Keeping you engaged and informed
Keeping you engaged and informed
Ward 11 Weekly Update header
Week of April 3, 2016 

Celebrating Latin/Hispanic Heritage Month with the TDSB
April marks Hispanic Heritage month at the TDSB, where students can participate in a variety of events to learn more about the unique and dynamic population. As part of this special celebration, we commemorate the rich culture, achievements and contributions of Latin-Canadians. As the TDSB is comprised of over 5000 students from Spanish speaking homes, we want to acknowledge and expand our understandings of the culture as we continue to create an inclusive and welcoming school community. 

TDSB Celebrates Inaugural Sikh Heritage Month in April
The TDSB is the first Board to officially recognize Sikh Heritage Month. On March 22, 2016, a motion was passed with unanimous support to recognize Sikh Heritage Month every April. We wish to remember and honour the Sikh Canadians who have played an important role in the Canadian community. To kick off this inaugural celebration, Trustee Neethan Shan will be hosting a reception on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the East Education Centre (140 Borough Drive, Scarborough) in Committee Room 3 and 4. Please RSVP to if you are interested in attending. The event is open to parents, students, educators, community leaders and media interested in learning more about the Sikh traditions, histories and contributions, and brainstorming about how to expand Sikh Heritage month within the school board and community.  
Celebrate World Autism Awareness Day With Us On April 4th 
On April 4, 2016, we join together with Autism Ontario to Raise the Flag in recognition of World Autism Awareness Day. We celebrate with over 355 municipalities and 300 schools across Ontario as they Raise the Flag. At our three central offices, 5050 Yonge Street, 140 Borough Drive and 1 Civic Centre, and many of our schools, we will raise the Autism Ontario flag along with the rest of the world to raise Autism awareness.
This is an opportunity to support the over 3,000 TDSB students who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder and to provide opportunities for conversations promoting inclusion and understanding. 
Update on Learning Centres
As referenced in my Weekly Update on March 6, at tomorrow’s Governance Committee we expect a staff update on the progress regarding the organization of Learning Centres in the TDSB based upon the guiding principles approved by the Board.  
The emerging plan calls for four Learning Centres with approximately seven Superintendents in each centre, led by an Executive Superintendent. This will allow 32 members of senior team to work directly with schools. Please note, Learning Centres are not necessarily a geographic building. Each Centre will have access to coaches that will support effective instruction in classrooms. Though the primary responsibility of these coaches will be to support effective instruction, each Centre will have coaches with different specialties so that they can also assist with areas such as the arts or digital literacy. In order to ensure the key commitment for every student to be able to read at grade level by the end of Grade 1, 20 early reading coaches will work directly with students and teachers. In addition, the plan is to assign a minimum of 60 learning coaches (Kindergarten to Grade 12) to work alongside teachers to improve learning and achievement as well as a dedicated team of 8-10 co-curricular lead teachers who will support system-wide activities and events such as co-curricular Arts, Athletics, etc.
Each Superintendent in the learning centre will also have a coordinating function to ensure coherence across the entire system, and is not meant to distract the Superintendent from the important work of supporting schools. Though the list of coordinating functions has not been finalized, at this time, these functions may include teaching and learning, special education, early years, leadership, global competencies and digital literacy, equitable, safe, and accepting schools, and employee services. We will continue to support Model Schools and our high schools that are involved in the Student Success School Support Initiative through the centres although the supports may look different.  
Some Executive Superintendents will continue to work at the Board level so that the work of our Learning Centres is coordinated and coherent. For example, Executive Superintendents/Officers working at the Board level may lead the following departments - Employee Services, Teaching and Learning, Special Education, Information Technology Services, Equitable, Safe and Accepting Schools, Research and Information Services, Communications and Board Services.
As the plan emerges, I will continue to update. Hope to have more to share at our Ward Forum on the 14th.
Contract Awards - Finance and Accountability Committee April 6, 2016
One of the things that happen at the Finance and Accountability Committee are the approval of Board contracts. I have been asked to provide details of how this works at the Board. For details of contracts coming to Wednesday's meeting, see the Agenda posted on the Board Website.
For your information, in accordance with the Board’s Policy P.017: Purchasing:
  • The Director or designate may approve operations and facility related contracts over $50,000 and up to $175,000 and report such contracts to Finance and Accountability Committee;
  • Finance and Accountability Committee may approve operations contracts in excess of $175,000 and up to $250,000; and may approve facility related contracts in excess of $500,000 and up to $1,000,000;
  • The Board shall approve all operations contracts over $250,000 and all facility related contracts over $1,000,000.
  • All contracts for Consulting Services in excess of $50,000 must be approved by the Board.
Purchasing and Distribution Services invite bids from a minimum of three firms except where sole/single source is indicated. Requirements expected to exceed $100,000 are also posted on an electronic bulletin board extensively used by public and private organizations to advertise procurement opportunities, to facilitate broader public access.
Contractors bidding on Board construction/maintenance projects must be pre-qualified. Consideration is given to bonding ability, financial stability, depth of experience, references, on-site safety record, and proof of union affiliation (applies to projects less than $1.5M or additions less than 500 square feet). Issuing a market call to pre-qualify is periodically advertised in the Daily Commercial News and on to facilitate broader public access.
When a Request for Tender is issued, the lowest cost bid is accepted where quality, functionality, safety, environmental and other requirements are met. When a Request for Proposals is issued, a variety of evaluation criteria are used, including price. Each of those criteria is weighted based on relative importance to the Board. The bidder with the highest overall score is recommended for contract award. Every effort is made to include input from the users in the development of specifications and the evaluation process. Copies of all bids received and detailed information regarding all recommended awards are available in the Purchasing and Distribution Services department.

