October Board Meeting Digest

Here is a summary of the decisions made by the TDSB Trustees at our Board Meeting on October 18, 2017.

Board of Health Report to the Board: Public Health Within an Integrated Health System
The Board decided:

Whereas, the Minister’s Expert Panel on Public Health report recommends the integration of public health through alignment with the Local Health Integration boundaries; and

Whereas, similar attempts to integrate public health into the broader health system have been largely unsuccessful and at a great expense; and

Whereas, the health of our students could be negatively impacted by any reductions in public health services delivered in schools; and

Whereas, the Minister's Expert Panel on Public Health’s proposed boundaries for Toronto’s public health units:

(i) may result in inconsistent services being offered between schools across Toronto;

(ii) will force the Toronto District School Board to coordinate services with three different public health entities;

(iii) will require additional TDSB resources to coordinate these services with three different health organizations;

Therefore, be it resolved:

(a) That the Chair write a letter to the Ministers of Health and Long-Term Care and Education and to the Premier of Ontario, stating that the Toronto District School Board does not support:

(i) the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Public Health to integrate public health within the broader health system;

(ii) the proposal to divide the city into three separate health entities;

(b) That the letter be copied to the City of Toronto Board of Health, the Mayor of the City of Toronto, to the Chairs of school boards serving students in the Durham, Kawartha, Toronto and York regions.

Toronto Lands Corporation: Management Report to the Board, September 2017
The Board received the report.

Toronto Lands Corporation: Provincial Surplus Property Transition Initiative
The Board received the report and decided:

Whereas, in its report to the Toronto District School Board on the Provincial Surplus Property Transition Initiative, the Toronto Lands Corporation has presented, as a case study, the Sir Robert L. Borden property, which was closed in June 2016 and transferred to the TLC for disposition; and

Whereas, the Provincial initiative is a strategy to enhance and encourage local community hub development and a key element of the initiative is to place a publicly-owned property on hold for up to 18 months to allow interested, eligible organizations more time to complete their business plan, secure funding and establish partnerships in order to potentially acquire the property and create a community hub at the site;

Therefore, be it resolved:

(a) That prior to issuing a request for offers for the Sir Robert L. Borden property, to be completed prior to June 2018, the Toronto Lands Corporation:

(i) establish and lead a steering committee that includes provincial, Ministry of Education, City of Toronto and Toronto District School Board representatives, to develop an effective framework that will guide the identification of local community service needs and potential supporting partners, that would contribute to the creation of a vibrant and sustainable community hub, to be integrated with the redevelopment of the surplus lands;

(ii) present a report to the Toronto District School Board on the work of the steering committee, by the March 2018 cycle of meeting;

(b) That ongoing operational costs to sustain and protect the facility and site at Sir Robert L. Borden be identified and forwarded to the Ministry of Education for reimbursement.

Revisions to the Policy Review Schedule [3197]
The Board decided that the revised policy review schedule, as presented in the report, be approved.

Review of Policy P055, Supervisory Officer Selection [3196]
The Board decided:

(a) That Phase 1 of policy P055, Supervisory Officer Selection, as amended, be approved;

(b) That the work plan for the review of policy P055, Supervisory Officer Selection, as amended, be approved.

Review of Policy P014, Staff Changes [3133]
The Board decided:

(a) That Phase 1 of policy P014, Staff Changes, as amended, be approved;

(b) That the work plan for the review of policy P014, Staff Changes, as amended, be approved.

Review of Policy P051, Caring and Safe Schools [3201]
The Board decided that the work plan for the review of policy P051, Caring and Safe Schools, as presented in the report, be approved.

