QC October GG edited wk II 405pm

October 2014
Time Sensitive - Opportunity to Contribute to the TDSB
This is the first newsletter of the 2014/15 school year and I predict that it’s going to be interesting in many ways.
The premier – our own MP Kathleen Wynne - has appointed four well-respected expert advisors to help plot the new
direction for education in our province.
Dr. Carol Campbell, Associate Professor, Leadership and Educational Change, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Jean Clinton, Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster,
division of child psychiatry
Michael Fullan, OC, Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the
University of Toronto
Dr. Andy Hargreaves, Thomas More Brennan Chair in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College.
School Leadership – Vice Principal interviews
Full day kindergarten has now been fully implemented and the province is now looking to the future. So is the TDSB.
Leadership in the school is of prime importance to any policy initiatives now in place and planned throughout the years
to come.
Very soon applicants will be coming forth for the position of Vice Principal. If there are parent volunteers who have the
time to take part in the interviews along with senior staff the TDSB would appreciate your efforts. All information is in
the news section of the PIAC website, www.torontopiac.com. Expressions of Interest will now be accepted until October
10, 2014.
Mental Health Belongs to Us
We are pleased to launch the first issue of the TDSB "Mental Health Belongs to Us" newsletter. This will be a monthly
publication that will be shared with schools on different topics dealing with students' mental health and well-being. I am
pleased to attach the link: here.
Me to We Day
Twenty thousand students attended the Me to We Day rally at the Air Canada
Centre. Chris Hadfield, Queen Noor of Jordan, Hedley and many others spoke to
students about reaching out to help those in the world less fortunate. It was a day of
raucous music and inspirational speeches.
Upcoming Motion on Residential Schools
In June I had the great pleasure of hearing Justice Murray Sinclair discuss the history of the Residential School System
and its effects on our First Nation’s population. For 120 years young people were separated from their families and
siblings from each other. The consequences were disastrous and it has led to all sorts of negative consequences for
aboriginal Canadians.
I believe that every student graduating from our schools should have a good understanding of this misguided time in
Canadian history. It is only then and with the assistance of others that our first Nation’s community will be able
to heal.
After his talk I spoke briefly with Justice Sinclair, who is Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I am
proposing a motion to the Board that would have the Director of Education determine how we can assure that
our graduates have a critical understanding of Residential Schools
The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair
Trustee Expenses
You may have read some articles in the media
about the way Trustees spend their money to run
their offices, pay for their computer, employ
constituency assistance, cover printing and postal
costs and further their understanding and
knowledge of the role of a trustee (professional
development). It is a modest amount of money.
Nevertheless it is taxpayer’s money and as always, I
treat it with respect - just as I do with big ticket
items in the Boardroom such as teacher’s salaries
and transportation. I am the second lowest spender
in the entire Board. My spending is represented by
the green bar.
If you have any questions, please call me at 416-395-8408.
EQAO Education Quality and Assessment Office- the Board Viewpoint
Principals in our community are sharing results of their school-wide EQAO test scores with their parent associations and
analyzing the results to improve teaching. At the central Board office, senior administrators and trustees also study
Board-wide results to determine how we can support the schools in the teaching and learning process.
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) continues to see strong performance in the Ontario Secondary School Literacy
Test (OSSLT) and the Grade 9 EQAO Mathematics Test according to results released by the Education Quality and
Accountability Office (EQAO). Over the past five years (2009-10 to 2013-14), the percentage of Grade 9 students who
performed at or above the provincial standard (Levels 3 and 4) increased 8% in Applied Mathematics and 1% in
Academic Mathematics.
We continue to be concerned about the drop in Mathematics results from last year. The Math Department has a
comprehensive plan in place.
For more information about improving student knowledge and performance please …
… Read how the TDSB’s Years of Action plan supports every student, every school, every day.
… Visit our mathematics website for resources to help students.
… Read our English & Literacy and Mathematics & Numeracy Fact Sheets for more information
Confucius Institute
Several months ago the TDSB entered into an agreement with the Confucius Institute to help support the after school
programs for children learning simplified Mandarin. Before this partnership with China was implemented the TDSB
found itself in the middle of a political maelstrom concerning the Chinese Government's role in influencing the Institute
to brainwash our students and set up spy networks in Canada. The Board delayed its implementation until our senior
officials reported back with information to either confirm these allegations or to discuss safe guards to assure they did
not happen.
Much to my dissatisfaction a subcommittee - before hearing the staff report - recommended an end to the relationship
with the Confucius Institute. This action denies Trustees the opportunity to make informed decisions based on the best
advice from our senior officials. I consider this action unprecedented and very disappointing.
Students to get new bike racks as TDSB and Toronto Hydro Team Up for Green
Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited ("Toronto Hydro") and the Toronto District School
Board (TDSB) joined together to launch Team Up for Green at James S. Bell Junior Middle
Sports and Wellness Academy.
The program is designed to help schools across Toronto fundraise for 500 new bike racks by
encouraging Toronto Hydro customers to sign up for free green programs and services, such
as paperless billing, pre-authorized payment and peaksaver PLUS®.
The more friends and families that participate, the more likely Toronto Hydro and TDSB will achieve their goal of 30,000
sign ups. If sign up goals are met, the TDSB will receive funding for its bike rack program, and Toronto Hydro is able to
promote its conservation programs, and lower its billing and printings costs…
For more information about Team Up For Green, and support Toronto schools by signing up for green programs and
services, visit www.teamupforgreen.com.
Quick Facts
30,000 sign-ups will result in 500 bike racks purchased and installed in TDSB schools across the city,
for a value of $250,000.
The TDSB launched its Charter for Active, Safe and Sustainable Transportation last year, which
reflects the principles of Ontario’s Foundation for a Healthy School.
The Team Up for Green campaign runs from October 1 to December 1, 2014 inclusive.
District School Reviews
One way to TDSB aims to improve the student experience is by having
a team of principals and central Board staff visit our schools on a
cyclical basis. They visit every classroom in the school and share their
observations with the teachers. Rolph Road Public School was the
first to be reviewed. The review day began with a power point
presentation about the school done by grade 5&6 students, which
was excellent. Well done!
It’s Rolph’s 75th Anniversary this year.
Getting to Know You
It was my pleasure to visit many welcome back BBQ.s, Teas, and School Council meetings and media events. A few of
John Fisher parents meeting the new principal
Meda event at Fraser Mustard – an opportunity to see the
students at work
Bedford Park Curriculum night served Frozen Yogurt
Harrison BBQ- before the bucket challenge
Tentative Parent Meeting Dates
(locations and times to be announced closer to date of meeting)
Oct 30: Power Breakfast w. School Council Chairs and Principals
Ward Forums
Community Coffee with Gerri
November 11
Feb. 3
Apr. 23
May 23
December 9
March 11
May 7
June 9
Follow me on Twitter: @gerrigershon
Email: gerri.gershon@tdsb.on.ca