Week of December 16, 2019
Happy Winter Solstice
Happy New Year
As classes for this term end Friday, December 20, 2019, this is the last update of the year... taking this time to wish you the happiest of holidays, however you celebrate.
I wish you all a wonderful break and an opportunity to spend time with friends and family... may the New Year bring you nothing but peace and health and joy and success.
Will be back to you with another update on Sunday, January 5, 2020.
TDSB Approves 10-Year Planning Strategy
At our last Board meeting we approved the Board’s Long-Term Program & Accommodation Strategy (LTPAS). The strategy, which outlines program and student accommodation studies to be conducted over the next ten years, allows the TDSB to develop plans to balance enrolment and increase access to programs and opportunities for all students.
As discussed at our last ward forum, demographic changes and new developments have put substantial pressure on local schools in high-density areas across the city, forcing the TDSB to adopt different accommodation strategies for managing enrolment growth. These include redirecting students from new residential developments to other TDSB schools located outside the area, the use of portables, and program and school boundary changes. For more specifics about the studies in Ward 8, please click on the deck discussed at the last ward forum here
Putting additional pressure on the TDSB is the fact that while other school boards in Ontario are allowed to collect Education Development Charges (EDCs), the TDSB does not qualify, which puts it at a disadvantage. The TDSB continues direct discussions with the Ontario Government as well as legal proceedings challenging the EDCs regulation (Ontario Reg. 20/98) which does not permit it to collect these critical funds. Without restrictions found in Section 10 of Ontario Reg. 20/98, the TDSB would qualify for EDCs and generate revenue of approximately $400 million over the next 15 years. For more on EDCs, please click here https://www.tdsb.on.ca/About-Us/Accountability/Renewal-Needs-Backlog-and-Facility-Condition-Index/Education-Development-Charges.
Labour Negotiations Update
Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) Update: December 13, 2019 -
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) has announced that a third one-day walkout is scheduled to take place at some Ontario school boards on Wednesday, December 18 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 December 18. On this day, OSSTF members in other school boards (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. Previous Updates https://www.tdsb.on.ca/About-Us/Labour-Negotiations/OSSTF
Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO): Phase 2 Job Action continues -
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) in addition to the Phase 1 Work-to-Rule Strike Protocol
currently in place, began Phase 2 on Tuesday, December 10, 2019. ETFO’s Phase 2 Work-to-Rule Strike Protocol includes, but is not limited to:
- Not planning any new field trips scheduled to occur before June 30, 2020
- Not collecting monies or participating in the electronic collection of monies for school-based activities except those for charitable causes
- Not distributing any memos/letters from a school and/or school board
As a result of the job action, principals and vice-principals in our schools will continue to take on additional tasks. We appreciate the patience and understanding of parents/guardians during this time. At this time, negotiations between ETFO, OPSBA and the Ontario government continue and we are hopeful that an agreement can be reached soon. Previous Updates https://www.tdsb.on.ca/About-Us/Labour-Negotiations/ETFO
A tentative agreement on a new contract was reached with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and we are hopeful that a new contract can be negotiated with ETFO, OSSTF and all other school board employee groups.
The TDSB is currently bargaining locally with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). We anticipate local bargaining with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) in the near future and with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) in the next two weeks.
TDSB Priorities for GSNs 2020-21
There have been no updates from the Ministry of Education about the timing for release of the 2020-21 Education Funding Guide or dates for the Standing Committee to tour the province for pre-budget consultations. Staff has repeatedly inquired as to the status of the consultation document, but no official date has been provided. We anticipate that due to the late release of the consultation guide, that any submissions would be accepted until sometime in January.
In anticipation of the release of the consultation document and the submission deadline being sometime in early January, staff presented an initial draft response at our last board meeting. The focus is on the following areas of interest - excerpted from the report
Transportation - In the absence of provincial funding benchmarks for transportation, school boards have no guidance to support a change in service expectations and the inequity among coterminous boards is left unaddressed because boards will continue to use transportation as a means to compete for students. In addition, the TDSB is advocating that transportation for students with special needs be identified and funded separately. In order to address the issue of driver retention, the Ministry of Education has implemented a driver retention bonus based on service benchmarks. Our concern is that the program is only guaranteed to continue for the current year. The Ministry’s review of transportation services and funding that started three years ago, has not reported out on its findings yet.
