Keeping you engaged and informed
Keeping you engaged and informed
Ward 11 Weekly Update header
Week of December 13, 2015 - Last Update of 2015!
Days of Significance
Last month many in our community celebrated Diwali; tonight is the last candle to mark the 8th night of Hanukkah and others in our community will soon be getting ready for Christmas on the 25th and Kwanza on the 26th - to those celebrating Merry Christmas.Happy Kwanza. As this is the last update this calendar year, I want to thank everyone for the role you play in supporting student success and wish everyone a restful Christmas Break and a Happy New Year! Next update on January 3, 2016.

New Leadership at the TDSB - Chair Robin Pilkey introduces Interim Director Dr. John Malloy
On December 9th, Trustees confirmed Dr.John Malloy as the Interim Director of the TDSB. Dr. Malloy, who is currently serving as an Assistant Deputy Minister of Education and as the Province’s Chief Student Achievement Officer, also served as Director of Education for the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board. John began his career in 1986 as a high school English teacher in Ohio and has served in progressively more senior roles at school boards in Toronto, Durham and York. Dr. Malloy will begin his 18-month term on January 4, 2016. Next Spring, Trustees will establish a Director Search Committee that will work with an executive search firm to select a permanent Director of Education.
“John is a highly respected educator who believes that student achievement can improve through access to equitable opportunities. He will play a key role in moving the TDSB forward for the betterment of our students, parents and all employees and in continuing to build on our successes to date.” Robin Pilkey, Chair, TDSB  
“The TDSB is a leader in terms of providing engaging and equitable learning opportunities for all students. I am honoured to serve the TDSB as Interim Director of Education and look forward to working with the Board of Trustees and all staff to continue creating great schools for our students, our families, and our community.” Dr. John Malloy, Incoming Director, TDSB
Click here to see the video of Robin introducing John to the media.

Governance Advisory Panel (from the TDSB Website)
The Toronto District School Board Governance Advisory Panel, led by former Toronto Mayor Barbara Hall, was established by the Ministry of Education to consult with the TDSB community and make recommendations to the Minister with respect to possible structural and procedural changes at the school board. Following the establishment of the Panel, TDSB Trustees provided a submission, entitled Positive Change That’s Working, for its consideration. The submission included a number of Board improvements to accountability and governance, and proposed new and fresh solutions to issues related to school consolidations and community use of schools. The Panel made a number of recommendations in their final report which was submitted to the Minister of Education in August 2015 and made public in December 2015. Below, you will find links to more information with regards to the Minister of Education’s response to the recommendations.
In Friday's Toronto Star, Minister Sandals had the following statement - “The chair is clearly interested in how the board can do a better job. And with Donna Quan leaving, and then (on Wednesday night) the appointment of John Malloy as interim director, they now actually do have strong leadership, with an external viewpoint. The problem that the panel said has to be solved in order for the board to move forward, has happened.”
Later Friday, Chair Pilkey responded on behalf of the Board.
"Today, Toronto District School Board Trustees received the Minister's response to the recommendations of the TDSB Governance Advisory Panel. We appreciate the recognition by the Minister that the Board has made progress in bringing about real, positive change over the last several months. With the leadership of newly-appointed Interim Director John Malloy, Trustees are committed to ensuring this work continues.  Trustees acknowledge and appreciate the Minister's and the Ministry's support in working with the TDSB to foster a new era of optimism and confidence for our staff, students and parents, and for public education in Toronto. We concur with the Minister's decision not to proceed with the Panel recommendation for provincial supervision. The Board believes provincial supervision of the TDSB was an unwarranted and unjustified recommendation." Read more here...
New leadership. New year. Refocus on student success. I can't wait!

Syrian Refugees - Statement by Trustee Marit Stiles to the Board on December 9
Fellow Trustees, I wanted to share with you today the pride I feel and I know many of you share, in the generosity of TDSB staff, families and students, responding to the Syrian Refugee Crisis… and in standing up to hate and violence, globally and within our communities.The TDSB has joined with community agencies in the City of Toronto to welcome refugees from all parts of the globe, most recently from Syria.We will be welcoming Syrian refugee families into our schools and providing them with the supports that they need to thrive in a caring learning environment. When the extent of the Syrian refugee crisis became clear, TDSB families kicked into action in a truly incredible way... This experience is raising school spirits and connecting us to the world. The TDSB really is a leader here, inspiring schools right across this country.I also feel this is an opportunity to be very clear that -- at the TDSB -- we welcome all students regardless of their immigration status... To read Marit's complete statement, cick here.
I am so proud of so many in Ward 11 who have fundraised and collected items to support the Syrian Refugees - this crisis has brought out the best in Canadians and the TDSB is ready with open arms. To support our schools, there are a series of both “teacher-facing” and “student-facing” resources that are on the Teaching and Learning Section of our intranet. And our newcomer reception centres will be kept open. Thank you in advance to all teachers and education workers who will be directly supporting these new Canadians.

