time:
Student Travel for School Trips/Competitions
All overnight trips for students are currently paused as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and on the advice of Toronto Public Health. While this remains in place, no out-of-province trips should begin being planned. We will formally reassess this pause in the new year and continue to monitor COVID-19 case numbers, Toronto Public Health advice and Government of Canada travel advisories should any adjustments be possible/required prior to that reassessment.
Staff Travel for Professional Learning
Currently, no out-of-province learning opportunities are being approved amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As the number of cases has continued to increase over recent weeks, we have made the decision to continue to maintain a moratorium on all out-of-province travel for professional learning. We will formally reassess this pause in the new year and continue to monitor COVID-19 case numbers, Toronto Public Health advice and Government of Canada travel advisories should any adjustments be possible/required prior to that reassessment.
TDSB Community Use of Schools Resumption Schedule
After weekend programming restarted earlier this Fall, the TDSB plans to resume community weekday evening permits on January 17th 2022.
To ensure we comply with the mandated COVID 19 requirements and the safety of all staff and students while maintaining fairness and equity in the allocation of spaces, we have put in the following conditions:
  • Permits can start no earlier than 6 p.m. and end no later than 9 p.m. from Monday till Friday.
  • Usage will be restricted to common areas such as gymnasiums, cafeterias, and auditoriums. No classrooms will be permitted at this time.
  • Only one group per school per night will be accommodated.  Schools with a pool or auditorium may have two groups providing the spaces being used are separated.  For example, pools generally have a separate entrance, so the gym and pool could be used on the same night.
  • Priority will be given to Not-for-profit groups serving children, youth, and seniors.
  • All groups are expected to upload their COVID Vaccine Attestation Form at the end of each permit activity.
  • We will be accommodating COVID 19 Vaccine Clinics and have informed permit groups that this might result in the disruption of their permits.
With the resumption of the weekday permits, this is the updated TDSB Community Use of Schools Resumption schedule.

The Board will continue to review this this decision based on new information received from both the Toronto Public Health Department and province.
Update on Implementation of COVID-19 Vaccination Procedure
Based on recent guidance from the Ministry of Health and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), Toronto Public Health is now updating its recommendation on the optimal interval between vaccine doses to eight weeks. As a result, the TDSB is also updating its timelines for staff who still need to have their vaccination. The date for employees who attested that they had received their first dose by November 19, is now midnight on January 21, 2022 to attest that they have received their second dose.
TDSB Unveils $5.9 Million Plan to Support Mental Health and Well-Being
Trustees with the Toronto District School Board have approved a $5.9 million plan to support the mental health and well-being of students amid the ongoing pandemic.

During their Special Board Meeting this evening, Trustees unanimously approved the hiring of an additional 106 staff members following the release of a report earlier this week that highlighted the impact of the pandemic on student mental health and well-being. For more information, please read the news release.

Winter Well-Being Guide

As parents and caregivers, we may be wondering what we can do to help keep our children active and healthy, and to positively support their mental health and well-being. Within this guide (click to download the online document) you find a variety of culturally responsive resources and accessible activities to help make this winter a little easier and fun for you and your family. Information on where and how to reach out for help is also included.
Mental Health & Well-Being Supports

TDSB Professional Support Services offers virtual drop-in hours for parents and caregivers to discuss strategies to help support the mental health and well-being of your child.

There are sessions open to all (Tuesdays 10-11am; Thursdays 7-8pm) and a special drop-in for parents/caregivers of students with special/complex needs (Wednesdays 7-8pm). 

Learn more about Virtual Mental Health Support and/or click on the images above for the session links. 

Center of Excellence for Black Student Achievement: Fall Newsletter

The Fall Newsletter of the Center of Excellence for Black Student Achievement is now available, with information about the new website (, Black Student Leadership Courses, Black Girls' Book Club, and much more. 
You can also follow the 
Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement at @tdsb_cebsa on Instagram and Twitter

Consultation: Anti-Sex Trafficking Policy
TDSB's Anti-Sex Trafficking Policy is currently being developed. The draft Anti-Sex Trafficking Policy supports protecting students from sexual exploitation and sex trafficking.
It supports implementation of the Ministry of Education’s Policy/Program Memorandum (PPM) 166: Keeping Students Safe: Policy Framework for School Board Anti-Sex Trafficking Protocols.PPM 166 outlines school communities are key in building, supporting and providing culturally safe, nurturing, positive learning and working environments though the  implementation of anti-sex trafficking programs and strategies, enhancing and creating partnerships with culturally responsive community partners and teaching students about healthy relationships.
We would like to share the draft Policy with you and seek your input. You can find the draft Policy posted for your review at:
Please share with us your thoughts, questions and recommendations on the draft Policy by email to Shameen Sandhu, System Leader, Mental Health and Professional Support Services, at on or before January 7, 2022.
Thank you for your time and attention to this request for consultation and for the work you do for our school communities.
Consultation Update: Specialized Schools and Programs Draft Policy
The Specialized Schools and Programs Draft Policy consultation and survey were launched on November 1. 
TDSB would like to hear from all parents/guardians and students to help make this draft policy meaningful and relevant to students. These short videos (Overview of the Secondary Program Review and Specialized Schools an Programs Policy Information) give a great overview of the new policy and you can check out the web section that also includes questions and answers, including those asked during our three public consultation webinars on November 18 and 22, 2021
This feedback will be used to inform the draft policy, which will then be presented to Trustees for review at the Governance and Policy Committee and submitted to Board. If approved by the Board of Trustees, it would be in place for the student application process for the 2022-23 school year.  
Over the past week, the communication efforts to all stakeholders has drawn:
  • 440 new unique visits to the Specialized Schools and Program Policy website last week,
  • 106 new unique visits to the Policy Consultation website last week,
  • 2643 people completing the online survey
Based on feedback from a meeting with Student Trustees, social media outreach has been expanded to include the TDSB Instagram account. This will encourage participation in the public consultation. Reminder e-mails were shared this week with all parents/guardians/ caregivers, students in grades 5 to 12, as well as TDSB staff to boost participation in the online survey before the December 17 deadline. We had the pleasure holding a consultation webinar with representatives from the Community Advisory Committees on December 7. Community affinity groups have been invited through our Community Support Workers to provide oral feedback at two meetings before December 17.
The online survey will remain open until December 17th.
TDSB Advocacy
Supporting Free Public Transit for High School Students