Renewal Funding Backlog - It is imperative that the province commit to providing predictable and sustainable funding for school repairs so that the TDSB can continue to implement our long-term plan for renewal, lower our current $3.9 billion repair backlog and modernize our schools. Current industry standards are that 2 to 4% of the replacement value of buildings should be budgeted for renewal expenditures. Costs in high density urban boards for maintenance and construction work are significantly higher than either suburban or rural boards and this should be taken into consideration in establishing construction benchmarks.
Education Development Charges - In our view, the same way that developers pay for services such as roads, transit, water, sewer infrastructure and community centres, they should also contribute to education. In other words, growth should pay for growth. Section 10 of Ontario Reg. 20/98 does not serve the purpose of either the Education Act or the original purpose of EDC funding, which was meant for new developments to fund new school sites. Without the restrictions found in Section 10 of Ontario Reg. 20/98, the TDSB would qualify for EDCs and generate revenue of approximately $400 million over the next 15 years, which would help us meet growth-related infrastructure needs. Given the invaluable role that schools play in each community, such an investment would benefit all citizens of Toronto.
Class Sizes - We urge the Ministry to: Commit to listening to the results of the Ministry consultation on secondary school class size and pay close attention to the analysis you are now getting regarding the impacts on programs, course offerings and student supports; Put on hold the decision to increase average class sizes in high schools and put on hold the reductions to high school teachers until such time that there is system wide and school-board-by-school board data on the impact on high school programs and course options and the concern school boards have with regard to the potential negative impact on graduation rates; and, Compensate boards, including the TDSB, whose collective agreements require a smaller average class size in Grades 4-8 than the average class size level being funded by the Ministry of Education
E-Learning - The TDSB has serious concerns with the government’s plan to introduce mandatory e-learning courses for all secondary students. Since the plan was announced, school boards have not received any further information, which has raised many questions and concerns by parents/guardians, students and our own staff, including how the plan will be implemented and how it will be equitable for all secondary students. The TDSB is not against e-learning, recognizing that it plays an important role in our system. We are, however, concerned about the mandatory nature of this plan, the timing and the general lack of information available for parents/guardians, students and staff.
Challenging Streaming - The TDSB is committed to setting high expectations and increasing access to programming for all students. These principles must begin in the early years and include changes to special education programming and student discipline, transitions to secondary school and Grades 9 and 10 programming. It is important that the Ministry commit to providing additional funding in these areas so that we and other boards can continue to increase student achievement and help students to be successful in their chosen academic program.
Supply Staffing - The current funding levels do not adequately support school boards actual costs in all areas of staffing. Corrective agreements allow for 130 days of absence with staff only being reduced to 90% of earnings after 11 days of absence. There has been an increase in usage of sick time since the new policy was established. School boards need further funding support to address this shortfall.
Staff will present the final submission to the next FBEC committee for information.
Director’s Annual Report
The 2019 Director’s Annual Report highlights some of the important work happening across the system and accomplishments from the past year. Director John Malloy presented it to the Board at the last meeting.
The TDSB is guided by its Multi-Year Strategic Plan
(MYSP) and associated Action Plans. A great deal has been accomplished in support of student equity, well-being and achievement, including improving access to literacy resources for parents, reviewing the effectiveness of some Special Education programs, providing training to administrators in anti-oppression and anti-Black racism and establishing expectations for family and student engagement in the school improvement process. Here are some highlights from the Report -
Challenging Streaming - The TDSB is committed to setting high expectations and increasing access to programming for all students. These principles must begin in the early years and include changes to special education programming and student discipline, transitions to secondary school and Grades 9 and 10 programming. Much of the work to challenge streaming involves professional learning and the focus on staff’s attitudes, bias and practice at the system and local level and raise expectations for all students, resulting in improved achievement and well-being.
on a Foundation of Math and Literacy - In the TDSB, deep learning is illustrated by students taking ownership for their learning supported by the teacher, working with classmates on challenging issues and incorporating their interests and strengths while foundational skills and curriculum expectations are taught.
