FAQ

(Frequently Asked Questions)


How do I contact my child’s teacher?

Who can I talk with at the school if I have a concern about my child?

Who determines the school curriculum?

How can I help in my child’s school?

Why should I volunteer at HVV?

What is the role of school council? 

What are school council regulations?

What is the role of a parent rep?

Why are parents fundraising and how are fundraising dollars spent in the school?

Who determines what’s on the agenda for Council meetings and can parents give feedback and/or suggest a discussion topic/present an issue/parent workshop/guest speaker?

How long are Council meetings?

Why are parents asked to refrain from texting/emailing during Council meetings? 

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How do I contact my child’s teacher?

During curriculum night in September, teachers discuss their preferred method of communication – whether it’s a message/note in the student planner or Friday folder (if your child is in JK/SK), phone or email.

Specific hours and days are set aside for parent-teacher interviews after each reporting period, but you’re welcome to arrange a meeting with your child’s teacher at any time during the school year.

Sample questions to ask your child’s teacher:

http://www.tdsb.on.ca/wwwdocuments/Trustees/Ward_11/docs/Fact%20Sheet%20-%20Parent%20Teacher%20Interviews%20%282%29.pdf

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Who can I talk with at the school if I have a concern about my child?

 

There are many people you can talk with at the school about your child depending on what the issue is that you would like to discuss.

  • First, talk to your child’s teacher.
  • On to the guidance counsellor.
  • On to the principal or vice principal.
  • Do not discuss your child’s personal problems at school council meetings.

(source: TDSB)

In bringing concerns to staff or trustees, parents should strive to:

  1. Present their concerns to staff or trustees in a respectful manner which allows the opportunity for due consideration of the concern;
  2. Allow for a reasonable timeline for addressing and resolving the concern;
  3. Address the concern first to the staff person(s) responsible for the area to which the concern directly relates, unless circumstances warrant raising the concern with staff at a higher level;
  4. Direct the concern to the school council where the concern relates to a school policy or program matter which can be more appropriately addressed by the council;
  5. Direct the concern about a Board policy or program matter to the appropriate Superintendent of education, central staff, or trustee where the concern should be addressed at those levels;
  6. Maintain an openness to receiving the information and advice that may be offered by staff or trustees as possible resolutions to the concern;
  7. Ensure that confidentiality is maintained concerning personal or private matters addressed by all parties.

(source: TDSB parent concern protocol - Click here for document in PDF form)

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Who determines the school curriculum?

The Ministry of Education sets curriculum policy and defines what teachers are required to teach and students are expected to learn in each grade and subject. A consistent, province-wide curriculum is thereby ensured. However, teaching and assessment strategies are left to the professional judgment of teachers, enabling them to address individual student needs and deliver the curriculum in a context that is locally meaningful.

The Ontario curriculum: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/index.html


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How can I help in my child’s school?

When parents assist the school with events or activities, it communicates a strong message to the child that the parent cares about what the child does in school. Here are some ideas of ways you can help in your child’s classroom or school:

  • Reading with a small group of children who need extra help.
  • Arts and crafts activities.
  • School plays or concerts.
  • Arranging material in the library.
  • Coaching sports activities.
  • Supervising children on field trips.
  • Serving as a speaker on topics related to the classroom program.
  • Serving as a skilled mentor to a student who needs extra support.
  • Collecting community materials for a classroom project.
  • Producing the school newsletter or yearbook.
  • Participate in meetings and activities of the School Council.

Please consider volunteering at HVV. Your time and support are investments in your child’s future. We need your help to improve our children’s education and experience at HVV.

Parents who wish to volunteer must, like all TDSB employees, complete a Police Reference Check (which will include a vulnerable sector screening) and be cleared before they can participate in activities with our students. (source: TDSB)


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Why should I volunteer at HVV?

Do you want to help make a difference and add value to your child’s learning experience at HVV? The benefits of volunteering within the school community include:

  • Helping to support student learning
  • Helping to support school’s academic and extracurricular goals
  • Sharing your expertise/talents/skills with students and staff
  • Enhancing your own learning and the learning of others
  • Helping to build sense of community
  • Increasing the collaboration between parents, community, and the school staff
  • Providing funds for activities for students
  • Developing or enhancing your own leadership skills
  • Developing a better understanding of how schools function

 

There are many different ways and different levels at which to get involved with School Council and support HVV. Whether you can volunteer for just 30-60 minutes, one day or attend monthly meetings – School Council would love to have your help! Please take a look at our volunteer handbook, contact your parent rep and try to come to one of our Council meetings.  


