Ward 7 newletter header
Welcome to my newsletter! I want to take this opportunity to share some recent Board and Ward 7 highlights, as well to look ahead to key upcoming initiatives and events.
To bring you up-to-date on the TDSB’s annual Organizational Board meeting held on December 1, 2015, I was acclaimed Chair of the Board and Trustees for the TDSB. I have served as Chair since August 2015, and was first elected as Trustee for Ward 7 (Parkdale-High Park) in the fall of 2014. Jennifer Arp, also first elected in the fall of 2014, is now Vice-Chair of the Board. Jennifer is  Trustee for Ward 8 (Eglinton-Lawrence). 
Along with serving as the Chair, I sit on a variety of committees, including Audit, Planning & Priorities, and the French as a Second Language Advisory Committee. 
I look forward to connecting with you on these and other important issues. You can get in touch by sending me an email robin.pilkey@tdsb.on.ca or tweet @RobinPilkey. For more updates, please join the TDSB Ward 7 Council group on Facebook.  
Sign up for my N

Robin Pilkey
Welcome Director John Malloy 
During the December 9 Board meeting, my fellow Trustees and I selected a new interim director. We are pleased to announce that Dr. John Malloy @malloy_john began his 18-month term with us on January 4, 2016.
Dr. Malloy’s previous positions include Director of Education for the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, and Superintendent of Education with the York Region District School Board and the Durham Catholic District School Board. Most recently, John was Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Student Achievement Officer with the Ontario Ministry of Education. 
As Director, John’s key priorities include improving student achievement and well-being. He is focussed on increasing student engagement, ensuring learning environments are supportive, and providing equitable access to opportunities for all students. John also believes very strongly in the importance of collaboration, especially with parents and the community.
John succeeds Donna Quan, who has accepted a new role with York University and the Ministry of Education. We sincerely thank Director Quan for her 35 years of service to the Board, and the contributions she has made to public education in our city and to enhancing the achievement and well-being of all students. Please join us in wishing Director Quan the very best in her new role. 
With the leadership of newly-appointed Interim Director John Malloy, Trustees are committed to ensuring the work toward real, positive change continues at the TDSB website.
TDSB Educators Recognized as Canada’s Outstanding Principals
Congratulations to the four TDSB principals who have been recognized by The Learning Partnership as being among Canada’s 40 Outstanding Principals of 2016:
  • Sarah Frost, Cliffwood Public School
  • Alison Gaymes San Vicente, Lanor Junior Middle School
  • Arlene Knights-Svarich, Elizabeth Simcoe Junior Public School
  • Duncan LeBlanc, Maplewood High School
Nominations came from parents, colleagues and members of the community and are chosen by a national selection committee. Principals will be awarded for their accomplishments at the annual Canada’s Outstanding Principals Gala on February 23rd at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel in Toronto. Read more here
Ward 21 By-election
Congratulations to Neethan Shan @NeethanShan, the successful candidate in the Ward 21 (Scarborough-Rouge River) by-election held on Monday, January 25, 2016. Neethan replaces Shaun Chen who was elected as the federal MP for Scarborough Agincourt in the last federal election. For more information about Neethan and his commitment to the educational community in Toronto, visit his campaign website
African Heritage Month at the TDSB
Every February, the TDSB celebrates African Heritage Month, a time to learn about and pay tribute to the many ways in which Black Canadians and people of the African Diaspora have helped shape our society, and to recognize the invaluable contributions they have made to our province, country, and world. This year’s theme is A Continuum of Excellence...Past, Present, and Future.
TDSB schools will engage in local initiatives, and participate in a variety of community events that reflect this history and the countless triumphs and struggles experienced over hundreds of years.
Registration for all TDSB Kindergarten Programs begins this Month!
We are looking forward to welcoming you and your child to experience the rich learning environment at our TDSB schools.  Junior Kindergarten: If your child will be four by December 31, 2016, he or she can start Junior Kindergarten in September 2016. Senior Kindergarten: If your child will be five by December 31, 2016, he or she can start Senior Kindergarten in September 2016. Registration for all TDSB Kindergarten programs begins in February. For information, click here
Step 1 Find your local school.
Step 2 Contact your local school and make sure you have the following documents:
Proof of age (birth certificate or passport)
Proof of address (two pieces of identification that show your address, such as a residential phone bill)
Proof of immunization (the card that shows a list of needles your child has received)
Verification of date of arrival, if your child was not born in Canada: Families who are permanent residents and refugee claimants may register directly at the school. Children without immigration status are welcome in our schools and information about them or their families will not be shared with immigration authorities. To register, please visit the International Programs and Admissions Office at 5050 Yonge Street, on the main floor, for a TDSB school admission letter. 
Please note: only parents or legal guardians can register a child for TDSB programs.
Kindergarten Registration Special Event February 4, 2016 - Online
The TDSB is launching a new social media event to engage and inform parents and guardians about our Kindergarten programs during Kindergarten registration month. A Day in the Life of a Kindergartener will be the TDSB’s first-ever live blogging event. Communications and Early Years are collaborating to showcase the learning and fun that happens in a typical Kindergarten classroom each day. Join us at 8:40 a.m. on February 4, 2016, at here.
New P.A. Day in April
All TDSB schools will have a newly designated P.A. Day on Friday, April 15th. This additional P.A. Day has been mandated by the Ministry of Education as a result of provincial labour negotiations. All TDSB schools will be closed to students on that day, while teachers will be taking part in professional development on provincial education priorities identified by the Minister of Education. Most Before-and-After School Programs will offer full-day care for children currently registered in their program on the P.A. Day. Parents/guardians are encouraged to speak to their local child care provider for further details
French as a Second Language (FSLAC)
The French as a Second Language Advisory Committee (FSLAC) consults with and advises the Board on French as a Second Language matters and contributes to the work of trustees and staff. This partnership of trustees, staff, and parents fosters excellence and growth in FSL programs at the Board.  
