colourful line
Dear friends,
What a year -- unprecedented in so many ways, this is certainly one for the history books! As we close the door on the 2020-2021 school year, I want to extend my appreciation to all of our education staff who made the best of an extremely challenging year and supported our students through it all. Our Ward 11 education team was truly extraordinary. Thanks go out to so many different staff from all areas of the TDSB -- from our LC1 Virtual School teachers and staff, to our Ward 11 school administrators, superintendents, Executive Superintendent, to our teachers, Educational Assistants, Early Childhood Educators, office staff, public health nurses, bus drivers, caretakers, social workers, psychology staff, special education staff, the list goes on. Add on to this the tremendous supports from our health partners at Toronto Publich Health, Sunnybrook and Michael Garron Hospitals, along with community agencies like TNO...
Finally, the contributions and support of parents and caregivers -- through parent councils, central board committees, and the day in/day out support of their children, parents and caregivers played instrumental roles in keeping our schools safe and spirits high. This year was truly about teamwork and I am so grateful to everyone for their contributions.
As we wrap up this week, trustees have one final formal board meeting on Wednesday. In honour of the unmarked graves being discovered all over our country, trustees will wear orange in recognition of this incredibly challenging time for our country and for indigenous families, in particular. As an education system, we are mindful of the tremendous responsbility we have in caring for all children, and our commitment to Truth and Reconciliation is of the utmost importance as we close this year and look towards next school year.
Advocacy Work: Aiming for traditional Semesters
In my last newsletter I wrote about a motion I was planning to bring forward calling for a return to semesters in high schools for the 2021-2022 school year. At that time, the plan was for quadmesters next year. As you are likely aware, the Ministry of Education has now allowed for the TDSB to move to a modified semester timetable for next year, where students take 2 courses one week, then switch to their other two courses the following week, and back and forth throughout the semester.
While this is a definite improvement over quadmesters, I remain committed to advocating for a return to traditional semesters should the public health situation allow. With the change to modified semesters, Trustee Doyle and I altered our motion to ask our Board Chair to write to the Minister of Education calling for a return to traditional semesters, should vaccination uptake continue to be strong and if case counts remain low. With high school students eligible for full vaccination this summer, we believe this is a realistic option and we want to see our high school students experience as normal a year as possible. This motion passed unanimously at committee last week, and goes to board for ratification today, Wednesday, June 30th. I feel confident it will pass, but of course the larger challenge will be getting the Ministry of Education to agree. If we continue on our province's current trajectory, I am optimistic we might see this come to fruition.
Enjoy this newsletter!
In an effort to provide as many resources and information as possible, what follows below is quite a lengthy newsletter! It contains information on a variety of topics, including but not limited to: data gathered on this past year's school experience from our January surveys, the TDSB's Recovery Plan, Covid-19 and vaccinations, upcoming events, tons of summer activities and resources, information regarding the 2021-2022 school year including the calendar & activities, and more. 
Summer information
As always, please continue to monitor the TDSB website at and social media (@TDSB on Twitter, @toronto.dsb on Facebook, or @torontodsb on Instagram) for any updates on evolving COVID-19 health and safety protocols and plans.
I plan to send out the occasional update over the summer, with more consistent newsletters starting again in mid-August. While I plan to take some time off over July to spend time with my family, Trustee Services will be open all Summer and I will be available over email should you have a question or concern.
I hope you all have a safe and relaxing summer, and find time to connect with family and friends.
Warmest wishes, on a very hot and humid end of June day,
~ Rachel
School During the Pandemic: Research & Reports
The TDSB Research and Development department is very interested in understanding the impact of COVID-19 on our students, families, and staff. They are monitoring a variety of policy areas within the board to support schools and the system in adapting to change and planning for the future. 

