Keeping you engaged and informed
Keeping you engaged and informed
Ward 11 Weekly Update header
Week of January 13, 2020 

Statement Re: Crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight

We are heartbroken to learn that a number of TDSB students and their family members, along with a family member of at least one of our employees are among those who lost their lives in the crash of the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 in Iran. On behalf of the Toronto District School Board, we offer our sincere condolences to the friends, family, teachers and classmates of the following students:
  • Sophie Emami, Sr. Kindergarten at Lillian PS 
  • Arsam Niazi, Grade 6 at Pleasant PS 
  • Arnica Niazi, Grade 3 at Finch PS 
  • Maya Zibaie, Grade 10 at Northern SS 
  • Rahmtin Ahmadi, Grade 4 at Muirhead PS 
  • Shahzad Eghbali, Grade 3 at Dallington PS 
  • Shahrzad Hashemi, a learner at John Polanyi Adult ESL Centre
May their memories be a blessing.
Social work staff are already working with the impacted schools and we are supporting the victims’ loved ones in any way we can. In honour of those who lost their lives, flags at the victims’ schools and all TDSB administrative sites were lowered to half-staff.
We realize that children may experience a wide range of reactions and emotions. It is with that in mind that our Professional Support Services staff have prepared tips that can help during this difficult time

Committee Meeting This Week

Program and School Services Committee - Thursday, January 16, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. Committee Room A, 5050 Yonge Street
All committee and board meetings are open to the public - should you wish to speak to an item on the agenda at Committee, click
Agenda Items
  • 5. Opportunity for Oral Updates From Co-Chairs of Community Advisory
  • 5.4 Environmental Sustainability Community Advisory Committee Report, December 3, 2019
  • 6. Mid-Year Update on the Implementation of the Multi-Year Strategic Action Plans: Inclusion - Our commitment to providing inclusive and equitable access to learning opportunities for all students requires that we continue to engage in reviews to better understand the impact of current structures. Decisions grounded in research, that remove barriers for students and dismantle assumptions need to continue in order to positively impact student’s academic trajectories. The transformational actions that support Inclusion are interconnected with several TDSB departments and teams. The three MYSP Inclusion goals require a strategic and coordinated approach to lead to the intentional systemic changes and the cultural shifts necessary to make a difference in schools and classrooms.
    Building capacity for staff is the underpinning of moving toward inclusion and we will continue to collaborate with Learning Centres, Learning Networks, the Research and the Leadership, Learning, and School Improvement (LLSI) teams to work innovatively to ensure that each student is thriving in an accessible, inclusive and engaging environment.
  • 7. Operation of the EarlyON Child and Family Programs - Staff recommends that at a future date, the Board reflect on the risks and opportunities of continuing to serve as a service provider based on two years of information on the formal transition from TDSB’s Parenting and Family Literacy Programs to EarlyON Programs and current information about the new  model, future directions outlined in the transformation documents and financial projections.

Labour Relations

Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) Update: January 9, 2020
On January 9, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced the details of Phase 3 and Phase 4 strike action that will begin should an agreement with the Province and OPSBA not be reached.
Phase 3 - Effective Monday, January 13, 2020, all ETFO members will:
  • NOT plan or participate in any assemblies, except to provide supervision to students
  • NOT participate in extracurricular activities except for those that are scheduled within the regular school day
  • NOT participate in field trips
  • NOT arrive at work any earlier than 30 minutes before the start of the instructional day for students (or for hourly paid ETFO members, not arrive any more than 30 minutes before the start of the scheduled work day); and
  • NOT remain at the worksite later than 15 minutes after the end of the instructional day for students (or for hourly paid ETFO members, not remain later than 15 minutes after the end of the scheduled work day).
The sanctions included as part of Phase 1 and Phase 2 Work-to-Rule Strike Protocols will continue.
Phase 4 - Effective Monday, January 20, 2020, all ETFO members will:
  • NOT participate in any District School Board or Ministry professional learning
ETFO also announced that if no agreement is reached by January 17, 2020, effective January 20, 2020, ETFO will commence a full-withdrawal of services strike on a rotating basis. If this full withdrawal of services takes place, the TDSB would have no other option but to close all elementary schools to students as there would not be sufficient supervision to ensure their safety.
Additional information, including the specific impact to programs and services, will be shared with parents/guardians in the coming days.

Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) Update: January 10, 2020
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) has announced that another one-day walkout is scheduled to take place at some Ontario school boards on Wednesday, January 15 if an agreement is not reached. It is important to note that this walkout does not impact the TDSB. All TDSB schools will be open to students on January 15.
On this day, OSSTF members in school boards not impacted by this walkout (including the TDSB) will hold information pickets in front of schools before or after school, or during lunch periods. The limited withdrawal of services, which began on November 26, will continue province-wide.
All updates on labour negotiations will be posted on the TDSB website as they are available -

New Invitations

Secondary Program Review and Optional Attendance Policy: Virtual Public Consultations – January 30, 2020

As you are aware, the TDSB is undertaking a review of secondary schools to ensure all students have equitable access to programs and opportunities. As part of this review, the Board is also reviewing the Optional Attendance Policy (P013), which allows students to apply to schools other than their designated school by home address. We have held four public meetings on both Optional Attendance Policy (P013) and Secondary Program Review in November 2019 and you can review this presentation here. Two virtual public consultation meetings are scheduled for Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Join the 1:00 p.m. session here. Join the 7:00 p.m. session here.