FSLAC is composed of parent representatives and alternates elected by ward councils, a parent co-chair elected by FSLAC parent representatives, a trustee appointed by the Board as Co-Chair (me!), and designated TDSB staff.
FSLAC is a great resource for parents who want additional French supports for their child in immersion, extended, or core French. Several times a year they issue a newsletter full of helpful tips. Sign up for their newsletter by emailing fslactoronto@gmail.com. Be sure to indicate your first and last name and the name of your child’s school.
Another great resource is the organization Canadian Parents for French. Click here for more information.
Refugee Crisis Appeal 
Thanks to the generosity of students, staff, and school communities, with donation matching by the Government of Canada, the TDSB has helped raise approximately $116,000 as part of tdsbCARES: Refugee Crisis Appeal. Read more here.  
A total of 13,984 Syrians have arrived in Canada, of whom 6,338 have settled in Ontario. At the TDSB we have registered 85 Syrian newcomers (57 Elementary and 28 Secondary) as of January 28th. We are very proud of our local school communities, which have made donations and sponsored families.  
COSTI Immigrant Services, the Toronto Catholic District School Board, and the Toronto District School Board are collaborating to set up protocols and supports to facilitate temporary educational experiences for children until they can be registered in a school. Please also know that the Supper with Syria team continues to organize assistance. If you feel you have any skills or resources that you'd like to offer, please feel free to come forward with ideas of how you'd like to help and contact info@supperwithsyria.org
Ecoschools Update: How to Apply for Bike Racks, Water Refill Stations, and Schoolyard Greening 
The Ecoschools Department is part of the TDSB Sustainability Office. The implementation of the TDSB Charter for Active Safe and Sustainable Transportation is underway. The TDSB Ecoschools Cycling Support Program is developing new ways to help schools create a culture of cycling by providing infrastructure and programming support. Visit the Ecoschools Cycling Supports website to find out how to apply for bike racks. The deadline for applications is Sunday, February 28th. Soon to come: opportunities to have a free skills-based cycling education program presented at your school.  
Plastic water bottles are expensive, take a lot of energy to make and transport, and last 400 years in landfill. Through Project Refill, the TDSB is encouraging students and staff to bring portable refillable water bottles. Send a message of environmental stewardship by applying here for a free water bottle refill station in your school. The deadline to submit applications for consideration for fall 2016 installation is Monday, April 25th. 
In March 2015 the TDSB approved new guidelines for Schoolyard Greening. EcoSchools has resources to help schools with smaller projects such as building outdoor classrooms, or larger scale multiple-year partner-funded projects. Find out more and book a schoolyard design consultation at no cost here. Consultations are held on Tuesdays. Once the spaces are filled, bookings will begin for next year.
School Council Appreciation and Information Evening - Montecassino Hotel, February 25, 2016
TDSB Parent Conference 2016
Nominations Open for the Premier's Award for Accepting Schools 
Nominations are now open for the 2015-16 Premier's Award for Accepting Schools. This award recognizes “exceptional and innovative work being done in schools to create a safe and accepting school environment.” Application Information is available online. The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, February 19th, at 5:00 p.m. EST. 
Parents as Partners:TDSB Parent Conference 2016 - Allstream Centre, April 16, 2016 
The Parent Involvement Advisory Committee (PIAC), Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC), Mental Health and Well-Being Parent Partnership Committee, and Model Schools for Inner Cities’ Parent Academies, are hosting one INCLUSIVE conference at the Allstream Centre at Exhibition Place on Saturday, April 16th. Please save this date in your calendar and watch for emerging details on the SEAC and PIAC pages of the TDSB website
Swansea and Keele Additions
Exciting news! Students and teachers at Swansea PS and Keele Street PS have recently moved into their new classrooms and are excited to have the additional space. In 2013, the TDSB and the Ministry of Education approved funding for these additions to address the surge in enrollment due to the province's roll-out of the full-day kindergarten program as well as general overcrowding at both facilities. Both schools are planning to hold official opening celebrations in the spring.
  Swansea PS  Photos by Jane Phillips-Long
   Keele Street PS  Photos by Jared Ong

Writers in Residence Visit  Fern Avenue PS
Fern Avenue PS was selected as a location for a guest presentation by well-known Canadian author Shane Peacock. The purpose of the TDSB’s Writers in Residence program is to engage students in the joy of reading and literacy by connecting TDSB students with Canadian authors. Fern Avenue PS was selected because students and staff submitted titles and reviews to the Just Read It program website. Congratulations to all participants in this wonderful initiative. For more information on our current Writers-in-Residence, click here.
NBA Fit All-Star Celebration at Western Technical & Commercial School on February 11
As part of the NBA Cares All-Star efforts, the NBA will work with the TDSB and the TCDSB to offer basketball and fitness clinics at 10 schools throughout the Greater Toronto Area, including Western Tech! Students from Annette PS, Fern PS, Keele PS, Humbercrest PS, and Parkdale PS will take have a chance to take part in the clinic, which will focus on the importance of healthy living while also teaching the fundamentals of the game with NBA players.
Fix Our Schools
  • What we know:
  • - School conditions impact student achievement.
  • - $1.7-billion of the total $15-billion of disrepair in Ontario’s schools is deemed urgent and critical.
  • - $1.4-billion each year is needed to maintain Ontario’s school in a state of good condition, yet actual provincial funding over the last five years has only been $150-500-million.
Our children deserve more. Let’s Fix Our Schools.
Subscribe to our email list.