Reports available to-date:

Pandemic Recovery Plan
Since the pandemic has extended over the course of the full 2020-21 school year, concerns have been raised over the long-term impacts on student learning for all ages and grade levels as well as the impacts on students’ mental health and well-being.
The Toronto District School Board’s COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery Plan is a three-phase plan that will identify which groups have been most impacted, where interventions will be put in place, and initial outcomes that result from these interventions.
This is the first report in what will be a series of reports over the next two years. It consists of an in-depth analysis of key student perception and learning outcome data and has been divided into sections that address the areas of focus for the year ahead: 
  • Building Relationships and Enhancing Belonging
  • Use of Play/Outdoor Play
  • Honouring Skills/Knowledge Gained During the Pandemic
  • Assessment For Learning/As Learning
  • Differentiated Supports For Those Who Have Had Greater Impacts From the Pandemic
  • Staff Collaboration
  • Digital Tools for Engaging Students/Families
  • Virtual Learning 2021-2022
Download the full report here.
Support Holland Bloorview with your Lemonade Stand!
A forwarded message from Holland Bloorview: 
The countdown for summer is on which means Lemonade season is around the corner! We know this past year has not been easy for schools and students are feeling a little restless at home. However, we have a solution that we believe will bring some cheer, love and most importantly fresh lemonade to your community….
Students can support Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital this summer by hosting a lemonade stand and joining us in our Lemonade for Possibility Campaign. Lemonade for Possibility is a fun, safe and easy way for kids to support kids and will raise important funds needed to create a world of possibilities for kids with disabilities!
How it works:
  1. Register your lemonade stand – it's free
  2. Choose a date to host your stand
  3. Holland Bloorview Foundation will provide you with the resources necessary to make sure your lemonade stand is a huge success
  4. Invite your friends and family out to your stand for a socially distanced friendly glass of lemonade
Share your personal fundraising link in advance of your stand to collect donations! Make sure to share what a difference you are making in the lives of children and families at Holland Bloorview!
Once someone registers they will be mailed a Lemonade for Possibility branded apron and a customizable poster to help promote their stand. The campaign will remain open until the end of the summer so the students and families can pick a date that works best for them!
To learn more about Lemonade for Possibility and Holland Bloorview click: here.
A Day to Listen: Amplifying Indigenous Voices on June 30
6am – 6pm (local time) on Wednesday, June 30 on radio stations across Canada

In recognition of National Indigenous History Month, Bell Media, Corus Entertainment Inc., Rogers Sports & Media, Stingray Radio, and more, join together in an unprecedented collaboration to amplify, elevate, listen to, and learn from Indigenous voices with A Day to Listen.
In partnership with the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF), A Day to Listen is dedicated to sharing stories from Indigenous leaders, residential school survivors, elders, musicians, and teachers throughout the day. 
The mission of DWF is to create a pathway towards reconciliation, and to improve the lives of Indigenous people by building awareness, education, and connections between all Canadians. 
July 1: Honouring the Children
In lieu of Canada Day the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) will instead hold a ceremony to honour and remember all the children lost to residential schools, those who Survived the schools and their children and families. More truth and evidence of genocide will be revealed. Join us in Honouring the children. For more information, click
COVID-19: Ontario Roadmap, Vaccinations, Clinics
On June 24, the government announced that Ontario would be moving to Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen on June 30. Step Two of the Roadmap focuses on the resumption of more outdoor activities and limited indoor services with small numbers of people where face coverings are worn, with other restrictions in place. 
Second Dose eligibility: Starting Monday, June 28, 2021 at 8:00 a.m., all Ontarians aged 18 and over who received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine will be eligible to book an appointment to receive their second dose and as of Saturday June 26, 2021 at 8 am, youth aged 12 to 17 who received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine can now rebook their second dose appointments for an earlier date, as long as it is scheduled at least 28 days after the first dose.  
Staff: In addition, effective June 14, 2021, education staff who received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine are also eligible to receive a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at an interval of eight to 12 weeks, with informed consent. This can include a second dose of AstraZeneca or an mRNA vaccine.
Booking: Education staff can use Ontario’s vaccine booking system to find out how to schedule an appointment, or can call the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line number at 1-833-943-3900. For general inquiries, individuals can call the Provincial Vaccine Information Line number at 1-888-999-6488 or TTY service is also available by calling 1-866-797-0007. Education staff can also visit to find a pharmacy offering a COVID-19 vaccine and to book an appointment.
Vaccine Clinics at Sunnybrook
Both Sunnybrook vaccine clinics are by appointment only, no walk-ins: 
  • If you are age 12 to 17, please book at the Bayview Clinic.
  • If you are age 18+, you can book at either the Bayview Clinic or the Sunnybrook Estates Pop-Up Clinic. Please note the pop-up clinic is not TTC accessible.
First doses: Anyone age 12+ can book an appointment for the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Sunnybrook.  Please note: You must be at least 12 years old at the time of booking
Second doses: Anyone age 12+ can book a second-dose vaccine appointment at Sunnybrook if they live, work or go to school in any M postal code and got their first dose of an mRNA vaccine (either Pfizer or Moderna) more than 28 days ago.

