June 28, 2013 update from TDSB Trustee Pamela Gough’s Office

The following text is from Pamela Gough’s Office:

Sent on behalf of Trustee Pamela Gough:

Ward 3 Trustee Pamela Gough’s Canada Day Update June 28, 2013

Happy Canada Day! This will be my final newsletter for the academic year. I wish all readers a wonderful Canada Day and a safe and happy summer! Schools will open on September 3.

In this issue:
· TDSB passes balanced budget; music programs saved
· TDSB census shows profiles of student well-being
· New full day kindergarten before and after school daycare programs
· Park Lawn gets new principal, activates schoolyard greening plan
· Student and teachers learn together in co-learning program
· Nine schools to get large trees planted in fall
· LCI students accepted to Ontario Science Centre School
· Karen Kain students wrap car with art at Luminato Festival
· Parent-to-parent advice on how to help your child with French over the summer
· Two Ward 3 principals receive Urban Heroes Awards

1. TDSB passes balanced budget; music programs saved
After months of review and community consultation, TDSB trustees passed a balanced budget on June 19th and 20th 2013. To my relief, the board decided not to downsize the Itinerant Music Instructor (IMI) programs that have enriched student life in Etobicoke for more than sixty years.

A projected $55 M deficit for next year has been eliminated by decreasing spending in areas such as facility services, central staffing, school-based staffing, and information technology. Trustees also voted to approve a balanced long-term capital plan that identifies funds from within the TDSB’s current holdings to offset revenues needed for building repairs and new facilities in areas of the city where school overcrowding is endemic.

Although the process of setting the budget was a difficult one, I am pleased to see the TDSB move forward with a balanced budget for the next academic year. The challenge in the future will be to fine-tune our school system so that every student can have the optimal opportunity to experience educational success and the best possible outcomes in life. This will need to be done within budget parameters that hold to a high degree of fiscal rigour and accountability.

2. TDSB census shows profiles of student well-being
One of the unique aspects of the TDSB is that it regularly conducts detailed surveys of students and makes the results public, adding new knowledge that helps not only TDSB administrators but also parents and outside researchers to understand the situations that students face in schools and in their lives. A student census was done last year and results are being reported out now.

Survey questions about students’ emotional well-being were included for the first time in the TDSB’s recent 2011 Grade 7-12 Student Census. The TDSB’s census findings on students’ emotional well-being can be found here in two parts. Part 1 describes students’ emotional health and associated challenges, and how they relate to some of the demographic variables. Part 2 examines the topic further in association with other census variables, such as school experience, out-of-school experience, self -perceived abilities and academic achievement. Click on this power point presentation for highlights of some of the key items from the fact sheets.

For additional information please contact Roula Anastasakos at roula.anastasakos@tdsb.on.ca or Sandy Spyropoulos at sandy.spyropoulos@tdsb.on.ca

3. New full day kindergarten before-and-after school daycare programs
This September will see many schools open new full day kindergartens (FDK). Eight new full-day kindergarten before-and-after school daycare programs are starting up in September 2013, as follows:

Etienne Brule JS. Provider: Humber Bay Child Care. Contact Bernice Leung, 416-251-8240
Islington JMS. Provider: PLASP. Contact Irene Mazur, 905-890-1711
John English JMS. Provider: YMCA. Contact: Melissa Brown 416-763-5233
Norseman JMS. Provider: YMCA. Contact Ashley Thompson 416-236-5793
Park Lawn JMS. Provider: Park Lawn Preschool. Contact Chris Lussier, 416-236-2974
Second Street JMS. Provider: YMCA. Contact: Melissa Brown 416-763-5233
Seventh Street JS. Provider: Lakeshore Community Child Care. Contact Lisa Tjernstrom, 416-394- 7601
Wedgewood JS. Provider: YMCA. Contact: Melissa Brown 416-763-5233

These programs add to the two existing Full-Day Kindergarten Before and After School Programs at
David Hornell JS. Provider: PLASP. Contact Irene Mazur, 905-890-1711
George R Gauld JS. Provider: Early Adventures. Contact Jenny Lewis, 416-251-5151

All FDK before-and-after school daycare programs can offer subsidized spaces. Subsidies are available through the City of Toronto Children’s Services Department at www.toronto.ca/children or call Ryan Vendor at 416-397-1448.

4. Park Lawn JMS gets new principal, activates schoolyard greening plan
Park Lawn JMS’s principal, Satbir Sidhu-Thomas, has accepted a secondment to the Ministry of Education’s Teaching and Standards Branch. I wish her well in this new position. Her replacement in September will be Ms. Erin Altosaar, an experienced principal. Welcome, Ms. Altosaar.

Park Lawn’s School Council has developed an Outdoor Revitalization Project as part of an overall greening strategy that will beautify the school and create the opportunity for students and the community to learn about environmentally sustainable practices. This summer, the City of Toronto will be replacing the pathway connecting the rear of the school to Park Lawn Road with a widened, tree-lined pedestrian pathway featuring enhanced lighting and two meet-and-greet areas for community interaction. In the fall, the school will receive ten large trees from the TDSB’s EcoSchools program, which will create a shaded green space for students in the schoolyard and will be the first step to an outdoor classroom.

