Keeping you engaged and informed
Keeping you engaged and informed
Ward 11 Weekly Update header
Week of January 17, 2016 
February is African Heritage Month at the TDSB
Every February, the TDSB celebrates African Heritage Month, a time to learn about and pay tribute to the many ways in which Black Canadians and people of the African Diaspora have helped shape our society, and to recognize the invaluable contributions they have made to our province, country and world. This year's theme is Africa is not a Country, it is a Continent: Reclaiming our Stories and Building Bridges in Education, Community and Life.TDSB schools will engage and participate in a variety of events that reflect this history and the countless triumphs and struggles experienced over hundreds of years. And, while we feature African Heritage Month in February, it’s important that learning does not stop there. The best outcomes are realized when all students of all backgrounds are engaged in positive learning about African heritage.

March is Greek Heritage Month
March is Greek Heritage Month. It is an occasion to recognize and celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Greek Canadians to Canada, an occasion to mark and enjoy the history of Greek culture. One of the highlights for Greek Heritage Month will be the TDSB Greek Heritage Month Multi-Media Contest. Deadline for submitting entries is 1 February 2016. For TDSB Greek Heritage Month Multi-Media Contest details and entry guidelines, please visit

First Nations, Métis and Inuit March Break Experience 2016
A March Break Experience is being offered in partnership between Continuing Education, the Aboriginal Education Centre and the Etobicoke Outdoor Education Centre. Students of First Nations, Métis and Inuit identity in Grades 5-8 will have an opportunity to participate in maple syrup production in Ziisbaakdoke Giizis or Sugaring Moon activities through Culturally Responsive activities which will include Ojibwe Language, Cultures and Traditional Teachings infused across the curriculum. The Etobicoke Outdoor Education Centre is an overnight facility affiliated with the Toronto District School Board and is located in Bolton, Ontario. Students will be picked up and returned to designated schools in the Toronto District School Board. The March Break Experience will run for four days and four nights from Monday, March 14 to Friday, March 18, 2016. For more information please contact Jarvis Nahdee, Instructional Leader, Native Language or Tessa Sill, Community Liaison at the Aboriginal Education Centre, 416-393-9600 (fax 416-393-9411).

Facility Condition Index (FCI)
You will have recently read or heard about the TDSB raising awareness of the need for capital funding to help address the condition of our schools by releasing their FCI values. The FCI rating is a building industry standard for calculating facility condition and is the ratio of a facility’s renewal needs divided by its replacement value, expressed as a percentage out of 100. It is important to note that the FCI value for all schools is calculated by the Ministry of Education and is updated by teams of assessors every few years. The final FCI rating does take into consideration the student enrolment at each facility. A critical rating is given when a school’s FCI rating is 65% or greater. You can find our current FCI Summary here.
The FCI rating for a school also does not reflect on the safety of a school building. The safety of our schools is a top priority for us at the TDSB and with the budget we are provided we schedule maintenance to fix the most critical problems related to the health and safety of our students and staff.  It's also worth noting that a school can change on the priority list. For example in 2012 (data can be found here), Davisville was in the top 2 - in July of 2014 the school facility was assessed by EDU’s Assessors and the database was updated accordingly in February 4, 2015. As a result of the assessment, the renewal backlog dropped to $4,278,351.00 and the asset replacement value jumped to $21,147,710.00. Therefore, based on the new updated figures, the updated FCI is approximately 20%. The assessors determined that some of the building components had the capacity to perform as intended, so they extended its service life in calculations. 
That is why, due to our large backlog, it is important to understand that the FCI is not the only factor determining project priority in the TDSB. For example, we have several schools requiring boiler replacement as listed in the EDU database. However, due to limited funding, we can only replace the ones that cannot be repaired (regardless of the FCI value). Therefore, the determining factor of the projects priority is the actual condition of the building component as verified by our staff. Annually, we spend a large portion of the Renewal funding in extensive repairs to all the major building components to extend their service life. 
However, even with the additional renewal funds provided by the Ministry last year, our maintenance backlog still sits at $3.3 billion and continues to rise. The TDSB continues to argue for a change to the Education Development Charges (EDCs) legislation to allow all school boards access to EDC revenue for school capital. Current legislation mandates that EDCs can only be used for the purchase of land to support schools in growth areas, not to support the cost of building new schools or renovating/adding onto existing ones. This needs to change to include repairs and renovations to schools throughout Toronto, especially in high residential growth areas. Toronto is one of Canada’s fastest growing cities. Overlooking the use of EDCs to fund badly needed school repairs is a lost opportunity.
With access to EDCs for school repairs, millions of dollars in desperately needed revenue could be used to accelerate school repairs and renovations or replacement of older schools. City planning figures indicate that 275,000 residential units are in the building process, which could generate EDC revenue of approximately $300 million in funding for school improvements. If you want to help us advocate, please consider joining Fix Our Schools by clicking on
You can also read more about the Board's budget priorities through Chair Robin Pilkey's submission to the province. Click here.

