Visit Trustee Gough's website for all the latest news and events in Ward 3.

        

 February 3, 2016                     Subscribe to my Newsletter. Visit my website. Follow me.

 

Message from Trustee Gough

Congratulations to John English Jr. Middle School's principal, Craig Howe, who has been chosen as one of Canada's Outstanding Principals by The Learning Partnership. Mr. Howe joins an elite group receiving this national recognition, which is given to principals who demonstrate innovation and have done something truly remarkable in public education.

The nomination says: "Craig uses technology to ignite learning... the school has adopted an inquiry approach to learning and a school culture where teachers are encouraged to use culturally relevant materials to respond to students' interests and needs... Under his leadership, John English has become the hub of the community."  

Mr. Howe and the other Outstanding Principals from across Canada will be celebrated with a gala dinner hosted by The Learning Partnership. He will also be honoured by trustees and Director John Malloy at the upcoming board meeting of the TDSB on February 8th.

Local Education News and Updates

  • Child care in schools: follow-up from January's ward meeting
  • City council plans to eliminate funding for school-based child care centres
  • Special education in high school- Feb. 7, 2017
  • TDSB Parent Academy comes to Second Street: Feb. 8, 2017
  • Sir Adam Beck: building child resilience- Feb. 13, 2017
  • Norseman: plans for school expansion- Feb. 22, 2017
  • Ward council March 2: TDSB budget and long-term program planning

News and Updates from TDSB's Education Centre 

  • African Heritage Month and Chinese Heritage Month celebrations
  • New TDSB Enhancing Equity initiative launched
  • PIAC school council appreciation dinner: Feb. 23, 2017
  • TDSB sustainability initiatives

News and Updates on Safe Routes to School

 

  • Wedgewood gets speed limit on Ashbourne lowered to 40 km/hr
  • Reducing school traffic problems: TDSB to partner with GCC

 

 

Local Education News and Updates 

 

Child care in schools: follow-up from January's ward meeting

 

My January 19th ward council meeting was very well attended. You can download a copy of the minutes here, and a copy of the presentation here. Additional guidelines regarding newly mandated before and after school child care and recreation programs were released recently by The Ministry of Education. You can read the memo sent to Ontario Directors of Education here and the Policies and Guidelines outlined for Ontario School Boards here. In order to determine the need for new before and after school child care programs in schools, school boards must consult with parents, Indigenous service providers, community members and City of Toronto Children's Services, and announce decisions by May.

 

City council plans to eliminate funding for school-based child care centres

 

The City of Toronto plans to eliminate funding for maintenance of child care spaces in Toronto public schools. This change will directly impact families, making licensed childcare in the schools more expensive for about 16,585 children and their families across the city.

Since amalgamation, the city has funded maintenance costs of child care centres that lease space within schools. Without this grant, school boards will need to recover costs directly from school-based child care centres, who will in turn recover their increased costs directly from parents. Parents in Toronto already pay the highest childcare fees in Canada. They face fees in the range of $1300/month per pre-school child. Without city support, it is estimated that fees will increase by about $350 per year per child.

The best place for child care centres is in the schools. Reducing transitions between child care and school is unquestionably good for children and families. School boards are not funded to oversee or run child care-this is the mandate of municipalities.

What you can do: speak up. The decision is not made yet. Politicians listen to people who contact them. Write to your local City Councillor (Mark Grimes for south of Gardiner and Justin DiCiano for north of Gardiner). More info and sample letters are here.    

 

 

Special education in high school- Feb. 7, 2017

 

Inclusive practices for special education are in place broadly in elementary schools but what happens when a child with an Individual Education Plan goes to high school? Hear researcher Marilyn Dolmage speak about how secondary schools can teach students with significant disabilities as members of regular classes, ensuring all students belong and participate under an umbrella of high expectations and social inclusion. Thank you to Trustee Chris Glover for opening this event to Ward 3.   

Where: Hollycrest Middle School, 630 Renforth Drive, Etobicoke

When: Tuesday February 7, 2017, 6:30 pm

 

TDSB Parent Academy comes to Second Street: Feb. 8, 2017

 

The TDSB's renowned Parent Academy is coming to Etobicoke for the first time! All parents are invited to attend a consultation meeting on the TDSB's Vision of Learning. Parent Academies are created by TDSB parents for parents with three goals:

  • supporting children's learning and development
  • becoming familiar with, and learning to navigate the education system
  • training and workforce development for parents

Dinner and childcare provided. Please pre-register with community support worker Michelle Murdock: Email at michelle.murdock@tdsb.on.ca or call 416-884-2936. More information is here.  

Where: Second Street Jr. Middle School, 71 Second Street (Birmingham and Second St.)

