Ward 14 Update

Trustee Update

Farzana Rajwani • Ward 14: Don Valley East
Toronto District School Board
416-395-8787 • Farzana.Rajwani@tdsb.on.ca
portrait of Farzana Rajwani
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January 2024

Happy New Year
I hope you enjoyed a restful winter break and are ready for the exciting opportunities the new year holds. To our students: welcome back! Your enthusiasm makes our schools truly special, and I look forward to supporting and witnessing your growth and achievements in 2024. A heartfelt thank you to our families for your ongoing support. Together, we create an environment where students can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally – inside and outside the classroom. May 2024 bring curiosity, discovery, and success to each student in our community. Wishing you a Happy New Year filled with learning, laughter, and lasting friendships!

Tamil Heritage Month – January 2024
Tamil Heritage Month is proudly recognized during the month of January at the Toronto District School Board since January 2016. This year, the theme for Tamil Heritage Month is Our Memories, Our Truths, Our Paths Forward: A Mosaic of Tamil Identity. To mark Tamil Heritage Month, various educational opportunities will be offered to students to learn about the history, culture, and traditions.

This year our theme for Tamil Heritage Month is:  Community. Belonging. Joy - சமூகம்  சார்ந்த  சந்தோசம்   Belonging comes with a sense of acceptance and inclusion for who you are, and there is great joy that comes from knowing you belong within any given community. This year’s Tamil Heritage Month theme was selected to highlight that joy and belonging, and is intentionally aligned with one of the TDSB’s priorities - Joy, Engagement and Belonging.  Please see the posters below from our students as a result of a Poster Challenge inviting all TDSB student to submit an image to reflect this year’s theme.

Tamil Heritage Month poster Tamil Heritage Poster Two Tamil Heritage Month Poster Three

English Kindergarten Registration Begins in February
Starting on the school journey is an exciting milestone, and TDSB schools are proud to offer a vibrant learning space for every child's development – inside and outside the classroom. Registration for English Kindergarten programs starts in February. For Junior Kindergarten enrollment in September, children should be four years old by December 31. Senior Kindergarten registration requires children to be five years old by December 31. To learn more, please visit the Kindergarten Registration page.

Middle French Immersion (Grade 4 Entry) Application Deadline
I am excited to share important information for families interested in the Toronto District School Board's system-wide French Immersion Program. To apply to the Middle French Immersion Program for September 2024, applications must be completed online between January 8 and February 2, 2024. Families with an older sibling currently in a Middle French Immersion program are still required to complete an online application for the new student. I encourage you to please visit: Middle French Immersion or the Application Process for more details and information. To apply, please use the following  Application Link.

Elementary Alternative Schools Online Application
The TDSB is proud to offer a wide range of elementary alternative schools. The application process is managed centrally and the online application form for September 2024 admission is now open. The deadline to complete an application is Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at 4 p.m. For questions or additional support, contact the school or EAS.Application@tdsb.on.ca.  

Virtual Learning 2024-25
The TDSB is pleased to be able to continue offering students in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 the option of virtual learning in the 2024 - 2025 school year. For more information, please visit the elementary virtual learning page and secondary virtual learning page. Additional details are also available in the 2024 - 2025 Virtual Learning Q & A or get in touch with your school Principal.

High Performing Athlete Program Application
At the TDSB, we're thrilled to support our High Performing Athletes through academic support and flexible scheduling. The online application for the program is now open for those seeking admission in February or September 2024. Please visit the website for details. The application deadline is January 31, 2024.

Information Session for Grade 8 Families: Secondary Alternative Schools Fair
I am pleased to share that the TDSB is hosing a series of Preparing for High School Information Sessions. The third installment in this series is the Secondary Alternative Schools Fair on Wednesday, January 10, 2024 (via Zoom). Please join us by registering and/or requesting an interpreter for the session and visit the TDSB Guidance website to view recordings of all sessions.