Revised Pupil Accommodation Review Guideline (PARG) and New Community Planning and Partnerships Guideline - Consultations in January
A Pupil Accommodation Review involves studying a school that is significantly under-utilized and its surrounding schools. The review considers ways to reduce surplus space and ensure that students have access to viable programs. The review may result in the movement of a large number of students between schools or a possible school closure.
The Ministry has advised that school boards cannot start a new Pupil Accommodation Review until the school boards have approved revised Pupil Accommodation Review policies and procedures that comply with the new Ministry guideline for Pupil Accommodation Reviews. We have been consulting with representatives of Advisory Committees, representatives of Employee Groups, and soon, the general public. We are aiming to have the revised policy go to the Planning and Priorities Committee and Board in February 2016 for final approval. The new Ministry guideline for Pupil Accommodation Reviews requires that a PARC process begin with an initial staff report to Board requesting permission to start a PARC that contains all the details on the proposed closure including options explored, staff recommended option, costs, and feedback from coterminous public agencies. This increases the amount of work we have to do in the Local Feasibility stage before we start the formal public consultation in the PARC process. The public meetings have been scheduled as follows: 




Monday, January 18, 2016

Winston Churchill CI – Library

2239 Lawrence Avenue East, M1P 2P7 

6:00 – 8:00 pm

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

TDSB Central Office – Committee Room A

5050 Yonge Street, M2N 5N8 

6:00 – 8:00 pm

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Martingrove CI – Library

50 Winterton Drive, M9B 3G7

6:00 – 8:00 pm

There is more information on my website – Please click here

Years of Action 2014-15 Accomplishments
The Years of Action plan is about every student, every school, every day. It is an ambitious, inclusive and actionable vision which represents and affects our entire TDSB community, including students, staff, parents and the public. Read more about the progress we’ve made on the Years of Action goals last year - 2014-2015 Accomplishments and Accountability Highlights

First Ever Adult Student Census
Last week the results from The Toronto District School Board’s 2014-15 Adult Student Census were released. This census is the first of its kind in North America. It will help inform adult education programming and planning across the TDSB and support the province in developing evidence-based policies for adult students. Nearly 4,800 (78%) adult students from across the TDSB’s five adult high schools took part in the census, providing a wealth of information on the multi-faceted educational pathways of this diverse student population. By capturing data on the unique educational experiences and histories of adult students, we can accurately determine the best supports to help them achieve academic and personal success. The census reveals many areas of strength in our adult high schools. It also identifies challenges and barriers that could impact student outcomes, and areas in need of focused resources to make our system even stronger.    
Quick Facts
  • Student Demographics: 44% of adult students have lived in Canada for less than 4 years; a further 18% have lived in Canada between 5 and 9 years.
  • Household Income: 77% of adult students reported an annual household income of less than $30,000; results from the TDSB’s 2012 Parent Census showed that only 28% reported an income in this lower category.
  • Overall School Climate: 85% of adult students had positive experiences at school all the time, and 92% felt safe in the classroom.
  • School-Work-Life Balance: Only 47% of adult students were able to find time for both school work and family responsibilities; only 43% felt able to balance school work with job responsibilities. 
  • Emotional Well-being: Around two thirds (64%) of adult students had higher levels of emotional well-being and around a third (36%) had lower levels of emotional well-being (feeling depressed, overwhelmed, stressed).
EatRight Ontario's Kids Recipe Challenge
EatRight Ontario is a provincially funded nutrition telehealth line where Ontario residents can connect with a registered dietitian for free. Every year, EatRight runs a Kids Recipe contest that encourages parents and kids to work together in the kitchen to create healthy recipes or share their family favourites. This contest has also been a popular activity for teachers to do with their students when talking about healthy eating principles.
The deadline for submissions is December 7, 2015. Who can enter - Ontario students in grades 1-8. Kids need to create an original, kid-friendly recipe for breakfast, school lunch, snacks and dinner. Traditional family favourites and recipes from around the world are encouraged! For more information, visit
TDSB By-election
The representation for Ward 21 Scarborough-Rouge River was vacated by trustee Shaun Chen when he was elected to the House of Commons on October 19, 2015. A by-election will be conducted on January 25, 2016 to fill the office. Nominations are now closed Click here for more information about the by-election and the list of 20 candidates. 

New Invitation
Thursday Jan. 7th, 2016 – 7:00pm – 9:00pm at Northern Secondary School                                              Northern SS Community Presentation - NOT NOW, MAYBE LATER: HELPING KIDS OVERCOME PROCRASTINATION by Dr Joanne Foster, EdD
Why do high capability teens procrastinate? What can parents, teachers and teens do about it? Lots of people struggle with procrastination. Dr. Foster will discuss the positive, perplexing, and problematic aspects of task aversion, and how procrastination intersects with high-level capability. We’ll consider how to help kids (and adults!) prevent, manage, and eliminate procrastination tendencies. Dr. Foster will provide practical strategies, guide an informative discussion and answer questions.  
Worth Repeating
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. Learn everything you need to know about our incredible variety of schools, programs and courses. Click here.
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. Each year in January, schools are classified as limited or closed to optional attendance based on the space they have available for the upcoming school year. Please note that the optional attendance status is updated every January for admission in September. More on this in the new year.
  • January 29
    Optional attendance forms due at secondary school
  • February 12
    Deadline for parents/guardians to be informed of the status of the application request
  • February 25
    Course selection sheets due at elementary schools
  • February 26
    Course selection sheets due at secondary schools.

Thank you! Wishing you the happiest of holidays!
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