Welcome back to the 2019-2020 school year! I hope that you had a restful and relaxing summer with your family and friends.
I am looking forward to another fantastic year with your amazing children. I was overwhelmed with the kindness and enthusiasm of the Dunlace community last year and I know that this year will be no different. Your families make Dunlace the phenomenal school that it is.
We have had a few staffing changes over the summer and I would like to congratulate Ms. Berman on her new role as a Reading Intervention Specialist, supporting schools centrally in TDSB. Ms. Berman will be missed at Dunlace this upcoming year but we know that she will be making a huge impact across many schools. We wish her all the best.
Please take a moment to read all the information below, as it has valuable information regarding first day procedures. I apologize in advance for the lengthiness of this post but I would like to be thorough to help ensure a smooth start for everyone.
Tuesday, September 3, 2019- Welcome back to all of our students-JK-5
Beginning at 8:30 a.m., all of our teachers will be outside at the back of the school, ready to greet you and your children. Teachers will be holding up signs that will indicate their names and grades they are teaching. Students and families are asked to check in with the appropriate grade teacher and ensure that their child’s name is reflected on the class list. All students will be asked to stand behind their teacher until attendance has been taken, at which time students will be escorted into the building. Parents are not permitted to come into the building with their child(ren) at that time, so please ensure that you say your goodbyes outside. If your child’s name is not found on any teacher’s list, you will be asked to come into the school office at that time.
In the event of rain, JK-Grade 3 students will meet in the gym and Grade 4-5 students will meet in the library.
As you can imagine, our school staff are very busy on the first day of school, ensuring that all students are accounted for and settled into their new classrooms. We kindly ask you to be cognizant of this as we organize our students into their new classes. Unfortunately, teachers will not be able to engage in lengthy discussions this first morning as their focus will be on your children and their safety. Thank you for your understanding.
School Bell Times-For your information, our school bell times are as follows:
8:30 a.m.-Staff on duty outside in the school yard. There is no supervision prior to this time.
8:45 a.m.-Morning classes begin
10:05-10:20 a.m.-Morning recess
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.-Lunch
12:30 p.m.-Afternoon classes begin
1:50-2:05 p.m.-Afternoon recess
3:30-Yard supervision ends
At the beginning of each school year, there is always an adjustment period as new bus drivers familiarize themselves with new routes and students. In addition, inclement weather, construction, traffic congestion and unforeseen vehicle breakdowns may impact the timely running of school buses. To ensure that you have access to the latest transportation information, you are encouraged to sign up for the transportation portal here to receive email notifications when bus companies report late buses. Delays will also be posted to https://busplannerweb.torontoschoolbus.org/Cancellations.aspx
In addition, you can get information about transportation services for your child by calling our Transportation department at: 416-394-4BUS (394-4287) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org . If you have a concern about the service you are receiving, please email email@example.com so that the transportation department can follow up with the bus operator to address your concern.
Bus routes will be posted before the end of the week at the front doors office. Maps for bus routes for local schools can also be viewed on the Transportation website at https://www.torontoschoolbus.org/
We kindly ask that you not call the school regarding late buses. We have hundreds of students riding multiple routes and simply do not have the ability to answer this volume of calls. Parents will receive email notifications about late buses via email through the transportation department. We will also share our bus delays for the first 2 weeks via Twitter. (@TDSB_DunlacePS)
All students who are eligible for transportation will be receiving their bus tags by the end of the first day of school. These tags will be colour coded, with a number. They must be visible and attached to your child’s backpack. It will identify them as a “bus student”. Dunlace P.S. will continue to participate in the “Purple Equals Parent (P=P)” program, which helps our bus drivers identify young bus students that need to be met at their bus stop. All students in JK-Grade 3 will have these tags. A P=P tag means that someone is required to meet or escort students from the bus stop. Bus Drivers will ensure that all tagged students are met by their parent, caregiver or responsible sibling before they are released from the bus.