Out-of-Area Admissions
Did you know you can access schools beyond your designated home address, pending space availability? Apply now for elementary and secondary Out-of-Area Admissions online. Transportation is your responsibility. Learn more on the Out-of-Area Admissions website, including random selection priorities. Act fast: Elementary applications open January 8-31, 2024, and secondary applications open January 8-26, 2024. In-person students switching to Virtual Learning for September 2024 must apply through Out-of-Area Admissions. Please visit the Virtual Learning Q & A for details.

Preparing for Exams and Culminating Assignments
Exam time is just around the corner! January is the time of year when secondary students are working on course culminating assignments and preparing for Semester 1 exams. For some tips and resources to help, including access to free 24/7 online tutoring support, check out the Exam and Course Culminating Fact Sheet.

Online Tutoring for TDSB Students
I am pleased to share that online, on demand tutoring supports are available 24/7 for TDSB students this winter. Elementary students can access homework help and enrichment opportunities in all subject areas and grades through Brainfuse. Families or students (18+) interested in online tutoring services can view the Brainfuse Poster for more information or contact Brainfuse. TDSB secondary students are able to access tutoring for all courses and grades through Paper. Families or students (18+) interested in online tutoring services are encouraged to view the Paper Poster for more information or contact Paper directly.

Community Happenings

Anub Love and Kindness Flyer
Winter Computer Program 2024
17th Annual Parent Involvement Advisory Committee (PIAC) Conference
I encourage you to register and attend the upcoming 17th Annual Parent Involvement Advisory Committee (PIAC) Conference is taking place on Saturday, February 3, 2024 from 10am – 3pm at Earl Haig High School. The PIAC Conference is a great opportunity to deepen your understanding of the educational landscape, connect with fellow parents/guardians/ caregivers and staff, and contribute to the continued success of our schools and communities. For more information, please visit: https://www.torontopiac.com/whats-happening/conferences

Legacy Boundaries Review
I invite you to participate in the public consultation meetings to explore the Board’s options for addressing the legacy technical and commercial boundaries that still exist in some parts of the city. The public consultations will be held between 6:30pm and 8:00pm on the following dates:

  • Monday, January 15th
  • Thursday, January 18th
  • Sunday, January 21st

The schools with large legacy boundaries include Central Technical School, Central Toronto Academy, Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute, Northern Secondary School, Western Technical-Commercial School and to a lesser extent, Victoria Park Collegiate Institute.

These large regional boundaries were created at a time when students were streamed into academic or vocational programming and have outlived their intended purpose.
The Board is proposing that these legacy boundaries be dissolved to eliminate ‘as-of-right’ access to these schools for some parts of the city, while expanding access to all students in Toronto. Staff is proposing that the legacy boundaries be dissolved for admission in September 2025.

Reducing the Spread of Respiratory Illness
We are now in the middle of cold and flu season. A reminder of the number of steps that can be taken to help keep children and others safe from an increase in respiratory viruses among children, including Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Influenza and COVID-19. Please note that Toronto Public Health, together with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, strongly recommends wearing a well-fitted mask in indoor public settings, including in schools and childcares.

Winter Well-Being Guide
I invite you to explore the TDSB’s Winter Well-Being Guide, which is filled with activities, games, wellness tips, resources and community agencies to support wellness for all students, parents/guardians/caregivers, and school communities. This Winter Well-Being Guide provides accessible resources and is available in the top 20 TDSB spoken languages.

Inclement Weather
As we all know, with Canadian winter comes snow and severe weather! At times, it is necessary to cancel student transportation, classes and/or programs. On rare occasions, severe weather makes it necessary to close TDSB schools, administrative offices or sites. Visit the website to learn about Snow/Cold Weather and the Procedure for Severe Weather.

Upcoming Meetings
The next Regular Board Meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 31, 2024. For a list of upcoming meetings, please click on the calendar at www.tdsb.on.ca.

Stay Connected with your School
The TDSB now offers two new ways to stay connected with your school and the TDSB.Learn about opting in for text messages and using the School Messenger app, which provides a faster and easier way to report absences.

Follow the TDSB
Join the conversations happening on TDSB's social media communities. You'll find the most up-to-date information about us on our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.