Keeping you engaged and informed
Keeping you engaged and informed
Ward 11 Weekly Update header
Week of November 25, 2019 

Donate to Relief Fund for Families Affected by Gosford Fire

On November 15, 2019, a devastating fire broke out in a North York apartment building displacing hundreds of residents, including 23 TDSB students. Some have lost most, if not all, of their belongings and it remains unclear when they will be able to return home. While local school communities are supporting students and their families in any way they can, many of you have also reached out to help.
This is why we are launching a central campaign to raise funds for the affected families. All proceeds will go towards clothing, food and other essentials to help these members of our community rebuild their lives. Your generosity is truly appreciated as we come together to support our students and their families.
Donors will receive tax receipts for their donations of any amount, automatically by email, through our TDSB donation page

Congratulations to Chair Robin Pilkey and Vice-Chair Trixie Doyle

The Board's “Organizational Meeting” was held last Monday - where we elected the Chair and Vice-Chair and trustees to committees (including Standing Committees, Statutory Committees and Community Advisory Committees) as well as appointments to external organizations. Congratulations to Chair Robin Pilkey and Vice-Chair Trixie Doyle. I am very pleased to be re-elected as Chair of Finance, Budget & Enrolment. 

Labour Negotiations Update

All updates will be posted on the TDSB website -
Withdraw of Services begins Tuesday, November 26, 2019 for both Elementary and Secondary Teachers and Education Workers
NEW UPDATE - Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) Update: November 19, 2019 Today, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) announced that its members (Teachers and Education Workers) will be taking part in a withdrawal of services (sometimes referred to as work-to-rule) beginning Tuesday, November 26, 2019. This is a limited withdrawal of services and not a full withdrawal/strike.
The withdrawal of services includes, but is not limited to:
  • Not performing EQAO preparation or testing
  • Not attending unpaid staff meetings outside the school day
  • Not providing comments on any secondary provincial report cards
On Tuesday, OSSTF members will also begin information pickets that will take place before or after school, or during lunch periods. The purpose of the information pickets is to distribute information to parents/students and the public. OSSTF has stated that the information pickets will not disrupt the regular school day and will have no effect on students in the classroom.
During this withdrawal of services, schools will remain open and instructional programs will continue to run. However, should the withdrawal of services progress to include further sanctions, it may have a more significant impact on school activities, permits and school operations.
Note: OSSTF represents both secondary teachers and education workers. At the TDSB, education workers include 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 Advisors.
At this time, negotiations between OSSTF, OPSBA and the Ontario government continue and we are hopeful that an agreement can be reached soon. We will continue to update parents/guardians with new information as soon as it becomes available. For ongoing updates, please continue to check this page and follow @tdsb on Twitter. Previous Updates -
UPDATE - Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) - Update: November 14, 2019 - The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced today that phase 1 work-to-rule strike action will begin on Tuesday, November 26, 2019. According to ETFO, “the action targets Ministry and school board administrative tasks and does not impact on students.”
The work-to-rule directives include, but are not limited to:
  • Not participating in any EQAO-related activities
  • Not completing Term 1 Report Cards (teachers will provide the school administrator with a class list of marks for the various subjects/strands taught, or one brief comment per frame for the Kindergarten Communication of Learning)
  • Not participating in any school or Ministry of Education professional learning offered outside of the instructional day
A full list of ETFO’s Phase 1 work-to-rule protocols is available online at
During this phase of work-to-rule, schools will remain open and instructional programs will continue to run. However, should the work-to-rule progress to include further sanctions, it may have a more significant impact on school activities, permits and school operations. We will continue to update parents/guardians with new information as soon as it becomes available. For ongoing updates, please continue to check and follow @tdsb on Twitter.
At this time, negotiations between ETFO, OPSBA and the Ontario government continue and we are hopeful that an agreement can be reached soon. Previous Updates -
A tentative agreement on a new contract was reached with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (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.

