Chinese Heritage Month – February 2020
"A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark.” ~ Chinese proverb
The Toronto District School Board is proud to recognize Chinese Heritage Month (CHM) during the month of February and the theme of TDSB’s Chinese Heritage Month is Year of the Rat: Intelligent, Wise, Charming, Social, & Ambitious.
Chinese-Canadians celebrated Lunar New year on Saturday, January 25. Lunar New Year is also known as the Spring Festival and begins with the first moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon of the lunar calendar 15 days later. During this month, we celebrate the energetic culture and traditions of the Chinese community with students, staff and community members of the Toronto District School Board and the City of Toronto.
African Heritage Month – February 2020
February is African Heritage Month at the Toronto District School Board. It is an occasion to recognize and celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Peoples of African Descent to Canada and the world. The chosen theme for 2019-2020 is "UBUNTU: I am because we are” which is derived from the Nguni Bantu term in Southern Africa. UBUNTU is a South African term used by the Zulu community that represents an ethic of African traditional life. The philosophy of UBUNTU realizes that everything is interconnected; “everything that I do has an effect on you and your well-being and everything that you do has an effect on me and my well-being.” The poster was created by students from Downsview Secondary School under the leadership of their teacher, Matthew Chapman. It was designed with the following five principles presented in this painting:
• Umoja (unity) the tattoo.
• Kujichagulia (self-determination) the word was used to create the textile for one of the shirts.
• Nia (purpose) the logo on the shoe.
• Kuumba (creativity) the logo on the shirt.
• Imani (faith) the details on the hijab
The African Heritage Month Planning Committee members are excited to share that an African Heritage Month celebration will be organized for all TDSB staff, students, and community members in the future. Also being planned in the future, is the Know Your Worth Conference: Black Student Empowerment Conference in collaboration with Black Law Students Association of Osgood Hall Law School (York University) for secondary students.
Winter Walk Day - Feb 5
On Wednesday, let’s get more kids walking and wheeling to school! Bundle up, walk and roll to school, and enjoy the winter season! On February 5th, join schools across the country in celebrating Winter Walk Day. Visit the Ontario Active School Travel website for resources including posters and event ideas.
Show us how you're celebrating! Share your Winter Walk Day event with us by tweeting @EcoSchoolsTDSB using the hashtag #WinterWalkDay.
Information About Coronavirus
The health and safety of all students, staff and school communities is our top priority. In partnership with public health officials, the Toronto District School Board is closely monitoring the current situation with regards to the novel coronavirus.
As always, it is important to remember to cough into your sleeve, wash your hands as washing your hands properly can help prevent the spread of the germs and if you feel sick, stay home and/or seek medical advice.
Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) - Update: January 27, 2020
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced that, if central agreements are not reached by January 31, its members will conduct a province-wide strike (full withdrawal of services) on Thursday, February 6, 2020. In addition, ETFO also announced the details of rotating strikes that will continue at a number of school boards next week. ETFO members will strike at the TDSB on Friday, February 7, 2020 if an agreement is not reached.
Should the walkouts take place, the TDSB would have no other option but to close all elementary schools to students on Thursday, February 6 and Friday, February 7 as there would not be sufficient supervision to ensure their safety. Parents/guardians should start making alternate arrangements for their children on these dates.
Child care centres located in elementary schools will be permitted to stay open. Please contact the child care provider directly for more information. TDSB Extended Day Programs will also be open to currently enrolled students for a full day of programs. EarlyON Child and Family Centres will operate during their regular hours.
Should the ETFO walkout take place, all International Languages Elementary and African Heritage classes would also be cancelled. However, all adult non-credit programs, such as Adult ESL and Learn4Life, will continue to run.
Read the letter
sent to parent/guardians regarding the announcement of further strikes.
Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) - Update: January 30, 2020
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) has announced that rotating strikes will resume. Should progress not be made in negotiations, its members (teachers and education workers) will conduct another one-day walkout (full withdrawal of services) at a number of school boards on Tuesday, February 4, 2020. The TDSB is not affected Tuesday.