Michael Garron Vaccine Clinics - Thorncliffe Park Community Hub (July 1, 3, and 4)

This pop-up clinic is offering first and second doses to specific eligible populations. Drop-ins welcome, no appointments required.
First doses will also be available to any individuals 12 and older who live in Toronto.
Second doses are available for anyone who lives/works/attends school in M1L, M3C or M4H as per current second dose eligibility criteria and are listed on the flyer.
VInfo:a For more information on vaccines call Toronto Public Health 416-338-7600 8:30 am to 8:00 pm / 7 days a week. Text the word VACCINE to 1-833-750-0888 to be connected with resources including appointment bookings & information on vaccines. Visit please, if you are on Twitter, follow Vaccine Hunters Canada @VaxHuntersCan! On Friday, they announced the launch of their multilingual website Find Your Immunization (“FYI”), providing vaccine availability from pharmacies, pop-ups, and clinics Canada-wide. A user can utilize FYI to find the nearest appointment and availability to them, view information like booking method, vaccine type, dose number, and then book the appointment.
The Public Health Agency of Canada released guidelines Friday on what those who have had two shots against COVID-19 can do as Canada's vaccination rates climb (see below).
Selection Form for In-Person or Virtual Learning (2021-22)
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) will be asking all families to complete a Selection Form for In-Person or Virtual Learning for the 2021-22 school year.
Over the past several weeks, COVID-19 cases in Toronto have continued to decline, and we have seen significant progress with vaccines among adults and children aged 12-17. This is encouraging news, and we look forward to reconnecting all students to their home schools and welcoming them in person in September. 
While requests for Virtual Learning will be accommodated where necessary, we strongly encourage all students to select In-Person Learning. Based on our TDSB data about how students feel they learn best, and available data with respect to students returning to in-person learning, we feel confident that this is the best choice for students following what has been a challenging year.
Families can complete the Selection Form for In-Person or Virtual Learning online from Thursday, August 5 to Thursday, August 12.
  • An email with a Selection Form link will be sent on Thursday, August 5.
  • Families with two or more children will receive a separate email and link for each student.
  • Families must complete the Selection Form using the link provided. 
  • Those without an email address on file with the TDSB will receive a phone call to complete the Selection Form between August 10 and 12.
  • Students will be placed in In-Person Learning if we do not receive a completed Selection Form by August 12.
For more information, including translations, please visit
Summer 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 support their mental health and well-being. The TDSB has provided a helpful guide that includes a variety of culturally-responsive resources and accessible activities to help make this summer a little easier for you and your family. Information on where and how to reach out for help is also included.
The guide includes sections on:
  • TDSB Summer Programs & Services, including Virtual Office Hour
  • Support for Mental Health & Well-Being Support & Resources For Youth
  • Summer Programs & Activities For My Child/Youth
  • Some Ideas For Keeping My Child/Youth Active This Summer
  • Resources For My Child With Special/Complex Needs
  • TDSB Supports & Resources For Mental Health & Well-Being
Download the guide here
TDSB Summer Menu of Activities & Supports
TDSB Professional Support Services offers a HUGE Summer Menu of Activities and Supports for students, parents and caregivers!
Please see the brief descriptions for each activity/group and click on the PDF flyer to access contact and registration information.

