Keeping you engaged and informed
Keeping you engaged and informed
Ward 11 Weekly Update header
Week of November 22, 2015
All Toronto City Council Members, TDSB and TCDSB Trustees Sign Joint Statement of Unity
On Friday, I was proud to join my colleagues in adding my name to a "Statement of Unity"... but I was very sad for the need too... 
November 20 - In light of recent hate crimes targeting Muslims, especially Muslim women, and threatening to create a rift in our communities, we stand united today to state the following:
No one should be made to feel afraid because of who they are and what they believe. No one should be afraid to practice their faith, commute home, or pick up their children from school. People should never be persecuted. Islamophobic, xenophobic, and racist actions are unacceptable and we must name them as hate crimes in order to stop them and prevent them from spreading and taking hold. We must stand up and speak out against hate in our homes, our work places, our communities and amongst our friends.
Some in the world would like us to be afraid. They want to divide us. Make us fear each other. We will not let this happen. We will remain strong through unity and a shared hope for peace. We commit to love in the face of hate and hope in the face of fear. We stand together, united across our differences so that we remain strong and hold on to the fundamental rights and values that make our freedom possible.
Signatories are inviting other elected officials, including those outside of Toronto, and residents to add their name here:

Director to Lead Joint Ontario Government-York University Research Project
Monday, November 16, 2015 - Toronto District School Board Chair Robin Pilkey announced today that Director of Education Donna Quan has accepted a secondment to the Ontario Ministry of Education. Reporting to the Deputy Minister and working in conjunction with York University and Ontario's school boards, Ms. Quan will head-up a new, leading edge project to inform the feasibility for collecting additional province-wide student and education related data to address the principles outlined in Achieving Excellence: A Renewed Vision for Education in Ontario. The project will potentially provide information to further inform understanding of student populations and school communities, with the view to better identifying and addressing potential barriers to academic success and well-being for all students in Ontario. Her new post takes effect on December 14, 2015. 
I was pleased to be elected to the Interim Director search committee along with Chair Robin Pilkey and Trustees Jennifer Story, Marit Stiles, and Jerry Chadwick. 

Ward 11 Schools Help...
Just want to mention how proud I am of the schools in Ward 11 - between donating to the Syrian Refugee Crisis, collecting warm clothes for a Winter Clothes Drive, collecting new toys for Toy Drives, donating to the United Way and the Food Bank... to name just a few, our students understand what it means to be part of a larger community.

Live Webcast - Join us for our Board meeting on November 25, 2015 @ 7PM

The Board webcasts the public session of the regular monthly Board meetings so that parents, community members and staff can follow trustee deliberations online. Board meeting webcasts are only available through this link from the date of the actual meeting until replaced by the next meeting’s webcast. You can review the agenda for the Board Meeting.

Key Items on the Agenda include:

Program and School Services Committee, Report No. 49, November 12, 2015
  • Smoke-Free Environment
  • Volunteer Supervisors of Extra-Curricular Activities in Schools
  • Night School Credit Classes in Etobicoke
  • Research Brief on the Characteristics of Students in French-as-a-Second-Language Programs
  • Review of Bill 212: An Act to amend the Education Act in respect of behavior, discipline and safety
Finance and Accountability Committee, Report No. 07, November 18, 2015
  • Environmental Legacy Fund 
  • Use of Disposable Plastic Bottles
Planning and Priorities Committee, Report No. 51, November 18, 2015
  • Receipt of Section 37 Funds From the City of Toronto to Fund Improvements at Deer Park Junior and Senior Public School 
  • Requests for School Capital Facilities: TDSB Championship Field Program, Municipal Tax
  • Engagement of an Executive Search Firm 
  • City-School Boards Advisory Committee Update 
  • TDSB Championship Field Program: Municipal Tax Implications
  • Safety in School Zones
  • 2016-17 Proposed Dates for Budget Community Information Sessions and Ward Forums
  • Ministry of Education 2016-17 Education Funding Consultation Guide 
  • 2016-17 Operating Budget Development Timeline and Tracking Sheet: Update 
  • 2016-17 Budget Process Communications Support and Tactics