Bag2school Clothing Drive + Clothing Swap

Hodgson eco club is collaborating with local eco art collective Works-in-Progress ( and bag2school to host a textile and clothing drive. See poster for details. Works-in-Progress will host a clothing swap for the neighbourhood in the Hodgson cafeteria (with the support of Hodgson administration) on Wednesday January 22 4pm-7pm in the cafeteria. Donations welcome during the swap as well. $5 to fill a bag or pay what you can, donate a bag and fill a bag. All sizes, baby to adults.

Join the TDSB All-City Community Ensembles

Grade 6-8 instrumental students in TDSB band and strings programs are encouraged to apply for the All-City Community Ensemble program.  The program supports collaboration with peers across the TDSB in a large ensemble  - Band, String Ensemble, or R&B Ensemble, culminating in a performance at the 134th annual Spring Festival Concert at the world renowned Roy Thomson Hall, May 20, 2019. Parents/Guardians complete the application at by January 24, 2020. 

Nominations for the Black Student Alliance Awards

Nominations for the first-ever Black Student Alliance Awards close on January 17. These awards, launched by the African Heritage Month Committee, will recognize up to three outstanding groups that support Black students, build their leadership capacity and create more inclusive schools. These inaugural awards celebrate the achievements of Black Student Alliances (BSAs) – student groups that increase student voice, build capacity in student leadership and are supported by a TDSB staff member – that seek to empower Black students, create safer and more inclusive spaces and provide leadership opportunities for students of African Heritage.
The award is open to both elementary and secondary schools for students in grades K - 12. One award will be given in each category: grades K - 3; grades 4 - 8; and grades 9 - 12.

For more information, please click here.

Are you interested in starting BSA at your school? Please join us on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at Downsview Secondary School to learn more!

Worth Repeating...

Global School Play Day - Feb 5, 2020

Restoring unstructured play to a generation of kids! 
You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” - Plato
Last year, on February 6, 2019, the Fifth-Annual Global School Play Day continued to spread around the world. Over 535,000 young people from 72 nations were registered by their administrators or teachers to participate. Schools from around the world stood together to say, “Unstructured play is a vital part of proper child development!”
Official Twitter Account - @GSPlayDay Hashtag: #GSPD2020
Global School Play Day Official Website -

2019 - 2020 School Council Learning Opportunities

Each of your offices has a binder of resources for School Councils that you are welcome to borrow - and hopefully by the end of the week a USB key with the same information to make it easier to search and print from. Learning opportunities have been organized for School Council 101, ByLaws and Effectiveness. Please find below the dates, times, locations and share broadly.
Date LC Location Time Room Topic
Jan 16 1 John Polanyi 6:00 – 9:00 117 School Council ByLaws
Jan 23 2 Drewry SS 6:00 – 9:00 102 School Council ByLaws
Jan 28 3 Woburn CI 6:00 – 9:00 105 School Council ByLaws
Feb 4 4 Central Tech 6:00 – 9:00 102 School Council ByLaws
Feb 13 1 John Polanyi 6:00 – 9:00 120 School Council Effectiveness
Feb 20 2 Drewry SS 6:00 – 9:00 102 School Council Effectiveness
Feb 26 3 Woburn CI 6:00 – 9:00 105 School Council Effectiveness
Mar 5 4 Central Tech 6:00 – 9:00 102 School Council Effectiveness
And the presentations from PIAC's Ready. Set. Engage. Event from November 16 are now posted online.
Save the date! Join us for the Parents as Partners Conference on Saturday, March 28, 2020! This all-inclusive conference is organized by TDSB parents for TDSB parents, guardians and caregivers. Participate in workshops, network with parents and community agencies and learn new strategies to support your child’s success. Registration opens soon.

Policy Consultations

We Want to Hear From You
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is committed to open and inclusive policy decision-making and values community input and participation through consultation. Consultation is a two-way communication process between the Board and external participants, including students and their parents/guardians, school councils, advisory committees, community members, different levels of government, service agencies, professional organizations and union partners. The objective of consultation is to gather public input regarding options, alternative courses of action, as well as to identify unintended effects for various participants and to find solutions. 
Current Policy Review Schedule

Attendance at Schools Outside of Designated Attendance Area (formerly Optional Attendance) (P013) As per the Secondary Programs Review and the TDSB Policy Review Schedule, the Optional Attendance Policy is currently being reviewed. We are asking all members of the TDSB community for feedback on the proposed draft.
Closes - February 03, 2020
Draft Policy -
Survey -
Objective: To provide policy direction about access to schools outside a student’s designated attendance area. The Optional Attendance policy allows students to apply to schools other than their designated school by home address. This is possible because there is excess capacity at some schools across the system. This has afforded students choice of school and program as well as enabled students to remain with cohorts if a family changes residence. However, optional attendance has prevented equity of access and has created an imbalance of enrolment in our secondary schools (under and over-utilized schools). It has also created an environment where schools are forced to compete with each other to attract more students in hopes of increasing their enrolment.