Board Meeting Wednesday
Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - Public Session at 7:00 p.m. Boardroom, 5050 Yonge Street
- 1. Director's Performance Goals, 2020
- 1. Recognition of Significant Observances Policy, Phase 2:New Policy, Status Update
- 2. PR729, Student Use of Service Animals in Schools: New Procedure
- 3. P023, Parent and Community Involvement Policy Review: Status Update
- 4. P048, Occupational Health and Safety Policy: Annual Review
- 5. P072, Workplace Violence Prevention Policy: Annual Review
- 6. PR728, Newly Developed Procedure, Reporting and Responding to Racism and Hate Incidents Involving or Impacting Students in Schools, and Revisions to Procedure PR515, Workplace Harassment Prevention and Human Rights
- 7. Development of a Specialized Schools and Programs Policy: Phase 2, New Policy
- 1. Black Student Achievement Community Advisory Committee: Consultation on Secondary Program and Optional Attendance Policy Reviews
- 2. Special Education Advisory Committee: Application to Join SEAC and Filling of Vacancies on SEAC for Easter Seals Ontario, VOICE for Hearing Impaired Children and a Community Representative
- 3. Mid-Year Update on the Implementation of the Multi-Year Strategic Action Plans: Inclusion
- 4. Operation of the EarlyON Child and Family Programs
- 1. Contract Awards, Facilities
- 2. Contract Awards, Operations
- 3. Program and Sketch Plan Approval: Right-Sizing and Building Addition to Kapapamahchakwew: Wandering Spirit School
- 4. Insurance Renewals for 2020: Update
- 5. 2019-2020 Ward-by-Ward Budget Breakdown
- 6. Reconciliation of the 2018-19 Actual Results to Budget
- 7. First Quarter Interim Financial Report: 2019-20
- 8. Proposed 2020-21Budget Schedule and Process
- 9. 2020-21 Education Funding Engagement Guide Consultation: Final Response
- 10. Rescission of Board Decision: Breakdown of Budget Reductions
- 1. Toronto Lands Corporation: Extension of Appointments of Citizen Directors
- 2. Toronto Lands Corporation: Management Report to the Board, November 2019
- 3. Secondary Program Review: Update #3
- 4. Pupil Accommodation Review for George Harvey Collegiate Institute and York Memorial Collegiate Institute: Initial Staff Report
- 5. French-as-a-Second-Language Programs Review: Update #2
- 6. Transportation Update on Changes to Bell Times in 2020-21
- 7. Revisions to Policy P087, Concussions Based on Ministry of Education Policy/Program Memorandum 158
- 8. Basketball Net Pilot Project Update
- 9. Change in Timing for Relocation of Bloor Collegiate Institute and ALPHA II Alternative School During Construction of Replacement School
16. Written Notices of Motion for Consideration
17. Written Notices of Motion
Pre-Budget Consultation Submission
Last Friday, Chair Robin Pilkey sent the TDSB’s Pre-Budget Consultation Submission to the government of Ontario’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. As in previous years, the Chair had applied in December 2019 for the opportunity to present the submission, on behalf of the TDSB, in front of the committee. However, the TDSB was not selected to participate in person this year.
The submission outlines the following budget issues and concerns impacting the TDSB: Special Education, Class Size, E-Learning, Renewal Funding Backlog, Education Development Charges and Transportation. In addition to outlining these issues and concerns, the submission also offers recommendations and potential changes to government policy so that the TDSB, and other school boards across Ontario, can continue to offer the outstanding programs and services that provide immense benefit students.
The submission was also sent to Premier Ford, Minister Lecce, Minister Phillips and Toronto area MPPs. Read it here.
Mandatory e-Learning Survey
On January 30, we issued a survey (branded as The Pulse) via email to a random sample of parents/guardians and students, and all secondary school teachers, to better understand their views and level of support for the Government of Ontario’s plan for mandatory e-learning for all secondary students.
The short survey will provide an overview of the current situation and ask two main questions:
• Will e-learning/online learning courses benefit students?; and
• Do you support the government’s plan for all secondary students to complete two mandatory e-learning/online learning courses?
The survey will close on Tuesday, February 11 and I look forward to sharing the results in the coming weeks.
Secondary School Program Review - Clarifications
There has been much misinformation on what the TDSB's Secondary School Program Review is. The Secondary Program Review does not propose the removal of optional attendance, technical programs, gifted programs or specialty programs. Nor does it eliminate specialized programs. We have drafted a new policy for Specialized Schools and Programs which encourages the development of specialized programs at the local school level and supports the board’s commitment to regional specialized programs in different areas including the Arts, Athletics, Skilled Trades and STEM. As for technical programs, we strongly support the Ministry’s commitment to promoting Skilled Trades as a viable pathway for our students, and this can only be done with strong technical programs in our secondary schools.
The consultation process on the Secondary Program Review has been extensive, and is still continuing. We held four public consultation meetings and have had a survey posted online since the beginning of October. We held two public online information sessions last week. We are also conducting consultation with specific groups. These have/will include:
- Representatives from each of the TDSB’s Community Advisory Committees;
- Principals and Vice Principals - Toronto School Administrators’ Association (TSAA);
- CUPE staff and Schedule Two staff (non-unionized employees);
- Senior Team;
- Parent Involvement Advisory Committee (PIAC);
- Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC);
- Students from the Urban Indigenous Education Centre (UIEC);
- Student Senate;
A new survey is being drafted for students and will be distributed widely in the coming weeks. Nobody is being excluded from the consultation process and we encourage all students, parents, teachers, and administrators to participate.
