Keeping you engaged and informed
Keeping you engaged and informed
Ward 11 Weekly Update header
Week of October 28, 2019 

Happy Halloween!

Most of our elementary schools celebrate Halloween with classroom or whole school activities, each in their own way. Thank you to all schools that held a Fall Food Drive or are participating in We Scare Hunger.
Did you know Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween.
I hope you have a spook-tacular Halloween! For Halloween Safety Tips from the Toronto Police Service, please click

Ward 8 Forum - Tuesday, October 29 LPCI

Although a few days after Local Government Week, please join me at our first ward forum and engage with us to confirm the topics and formats of our future meetings
Please hold the following dates - Ward Forums -
  • November 26, 2019 - Long-Term Program & Accommodation Strategy with Dan Castaldo, Senior Manager, Planning
  • February 6, 2020 - Joint Ward Forum with neighbour Ward 11, Trustee Rachel Chernos Lin with Director John Malloy
  • April 28, 2020 - TBC
  • June 2, 2020 - TBC

House Resumes Monday

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario resumes on Monday, October 28, 2019. MPPs will sit for a six-week-long fall session as the House is slated to rise for the winter recess on December 12. There’s one constituency break on the parliamentary calendar for the week of November 11. 

Labour Negotiations Update

All updates will be posted on the TDSB website - - Below are the new updates from last week - for previous updates on ETFO and CUPE click the link above.
Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) - Teachers Update: October 24, 2019 Today, the Ontario government made public a proposal that high school class size be funded at an average of 25 students to 1 teacher. This is a change from the government’s March 2019 announcement to increase high school class size to 28:1 over the next four years. The Ontario government made this announcement as part of the ongoing contract negotiations among the Ontario government, the Ontario Public School Board’s Association (OPSBA - representing Ontario’s public school boards) and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF).  
[Note - the Ontario government did not provide OPSBA any advance notice on their plan to fund high school class size at an average of 25 students to 1 teacher - and although down from the original proposal of 1:28 it is still an increase from the 2019-2020 school year of 1:22.5 provincially or in actual fact 23:6 in the TDSB. OPSBA was quick to respond -
"We are encouraged that in his announcement today, Minister Lecce demonstrated flexibility on the class size issue. However, we remain concerned with the government's most recent proposal to set the average class size at 25 students. Such an increase would still cause a number of challenges for students. The smaller average increase in class size we saw in September (22 to approximately 22.5) led to significant challenges for students and school boards, and we expect that the situation will only get worse if it were to move to 25:1," said President of the Ontario Public School Boards' Association, Cathy Abraham.
As the funded average class size increases, a school's ability to continue to offer courses with smaller class sizes will be diminished. Schools will either have to cancel courses or, in order to retain them, combine courses together into larger classes, resulting in less suitable support for students.
"With fewer program options, students are forced to take courses they didn't choose, which reduces motivation and engagement.  For example, a student interested in the skilled trades will have a very limited opportunity to explore various options within the technology subject areas. This is even more of an issue in rural, remote and northern school settings," said Abraham. 
Minister Lecce has frequently spoken about ensuring our young people can develop the skills they need, to get good jobs in a modern economy. In order to achieve this goal, our school system must have the ability to provide the learning conditions and opportunities to enable students to pursue their interests and passions, which will ultimately result in strengthening a diversified workforce and produce contributing and engaged citizens.
We will continue to negotiate class size at the central table with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation and our priority is ensuring that we are providing an environment that fosters student success and well-being, while offering the courses that students want and need to take in order to get into the post-secondary programs, skilled trades, college or university of their choosing."
OSSTF also notified OPSBA and the Ontario government that they are requesting a no-board report for OSSTF Teachers. This means that OSSTF Teachers across Ontario will be in a legal strike position 17 days (approximately the third week of November) once the no-board report is issued.  At this time, OSSTF has not indicated that strike action (partial withdrawal or full withdrawal of services) will begin. 
Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) - Education Workers Update: October 23, 2019 OSSTF notified OPSBA and the Ontario government  that they are requesting a no-board report for OSSTF Education Workers. This means that OSSTF Education Workers will be in a legal strike position 17 days after the no-board report is issued if there is no agreement on a new contract. OSSTF has not indicated that its Education Workers bargaining unit will commence job action. Should it occur, job action could range from a withdrawal of selected services to a full withdrawal of service (strike). If job action takes place, it can happen at one or more school boards at the same time or at different times.
OSSTF Education Workers at the TDSB represent more than 800 employees in the following employee groups: Attendance Counsellors, Child and Youth Workers, Child and Youth Counsellors, Court Liaison Workers, Educational Audiologists, Multilingual Team Leaders, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists Psycho-Educational Consultants, Psychologists and Psychological Associates, Social Workers, Speech-Language Pathologists and Student Equity Program Advisor.
A tentative agreement on a new contract was reached with CUPE and we are hopeful that a new contract can be negotiated with ETFO, OSSTF and all other school board employee groups. 
School boards and unions share a commitment to public education and work together towards positive labour relations. The collective bargaining framework for the education sector features a two-tier bargaining process, involving both central and local bargaining. Learn more about the process more information, visit the OPSBA website for the latest updates on central bargaining
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.