When: Wednesday Feb. 8th 2017, 6 to 7:30 pm

 

Sir Adam Beck: Building child resilience- Feb. 13, 2017

Sir Adam Beck Jr. School's parent council is hosting a free presentation called "Stressed out: Building resilience and battling anxiety in our children" by Dr. Taylor Armstrong of the George Hull Centre for Children and Families. All are welcome. More information is here.

Please rsvp to sabschoolcouncil@gmail.com

 

Where: Sir Adam Beck Jr. School, 544 Horner Avenue (Alderwood)

When: Monday Feb.13, 6:30 to 8:00 pm

 

 

Norseman: plans for school expansion- Feb. 22, 2017

 

Norseman Jr. Middle School has received provincial funding for a new wing and architect’s plans have been submitted to the city for site plan approval. The community is invited to see elevation drawings from the architect and hear an update on the project at this upcoming meeting:  

Where: Norseman Jr. Middle School, 105 Norseman Street

When: Wednesday Feb. 22, 6:30 to 8:00 pm

 

Ward council March 2: TDSB budget and long-term program planning

 

How will Etobicoke-Lakeshore public schools grow and change over the next decade? How and when will development happen? Where will the children from new developments go to school? Will there be enough space or too much? Will French Immersion students have a local public high school? All this and more will be discussed at my next ward meeting on the upcoming TDSB budget and long-term planning for school programs. All welcome, child care and refreshments provided.

 

Where: Second Street Jr. Middle School, 71 Second Street (Birmingham and Second St.)

When: Thursday March 2, 2017, 7 to 8:30 pm

 

 

News and Updates from TDSB's Education Centre 

 

African Heritage Month and Chinese Heritage Month celebrations 

In February, the schools of the TDSB celebrate Black History Month and Chinese Heritage Month. Earlier this week, Education Minister Mitzi Hunter was welcomed to the TDSB’s headquarters on Yonge Street to launch African Heritage Month amid a celebratory musical atmosphere created by students from the TDSB’s Afrocentric school. Many schools also commemorated Lunar New Year this week, an important event in the Asian calendar. As the most diverse school board in the world, TDSB strives for a school cultures that celebrates all identities, and where students see themselves reflected in the learning that takes place in their schools. 

 

 

New TDSB Enhancing Equity initiative launched

The TDSB is embarking on a transformative path towards enhancing equity with the recent launch of a Integrated Equity Framework.We know that when school culture is equitable and inclusive, the environment is welcoming and respectful of all, and when expectations for each and every student are high, then improved achievement and well-being for each student is the outcome. A task force has been established that will guide the implementation of the new framework. Look for a local community consultation meeting in the new few months- details will be available soon.

 

 

PIAC school council appreciation dinner: Feb. 23, 2017

The board’s Parent Involvement Advisory Committee (PIAC) invites two school council members from each school to join them for a delicious dinner and information night. This event celebrates the many generous parents in our system who volunteer their time and skills to support their school advisory councils. This is a good opportunity to network with other involved parents from schools throughout the system and I invite Ward 3 school representatives to join me at a table for convivial conversation and an exchange of ideas. For more details and to pre-register, please see the What’s Happening page of my website.

 

 

TDSB Sustainability Initiatives

One of the TDSB’s strategic directions is to build sustainable schools that inspire teaching and learning. Programs and School Services Committee received an important new report in January that updates the board’s goals and successes in reducing energy consumption, diverting solid waste from landfills, and providing meaningful opportunities to students to make positive differences to their environment through the EcoSchools program. Read more here.

 

 

News and Updates on Safe Routes to School 

 

Wedgewood gets speed limit on Ashbourne lowered to 40 km/hr

Congratulations to Wedgewood Junior school, a Platinum EcoSchool in Ward 3, which successfully petitioned Etobicoke York Community Council to reduce the speed limit on nearby Ashbourne Drive to 40 km/hr, despite staff recommendations to keep the speed limit as it was. Research shows that lowered speed limits make streets much safer for the most vulnerable pedestrians: school children and the elderly. Lowered speed limits are in keeping with the City of Toronto’s recent endorsement of Vision Zero, a plan to alter streetscapes with the goal being to achieve zero pedestrian traffic deaths in a year.

 

 

Reducing school traffic problems: TDSB to partner with GCC

Since the TDSB approved its Charter for Active, Safe and Sustainable Transportation in 2013, the board has installed hundreds of bike racks and has teamed up with Green Communities Canada (GCC) to offer school travel planning at some schools (Second Street is one) to encourage students to walk or cycle to school since this is the healthiest mode of travel. Recently the board’s Planning and Priorities Committee received a report on ways in which the board staff plan to work with schools and Green Communities Canada to reduce problems with traffic flow and unsafe driving practices near schools. Read more here