Pupil Accommodation Review Process
The Board decided that the following be referred to staff for a report back to the next meeting of the Governance and Policy Committee on any revisions to P068, Accommodation and Program Review and its related procedures:

Whereas, Ministry guidelines on Accommodation Reviews state that:The ARC may provide other accommodation options than those in the initial staff report; however, it must include supporting rationale for any such option; and

Whereas, it is not stated by what process the Pupil Accommodation Review Committee (PARC) is to decide whether to provide other accommodation options; and

Whereas, not having a clearly stated process may especially disadvantage PARC members who are not familiar with Ministry and Board policies and procedures and who are unfamiliar with committee decision-making procedures and thus may not be able to make their voices heard; and

Whereas, a clear process for PARCs to determine what options they wish to bring forward would level the playing field;

Therefore, be it resolved that the following changes to policy P068, Accommodation and Program Review be made:

That 6C.9 be revised as follows:

Any PARC member may bring forward an option to be considered by the PARC. Where possible, the PARC shall decide by consensus whether to bring the option forward to the board; where consensus is not achievable the PARC shall measure its level of support for the option by a majority vote. Staff will facilitate the PARC's discussion and decision-making process by supplying information that both supports and does not support the option under consideration.

Where an option brought forward does not receive majority support, a member of the PARC may submit the option in a dissenting report that will be included in the PARC feedback to the board.

Inner City Community Advisory Committee: Learning Opportunities Grant Funds
The Board decided that the Director provide a response to the Inner City Community Advisory Committee regarding how the Learning Opportunities Grant funds are dispersed and specifically how it is dispersed in relation to the Learning Opportunities Index.

Environmental Sustainability Community Advisory Committee Annual Report, 2016-17
The Board received the annual report from the Environmental Sustainability Community Advisory Committee.

French-as-a-Second-Language Community Advisory Committee Annual Report, 2016-17
The Board received the annual report from the French-as-a-Second-Language Community Advisory Committee.

Representatives for Integration Action for Inclusion on SEAC
The Board decided:

Whereas, Kim Southern-Paulsen has resigned as the representative for Integration Action for Inclusion on the Toronto District School Board Special Education Advisory Committee in favour of becoming the IAI alternate representative; and

Whereas, Margarita Isakov has resigned as the alternate representative for Community Living Toronto in favour of becoming the representative for Integration Action for Inclusion; and

Whereas, SEAC has received nominations to this effect from the Executive Officer of Integration Action for Inclusion and both named applicants meet the Ministry of Education and board criteria for eligibility;

Therefore, be it resolved:

(a) That Margarita Isakov be appointed to the Special Education Advisory Committee as the representative for Integration Action for Inclusion for a term ending November 30, 2018;

(b) That Kim Southern-Paulsen be appointed to the Special Education Advisory Committee as the alternate representative for Integration Action for Inclusion for a term ending November 30, 2018.

Alternate Community Representatives for the North East and North West Quadrants on SEAC
The Board decided:

Whereas, there are two vacancies for North East Community Alternate Representative on the Toronto District School Board Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC); and

Whereas, SEAC has received an application from Rick Strutt to become Alternate Representative for the North East Community and he meets the Ministry of Education and Board criteria for eligibility; and

Whereas, there is one vacancy for North West Community Alternate Representative on the Toronto District School Board Special Education Advisory Committee; and

Whereas, SEAC has received an application from Curtis Jordan Bulatovich to become Al-ternate Representative for the North West Community and he meets the Ministry of Education and board criteria for eligibility;

Therefore, be it resolved:

(a) That Rick Strutt be appointed to the Special Education Advisory Committee as the alternate community representative for the north east quadrant for a term ending November 30, 2018;

(b) That Curtis Jordan Bulatovich be appointed to the Special Education Advisory Committee as the alternate community representative for the north west quadrant for a term ending November 30, 2018.

Ash Tree Salvage Program [3203]
The Board received the report.

Energy and Caffeinated Drinks [3224]
The Board received the report.

Student Nutrition Funding
The Board decided:

(a) That the Director present a report at the next meeting of the Program and School Services Committee on a plan by the City of Toronto’s Board of Health to add private schools to the list of schools eligible for student nutrition programs;

(b) That the Director communicate new or timely information on the matter via the trustees weekly email communication;

(c) That the Board’s representative on the Board of Health provide regular and timely updates on the matter.