At the end of February, another consultation process on a new policy for Specialized Schools and Programs will begin. Information about the process and how to participate will be on the Policy Consultation site as well as on the Secondary Program Review page of the TDSB site.
Looking forward, not all schools will be able to operate at a capacity of 1100-1200. To be more accurate, we are looking for secondary schools to operate at 90% capacity. Some schools in the city were only built for 1100 pupil spaces and it would be impossible for these schools to operate at 1200. Similarly, we have large schools that can accommodate 1800 or 2000 students. We are not looking to reduce these schools to 1100-1200.The Secondary Program Review is not about dismantling programs or schools. On the contrary, the intent is to replicate the robust, successful programs, environments and secondary schools in the TDSB so that all students in the TDSB have access to an excellent education and opportunities. Operating schools at 400 or 500 students creates challenges for course offerings and limits student options.
The final report will make recommendations without naming specific schools. The report will identify areas of the city where consolidation of schools is recommended. Keeping 111 high schools open with over 20,000 empty pupil spaces has led to limited course availability for students in many schools. Consolidation will also allow for reinvestment into capital improvements and into support for student programming. It will strengthen programming and school environments throughout the system.
Worth Repeating -
Additional Ward Forum on P023 Consultation
I look forward to seeing you at the next Ward Forum on February 6 where Trustee Rachel Chernos Lin and I welcome Director John Malloy.
In addition, my colleagues Trustee Alexandra Lulka and Trustee Alexander Brown, will host a consultation on the Parent and Community Involvement Policy (P023) Review
. on March 5. Join in person in the Boardroom at 5050 Yonge St or join virtually! For those who would like to be part of the conversation just go to www.tdsb.on.ca/Laskin to stream the ward forum live (beginning at 7:00pm) and for instructions to send in your comments. We will be joined by Michelle Munroe, Central Co-ordinator, Parent and Community Engagement - Families are invited to join a conversation about how we can effectively support family and community engagement in the TDSB. Share your voice about our Parent and Community Engagement Policy.
Please hold the following Ward Forum dates to engage with other parents/caregivers -
- February 6, 2020
- March 5, 2020
- April 28, 2020
- June 2, 2020
Come Learn With Us!
Starting school is an exciting time for your child. Our schools provide a rich learning environment for all children to learn and grow. Registration for those born in 2016 begins in February.
In the Kindergarten program, your child will develop their skills and abilities through inquiry and intentional play-based learning that includes math, science and literacy. Teachers and early childhood educators plan learning experiences where children are actively engaged in learning and thinking creatively.
Invitation to Join Toronto-St Paul’s Youth Council
As the Member of Parliament for Toronto-St. Paul’s, Carolyn Bennett invites the youth of our community to be part of her Toronto-St. Paul’s Youth Council, an exciting opportunity for youth to have their voices heard.
The Toronto-St. Paul’s Youth Council will be composed of young Canadians between the ages of 15-24 who will meet several times each year with her and her office to discuss important issues that matter to youth and our community. You will work together to create community projects that will help make a positive impact on Toronto-St. Paul’s.
The youth that are chosen will gain valuable leadership skills, have their voices heard, and can earn volunteer hours. Each member will also earn a certificate at the end of the Youth Council.
To join the Toronto-St. Paul’s Youth Council, the participants need to visit https://forms.gle/8ms6unTNVP2rm7f97 to apply and fill out the application. The deadline for applications is Friday, February 7th 2020.
2019 - 2020 School Council Learning Opportunities
Each of your offices has a binder of resources for School Councils that you are welcome to borrow - and hopefully by the end of the week a USB key with the same information to make it easier to search and print from. Learning opportunities have been organized for School Council 101, ByLaws and Effectiveness. Please find below the dates, times, locations and share broadly.
Date LC Location Time Room Topic
Feb 4 4 Central Tech 6:00 – 9:00 102 School Council ByLaws
Feb 13 1 John Polanyi 6:00 – 9:00 120 School Council Effectiveness
Feb 20 2 Drewry SS 6:00 – 9:00 102 School Council Effectiveness
Feb 26 3 Woburn CI 6:00 – 9:00 105 School Council Effectiveness
Mar 5 4 Central Tech 6:00 – 9:00 102 School Council Effectiveness
And the presentations from PIAC's Ready. Set. Engage. Event from November 16 are now posted online.
Save the date! Join us for the Parents as Partners Conference on Saturday, March 28, 2020! This all-inclusive conference is organized by TDSB parents for TDSB parents, guardians and caregivers. Participate in workshops, network with parents and community agencies and learn new strategies to support your child’s success. Registration opens soon.
We Want to Hear From You
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.
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 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 -
- 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: 2nd Semester: June 2-15, 2020
OSSLT: March 31, 2020
Primary/Junior EQAO: May 19-June 1, 2020