The 2016 Census 
The next Canadian Census of Population will take place in May 2016. Once collected, the data from the census will contain demographic information on every man, woman and child living in Canada. This incredibly valuable information will be used by governments, school boards, businesses, associations, community organizations and many others to make important decisions for communities, provinces and territories across the entire country. Applications are now being accepted for the following 2016 Census jobs - for further information, click here.

HOLD THE DATES for Future Ward Forums
If you have any suggestions for topics you would like explored at Ward Forums, please send me an e-mail.Thanks!

Follow the TDSB on Social Media!
Join the conversations happening on TDSB's social media communities. You'll find the most up-to-date information about us on Twitter and Facebook, and plenty of useful and fun information too. We also have some new additions with our Instagram and Pinterest accounts.
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Worth Repeating...
Applications for Parents Reaching Out Grants 2016-17 Now Open - Grant applications for the 2016-17 school year are now open and will be accepted until May 29, 2016. In the 2015-16 school year, the province funded more than 2,200 projects that helped identify barriers to parent engagement and found local solutions to help more parents be engaged in their children's learning. For more information, click on     
Clean Toronto Together - Come on WR8! Let's Register for April 22!  In 2015, the TDSB had 383 of our school sites participate in the Clean Toronto Together Campaign. This year, we want to increase the number of participating schools. On Friday, April 22nd at 2 pm (Earth Day), students from across Toronto are encouraged to help rejuvenate our city’s green spaces by picking up litter in their schoolyard or neighbourhood park. To register, please fill out the School Clean-Up Day form by April 5th. All participating schools will receive a school certificate.   
NOTE - Change of Date - Presentation by Jennifer Kolari, Wednesday, May 25, 7-8pm at Oakwood CI, 991 St Clair  Av - Oakwood Collegiate invites all parents to attend a Parent Presentation by Jennifer Kolari. This presentation will show parents the importance of communication in the parent-teen relationship and is for parents and teens. Her Website is: Light refreshments will be provided. Chilcare available if requested at
2015-2016 is Hodgson’s 100th Anniversary year! Hold May 13-14, 2016 - Hodgson's 100th anniversary celebration is scheduled for Friday, May 13, 2016 and Saturday, May 14, 2016. There will be more information coming about this event, but we wanted to make sure that you marked the dates on your calendar. #Hodgson100th (100th Anniversary Committee Chair). 
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 click
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