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What is the role of school council? 

Every school in Ontario is required to have a school council, with the majority of members being parents. As mandated in Ontario Regulation 212/00, “the purpose of school council is, through the active participation of parents, to improve pupil achievement and to enhance the accountability of the education system to parents.” School councils advise principals and, where appropriate, school boards on issues affecting the education programs and the operation of individual schools. Their membership reflects both the school and the community, and must include parents and guardians of students, the principal, a teacher, a student representative (secondary school councils), a non-teaching school staff member, as well as members from the community at large. Parents and guardians must make up the majority of council members. School Councils may advise the principal or the school board on:

  • school year calendars;
  • codes of student behaviour;
  • curriculum priorities;
  • programs and strategies to improve school performance on provincial and school boards tests;
  • safe arrival programs (elementary schools);
  • communications to parents and communications to the community;
  • community use of the school, and community programs and services provided at the school through school-community partnerships;
  • school board policies that will affect the school; and
  • selection of principals.

http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/brochure/whosresp.html#councils



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What are school council regulations?

School Council Policy including the role of principals is governed by Regulations 612/613/00 of the Education Act. These regulations are outlined in the Summary of School Council Regulations produced by the TDSB - http://www.tdsb.on.ca/_site/ViewItem.asp?siteid=91&menuid=4265&pageid=3575 

The Ministry of Education has produced a document entitled School Councils: A Guide For Members, to assist parents, school councils and administrators in participating in, supporting and managing school councils. (source: TDSB)



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What is the role of a parent rep?

A parent representative serves as a liaison between the teacher and the students' parents. Parent reps help plan class holiday celebrations and recruit parent volunteers to supervise field trips or provide support to the teacher in other areas. 

Parent reps engage and listen to parents and direct parents to appropriate resources. They support new families, organize teacher appreciation (e.g. Lunch on the Lawn, end-of-year party), and build community by organizing parent coffees/get-togethers. 

Parent reps also attend monthly council meetings and communicate school/Council news to their class parents. Volunteering to be a parent rep ensures you will get to know your child’s teacher, be current with what is happening now and in the future at HVV, and participate in improving our school.



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Why are parents fundraising and how are fundraising dollars spent in the school?

School-based fundraising is a local activity. The Toronto District School Board believes that the goals of fundraising go beyond money to reflect the creative and collaborative efforts of parents, students, teachers and the school community. Underlying these efforts is the belief that it is not the responsibility of parents or school communities to raise funds for basic educational requirements but rather that school communities may raise funds to enhance programs and support school initiatives.
(source: TDSB) 

Money raised by parents funds enrichment activities and programs at HVV such as Scientists in the School, arts/dance/drama workshops and musical/theatrical performances and helps purchase new sports equipment and classroom resources.

In June and September, parents will receive an itemized list of all Council expenditures. Periodically the council will ask the parent community for input on how fundraising dollars should be spent, usually through Survey Monkey. In September, the newly elected council executive and Fundraising Committee work with committee chairs and administration to determine the fiscal needs and budget for the new school year. The budget is presented at the October meeting, questions/concerns are addressed and then the voting members are asked to approve the budget.



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Who determines what’s on the agenda for Council meetings and can parents give feedback and/or suggest a discussion topic/present an issue/parent workshop/guest speaker?

The council chair/executive set the meeting agenda and format. If you have a question, suggestion or comment, we’d love to hear from you. Please email/phone Council executive, drop a note in the Council folder at the office, or use the contact form on the Council website at least one week before the Council meeting so that Council executives have sufficient time to prepare an answer.

If you are unable to attend the meeting to pose your question, Council may defer your question to the next meeting when you are present.



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How long are Council meetings?

Council meetings are held at 7:00 p.m. in the library on the first Wednesday night of every month (except for January). All parents are welcome to attend. Our goal is to conclude the meeting in 60-75 minutes and free child care is available on site to help parents attend our Council meetings.

We know parents are busy and we really appreciate your time. If you are allotted a specific amount of time to speak on the agenda, we ask that all speakers please pay attention to the time and try not to go over. You may be asked to stop if you exceed the time and perhaps the discussion can be continued at the next meeting or continued off line. 



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Why are parents asked to refrain from texting/emailing during Council meetings? 

We understand that some parents must have their phones on at all times. Out of respect for our presenters and other parents, we kindly ask that parents put their phones on vibrate. Please feel free to step out of the meeting room to text/make calls and return to the meeting when you’re done. 


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