Days of Significance in December
December includes days of great significance to many in our community. December 13 is the birthday of Imam Aga Khan observed by those observing Islam. The 22nd of December marks the celebration of the winter solstice for First Nations and is also the very old Celtic holiday of Yule still celebrated by Wiccans and others. The first candle for Hanukkah for those observing Judaism is the night of the 22nd and the last candle is the 29th. The 24th, Christmas Eve, and the 25th, Christmas Day, are observed as both sacred holidays and festive occasions of joy for many Christians. The 26th is Kwanzaa for those celebrating in the African‐Canadian community. How lucky we are as a city to have so many reasons to celebrate, so many reasons to gather with family and friends.
In addition - today, December 1 is World AIDS Day; December 3 is the UN's International Day of Persons with Disabilities; December 6 is Canada's National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women; December 10 is the UN's Human Rights Day and the 18 is the UN's International Migrants Day.
Please also remember this Friday, Dec 6 is a PA Day. Winter Break is December 23, 2019 to January 3, 2020 (inclusive) with the last day of school is December 20, 2019; school resumes January 6, 2020.
Reflect. Remember. Our Actions Matter
The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women was established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada and coincides with the anniversary of the death of 14 young women who were tragically killed on December 6, 1989 at L’Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal because of their gender. We remember Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colga, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte, and Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz.
As we come together to commemorate this national tragedy, we also reflect on the troubling fact that for women, girls and LGBTQ2 individuals across our country violence continues to be a daily reality. Violence will have impacts on their physical, sexual and reproductive health. They may experience anxiety and a reduced ability to participate in social and economic activities, leaving gaps in our workplaces and in our communities as a result of violence.
The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women is about honouring those who have experienced gender-based violence; it is also a time to take action. December 6 falls within the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and this year's campaign #OurActionsMatter calls on each of us to share the concrete actions we are taking in our own communities and in our own lives to question, call out, and speak up against acts of gender-based violence.
In accordance with flag protocol, all schools in TDSB will have their flags at half-mast on Friday, December 6.
Labour Negotiations Update
Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) Update: November 28, 2019 - The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) has announced that, should a tentative agreement not be reached, its members (teachers and education workers) will conduct a one-day walkout (full withdrawal of services) on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 and return to work on Thursday, December 5, 2019.
Should the walkout take place (on December 4), the TDSB would have no other option but to close all secondary schools to students, including Adult Day Schools and Secondary Night School, as there would not be sufficient supervision to ensure their safety. All classes and any out-of-school activities (e.g. field trips, sports, etc.) would be cancelled. As a result, parents/guardians should make alternate arrangements for their children if required. (Permits would also be cancelled.)
OSSTF is in negotiations with the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) to achieve new collective agreements for secondary teachers and education workers (including Child and Youth Workers, Social Workers and Speech-Language Pathologists).
Withdraw of Services continues for both Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) Teachers and Education Workers and Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) Teachers
During this phase of work-to-rule, schools will remain open and instructional programs will continue to run. However, should the work-to-rule progress to include further sanctions, it may have a more significant impact on school activities, permits and school operations. We will continue to update parents/guardians with new information as soon as it becomes available. For ongoing updates, please continue to check https://www.tdsb.on.ca/About-Us/Labour-Negotiations
and follow @tdsb on Twitter.
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.
Strong Support for Public Education
I sent a special update on November 26 highlighting the results of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) and Nanos Research released polling data regarding several public education issues ranging from student achievement and well-being, to curriculum, funding, and governance.
“These results validate the hard work and dedication of public school boards and our Association,” said Cathy Abraham, President of OPSBA. “Education is the second largest funding line in the provincial budget and it is our hope that these results can help inform decisions to ensure public education is supported by stable and predictable funding. Public education is an investment for the future and we must advocate for those conditions that will help all students succeed.”
And today Global News reported parents that took part in the province’s education consultations overwhelmingly rejected an increase in class sizes. "According to sources with knowledge of the survey results, approximately 70 per cent of parents felt an increase in class sizes would negatively impact students’ learning. Global News has also learned the results show a majority of parents were opposed to the government moving towards more e-learning for students."