On behalf of the Toronto District School Board, Chair of the Board Alexander Brown wrote to the Toronto Transit Commission to request the expansion of free TTC rides for high school students as part of the upcoming 5-Year Fare Policy and 10-Year Fare Collection Outlook. Chair Brown also wrote to various levels of government to ask for funding support for the expansion.

Making School Buildings and Sites More Accessible

On behalf of the Toronto District School Board, Chair of the Board Alexander Brown wrote to the Minister of Education to request the allocation of significant and dedicated financial resources to support the accessibility of all existing schools.
For more information, please read the full letter.
Out of School Programming
International Languages: Elementary and African Heritage (ILE-AH)
This free online program welcomes JK to Grade 8 students to learn a language (except for English and French) for 2.5 hours a week. Learn more and register online today.
Adult ESL Program
Adult learners will have an opportunity to improve their English online this fall/winter. A broad range of English as a Second Language classes will be available, from beginner to advanced levels. Learn more by visiting our program website.
Learn4Life Adult General Interest Program
Learn a new skill or take up a hobby in-person or online this winter with courses in art, computers, food, languages, fitness and much more! Registration for our winter 2022 is now open!
Visit the Learn4Life website for more information and to browse through the online brochure.
Staff Census in Spring 2022
In addition to Censuses for Students and Parents, TDSB will conduct its fourth Staff Census in Spring 2022. All staff, including permanent, casual, occasional, temporary, part-time and full-time, will be encouraged to complete the census. Results and data from the staff census contribute to important improvements at the TDSB and help to make it a better place to work for all employees. 
Consultations are now underway and more information and details will be shared in the new year as plans are finalized.
TDSB Winter Clothing Drive
One in every three children lives in poverty in our city, and too many children come to school without proper clothing to keep them warm during the winter months. In addition, many TDSB students are new to Canada and this may be their first time experiencing a Canadian winter.
The TDSB holds an annual Winter Clothing Drive to help ensure that all students have warm winter clothing to get to and from school, and are prepared to participate in all of the fun outdoor activities winter has to offer. This year’s Winter Clothing Drive will run from October 2021 to the end of February 2022. Donations help provide warm winter coats, pants, hats, gloves and boots for our students.
Our need for winter outerwear is greater this year. Canada is welcoming newcomer families from Afghanistan and the TDSB is welcoming many of these newly arrived students into our schools. The newcomer students are adjusting to their first Canadian winter and need proper winter outerwear.
Monetary donations can be made through School Cash Online. We will also accept new winter outwear items. Due to potential health & safety, hygiene, sorting and storage limitations, the TDSB can only accept new clothing items. Contact the Business Development department at for more information about how to donate new outwear items. 100% of all proceeds and in-kind donations go to benefit our students. For more information, please contact Marisa Chiu, Interim Executive Officer, at
Sikh Heritage Month: Invitation to participate in Planning Committee
Throughout the school year the TDSB proudly recognizes 14 Heritage/History Months. Sikh Heritage Month is recognized at the TDSB in April. This is a call-out for individuals to join a volunteer planning committee to develop system-wide activities for students, staff and the TDSB community. The mandate of the volunteer planning committee is to provide learning opportunities for students, staff and the TDSB community, as well as to enrich the curriculum resources through a collaborative approach of TDSB staff, community members and Trustees. Details of the first planning meeting are as follows, we hope you will be able to join us: 
Sikh Heritage Month Planning Committee
Date: Monday, January 10, 2022
Time: 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Should you require additional information on Sikh Heritage Month, please contact Peter Singh, Executive Officer, Information Technology and Information Management, and Executive Lead, Sikh Heritage Month at
New Google Calendar with Events & Activities

NEW: TDSB families can find scheduled events from the Mental Health & Professional Support Staff, the Parent & Community Engagement Office (PCEO), and (Model Schools Community Support Workers) plus other TDSB events and activities all in one calendar at

Click on specific events for details or to add them to your calendar. You can also use the +GoogleCalendar button on the bottom right to add all events to your calendar at once.
2021-2022 School Year Calendar
The last day of class is June 30 (for elementary students) or June 29 (for secondary students).
There are no classes for students on the dates listed below.

Lastly, please reserve the morning of Wednesday, January 12 in your calendar for my next Community Coffee Morning.

As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments or concerns!

Have a wonderful break!

Rachel Chernos Lin, Ward 11 TDSB Trustee, Don Valley Wes

If you notice anything at a school that concerns you, please call the TDSB Security Call Centre (416) 395-4620 and the Toronto Police - non-emergencies can be reported by calling ‪416-808-2222.

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