Toward Excellence in the Education of Black Students - We are committed to helping all students succeed and providing learning experiences, opportunities and access that keeps students engaged and excited about school. However, our data makes it clear that we need a system-wide approach to challenge and change outcomes specifically for Black students. This comes to life through the Strategy for Black Student Achievement and Excellence
. Our efforts are underscored by our commitment to human rights, equity, anti-oppression and anti-racism and based on the belief that what is necessary for some, benefits all students.
Apprenticeship, Technology and Skilled Trades - Pathways - The TDSB supports technology, skilled trade and apprenticeship pathways from K-12 and promotes opportunities across the system.
Safe and Inclusive Learning Environments - Students feel a greater sense of well-being when they are engaged, feel that they belong, and feel safe and included. Knowing who our students are, their identities, abilities and lived experiences allows us to create conditions necessary for dynamic, deep learning experiences and to create environments reflective of, and based on, the assets and gifts they bring in ways that honour them.
Supporting Indigenous Students - Indigenous Education
is a priority at the Toronto District School Board and significant work has been done to demonstrate our ongoing commitment.
Building Capacity through Professional Learning & Leadership - Our greatest asset in the TDSB is the quality of our staff. We are committed to supporting educators and leaders to have the knowledge, skills and resources to ensure anti-oppressive and equitable practices are in place to support student learning and well-being.
Supporting Diversity in Staffing - Our goal is that our employment and promotion policies, procedures and practices result in a TDSB workforce that, at all levels, reflects, understands and responds to our diverse population.
Data Collection - The TDSB is a leader in student data collection, which indicates high levels of achievement and engagement for many students. However, this data also reveals persistent gaps in achievement and well-being for some students despite dedicated efforts to address them. In 2020, we will conduct School Climate Surveys across the system, including students, staff and parents/guardians.
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 9 4 Central Tech 6:00 – 9:00 102 School Council 101
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.
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 - https://www.tdsb.on.ca/Portals/0/docs/Draft%20-%20P013%20-%20Post%20for%20Consultation.docx
Survey - https://surveys.tdsb.on.ca/index.php?r=survey/index&sid=556612&lang=en
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.
Note: Please note that in the Review Work Plan that was approved in June 2019, it was recommended to separate and clarify provisions related to requests for Regular Schools vs. Specialized Schools/Programs. This working draft Policy would only apply to Regular Schools and schools with French programs. A separate draft Policy on Specialized Programs will be developed and posted in the coming months for feedback and comment. Please note - The new draft policy on Specialized Programs will be coming to committee in January 2020.
2020-2021 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.
Note: It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to deliver this application (no faxed or scanned copies) to the school or schools of choice.
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).
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 https://www.tdsb.on.ca/OpenHouse. If you have questions about a specific school or open house, please contact the school directly for more information.
While admission to the Early French Immersion (SK entry)/Junior Extended French (Grade 4 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.
Please Note: At the November Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees approved to leave transportation status quo for the 2020-2021 school year. Therefore, there will be no service changes for transportation in K-8 in French Immersion/Extended French programs for the 2020-2021 school year.
The application for Early Immersion has closed. 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.
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
- Winter Break December 23, 2019 to January 3, 2020 (inclusive)
- Last day of school is December 20, 2019
- School resumes January 6, 2020
- 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 -
- Hanukkah begins sunset of Sunday, December 22, 2019 and ends before nightfall of Monday, December 30, 2019
- 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: 1st Semester: January 13-24, 2020
Gr. 9 Math: 2nd Semester: June 2-15, 2020
OSSLT: March 31, 2020
Primary/Junior EQAO: May 19-June 1, 2020