TDSB Chair's Newsletter

Volume 8 - March 2017


TDSB to Appoint Trustee to Ward 21 (Scarborough-Rouge River)
Trustees voted to appoint a qualified person to the Trustee position in Ward 21, Scarborough-Rouge River. Read the Board decision (page 1).
A subcommittee comprised of nine Trustees, including the Chair and Vice Chair, was established. Members of this committee will work closely with a third-party consultant to develop the appointment process, establish criteria, conduct interviews and recommend a candidate. 
Under the Education Act, applicants must be Canadian citizens, 18 years of age or older, public school supporters and residents of Toronto.
The new Ward 21 Trustee will be appointed during the April 19, 2017 Board meeting.
To learn more, visit Details about the application process will be will be posted soon.
Two TDSB Educators Recognized as Canada’s Outstanding Principals
Two TDSB principals have been recognized by The Learning Partnership as being among Canada’s Outstanding Principals of 2017. The winning TDSB principals are:
This award recognizes the unique and vital contributions that principals make in publicly funded schools. Congratulations to Monday and Craig and our thanks for the difference they are making in their school communities every day.
TDSB student wins International Children’s Peace Prize
North Toronto Collegiate Institute student Kehkashan Basu was recently awarded the 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize. The 16 year old was presented with the award  by 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus. Kehkashan earned the honour from the KidsRights Foundation for her work on environmental issue. Learn more.
Teacher Recognized at Reimagine Education Awards
Robert Service Public School Teacher Richard Baxter had the honour to present The Bootstrapping Checklist – a program that seamlessly integrates pedagogy and technology – at the Reimagine Education Awards in Philadelphia. Richard was also shortlisted in the Teaching Delivery Category for the awards.
He uses The Bootstrapping Checklist program, which is the result of more than 10 years of research and experimentation in the classroom, to teach Grade 8 students. Learn more.
Online Budget Survey & Online Forum
The TDSB will be hosting an online budget forum to hear from parents, students and the community on the 2017-18 budget.
The online budget forum will take place on Monday, March 20, 2017 from 7:30-8:30 p.m. To access the online budget forum, please visit on March 20 and click on the banner on the home page. During the online budget forum, you will be able to ask questions and have them answered by TDSB budget staff.
You can also provide your input by completing the budget survey. The survey was created to give parents, students and the community the opportunity to provide feedback on the TDSB’s 2017-18 budget. 
Use of Cell Phones in Schools
Staff have been working together to clarify guidelines around the use of cell phones and other personal electronic devices in schools. Speaking with school principals, Director of Education John Malloy confirmed, "The TDSB allows for the use of personal electronic devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.) to support learning in the classroom. They are important tools to help navigate and succeed in today’s increasingly connected world." Inappropriate use that disrupts classroom teaching and learning must also be addressed. If there is a need to restrict the use of devices in some situations and classes, consultation within the school community is essential. 
United Hearts Program Delivers Care Packages
As part of Brands for Canada’s United Hearts Program, more than 4,000 care packages were delivered to TDSB schools during the month of January. The care packages, containing personal care products and household supplies, were created to alleviate the stress that many students and their families live with on a daily basis so they can focus on prospering intellectually, emotionally, socially and physically. Learn more.
Heritage Months and Celebrations at the TDSB

In January, students and staff marked Tamil Heritage Month to celebrate and recognize the contributions of those of Tamil Heritage in our schools and communities. Students explored this year's theme, Roots & Routes, through essays, original artwork and public speaking contests. Learn more

On January 27, Parenting and Family Literacy Centres across the Board celebrated Family Literacy Day, a national celebration that promotes the value of families reading and learning together. Learn more.

Throughout the month of February, the TDSB marked African Heritage Month and Chinese Heritage Month in schools and offices across the city.

African Heritage Month provided an opportunity for the experiences, contributions and achievements of African Canadians to be affirmed. This year focused on the contributions of peoples of African descent to the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and the Rites of Passage Process. Learn more.