Empty Seat Requests for Buses
School bus seats are reserved for students who reside outside of a 1.6 km radius from Dunlace school. After these students have been assigned a spot on a school bus, any remaining seat spaces can be made available to students who reside closer to the school. These Empty
Seat Requests for busing are not facilitated by the school, rather they are centrally coordinated by the TDSB Transportation Department. It can take up to the end of October to finalize what seats are actually available for empty bus seat requests. Once this information is released to the school, we will share this information with you via email. Parents are welcome to submit an “Empty Seat Request” form with the knowledge that there is a potential for any offer of an empty seat to be later rescinded based on future demands. If the number of empty seat requests exceed the number of available seats, a public lottery will take place to allocate the available seats. Please note that students are not picked up or dropped off at their homes. There are designated bus stops and students will be told by the school which stop is theirs.
Split Grade Classes
We are a school that, in essence, has two mini-schools under its roof by virtue of being “dual track” and having both English and French Immersion programs. As such, split-grades are a reality. Our teachers embark on a placement process that ensures that all our classes are ‘balanced’ in nature. This includes ensuring that we are meeting mandated class caps, balancing gender, strengths, needs, etc. To preserve the authenticity of this process, we will not accept requests for a particular class or a particular teacher. Furthermore, whether a child is placed in a 1-2 split or 2-3 split, they will receive the curriculum at their grade level. One class is not more favourable than another, nor do we place higher achieving students in one split over the other.
Potential for Reorganization
Please note that our current school structure is subject to reorganization by the third week of September, depending on how our student numbers change. These changes are dependent on upon the Ministry of Education mandates regarding class sizes in our classes. Enrollment in a school is based on projections and we are unable to predict numbers in advance as families move in and out of school catchment areas. To accommodate these changes, during the third week of September, the TDSB will look at our numbers to ensure that we are compliant with Ministry mandates. If our numbers significantly change due to ongoing enrollments, then our school structure will have to change accordingly. This means that students may be moved to a different class from the one they started in. Parents will be kept informed of this process as we monitor our numbers.
Kiss and Ride/Safety Patrollers
Our Kiss and Ride/Safety Patrollers program will begin on Wednesday, September 11, 2019. You are welcome to drop off your child in the designated drop off area, just east of the bus loop on the northside of Dunlace Avenue but we will not have parent volunteers or student patrollers this week as we settle into the new routines. Parents are welcome to park on the streets surrounding the school. Please be respectful of our neighbours by not blocking their driveways. For the safety of our children, we ask that you do not conduct 3 point turns on Dunlace Drive. Dunlace Drive connects to Bannantyne Drive as well as Davean Drive, allowing you to navigate both east and west in the neighbourhood. Please note that the school parking lot is for staff use only. Parents may not enter or use this parking lot for the purpose of drop off or pick up.
We will continue to send out weekly emails to keep you informed of school happenings. You are also welcome to follow us on Twitter: @TDSB_Dunlace to see all of the exciting things happening here at Dunlace.
Lunch Time Routines
Due to the reduction in staffing, our Grade 1-5 students will be eating lunch in the gym from 11:30-11:50 a.m. Students will be reminded to bring all of their belongings down to the gym for lunch so they may go directly outside when the recess bell rings. Parents are asked to clearly label lunch bags, containers, cutlery and water bottles so they may be returned to your child if left behind.
School Council and Volunteering
We have a very vibrant and involved School Council that creates incredible opportunities for our students. Our parents make this happen through their involvement in school activities and fundraising. These fundraisers help to support school initiatives such as augmenting technology in our school and providing valuable funds to allow for in-school performances. Additionally, our School Council hosts the Dance-a-thon, Fun Fair, Halloween Dance and facilitates our Friday Pizza Lunches.
Our first school council event will take place on Thursday, September 12 from 3:30-7 p.m. Our Welcome Back Dance is an opportunity to meet other families and dance up a storm with the Magen Boys. Pizza, drinks and dessert are available for purchase on Cash Online. We hope that you will join at this fun event.
The School Council welcomes new volunteers! If you are interested in getting involved with our School Council, please consider attending our first School Council meeting on Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. in the library. We look forward to seeing you there!
Thank you for taking the time to read this extensive post. Our school website has been updated and the online calendar is up and running. New dates are being added to the calendar as they become available. I hope you enjoy the last few days of summer and long weekend.
I look forward to seeing your children’s smiling faces on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 in the yard at 8:30 a.m. and hearing about their summer adventures.