E-Learning Update 

On Thursday, the Government of Ontario announced that beginning in September 2020, Ontario students will be required to take two online credits to graduate from secondary school - that means it will affect the current cohort of Grade 8 students who graduate in 2024. It does not affect any current Grade 9-12 students. Before the launch of the new online learning program, the province has said it will be consulting with Ontarians to ensure our approach to online learning will meet the needs of students and educators even though they have not released the results of the previous consultation last May. 
The government also speaks to exemptions being made for some students on an individual basis but provides no other details beyond what is in their news release here -
It is important to note that in the announcement the Minister said this was a cut from 4 to 2 -but this is an increase of 2 mandatory on-line courses to graduate. Just like the average secondary school class size announcement was not reduced from 1:28 to 1:25 - it is being increased to 1:25 from 1:22.5 (provincial average - TDSB actually 1:23.6). It is critically important to ensure we all understand the present reality for students and insist the province bases policy on research and data to support student success and well-being. Neither of these policies do.
Chair Robin Pilkey provided comments - "the announcement of the reduction from four to two mandatory online courses is welcome, but still does not answer many of the questions we have around mandatory e-learning. We remain concerned about the mandatory nature of this plan, the timing and the general lack of information available for parents/guardians, students and staff. In addition to the consultation announced by the Ministry today, TDSB parents will also have the opportunity to provide feedback on mandatory e-learning this winter as part of a previously planned consultation." I will add my frustration that the province announced this as a "reduction" when, in fact, it is a new requirement to have 2 mandatory e-learning credits to graduate in 2023-2024. In other words, anyone currently in secondary school will not need this requirement to graduate but those currently in Grade 8 will. There is no research or data to support mandatory e-learning. My contention has always been good policy should be data-driven. Please note that it is OPSBA's position that "mandatory e-learning is being discussed at the bargaining table and we are respecting those negotiations." 

Board Meeting This Week

All committee and board meetings are at 5050 Yonge St and are open to the public
Wednesday, November 27, 2019, Boardroom, Main Floor, 5050 Yonge Street - 7:00 pm 

Update - Education Development Charges (EDCs)

On November 8, 2019, the Ministry of Education issued a memorandum (2019 B20) to Directors of Education notifying them of the conclusion of the Ministry’s review of the EDC framework and amendments made to the Education Act and Ontario Regulation 20/98. 
The amendments provide school boards that are already eligible to collect EDCs with increased flexibility on how to use the funds by allowing school boards to use EDCs to support lower-cost alternatives to site acquisition such as leases (Alternative Projects); and allowing school boards to make agreements with developers to forgo EDCs in exchange for obtaining a lease, real property or other type of benefit to address pupil accommodation (Localized Education Development Agreements). 
However, there has been no change to the eligibility criteria that qualify school boards to collect EDCs. Consequently, the changes do not benefit school boards like the TDSB that have surplus space when measured across the entire school system as a whole. TDSB staff will continue to work with EDU staff to seek important changes to the current EDC regime and Trustees will continue to ensure this issue is shared with constituents. 
In December 2017, the Board authorized Legal Services to commence an application for judicial review of the EDC regulation of the Education Act. Through the judicial review application, the TDSB is seeking amendments to the regulation to allow TDSB to collect EDCs and if eligible, to provide school boards with more flexibility in how they use EDC funds. A hearing is being scheduled, likely in June 2020. Summaries of the TDSB and the Province’s legal arguments are posted on the EDC webpage

Climate Change Action

Possible Student Participation in November 29, Climate Change Rally: Information for Parents & Students Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Inspired by Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, young people from around the world have joined the Fridays for Future movement and are showing their support by participating in climate change rallies. Another student climate change rally is planned for Friday, November 29 at Queen’s Park.
To be clear, this is not a TDSB-sanctioned event and therefor school field trips cannot be approved. As this is a regular school day, staff are expected to be in attendance at school tending duties as normal and ensure that students attending class receive instruction. However, we understand that students at a number of our schools may take part. At the TDSB, we honour student voice and are committed to ensuring students can express themselves individually and collectively in ways that are constructive, respectful and responsible.
As a Board, we know that climate change is an important issue that needs to be addressed and that students play an important role in building an environmentally sustainable future. The TDSB’s EcoSchools Program provides opportunities within the classroom, the school, and the community for students to engage in education actions that prepare them with the knowledge, skills, perspectives, and practices they need to be environmentally responsible citizens. This approach is guided by the TDSB’s Global Competencies, which encourage students to engage in local and global concepts and initiatives while demonstrating responsibility and ethical citizenship.
As always, students under the age of 18 require parental permission to leave class. Any students who are not in attendance at school will be marked absent. As is the case with all absences where parental permission has been granted, the absence will be deemed “explained.” To ensure students receive no academic penalty for taking part in the rally, we have also asked our schools to avoid scheduling tests and other assessments on that day. We have also prepared additional teaching and learning resources.
More on Resources -
Information for Parents and GuardiansIf you are seeking strategies and background information for discussing climate change with children and youth, these resources may be helpful.
Resources to Share with Children and YouthIf you are seeking books, videos, websites and more to support your conversations with children and youth around climate change and recent climate change action, these resources may be helpful.