These programs and activities are being provided by TDSB’s Professional Support Services (PSS) staff from Social Work, Speech- Language Pathology, Psychology, Child and Youth Services and Occupational/Physical Therapy.

During the month of July and the last two weeks of August, PSS Staff will also continue to offer Virtual Office Hours for Caregivers/Parents of all students, as well as Caregivers/Parents of students with special/complex needs (please see new summer times).

Click for the full Summer Menu of Activities & Supports
Continuing Education’s Summer Webinars
The Continuing Education department will be offering a webinar series throughout the summer to support parents and caregivers with engaging with their children in reading, math, and early years education. For more information and to register, click the links below:
Registration is Still Open for eSummer (High School) Courses in August
Registration for August eSummer courses closes July 8 at 4:00PM.
Register here (some courses may be full).
Paid Career Training for Youth (15-30y)
Available this summer, On the Line Culinary Program and On the Road Construction Preparation Program, operated by the TDSB Community Services, are open to youth between 15 and 30 years old. Both programs include in-class instruction followed by a paid job placement. For youth who are out of school/work and looking for what’s next, On the Line and On the Road may be the perfect step toward a viable career.
For more information, please email or Learn more at
Adult Summer Programs: ESL & Learn4Life General Interest
  • Adult learners will have an opportunity to improve their English online this summer from July 5 to July 30.  A broad range of English as a Second Language classes will be available, from beginner to advanced levels. Registration opens June 21, 2021. Learn more by visiting
  • Learn a new skill or take up a hobby online this summer with courses in art, computers, fitness and wellness, languages, and much more!  Registration is now open with courses beginning July 5, 2021. View our online brochure by visiting
Return of Borrowed Student Devices
In preparation for the start of the 2021-22 school year, families that borrowed devices (e.g. iPad, Chromebook, Internet Hub) from the TDSB or local school are asked to return them. If you have already returned the device to a TDSB School, please disregard this message.
Devices and all power cables, cases and chargers that were delivered with the device can be returned to any TDSB school until Friday, July 2 (for elementary schools) and Friday, July 9 (for secondary schools) between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. 
All devices that are not returned by July 2 will be administratively locked, preventing student login. These devices will need to be returned when school resumes in September.
Students enrolled in a TDSB summer program may continue using the device for the duration of the summer program and should return the device in September.
If you have any questions, please contact
Please note: Rogers Connected for Success offers low cost, high-speed internet and many TDSB families may qualify for the program. Please click the following link for more information on pricing and eligibility requirements.
2021-2022 School Year Calendar
The Ministry of Education has approved the TDSB’s 2021-2022 School Year Calendar.
The first day of classes for students will be  Thursday, September 9, 2021.
Visit the TDSB website for the full calendar, including PA days and holidays. 
Student Transportation Portal
All parents/guardians with children who take the bus to school are encouraged to sign up for the Student Transportation Parent Portal to access important information and updates. Please look out for emails over the summer regarding Transportation for September. If you have moved this past year, or plan to move over summer, it is important that you please complete the Student Transportation Application Form with your new address, and email it to your school (or to after schools are closed for the summer) to avoid delays in bussing.
2021-2022 Saturday International Language Credit Courses
Earn a high school credit while learning a new language! Registration is now open, for current high school students, in our Saturday International Language Credit Program. Classes are held Saturday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and run from October 2021 to June 2022. To view a list of courses offered and to register, visit the program website.
Parents as Partners: October 23 & 24
Join TDSB for a virtual conference and learn strategies to support your child, connect with other parents and hear from our inspirational keynote speaker.
TDSB is committed to parent, caregiver, and community engagement as an essential element in our shared efforts to improve outcomes for children throughout their lives. Our role is to help build capacity by successfully engaging parents and caregivers, strengthening home-school partnerships, and aligning our collective efforts.