The article goes on to say "Minutes before publication Sunday, Alexandra Adamo, press secretary to Lecce, responded with a statement saying in part: “Our government is firmly committed to keeping students in class. That is why, as a result of listening to families and students across Ontario, the government has made a significant move to reduce class sizes from a provincial average of 28 to 25. We have maintained the lowest classroom sizes in the early years (kindergarten to grade 3) in the country.”Adamo also wrote: “Our government’s priority is investing more in our students and in our classrooms. We will continue to listen to parents as we have done by reducing the online learning credits from 4 to 2. This is all part of our mission to be reasonable, student-centric, and focused on keeping the children of this province in class.”
I have noted before, the government is actually planning to raise average class size in secondary from 22:1 to 25:1 and to mandate from 0-2 on-line course for secondary students to graduate. We continue to urge the government to base education policy on data and research that supports student success.
The TDSB has developed an Exemption Procedure from Human Development and Sexual Health Instruction, Grades 1 to 8
to comply with the direction set out in the Ministry of Education’s Policy/Program Memorandum (PPM) No. 162. This PPM requires school boards to develop a policy or procedure that allows for students to be exempted, at the request of their parents/guardians, from instruction related to the Human Development and Sexual Health expectations found in Strand D of the Ontario Curriculum: Health and Physical Education, Grades 1-8, 2019. The report can be found here
That said, the TDSB must continue to acknowledge the importance of a student’s understanding of human development and sexual health and remains committed to building positive school cultures that support the mental health and overall well-being (physical, cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual) of all students. Staff will continue to create inclusive environments where all students’ identities and lived experiences are respected.
At last night's Board we approved the staff procedure. In spite of the Ministry of Education requirement that we inform parents/guardians when instruction related to Human Development and Sexual Health will occur in the event that parents want to exempt their child from this instruction, our letters include unequivocal statements of support for all students' rights.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission has stated that all students deserve to see themselves and their families reflected in Ontario’s mandatory curriculum, and should receive the information necessary to protect their health and well-being. We are committed to creating inclusive learning environments where all students’ identities and lived experiences are respected and ensuring principles of safety, access, human rights, equity, acceptance, health and well-being. Education related to Human Development and Sexual Health is taught in a developmentally appropriate manner and delivered to meet the learning needs of students at different ages. The goal of this learning is to provide students with accurate information and to help them build the skills they need to develop personal responsibility for lifelong health, contribute to an inclusive school culture and make responsible choices that protect them from potential harm. Families are encouraged to have regular conversations with their children about healthy living and make discuss the topics listed below with their child during the period of instruction.
Ward Forum Presentation
We had an excellent presentation by staff at our recent Ward Forum on November 26, 2019.
Staff began with an overview of the Long-Term Program & Accommodation Strategy (LTPAS) and then presented on the current and projected enrolment trends; residential development and intensification; and an overview of planned studies for Ward 8 schools.
The LTPAS provides an approach to program and accommodation planning with a ten-year timeframe. It allows for responsiveness and flexibility in a changing environment by including an annual cycle of review through guiding principles and studies to address accommodation issues and program priorities across the system.
As a whole in Ward 8, elementary enrolment is projected to increase slightly across the Ward. The degree of enrolment growth will vary, i.e. some schools may experience enrolment growth while others may experience enrolment decline. Secondary enrolment is projected to increase over the mid to long-term. Large-scale redevelopment projects like the revitalization of Lawrence Heights are not fully reflected as yet in enrolment projections but they are updated every year and are subject to change.
Specifically, nearly 40,000 new residential units are proposed, approved or under construction within Ward 8! Of these, over 14,000 new residential units fall within the attendance are of Eglinton Jr. PS and many have already been redirected to schools outside of the area. Other large redevelopment projects fall within the attendance areas of Flemington PS and Baycrest PS. We can plan for the redevelopments - it has been almost impossible to plan for all the infill development affecting Eglinton.
What are we doing?