Board Meeting This Week

All committee and board meetings are open to the public - should you wish to speak to an item on the agenda at Committee, click
Regular Meeting - Agenda - Wednesday, October 30, 2019 - Public session at 7:00pm Boardroom, Main Floor, 5050 Yonge Street. Toronto
  • 15. Committee Reports
  • 15.1 Program and School Services Committee, Report No. 78, October 3, 2019
  • 1. Special Education Advisory Committee:  Filling of Vacancy for Alternate Representative, Autism Ontario
  • 2. Implementation of Academic Pathways 
  • 3. 2019 Summer Programs 
  • 4. School Councils Email Access 
  • 5. Establishment of Position of Indigenous Student Trustee
  • 15.2 Finance, Budget and Enrolment Committee, Report No. 43, October 10, 2019
  • 1. Contract Awards, Facilities 
  • 2. Contract Awards, Operations 
  • 3. Budget Meeting Schedule, 2020-21
  • 4. School Cash Online Update, September 2019 
  • 5. Business Development Year-end Report 
  • 6. Priorities and Partnership Funding for 2019-20:  Update
  • 7. Pilot Dog Run
  • 15.3 Committee of the Whole, Report No. 07, October 16, 2019 
  • 1. French-as-a-Second-Language Programs Review:  Update #1 
  • 2. Secondary Program Review:  Update #1 
  • 3. Multi-Year Strategic Plan Action Plans:  Update 
  • 4. Toronto Lands Corporation:  Proposed 2019-20 Annual Plan, Building for Tomorrow
  • 5. Toronto Lands Corporation Budget:  Amendment 
  • 6. Toronto Lands Corporation:  Management Report to the Board, September 2019
  • 7. Toronto Lands Corporation:  Crescent Town, Massey Square Bridge Reconstruction Maintenance Agreement
  • 8. Toronto Lands Corporation:  Choice Properties REIT: Toronto Catholic District School Board, 2238 Dundas Street West and 1515 Bloor Street West
  • 9. Toronto Lands Corporation:  Sir Robert Borden, 770 Don Mills Road:  Land Exchange With the City of Toronto
  • 10. Mandatory eLearning in Schools
  • 15.4 Governance and  Policy Committee, Report No. 21, October 23, 2019
  • 1. Policy Review Schedule: 2019-20 to 2022-23 School Years 
  • 2. Development of a Records and Information Management Policy: Phase 2 
  • 3. P038, Transforming Student Learning in Literacy and Mathematics Policy: Phase 5 
  • 4. Student Use of Service Animals in Schools: New Policy
  • 5. P020, Transportation of Students Policy: Status Update 
  • 6. Revisions to Procedure PR596, Student Dress 
  • 7. Revisions to Procedures PR545, Optional Attendance and PR612, Admissions to Specialized Schools and Programs
  • 8. Revisions to Procedure PR585, Board Code of Conduct
  • 9. Development of a Communications Policy (Trustees Brown and Smith)
  • 15.5 Governance and Policy Committee (Special Meeting), Report No. 22, October 28, 2019
  • 16. Written Notices of Motion for Consideration
  • 16.1 Urgent Action Needed to Address Dangers of Youth Vaping (Trustees Donaldson/Laskin)

School/School Council Funds and Grants 2019-2020

Each year various funds and grants are made available to school/school councils for engaging and supporting families to effectively engage in the schooling of their child. The following outlines funds and grants available for the 2019/2020 school year: 
  • Schools within their preliminary TDSB budgets have been allocated $1.25/student with a minimum of $300.00 and a maximum of $1,000 to support the work of school councils. 
  • The Ministry’s Parent Engagement fund allocates $500.00 each year to support activities that are geared to reaching parents who are not accessing council/school activities. These funds will be arriving in the school by December and can be accessed by contacting the Principal.
  • Business Services has researched a number of grants that councils may explore. To access this list of grants school council chairs must request that the school activate the school council TDSB e-mail account. Once the account is activated, councils may visit the Contests, Grants, Scholarships webpage for a list of grants.
  • Continuing Education provides schools with resources ($3.00/parent) to support school/school councils in delivering parent/guardian/caregiver courses/workshops. For further information, schools may contact
  • The Ministry of Education has announced that the Parent Reaching Out Grant (PRO Grant) will continue for the 2019-2020 school year. The program has been changed from an application-based funding model to an allocation-based grant provided to each school board. School boards received a predetermined funding amount for parent engagement projects. TDSB has received $133,405.35 for projects that demonstrate a commitment to respecting the role of parents in students’ educational experiences. This is less than half the amount schools received last year. As stipulated by the Ministry, the Board is consulting with the Parent Involvement Advisory Committee (PIAC) on allocation options for the funds. Following consultations, staff will provide a report of recommendations to the Board within the next month for their direction. 
Please note I am just in the middle of compiling a confidential contact list of all the School Council Chairs/Co-Chairs in our Ward that is shared only with the Chairs with their permission - I do this every year so that school councils can communicate directly with each other. I will also be forwarding a flash drive with the information included in the School Council Resource Binder that every school should have it their office for Council members to borrow - it may be an easier way to search for information - and please remember you can always send me an e-mail!