Please note - The new draft policy on Specialized Programs is coming to the Board on February 5. It is found here

2020-2021 Optional Attendance 

Information on Optional Attendance
Please note that not all programs/schools are open to Optional Attendance if you do not live in the school's catchment area. Acceptance at these schools is subject to space availability and program suitability. The procedures, conditions and timelines relating to optional attendance are described in the Optional Attendance Policy and the Optional Attendance Operational Procedure.
Each year in December, schools are classified as limited or closed to optional attendance based on the space they have available for the upcoming school year.
Elementary Schools (applying for September 2020 admission)
For the form, click here Applications must be received by Friday, February 14, 2020.
Secondary Schools (applying for September 2020 admission)
For the Form, click here  Applications must be received by Friday, January 31, 2020.
Note: It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to deliver this application (no faxed or scanned copies) to the school or schools of choice.
NOTE - the Optional Attendance Status for 2020 - 2021 has now been updated on the school websites. Find your school here -

Secondary Program Review

The vision of the Secondary Program Review, which will address both under and over-utilized schools, includes fewer schools with strong programming and increased access to courses that support all pathways. In order to achieve that, the Board will consider potential consolidation and/or relocation of schools, re-purposing secondary school buildings to address other system needs, and different models of school organization (e.g. full-year programming).
To learn more about the Secondary School Review, please read the Questions and Answers

French Programs Update

French Immersion Application/Placement Update
Due to the large volume of applications for SK Immersion, it will take a number of weeks for all the families to hear. We encourage families to check their email frequently, including their junk mail. It is important to remember that not all families in a given area will receive their offers of placement at the same time, but all will receive one. Please be reminded while admission to the Early French Immersion (SK entry) program is guaranteed at the entry points to all on- time applicants, admission to a specific school is not guaranteed if the school reaches capacity and given the number of applicants in our Ward, there will be redirections. Please also note that the final entry for French Immersion at SK and the first entry for French Immersion at JK will be September 2022.
Applications for Junior Extended French which begins in Grade 4 must be completed online between January 6, 2020 and January 31, 2020. Please note that this will be the last entry class for this program as it will be transitioning out - Grade 4 Immersion Program will continue. There will be NO gap in access to Grade 4 entry to intensive program. Students in Grade 3 in 2019 will apply to Junior Extended French for September 2020, and students in Grade 3 in 2020, will apply to Middle French Immersion for September 2021.
The grade 7 Extended French program offers students who have successfully completed three years of Core French the option to enter into a more intensive program in grade 7. These students spend approximately 40% of their day in French classes at the Extended French school. The attendance area for an Extended French school is created by "associated" English feeder schools. To locate the Grade 7 entry Extended French school in your area, you must first confirm the English school for your home address, then visit our Extended French Location Finder. Applications should be submitted directly to the Extended French school by January 31, 2020 Please note that this will be the last entry class for this program as it will be transitioning out but  the Grade 4 Immersion Program will continue.

High School Information Nights

To help you make an informed decision when choosing a school, TDSB schools host open houses and information nights for parents and students each year between October and January. Learn everything you need to know about our incredible variety of schools, programs and courses. Please click here for the schedule you have questions about a specific school or open house, please contact the school directly for more information.

School Year Calendar 2019-2020

The 2019-2020 school year at the TDSB begins on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 following the Labour Day long weekend. For more information about important dates and holidays for the upcoming school year, please refer to the 2019-20 School Year Calendar.

The official school year calendar for the Toronto District School Board runs from September 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020, inclusive.
  • The last day of class for elementary students is June 25, 2020
  • The last day of class for secondary (full year) students is June 23, 2020
  • The last day of class for secondary (semestered) students is June 23, 2020
PA Days & Statutory Holidays
  • Elementary PA Day January 17, 2020
  • Secondary PA Day (Semestered Schools only) January 30, 2020 
  • Board-wide PA Day February 14, 2020
  • Family Day  February 17, 2020
  • March Break  March 16 to 20, 2020
  • Good Friday  April 10, 2020     
  • Easter Monday  April 13, 2020
  • Victoria Day  May 18, 2020
  • Elementary School PA Day  June 5, 2020
  • Secondary School PA Day (Full Year Schools only) June 24, 2020
  • Secondary School PA Day  June 25, 2020
  • Board-wide PA Day June 26, 2020
Also please note - 
  • Passover begins sunset of  Wednesday, April 8, 2020 and ends nightfall of Thursday, April 16, 2020
  • Ramadan 2020 will begin in the evening of Thursday, April 23, 2020 and ends in the evening of Saturday, May 23, 2020 (dates may vary)
  • Eid al-Fitr 2020 will begin in the evening of Saturday, May 23, 2020
Gr. 9 Math:  2nd Semester: June 2-15, 2020
OSSLT:  March 31, 2020
Primary/Junior EQAO:  May 19-June 1, 2020

Also please note Days of Significance - click for the complete list 2019-2020
You may also find this Days of Significance Resource Guide helpful
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