Keeping you engaged and informed
Keeping you engaged and informed
Ward 11 Weekly Update header
Week of September 26, 2016 
Update on Student Transportation - Report at Finance and Accountability Committee Wednesday 

At the Special Board meeting of 14 September 2016, the Board approved that staff provide a report to the next Finance and Accountability Committee meeting on student transportation and school start-up issues experienced by both the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB). Student Transportation Services for both the TDSB and the TCDSB is administered by the Toronto Student Transportation Group (TSTG). This cooperative model of transportation has been in place since 2011. School start-up has been exceptionally challenging this year, primarily caused by an unexpected shortage of school bus drivers across the GTA, but there are other factors that have contributed to the school start-up disruptions, including the introduction of new carriers to Toronto’s service, new drivers and the reallocation of routes among carriers. Find the full report in the meeting agenda which will be posted here.

Davisville/Spectrum Rebuild
For those of you unable to get to last week's public meeting on the rebuilding of Davisville/Spectrum, the agenda and presentation deck can be found here. The answers to questions posed at the meeting will also be posted there as will all other supporting information. I will continue to keep you posted as the project moves forward.

Join the conversation about Equity in the TDSB
The TDSB is a leader in equity and, to continue to improve student achievement and well-being, we must take a more strategic approach. Our vision is to create equitable learning environments to close the gaps and raise expectations for everyone. To do that, we have developed a draft Integrated Equity Framework Action Plan that will be the foundation for a system-wide, cultural shift. Real change will happen because schools will be empowered to address their own unique circumstances with the right tools, resources and supports from the larger system. This will create the conditions to improve student achievement and well-being. 

This is only the beginning of the conversation. Your voice and perspective will help inform the work that makes this vision a reality. Please learn more online, take a look at the framework (or the summary version) and share your feedback online or join us at an in-person conversation. Your voice and perspective will help inform the work that makes this vision a reality.  

TDSB is Recognizing Orange Shirt Day - Sep 30 - Every Child Matters
Orange Shirt Day acknowledges the history and legacy of the residential school system in Canada by honouring survivors and remembering those who did not. It is a day to demonstrate, by wearing orange, that all students matter. 
Phyllis Webstad, a member of the Stswecem'c Xgat'tem First Nation in British Columbia, was forced to attend St. Joseph's Mission Residential School, as her relatives before her. She entered the school in 1973 wearing a brand new orange shirt which was immediately confiscated by the staff and replaced with a uniform. She never saw the shirt again, and began to associate the colour with the traumatic experiences in the school and the loss of language and cultural identity she suffered. In 2013, Webstad transformed her negative experiences into something positive by creating a Nationally recognized Orange Shirt Day.
Orange Shirt Day has been marked in schools across Canada in a variety of ways, including Orange Ribbon campaigns, commemorative walks, and wearing orange shirts.Over 6,500 survivor statements have been collected by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which concluded in 2016 after six years of research and testimonies. Senator Murray Sinclair has stated that “reconciliation must fall in the hands of Canadians, not solely with Indigenous peoples.” Ultimately, wearing orange shirts on September 30 is a visual reminder of our shared past as Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada, and provides an opportunity for dialogue between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in shaping our shared future. For more information, visit
Condensed timeline of Indian Residential School systems:
EQAO Board Results
On September 21, the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) released achievement results for the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and all other boards across the province. Information about the EQAO can be found at The provincial tests measure how well students are meeting key curriculum expectations in reading, writing and math. This information helps schools and boards to identify students’ learning needs and put targeted programs in place to meet them. The TDSB has maintained strong scores in reading and writing and continues to focus on improving student achievement in mathematics. Please note that elementary schools did not participate in EQAO testing during the 2014-15 school year, therefore, the most recent results prior to 2015-16 are from 2013-14. For details on TDSB click here.
Education Minister Mitzie Hunter re-announced the government’s new initiatives to improve math test scores earlier on the 21st at JR Wilcox – JR Wilcox saw a 400% improvement in their math scores. Again, it is all about improvement. Hunter said more than $60 million is being employed for a new math strategy, which will allow teachers to spend 60 minutes per day on math instruction and ensure there are up to three lead math teachers in all elementary schools. Policy/Program Memorandum (PPM) 160 - Protected Time for Daily Mathematics Instruction (Grades 1 to 8), one of the components can be found here. The Ontario Curriculum for Mathematics can be found here.
Homework Help is a free online math help resource for students in Grades 7-10. It provides free, live one-on-one tutoring from Ontario teachers Sunday to Thursday from 5:30pm – 9:30pm ET. Parents/guardians can sign up for a guest account. The guest account gives parents/guardians access to math videos, interactive exercises, and a scientific calculator 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can get further information at the Online Help Website,