Black Student Achievement Community Advisory Committee: Individual Education Plan Matters
The Board decided that the following recommendations from the Black Student Achievement Community Advisory Committee be referred to staff for a report to the November 2017 meeting of the Program and School Services Committee:

(a) That the TDSB undertake an assessment starting September 2017 of all 40,000 plus individual education plans (IEPs) to disaggregate race, age, gender and sexual orientation of the students.

(b) That the process of creating/implementing 'informal' IEP's be stopped effective September 2017 pursuant to Ministry guidelines/mandate regarding the IEPs. This process has created a detriment to Black students who have been arbitrarily subjugated to teacher/Administration 'labelling' that has not been substantiated through any formal medical analysis or assessment.

(c) That the TDSB’s Special Education department send a letter/notice to all parents/guardians of students on an 'informal' IEP, to establish consultations to discuss their child's 'working document' within the school environment. (The current policy stipulates that parents/guardians are to be notified but the accountability piece to ensure they have been informed and know the nature of the 'informal' IEP or if they had a noted objection to the creation and implementation does not exist).

(d) That Supervisory Officers be mandated to ensure accountability by tracking students being brought up for IPRC's and those being brought to the team (IST/SST) and bridled with an 'informal' IEP within the school. Superintendents to review their schools every two weeks and Executive Superintendents once a month. Note: With all students being integrated into classrooms next year, it is important to put the mechanisms in place that assures accountability and eliminate the entrenched behaviours of biases and discrimination levelled against Black students through this detrimental arbitrary process

(e) Designate GBVP department staff specifically assigned to support Black LGBTQ students.

(f) Gender-Based Violence Prevention department to work in schools where there is a high population of Black students to change the culture of the schools, and create a sense of safety which will foster students to self-identify as Black LGBTQ

(g) External support for Black LGBTQ students by engaging and outreach to agencies/service providers who work with Black LGBTQ young people

(h) TDSB organize and host a symposium for Black LGBTQ students for the purpose of gathering first-hand accounts of their experiences

(i) TDSB Research department to work with universities to look at the academic achievement of Black LGBTQ students

(j) TDSB work with schools to create a culture shift among straight students, which will allow better inclusion of Black LGBTQ students. This can include curriculum development, and forming a working group to aid schools in shifting mindsets towards LGBTQ people.

Early Years Community Advisory Committee: Annual Report, 2016-17
The Board received the 2016-17 Early Years Community Advisory Committee annual report.

Inner City Community Advisory Committee: Facility Cleanliness
The Board decided that the following recommendation of the Inner City Community Advisory Committee be referred to the Finance, Budget and Enrolment Committee:

That the Director present a report on the facility standards of cleanliness of schools.

Keyboarding Pilot 2016-17 [3228]
The Board received the report.

Student Nutrition Program Update [3230]
The Board received the report.

World Map Projections [3229]
The Board received the report.

Transition of Parenting and Family Literacy Centres to Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres [3226]
The Board received the report, pending a report back on any financial implications for the Board resulting from the transition of the Parent and Family Literacy Centres to the Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres model.

Integrated Equity Framework Update on Special Education [3231]
The Board received the report.

Appointment of a New External Member on the Audit Committee: Process for Filling a Vacancy [3205]
The Board received the report.

Ombudsman Report on Student Transportation [3206]
The Board received the report

Regional Internal Audit Team Update, June 2017 [3207]
The Board received the report.

Capital Planning Audit [3208]
The Board received the report.

Internal Audit and Risk Department: Overview of Mandate [3209]
The Board received the report.

Internal Audit and Risk Department: Audit Methodology Manual [3218]
The Board decided that the Audit Methodology Manual, as presented in the report, be approved.

Audit Committee O. Reg 361/10 Requirements: Work Tracker [3211]
The Board received the report

Contract Awards, Operations [3213]
The Board decided that the contract on Appendix C, as presented in the report, be approved.

Contract Awards, Facilities [3212]
The Board decided that the contracts on Appendix C, as presented in the report, be approved.

Ontario Public School Boards’ Association 2017-18 Membership Fee [3214]
The Board decided that payment in the amount of $451,093.74, including HST, for the 2017-18 membership in the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association be approved.