Congratulations to Park Lawn’s very dedicated group of parents for steering this project along so skillfully, and thanks to Councillor Peter Milczyn for his support.

5. Students and teachers learn together in co-learning program
Our Ward 3 Family of Schools has been very excited to take part in the Ministry of Education’s Co-Learn Ontario Project this year. This initiative has allowed our Grade 3 teachers to inquire into the question, “What kind of education do our students require today to learn and lead in a complex, global world?”

Collaborating and learning together as a team, teachers and students came to understand how students become global learners and leaders through student inquiry-based learning and student based assessment practices. As well, they began to use the power of technology to accelerate, share and network new learning and thinking throughout all of the schools in the area. Next year they look forward to continuing their learning journey together.

6. Nine schools to get large trees planted in the fall
Nine schools in Ward 3 will have large trees planted in their schoolyards at no cost to the schools, thanks to the TDSB’s Sustainability Office. These trees, worth $600 apiece, come in groups of ten and will be strategically located to cast shade in the schoolyards as well as beautify the surroundings and clean the air, The schools that successfully applied and were accepted for the large trees program were: John English, David Hornell, Islington, James S. Bell Sports and Wellness Academy, Wedgewood, Norseman, Park Lawn, Second Street, and Second Street.

7. LCI students accepted to Ontario Science Centre School
Lakeshore Collegiate Institute students, Ashley Singh and Jessica Patel have been accepted into Science School at the Ontario Science Centre for next year! This is the second year that Lakeshore students have been accepted into this prestigious program. Grade 12 students from all over Ontario apply for this great opportunity but only 30 are selected annually. This rigorous academic program in Math and Science seeks to further develop students’ ability to think critically and creatively while using a team approach to the application of scientific ideas and product development. Congratulations to Ashley, Jessica and to the teachers in the Science Department who completed confidential reports on their behalf and continue to inspire and support students in pursuit of their dreams. Bravo!

8. Karen Kain students wrap car with art at Luminato Festival
Karen Kain School of the Arts middle school students have created a moving art piece as part of the Luminato Festival. Inspired by Luminato’s guiding principles, students at KKSA worked with artist Melissa McGrath to create a moving canvas in the form of a wrapped Kia vehicle. The student-designed vehicle was on display at the Luminato Festival June 14-June 23, 2013.

9. Parent-to-parent advice on how to help your child with French over the summer
The French as a Second Language Advisory Committee of the TDSB is offering to bring its “How Can You Help Your Child Succeed in French?” workshop to your school in the fall. The workshop, which was a hit at the Parent Involvement Conference, has now been given at several schools. At one school, parents were so enthusiastic that the workshop was followed up with a second presentation on TDSB homework policy and online resources.

If you are interested in having a similar presentation in the fall, please have your school administration or school council contact Kristina Laperle through the FSLAC fslactoronto@gmail.com. To learn more, please see the power point presentation slides at: www.tdsb.on.ca/fslac/ under ‘Resources’.

Here are some tips from the workshop you can use over the summer:
· Read with your child in your native language. Reading skills are transferable to other languages.
· Encourage your child in French as you would in sports and music lessons. You don’t need to be an expert; you just need to show your enthusiasm and support.
Access French resources and reference materials from the full TDSB library website and the OERB (Ontario Educational Resource Bank). Make sure you get the passwords from your school librarian or principal before school is out: http://www.tdsb.on.ca/libraries/cat.asp?schoolNo=9&catId=40
· Check out your local public library for French books, CDs and DVDs and for French events this summer.
· Watch French TV (Rogers 12, 13, 95, 103 or Bell 112, 115, 137, 145), listen to the radio (860 AM, 90.3 or 105.1 FM), go to French websites like www.tfo.org (Mini-TFO for young children, Megallô for tweens or Brbr for teens) or use the French language track for DVDs you already have at home
· Encourage your child to select books, programs or movies that are on topics covered in the past school year.

10. Two Ward 3 principals receive Urban Heroes Awards
Congratulations to Helene Pfeiffer, principal of Karen Kain School of the Arts, and John Currie, principal of James S. Bell Sports and Wellness Academy, who were given Urban Hero Awards this week by the Etobicoke Guardian. Ms Pfeiffer won in the Arts category and Mr. Currie in the Education category. This recognition is very well deserved indeed and I was thrilled to join them for the award ceremony at the Old Mill on Monday, June 24.

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! Please forward this email to friends.

 

1 reply
  1. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    A comment has been submitted to the Preserved Stories website regarding an Ontario College of Teachers disciplinary hearing related to an Ontario teacher. However, I have not been able to locate details regarding the disciplinary hearing at the Ontario College of Teachers, and the teacher is listed as being in good standing at the OCT website.

    Reply

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