New Resource to Assist with Requesting Street Improvements
Students and staff get to and from school every day by walking, cycling, mobility devices, and many other forms of human-powered transportation.The TDSB has a Charter on Active, Safe and Sustainable Transportation - we encourage students to walk or cycle to school and work with the City to identify and remove barriers to getting to and from school actively. Now City of Toronto residents are able to request traffic calming (e.g., narrowing roads, speed humps etc.), changes to speed limits, and improvements to intersection and major crossings within their community. The Guide to Safer Streets Near Schools is a research-based resource designed to assist residents in requesting street improvements within the City of Toronto. The City's Guide is designed to help school, parent and staff communities influence city hall in order to effect change for safer street design and lower vehicle speeds: two elements that research shows greatly contribute to the safety of children and other pedestrians. To learn more visit

Student’s Mental Health and Well-Being Impacts Everyone and Belongs to Each of Us - Invitation to Join the Parent Partnership Committee
TDSB has made the Mental Health and Well-Being of all its students a priority. It is essential for student achievement and success. We need your help. Parents/caregivers play a key role in helping students be successful both in school and in life. We are looking for parents/caregivers interested in being a member of the Mental Health and Well-Being Parent Partnership Committee
Why be involved? Be the voice of the parents/caregivers of TDSB students, to identify your needs as parents/caregivers regarding mental health and well-being. Guide the development of accessible education, resources and tools to support the mental health and well-being of every student.
Who are the members of the Parents  Partnership Committee? The committee is comprised of parent/caregiver volunteers from across the TDSB.
What does the committee do? The committee educates parents/caregivers with a focus on the importance of mental health and well-being and the critical role they play in helping students to be more successful academically and resilient in life.
Where do the meetings take place? The meetings for 2016-17 occur  monthly at 5050 Yonge Street  6pm - 8pm. October 17th November 14th December 12th January 16th February 13th  March 6th  April 8th May 8th June 12th
How do I get involved? Please email us at

New Invitations
Toronto — St. Paul's Youth Council - Parents and community - calling all youth and young adults. If you are between 14 and 30, apply to be a member of St. Paul's Youth Council. Please submit your application by September 30th to be considered. Click here.If you have questions, please contact #YouthMatters

School Councils 101: How to Run an Effective School Council - My colleague Ausma Malik has invited parents from other wards to a School Council Information Session. Unfortunately, it is scheduled on the second day of Rosh Hashanna but if you are interested, it is on Tuesday, October 4th 2016, at 6:00PM, at Palmerston Ave Public School, 734 Palmerston Ave. School Council Chairs, executives, interested parents, staff, teachers and community members are welcome! Please RSVP to: .Child care is provided. Refreshments are served. Interpretation upon request.

Note - There are many resources available for School Councils on my website including applicable legislation, policies and parent engagement toolkit. Click here.

Casting Call - From Larissa Mari Casting - We are currently casting an exciting series called Emerald Cove! I am reaching out to you because we are doing a Canada wide search for two new faces to play the leads! The characters we are searching for are Lana and Larry. They are in high school, and best friends forever. They are very smart, they love technology, and they love to sing! They are of aboriginal decent, and they are both 15 years old (to submit you do not have to be 15, just look like you are around 15). Union or Non-Union may apply.This is a fully paid job, Actra rates apply. Here is a link to our website with all of the details on each role and how to submit:

First Ward 11 Forum this Thursday, September 29, 7-9pm at Hodgson Sr PS
Our first Ward Forum of the 2016-17 school year will be held on September 29th, at Hodgson Sr PS.It is an opportunity to meet our new Superintendents and each other. I am so pleased that Zélia Capitão-Tavares, a Grade 6 teacher from McMurrich Jr PS (who is a Google Education Certified Innovator) with a few of her students will share their final projects using coding and then they will support parents as they explore the site. Didn't you always want to learn Computer Science?!
We will also need to elect new Ward representatives to both the Parent Involvement Advisory Committee (Information on PIAC is available by clicking here) and the French as a Second Language Advisory Committee (information on FSLAC here). 
Please hold November 28th for the next Ward Forum featuring the TDSB's Mental Health + Well-Being Strategy overview and implications for parents/caregivers using examples from our Ward schools.

Worth Repeating...
West Prep P.S. 75th Anniversary - October 20 - Have you saved the date?  On Thursday, October 20th, from 7-10pm, West Preparatory P.S. will be celebrating 75 incredible years. Student and staff alumni are invited celebrate. Come tour the school and reminisce as you browse through  “Decade Rooms” prepared by current staff and students. There will be video presentations, guest speakers and refreshments. To learn more or to volunteer, join our Facebook group West Prep 75th anniversary or email the reunion event team at
Model Parliament - Applications will be accepted from September 15th to November 8th, 2015 for the Program February 22-24, 2017 The Legislative Assembly of Ontario Model Parliament is an educational program designed for civic-minded high school students in grades 10 to 12, who are interested in current events and provincial issues. This unique educational experience will bring together 107 students, representing each of the province’s ridings, for a three-day Model Parliament Program in Toronto. To apply, click here.
Subscribe to our email list.