This year, the TDSB was proud to recognize Chinese Heritage Month for the first time. Staff and students celebrated the energetic culture and traditions of the Chinese community and remembered the Chinese workers who helped build the Canadian Pacific Railway that united our country. Learn more.

March is Greek Heritage Month at the TDSB. At events and celebrations this month, staff and students will recognize and celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Greek Canadians to Canada and learn about the history of Greek culture. This year's theme is Greek Heart & Soul: Philanthropia, Philoxenia, Philotimo. Learn more. 


National Aboriginal Day Recognized
National Aboriginal Day is now recognized as a culturally significant day at the TDSB. This means that staff and students may take the day off to observe National Aboriginal Day. Read the Board decision (page 3).
Changes to Before- and After-School Programs Under Child Care and Early Years Act
On January 26, 2017, the Ministry of Education released its guidelines for changes to before- and after-school programs under the Child Care and Early Years Act. In support of child care operators in TDSB schools, the Board is writing to the Minister of Education to request a staged implementation of the new legislation. Read the Board decision (page 6).
School-Based Staff Allocation
At the Special Board meeting on March 8, 2017, TDSB Trustees approved the School-Based Staff Allocation for the 2017-18 school year. Staff Allocation is a critical part of the TDSB’s annual budget process and school-based staffing represents approximately 65% of the Board’s $3.1 billion annual operating budget.
Every year, staff look at enrolment projections and adjust the level of school-based staffing needed to support students. Board decisions about school-based staff allocations take into account legislative requirements including the Ministry of Education’s Primary Class Size and class size system average directives, Collective Agreement provisions and available resources. Staff allocation decisions are required by early March in order to be ready to open schools in September and implement the staffing processes as defined by Collective Agreements
All changes to school-based staffing for the 2017-18 school year are the result of changes to student enrolment or school closures, and are not anticipated to impact class sizes. 
Land Donation for Agincourt Junior Public School
A 0.3 acre parcel of land, which is located behind 25 Lockie Avenue, has been donated to the Board. The transfer will be managed by the Toronto Lands Corporation, the TDSB’s real estate arm. Read the Board decision (page 10).
Community Hub and Canadian Tire Lands
The TDSB is committed to working with municipal and provincial partners to support the creation of community hubs that generate economic and social benefits and meet local needs. Currently, the Canadian Tire Lands near Leslie and Sheppard Avenues are being developed and have been zoned to include two schools, a library and community centre. The Board intends to meet with City of Toronto staff, the Director of Education for the Toronto Catholic District School Board and planning staff from each organization to explore the creation of a community hub on this site that would include a joint-use school and City facility. Read the Board decision (page 13).
Board to Keep Vaughan Road Property
Trustees voted to retain the property on which Vaughan Road Academy is located. While the school will close on June 30, 2017, the Board will keep the site. Read the Board decision (page 10). Closing Vaughan Road Academy was a difficult decision and staff are committed to making sure students are supported as they move to other area schools.  
Find out more about current Pupil Accommodation Review Committee (PARCs) processes and the TDSB's long term strategy.
Next Steps for Environment Program
In support of the TDSB's commitment to environmental stewardship and to continuing to reduce its footprint, the Board has asked for a report that will include a plan for increasing waste diversion, expanding participation in the EcoSchools program and raising awareness of the Board’s environmental policy among students and school-based leaders. Read the Board decision (page 4).
Board Declares Buttonwood Hill Property Surplus
The TDSB Buttonwood Hill property at 100 Allanhurst Drive has been declared surplus to the Board’s needs. The site will be referred to the Toronto Lands Corporation for sale. The Board has directed staff to apply for capital funding to relocate a child care program currently operating out of the site to a nearby TDSB school. Read the Board decision (page 15).
Board Supports Toronto as Sanctuary City
Endorsing a recent City of Toronto decision to reaffirm Toronto as a Sanctuary City, the Board passed a motion in support of this action which includes ensuring that all residents have full access to services regardless of documentation status. A communication will be sent to the City informing them of the Board’s decision. Read the Board decision (page 14).

TDSB Trustees

TDSB Director
of Education

Subscribe to our email list.