In June 2018 the TDSB adopted a new ‘Strategy to Address City Growth and Intensification’
. The purpose of the strategy is to strengthen and enhance the TDSB’s role in the municipal planning process to better serve school communities, and to meet the TDSB’s infrastructure needs. In addition, also in June, 2018 the mandate of the Toronto Lands Corporation (TLC) was expanded to include all board-wide real estate and land use planning matters. The TLC has established a Land-Use Planning team to lead and oversee these matters. TDSB and TLC staff work collaboratively to review development applications and City initiatives, as well as to determine whether or not further action is required. For more, click https://www.tdsb.on.ca/About-Us/Strategy-Planning/City-Growth-and-Intensification-Strategy.
A Kids' Guide to Canada Invitation
The GREAT CANADIAN MULTICULTURAL HOLIDAY TRIVIA GAME
A Kids' Guide to Canada is seeking facts +/or questions about holiday activities and celebrations of other religions and cultures for their #Multicultural Holiday Trivia Challenge update. The objectives are to learn about and celebrate the diversity of communities and cultures across Canada with curriculum connections to Social Studies/Geography (cultural celebrations) and Indigenous Education through a fun and fast-paced trivia game all about the many multicultural celebrations which take place in the holiday season in communities across Canada. Topics include Hanukkah, Christmas, Santa Claus, Saint Stephen, Saint Nicolas, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, saying Merry Christmas in English, French, Spanish, Objibwa, Cree, and Inuktitut, holiday foods and entertainment.
Let's help them as our teachers and kids of other religions and cultures have so much to share with kids across Canada on the topic of holiday celebrations in homes and communities across the country. Please contact them through Direct Messaging to A Kids' Guide Canada
@akgtCanada or e-mailing email@example.com.
What Happens in Severe Weather?
Sometimes, when the weather outside is severe, the TDSB may decide to cancel transportation to schools and sometimes to close schools. This can occur before the beginning of the school day or, if conditions become severe after school starts, it may happen during the school day. The Board has an updated procedure
to guide decisions and operations in the event of inclement weather. If the weather is really severe, please keep your children at home if possible.
Decision to Close Schools - The decision to close schools is made by the Director of Education. School Closures and Cancellation of Transportation. Closure of schools or cancellation of transportation services will be announced from 6:30 a.m. onward on AM and FM Radio Stations as well as the Weather Network, and other local TV stations.
Please note the freezing rain could continue into the morning and affect transportation. In addition to announcement on the radio, you can check the TDSB website www.tdsb.on.ca
as well as the Toronto Student Transportation Group https://www.torontoschoolbus.org/.
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.
Priorities in new Draft Policy -
6.1.7. If sufficient space is available at the requested school, spaces will be filled by grade according to the admission priorities below. For each of the admission priorities (in priority order), the school principal will conduct a lottery if the number of applications exceeds available spaces:
- Priority 1: Students who are attending another school as an Out-of-Area student at and who wish to return to their designated school by address.
- Priority 2: Secondary students whose child/children is/are enrolled in a child care centre in the designated attendance area of the secondary school.
- Priority 3: Students who have siblings currently attending the requested school and the siblings are expected to be at the requested school for the next school year.
- Priority 4: Students currently attending a feeder school of the requested school.
- Priority 5: Children enrolled after January 1 in the school-based child care pre-school program of the requested school (see 6.1.6).
- Priority 6: Children attending child care programs in the designated attendance area of the requested school.
- Priority 7: Current TDSB students.
- Priority 8: Other students residing in the City of Toronto.
- Priority 9: Students residing outside the City of Toronto.
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.
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.
For families interested in the Toronto District School Board's French Immersion or Extended French programs, we offer an online process at this time, we guarantee an offer of placement in the program (not a specific school) to all on-time applicants. 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.
Secondary Program Review
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is undertaking a review of secondary schools to ensure all students have equitable access to programs and opportunities, as close to home as possible. As part of this review, modifications and updates to current policies and procedures will be required. This includes the Optional Attendance policy (P013) and its procedures (PR545 and PR612). Please note, however, there are no changes to the Optional Attendance Policy for September 2020. For more information, please visit https://www.tdsb.on.ca/High-School/Secondary-Program-Review
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
- Board-wide PA Day December 6, 2019
- 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