Additional PA Day - Friday, April 15
You would have received notice about an additional Professional Activity Day (P.A. Day) that has been added to the calendars of all schools in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). All TDSB schools will have a newly designated P.A. Day on Friday, April 15, 2016. This additional P.A. Day has been mandated by the Ministry of Education as a result of provincial labour negotiations. All TDSB schools will be closed to students on Friday, April 15, 2016. On this day, teachers will be taking part in professional development on provincial education priorities identified by the Minister of Education. The remainder of the 2015-2016 school year calendar remains unaffected. As always, details on the school year calendar can be found on the TDSB website at:

Championship Fields/Central Technical School
You may also have recently read or heard about an issue regarding the Central Technical School Field. We remain committed to the project and its completion because of the importance to the students at Central Technical School. Board officials and the Trustee for the school recently met with the school staff and students to update them on the project, the issues, clarify the facts and discuss ways to keep the project moving forward. We are aware of the concerns about the property tax assessment raised by Razor Management Inc. (RMI) and the potential financial impact this would have on the Central Tech project. Although the agreement between the Toronto District School Board and RMI states that RMI is responsible for payment of any taxes assessed on the property, RMI is a valued partner in completing this Central Tech project and that is why a meeting with the Director of Education has been scheduled with the operator to review the issues and challenges facing the operator. Our goal is to keep the project on track, complete the field on time and support the school’s sports program.  
New Invitations
Tuning In: Workshop series for parents and caregivers of youth who use drugs - Starts Tuesday Feb 9th - Delisle Youth Services is pleased to introduce Tuning In, a new workshop series for parents and primary caregivers who want to learn information and skills to help them communicate with youth about drugs and drug use. Join us on 3 consecutive Tuesdays February 9th, 16th, 23rd from 7-9pm at Delisle Youth Services (Yonge & Eglinton). The workshops will cover: How to initiate and manage effective conversations about drugs; How to build trust while maintaining rules and boundaries; What the research says about what works and what doesn't; How to find accurate balanced information on drug effects and more! To register contact Maria Papadimitriou<
Toronto-St Paul's Summit: Infrastructure, Sunday, February 21st - 3:30-4:00 PM Parliamentary Clinic 4:00-6:00 PM Roundtable at Holy Rosary Church Parish Hall, 354 St. Clair Avenue W (at Tweedsmuir Ave) Please join me and your other elected representatives from all levels of government in Toronto-St. Paul’s to discuss infrastructure. Panelists: Hon. Carolyn Bennett, M.D., M.P Dr. Eric Hoskins, M.P.P. Josh Colle, City Councillor, Ward 15 Josh Matlow, City Councillor,Ward 22 Joe Mihevc, City Councillor, Ward 21 and Trustee Jo-Ann Davis, TCDSB School Trustee.
Annual Skating Party, Sunday, February 7, 1-3pm at Hodgson - Join the Hon. Carolyn Bennett, M.P. for Toronto-St. Paul’s, Rob Oliphant, M.P. for Don Valley West, and City Councillor Josh Matlow for an afternoon of winter fun. Date: Sunday, February 7th, 2016 Time: 1:00-3:00 PM Where: Outdoor Skating Rink at Hodgson Senior Public School 282 Davisville Ave (Ice Rink off Harwood Rd at Millwood Rd)

Worth Repeating...
School Council Appreciation and Information Evening - Please join us on Thursday, February 25 at Montecassino Hotel, Downsview, for a special evening to celebrate the work and contributions of school councils and parents to the education system. It’s an opportunity to enjoy a wonderful dinner, network with school council members, and participate in round-table discussions. Please see the attachment for details or visit to register.
TDSB Parent Conference 2016: Parents as Partners - April 16, 2016 The Parent Involvement Advisory Committee (PIAC), Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC), Mental Health and Well-Being Parent Partnership Committee and Model Schools for Inner Cities’ Parent Academies are partnering to bring one INCLUSIVE conference on Saturday, April 16, 2016. Please save this date in your calendar.  
Premier's Awards for Accepting Schools - Nominations are now open for the 2015-16 Premier's Award for Accepting Schools. This award recognizes “exceptional and innovative work being done in schools to create a safe and accepting school environment.” Application Information is available online. The application deadline is Friday, February 19, 2016 at 5 p.m. EST. 
Optional Attendance - Within the City of Toronto students have the right to attend a school which is designated to serve their residential address. The "Find Your School" section of the website identifies the designated schools for each residential address. Students also have the opportunity to access schools outside of the school that is designated to serve their residential address by applying on optional attendance. 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. Please note that the optional attendance status is updated every January for admission in September. 
High School Information Nights - To help you make an informed decision when choosing a high school, TDSB schools host information nights for parents and Grade 8 students each year between October and January. The dates and times for all High School Information Nights are available online at

HOLD THE DATE - Ward Forum, February 29, 2016 - 6:45 at Sunny View School, 450 Blythwood Rd
I am pleased to join with my colleague Trustee Gerri Gershon for a joint ward forum to hear from Dr John Malloy, our new Director of Education and discuss a presentation on our 2016-17 Budget by Craig Snider, Comptroller, Budget, Revenue & Financial Reporting - The Agenda will be finalized the first week of February.
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