Ward 8 Forum - See you Tuesday!

I look forward to seeing you at Tuesday's Ward Forum where staff will be presenting the Long-Term Program and Accommodations Strategy (LTPAS) with emphasis on our ward.
Please note that the draft meeting notes from our first Ward Forum on October are posted here
And please hold the following dates for future Ward Forums -
  • February 6, 2020 
  • April 28, 2020
  • June 2, 2020  

Policy Consultations

We Want to Hear From You
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is committed to open and inclusive policy decision-making and values community input and participation through consultation. Consultation is a two-way communication process between the Board and external participants, including students and their parents/guardians, school councils, advisory committees, community members, different levels of government, service agencies, professional organizations and union partners. The objective of consultation is to gather public input regarding options, alternative courses of action, as well as to identify unintended effects for various participants and to find solutions. 
Current Policy Review Schedule

Attendance at Schools Outside of Designated Attendance Area (formerly Optional Attendance) (P013) As per the Secondary Programs Review and the TDSB Policy Review Schedule, the Optional Attendance Policy is currently being reviewed. We are asking all members of the TDSB community for feedback on the proposed draft.
Closes - February 03, 2020
Draft Policy -
Survey -
Objective: To provide policy direction about access to schools outside a student’s designated attendance area. The Optional Attendance policy allows students to apply to schools other than their designated school by home address. This is possible because there is excess capacity at some schools across the system. This has afforded students choice of school and program as well as enabled students to remain with cohorts if a family changes residence. However, optional attendance has prevented equity of access and has created an imbalance of enrolment in our secondary schools (under and over-utilized schools). It has also created an environment where schools are forced to compete with each other to attract more students in hopes of increasing their enrolment.

Note: Please note that in the Review Work Plan that was approved in June 2019, it was recommended to separate and clarify provisions related to requests for Regular Schools vs. Specialized Schools/Programs. This working draft Policy would only apply to Regular Schools and schools with French programs. A separate draft Policy on Specialized Programs will be developed and posted in the coming months for feedback and comment.
Priorities in new Draft Policy -
6.1.7. If sufficient space is available at the requested school, spaces will be filled by grade according to the admission priorities below. For each of the admission priorities (in priority order), the school principal will conduct a lottery if the number of applications exceeds available spaces:
  • Priority 1: Students who are attending another school as an Out-of-Area student at and who wish to return to their designated school by address.
  • Priority 2: Secondary students whose child/children is/are enrolled in a child care centre in the designated attendance area of the secondary school.
  • Priority 3: Students who have siblings currently attending the requested school and the siblings are expected to be at the requested school for the next school year.
  • Priority 4: Students currently attending a feeder school of the requested school.
  • Priority 5: Children enrolled after January 1 in the school-based child care pre-school program of the requested school (see 6.1.6).
  • Priority 6: Children attending child care programs in the designated attendance area of the requested school.
  • Priority 7: Current TDSB students.
  • Priority 8: Other students residing in the City of Toronto.
  • Priority 9: Students residing outside the City of Toronto.
Please note - The new draft policy on Specialized Programs will be coming to committee in January 2020.

Worth Repeating

2020-2021 Optional Attendance 

Information on Optional Attendance
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.
Elementary Schools (applying for September 2020 admission)
For the form, click here Applications must be received by Friday, February 14, 2020.
Secondary Schools (applying for September 2020 admission)
For the Form, click here  Applications must be received by Friday, January 31, 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.

Early French Immersion Parent/Guardian Information Sessions

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.

Secondary Program Review

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is undertaking a review of secondary schools to ensure all students have equitable access to programs and opportunities, as close to home as possible. As part of this review, modifications and updates to current policies and procedures will be required. This includes the Optional Attendance policy (P013) and its procedures (PR545 and PR612). Please note, however, there are no changes to the Optional Attendance Policy for September 2020. For more information, please visit  
Remaining Consultations on Optional Attendance P013 - Public Meetings:
  • November 26, 7 p.m. at C W Jefferys Collegiate Institute, 340 Sentinel Road, Cafeteria
  • November 28, 7 p.m. at John Polanyi Collegiate Institute, 640 Lawrence Avenue West, Cafeteria
If you cannot make it to the public meetings, the presentation is available 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  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
Subscribe to our email list.