Ward 3 Trustee Pamela Gough’s Update November 7, 2012

The following message is from Wagdin, Debbie <Debbie.Wagdin@tdsb.on.ca> sent on behalf of Trustee Pamela Gough:

Ward 3 Trustee Pamela Gough’s Update November 7, 2012

This is a special issue of the newsletter to update you on the possibility of strike action in high schools resulting from provincially-led labour relations issues. At last Saturday’s People for Education conference, parents asked Deputy Minister of Education George Zegarac what can be done to expedite a solution on the Bill 115 fight between the province and teachers. His answer: “Engage your MPPS. Ask them to keep the dialogue going.”

In this issue:

  • Secondary teachers in legal strike position November 7
  • Elementary teachers in legal strike position by end of month
  • Public consultation November 14: shaping the future of TDSB
  • Networking event for school council members
  • Free TDSB parent conference November 17
  • Special education info night November 20
  • Karen Kain School of the Arts info night November 29
  • Check out what’s new at Lakeshore Collegiate November 29

Secondary teachers in legal strike position November 7

The provincial government’s Bill 115 has been met with resistance by teachers and their unions in the public school boards. This is a dispute between the province and the unions, with the schools caught in between.

Secondary teachers are in a legal strike position as of Wednesday, November 7th. Late last night, word came out that OSSTF, the secondary school teachers’ federation, was back to the bargaining table with a deadline of this Sunday, November 11th. If they do not reach agreement and the teachers decide to strike, this does not mean that schools will close. There are many types of strikes in education and the kind of strike we will see is a “work to rule”.

OSSTF has said that it intends to ask high school teachers to continue teaching. They will withdraw from duties such as professional development, department meetings, and open houses. Teachers will continue to report marks, but will pass marks on slowly to school administration rather than inputting them electronically. This means report cards might be late. The TDSB is committed to ensuring that any labour action will not prevent Grade 12 marks from reaching the colleges and universities in time for consideration of postsecondary admission.

To recap, schools will stay open during any pending labour action unless the board administration feels that student safety is at risk. If there is a strike, all principals will be sending parents an explanation as to how they are handling the disruption of daily activities, so keep a close eye on those student knapsacks. Check your school website as well for information.

For more details, and for daily updates of the situation, see the TDSB’s labour relations webpage, here.

Elementary teachers in legal strike position by end of month

Elementary Teachers are not in a legal strike position, although some individuals have decided not to participate in extracurricular activities. The TDSB is continuing to bargain with Elementary Teachers and Elementary Occasional Teachers, using the framework of Bill 115 as dictated by the province. The Elementary Teachers’ Union could be in a legal strike position in early December.

At last month’s ward forum, a number of parents asked me to connect the schools across the ward so that parents can talk to one another about the situation in their schools and share ideas as to ways to mitigate the harm to students. I am doing this in several ways. I have set up an email chat group for Ward 3 school council chairs/co-chairs and have already started to send information out. To join this group, please email Debbie.wagdin@tdsb.on.ca and let Debbie know which school council you are on. I’m also holding a networking reception for parents from all the school councils to mix and mingle (see item 4).

Public consultation November 14: shaping the future of TDSB

The TDSB is embarking on the largest public consultation in its history. You are invited to have your say on the changes needed to make to better meet the needs of students in the future. The world is changing and our school system must change as well to ensure the success of each student. These consultations will ensure future plans are based on the programs that best support our students. Simply put, we need the right programs in the right spaces in the right places. Your voice is important.

You are invited to attend the local consultation (note change in date from original date of Nov. 21):

When: Wednesday, November 14th, 7 to 9 pm

Where: Library of Islington JMS, 44 Cordova Ave (just west of Islington and north of Bloor St.)

Child minding is available. For those unable to make the meeting, an online survey is available and a virtual information session will take place on November 19th. Details can be found here.

Networking event for school council members

I’d like to bring school council members together for a chance to network with one another and with me informally. To this end, I’m inviting all SAC members to a reception at Islington JMS from 6 to 7 pm on Wednesday, November 14th in advance of the public consultation so you can attend two events at the same time. Pizza and snacks will be served. Child minders will be on hand to make it easier for everyone to relax and chat.

Free TDSB parent conference November 17

The 6th Annual TDSB Parents Make a Difference Conference: “Parent Engagement and the Achievement Gap” will be held at Earl Haig Secondary School, 100 Princess Avenue North York, ON, on Saturday November 17, 2012, from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. Registration is free and available to all TDSB parents. A free bus will be provided departing from Lakeshore Collegiate’s parking lot at 8:00 am.

Come and share in this interactive day that brings together parents from throughout our TDSB communities. Learn about the TDSB and how you can become more effectively involved in your child’s education. The goal for this conference is to equip you with as much information about your school system as possible all in one place. More information can be found hereRegister now to ensure a spot.

 Special education information night November 20

Are you interested in special education? Do you want to find out more about Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and the process of identifying students with special needs? The TDSB’s Special Education department is hosting an information night on Tuesday, November 20th at the West Region Education Centre, 1 Civic Centre Court, at 7 to 9 pm. The meeting will be held in the Board Room on the second floor and all parents are welcome.

 Karen Kain School of the Arts info night November 29

Karen Kain School of the Arts (KKSA) is an innovative Grades 6 to 8 public school in the Queensway/Royal York area that offers an arts-enriched curriculum. Prospective students go through an audition process. KKSA is hosting an information night for interested students and their parents at 6 pm onThursday, November 29 at Norseman JMS, 105 Norseman Ave.  Applications are due by Thursday December 6 at 3:30 pm.

 Check out what’s new at Lakeshore Collegiate November 29

I encourage all parents of Grade 8 students south of the Gardiner to visit LCI’s open house on Thursday, November 29, 7 pm. LCI has been doing some remarkable new things lately. The championship sports field is now open, with a seasonal dome that allows for sports to be played on its artificial turf field all winter long. LCI is piloting the remarkable new I-Think program, which is the brainchild of Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. LCI offers High Skills Majors as well as the much-in-demand CyberARTS program. Its state of the art WoodLINKslab is the envy of other high schools. LCI is the only TDSB school to offer a university credit course in drama, taught by a University of Toronto professor. Check out the new Lakeshore CI!

Please forward this email to friends. Subscribe by contacting Debbie.wagdin@tdsb.on.ca. For more information, check out my TDSB website at http://www.tdsb.on.ca/gough. Email me at Pamela.gough@tdsb.on.ca.  For the absolute latest information, follow me on Twitter at @pamelagough!

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