Update: Optional Attendance Policy and Secondary Program Review

As discussed at Policy and Governance Committee this past week (and coming to Board Wednesday), public consultations will begin in November on a draft revised Optional Attendance policy and as part of the Secondary Program Review
The Optional Attendance policy is being reviewed to ensure consistency with the TDSB’s Mission, Values and Goals Policy, the Equity Policy and the Board’s Multi-Year Strategic Plan. The Optional Attendance policy has not been fully reviewed since 1998 when the TDSB was created. 
We are also holding consultations as part of the Secondary Program Review. In June 2019, the Board of Trustees approved the action plan outlined in the Secondary Program Review report. This report presented the rationale for a comprehensive review of secondary school programming and related policies, procedures and practices (including Optional Attendance). Final recommendations may include the following:
  • Potential consolidation of schools
  • Relocation or consolidation of existing program(s)
  • Repurposing of secondary school buildings to address other system needs, i.e. using a secondary school facility for a large elementary school
  • Different models of school organization, including full-year programming and campus models
Information about the Secondary Program Review can be found on the public TDSB site: You can also find Questions and Answers on the webpage here -
Please hold the date for the following public consultation dates -
  1. November 14, 7:00 p.m. at Western Technical-Commercial School, 125 Evelyn Crescent, Cafeteria
  2. November 20, 7:00 p.m. at East Education Office, 140 Borough Drive, Committee Room 3/4
  3. November 26, 7:00 p.m. at C W Jefferys Collegiate Institute, 340 Sentinel Road, Cafeteria
  4. November 28, 7:00 p.m. at John Polanyi Collegiate Institute, 640 Lawrence Avenue West, Cafeteria
More information about the Policy Consultation process will be found on the public TDSB site at the beginning of November. 

Feedback on Optional Attendance and the Secondary Program Review, questions or other comments can now be sent directly to School Operations staff will be monitoring the new mailbox and following up as required. 
Other opportunities for consultation on this policy and the Secondary Program Review (face-to-face and online) will be made available throughout the months of November, December and January. More information on this will follow as it becomes available.


2020-2021 Optional Attendance Dates

Elementary Schools (applying for September 2020 admission)
(a) Optional Attendance forms will be made available on the first Monday of November. Applications may be submitted to the school following release of the Optional Attendance forms, but no offers of admission can be made prior to February 17, 2020. Any offers of admission before February 17, 2020 will be considered null and void.
(b) Applications must be received by Friday, February 14, 2020.
(c) A lottery, if necessary, will be held the first week of March 2020.
(d) Parents/guardians will be informed of acceptance or non-acceptance prior to March Break, but no earlier than February 17, 2020 and no later than Friday, March 6, 2020.
(e) Parents/guardians must inform the requested school of their acceptance of the offer by Friday, March 20, 2020
(f) No student will be admitted into an elementary school through optional attendance after Friday, April 3, 2020.
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 Schools (applying for September 2020 admission)
(a) Optional Attendance forms will be made available on the first Monday of November. Applications may be submitted to the school following release of the Optional Attendance forms, but no offers of admission can be made prior to February 3, 2020. Any offers of admission before February 3, 2020 will be considered null and void.
(b) Applications must be received by Friday, January 31, 2020.
(c) A lottery, if necessary, will be held the first week in February 2020.
(d) Parents/guardians or students 18 years of age or older will be informed of acceptance or non-acceptance prior to Friday, February 14, 2020 but no earlier than February 3, 2020.
(e) Parents/guardians or students 18 years of age or older must confirm the offer of admission by completing a course selection sheet by Friday, February 28, 2020.
(f) No student will be admitted into any secondary grade levels through optional attendance after Friday, February 28, 2020.
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 you have questions about a specific school or open house, please contact the school directly for more information.
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.

Notice - French Programs Application Deadline

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 timelines for applying for these programs for September 2020 are:
Applications for Early French Immersion which begins in SK (for a Junior Kindergarten aged child), must be completed online between November 4, 2019 and November 29, 2019.
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
Offers of placement within your chosen program will be made to all on-time applicants in the weeks following the close of the application window.

Please note that families with an older sibling currently in a French program are still required to complete an online application for the new student.
Please also note that transportation for French programming is currently being reviewed and there may be reduced bussing offered for all in French programming from 2020 and onward. Please note there may be uncertainty at the time of the application.
For further information about French as a Second Language programs, the application process and important dates, please visit

HEW 2019

Holocaust Education Week is one week away - join us to experience arts, culture and heritage, November 3-10, through HEW 2019's exciting program line-up. This year, we examine the Holocaust from a universal and contemporary perspective, illuminating the relevance of Holocaust education to all Canadians and their concerns for the 21st century. For more information, please click here -

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  November 15, 2019
  • 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 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

Also please note Days of Significance - click for the complete list 2019-2020
You may also find this Days of Significance Resource Guide helpful
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