Davisville Junior Public School/Spectrum Alternative Senior School: Relocation During Construction of Replacement School [3215]
The Board decided that Davisville Junior Public School/Spectrum Alternative Senior School be relocated to Vaughan Road Holding School for the duration of construction of a replacement school for Davisville Junior Public School/Spectrum Alternative Senior School.

Norseman Junior Middle School and Castlebar Public School Program and Sketch Plan Approval: Addition and Renovation Project [3216]
The Board decided:

(a) That an addition to Norseman Junior Middle School, with a total floor space of approximately 16,100 square feet to accommodate a capacity of 276 students, funded by the Ministry of Education Capital Priorities funding in the amount of $5,302,757, be approved;

(b) That renovations to Castlebar Public School, providing new classrooms for use by Norseman Junior Public School as a satellite school, funded by the Ministry of Education Capital Priorities funding in the amount of $1,044,187, be approved.

Terry Fox Public School Program and Sketch Plan Approval: Classroom Addition Project [3217]
The Board decided that an addition to Terry Fox Public School, with a total floor space of approximately 29,350 square feet to accommodate a capacity of 276 students, and a child care centre, funded by the Ministry of Education Capital Priorities funding in the amount of $8,082,471 be approved.

Courcelette Public School Addition Project: Architect Selection [3202]
The Board decided that Kearns Mancini Architects be retained to provide consulting services for an additional project at Courcelette Public School.

Borrowing Resolution to Meet Current and Permanent Improvement Expenditures of the Board [3219]
The Board decided:

(a) That a borrowing facility in the amount of $250 million, be established through the Board’s current financial institution, to be drawn down as required:

(i) to meet current expenditures of the Board until the current revenue is received, to support the Board’s daily operating requirements for the period ending December 31, 2020;

(ii) to support permanent improvements related to capital priorities, school condition improvements, full-day kindergarten projects, greenhouse gas reduction projects and other capital programs approved by Ontario’s Ministry of Education, until grant revenue is received, for the period ending December 31, 2020

(b) That in accordance with Section 243 of the Education Act, the Secretary-Treasurer and Chair or Vice-chair of the Board be authorized to sign, on behalf of the Board, the borrowing resolution at (a), as presented in the report.

Questions and Answers from June 15, 2017 Presentation of Parts 2 and 3 of Enhancing Equity Report [3222]
The Board received the report.

Student Transportation Budget: Salaries and Retention Rates for Bus Drivers
The Board decided:

Whereas, in 2016 the Board approved an additional $2.4 million to be spent on transportation, based on a request from service providers that they needed that amount to increase salaries for bus drivers in order to improve retention of drivers and maintain excellent service;

Therefore, be it resolved that the Director present a report to the Finance, Budget and Enrolment Committee on:

(i) changes in salaries for bus drivers since new funding was approved;

(ii) changes in the retention rates of drivers from the Board’s service providers.

Extreme Heat in Schools
The Board decided:

Whereas, the Toronto District School Board acknowledges the increase in provincial government funding for backlog and renewal in the amount of $645 million over three years, as we face a staggering $3.2 billion repair backlog, as a result of years of inadequate funding; and

Whereas, while it is true that the Board can use this funding for air conditioning in schools, with only 125 of our 584 schools fully air-conditioned, the cost to install complete building air conditioning at all schools that do not currently have it would reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars, making it not realistic in terms of the funding the Board receives; and

Whereas, the TDSB prioritizes this funding for the most urgent renewal (for example, roofing, mechanical, structural/brickwork, windows, barrier-free, field restoration, interior components, parking lots, painting, etc.) and in addition, has embarked on a program to create cooling stations over the next five to seven years to ensure large areas such as gyms or libraries are air conditioned so that students would have access to a cooler area on days of extreme heat; and

Whereas, Provincial benchmarks for new buildings and additions were developed in 2010 through determining provincial averages for school boards across Ontario for these costs but without the inclusion of Toronto factored in; and

Whereas, the benchmarks, therefore although technically include air conditioning, do not reflect true costs of building in Toronto – it has been proven that even with efficiencies, the TDSB cannot build new schools within the outdated benchmarks – this is a fact that has been proven to the government through an Advisory Team – and as a result, air conditioning is often seen as an extra or some other building component needs to be compromised to include it;