The Parents and Caregivers as Partners Conference 2021 provides an opportunity to highlight innovation and high-impact strategies for partnering, collaborating, and nurturing parents and caregivers’ partnerships and alliances.
We are now accepting proposals for plenaries, workshops and micro sessions that enhance and expand engagement through family-school-community partnerships. Learn more at
Ontario Universities' Fair goes Virtual: September 25, October 26
Ontario's universities are excited to host the Ontario Universities' Fairs virtual events in the Fall of 2021. It will consist of 2 virtual events: Saturday, September 25, 12-2 pm (ET); Tuesday, October 26, 5-7 pm (ET). All Ontario universities will participate in these events. The events are free and anyone may attend - no registration required. Each event will be divided up into four 30-minute sessions, where students can learn about the universities of their choice and ask questions. For more information, visit the event website.
In addition to these 2 events, Ontario universities continue to offer their own virtual events and tours, webinars, chats and more. To see upcoming university virtual offerings, visit the Tours and Events section on the Ontario Universities' Info website.
The Human Library Podcast: NEW Episodes
The TDSB Human Library: Conversations around Equitable, Anti-Racist, and Anti-Oppressive Practice is a podcast series on topics related to Equity, Anti-Racism, and Anti-Oppression in education. Each 15 minute podcast invites listeners to critically reflect on their pedagogy, reimagine engagement, and partner with the community to improve student well-being and achievement.
Newly available:
Episode 6: On the Frontlines: Supporting Educator Well-being in Equity Work 
This episode tackles the toll equity work can take on its disruptors. We talked with Dr. ABC about how those within equity work should put their well-being first. Listen Now
Episode 7: The Time is Now: Reimagining the Kindergarten to Industry Pipeline 
In this episode, Lisa Cole speaks to educators about the need to reimagine how we see educational systems not as pipelines and pathways, but as ecosystems. Listen Now
Still available:
Episode 1: NATASHA HENRY - African Canadian Experiences and the Curriculum (audiotranscript)
Episode 2: GEN LING CHANG - Understanding and Addressing Anti-Asian Racism (audiotranscript)
Episode 3: TANITIÃ MUNROE - Centering Black LGBTQ+ Students in the Classroom (audiotranscript)
Episode 4: RANDELL ADJEI - Partnering with Community Through the Arts (audiotranscript)
Episode 5: JENNIFER WATT - Inquiry-Based Learning in Secondary (audiotranscript)
For more information see the webpage for the podcast.
Some of the topics and enduring understandings that will be explored in the series include: African Canadian experiences and the Curriculum; Understanding and Addressing Anti-Asian Racism; Centring Black LGBTQ+ students in the Classroom; Supporting Positive Racial Identity in Early Years; and Understanding Judaism and Jewish Cultures.
Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement - June Newsletter
The Centre of Excellence for Black Sudent Achievement June newsletter is now available online. The Centre is dedicated to improving the experiences and outcomes for Black students. It aims to be responsive to the voices of Black communities who have advocated for systemic change within educational institutions and for dismantling anti-Black racism at the TDSB. To learn more follow @tdsb_cebsa on Twitter and Instagram and sign-up for the mailing list.
Somali Heritage Month – Invitation to Participate in Volunteer Planning Committee
The Somali Heritage Month is recognized at the Toronto District School Board during the month of October.  An invitation is extended to the entire TDSB community wishing to participate in the Somali Heritage Month Volunteer Planning Committee. The mandate of the Somali Heritage Month Volunteer Planning Committee is to provide learning opportunities for students, staff and the TDSB community, as well as to enrich the curriculum resources related to this heritage.

Marisa Chiu, Executive Officer, Finance and Executive Team Lead for Somali Heritage Month is inviting you to mark your calendars and attend the first volunteer planning committee scheduled for Somali Heritage Month for the next school year. Details: 

Somali Heritage Month Volunteer Planning Committee
Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Time: 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Zoom Link: 

Please join us!

Should you have any questions regarding Somali Heritage Month, please contact Ms. Chiu, or Dani Carnevale, Service Co-ordinator for Heritage/History Month at

Over the summer, or at any time, 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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