Legislative Updates
This last week the House convened after its constituency week with Premier Wynne returning from her international mission to California and China  The leaders of each party spoke about the tragic events in Paris and the fire that vandalized a mosque in Peterborough. This was followed by a moment of silence. Led by Minister of Education Liz Sandals, each party also made statements about Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week. During the week PC MPP Todd Smith introduced a private members’ bill entitled the Smoke-Free Schools Act. Bill 139 would increase fines for those who make and sell contraband cigarettes to high school students. NDP MPP France Gélinas put forward Bill 104, Université de l'Ontario français Act, for debate. If passed, the bill would put in place a transitional governance committee that would be the first step towards the creation of a French-language university in Ontario. NDP MPP Michael Mantha put forward Bill 142, Children's Law Reform Amendment Act (Relationship with Grandparents), for debate. Mantha’s bill would disallow a person entitled to custody of a child from prohibiting the child from having a relationship with their grandparents. Also last week, the government announced the formation of an “Ad Hoc Committee on Refugees in order to support its commitment to help settle thousands of refugees before the end of the year. Ontario stands ready to support the federal government's strategy, and will work to increase the capacity of settlement and integration services to meet the needs of the refugees who will be settled in Ontario.” The TDSB is taking part in an inter-agency working group that is discussing plans for possible refugees. At this point in time, we’re not aware of specific numbers of refugees or where they may be located once they arrive. While high level planning has begun, we really are waiting to learn more specifics before we can truly start getting plans in order and be in a position to outline those.
As mentioned in last week's update, the Ministry of Education announced $498 million in funding to build 30 new schools (including Davisville/Specturm), complete 26 major additions and renovations and build 122 licensed child care rooms. And, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport announced $13.5 million in funding for Ontario's After School Program to help kids develop healthy eating habits, get active, gain confidence and achieve more in school. 

New Invitations
Maurice Cody Winter Fair
Mark Saturday November 28th from 10-3pm down on your calendar for this year’s fun-filled Winter Fair at Maurice Cody Public School.  Everyone is welcome to come out and enjoy games, crafts and treats galore.  All the details can be found at  
Worth Repeating
High School Information Nights - To help you make an informed decision when choosing a high school, TDSB schools host open houses and information nights for parents and grade 8 students each year. Open houses take place between October and January and are an opportunity to learn everything you need to know about our incredible variety of schools, programs and courses. This link shows all the open houses.
French Immersion & Extended French Timelines - A reminder that the TDSB guarantees an offer of placement in the Early French Immersion or Junior Extended French program (not a specific school) to all on-time applicants.  Timelines for the application process to French Immersion and Extended French programs for September 2016 are as follows:
  • Early French Immersion (EFI):  Families must apply on-line (for a JK aged child) between November 2nd 2015 and December 3rd 2015; 
  • Junior Extended French or Middle Immersion:  Families must apply on-line (for a child currently in Grade 3) between January 4th and January 28th 2016. For further information, please click here
Supper with Syria - November 29, 2015, 4 -9pm Artscape Wychwood Barns - Learn the story of Syria that you don't hear in the news. Join your neighbours and friends for an evening of Syrian food, music and culture, and help us raise $70,000 for the sponsorship and settlement of 2 Syrian families in our community (Ward 21). Watch Syrian and Canadian chefs prepare traditional Syrian meals while sharing stories of food and life from opposite ends of the world. There will be a silent auction, storytelling, traditional music, art, and much more. For more Visit Supper With Syria on Facebook at or email
Alyson Schafer - Family Talk About Drinking - Tuesday Dec. 1st,  7:30-8:30 - Northern SS Library   Family Talk about Drinking gives parents and educators the tools and strategies required to navigate this important phase of development. The goal is to help adults better understand what is happening in the lives of teens and take an active role to prevent underage drinking. 
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