Therefore be it resolved that the Director:

(i) Engage the Ministry of Education to devise a severe weather strategy for school boards that includes high temperatures and protocols for extreme heat days that defines the severe weather conditions in which schools may be closed, as done in the states of New York and New Jersey, for example;

(ii) Continue to implore the province to commit to providing predictable and sustainable funding for school repairs so that the Toronto District School Board can continue to implement its long-term plan for renewal, lower its current $3.2 billion repair backlog and modernize its schools, including acceleration of the addition of cooling centres in all schools; and

(iii) Request the province to immediately review the provincial benchmark costs for major capital projects, to include the true costs of building in Toronto, in determining the provincial averages for school boards across Ontario.

Firgrove Public School: Lease Agreement With Jane-Finch Community Ministry [3232]
The Board decided that the Director be authorized to enter into a lease agreement with Jane-Finch Community Ministry at Firgrove Public School, as presented in the report.

Appeals of the Lower Yonge Precinct Plan Area [3238]
The Board received the report.

Ontario Public School Boards’ Association Consortium Review of Student Transportation
The Board decided:

Whereas, a recent report from Ontario’s Ombudsman on the student transportation problems experienced by the Toronto Student Transportation Group in 2016 indicated that there are similar problems experienced by other transportation consortiums in Ontario; and

Whereas, the provincial government intends to review student transportation in Ontario;

Therefore, be it resolved that the Chair send a communication to the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association to request that OPSBA initiate the convening of school transportation consortia throughout the province to discuss common concerns and to prepare for a provincial review, such groups in the stakeholder consultation for the provincial review to include:

(i) school board/trustee associations,

(ii) member boards,

(iii) school transportation consortia, as well as the Ontario Association of School Business Officials’ Transportation Committee.

Sale of Property at Old Orchard Public School
The Board decided;

Whereas, the review of the Old Orchard property for sale by the Toronto District School Board has been in a prolonged process that adversely impacts students and families; and

Whereas, Old Orchard provides crucial child care that is desperately needed by families with children in several schools in the area;

Therefore, be it resolved that the technical review of Old Orchard be expedited to be completed before the end of the 2017 calendar year.

20th Anniversary of the Toronto District School Board
The Board decided:

Whereas, January 1, 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Toronto District School Board; and

Whereas, that should be cause for celebration of public education in Toronto and of our accomplishments and achievements, as we work to further enhance student well-being, achievement and educational governance;

Therefore, be it resolved:

(a) That a committee of trustees and senior staff be established, co-led by Communications and Public Affairs and Board Services, with the support of Research and Information Services, to organize an event to honour the 20th anniversary of the Toronto District School Board:

(i) That the event be held in the month of January 2018;

(ii) That a modest budget be determined for the event (similar to Heritage celebrations);

(b) That the Director present a report to the House Committee in the November 2017 cycle of meetings.

Ministry of Education School Information Finder
The Board decided:

Whereas, the Toronto District School Board is striving to achieve greater equity through the Enhancing Equity Task Force and Integrated Equity Framework; and

Whereas, the Ministry of Education’s School Information Finder website provides information about a family’s income levels, parents’ education levels, immigration status, and non-English status, and are used by parents to shop for schools based on race, immigration status and socio-economic status;

Whereas, the goal of increasing equity is undermined by the province's school information finder website;

Therefore be it resolved that the Chair write an open letter and communicate in person to the Minister of Education the Board’s displeasure that the Ministry continues to host the School Information Finder website.

Leasing Properties to Private Schools
The Board decided:

Whereas, the proliferation of private schools draws students away from public schools and undermines the public education system; and

Whereas, it is in the best interest of Toronto students and the public education system to increase the number of students attending public schools, while engaging parents in their public school communities;

Therefore, be it resolved that the Director present a report to the Planning and Priorities Committee in the January 2018 cycle of meetings, on the implications of not leasing surplus school properties to private schools.

Keeping Marijuana Away From Schools
The Board decided:

Whereas, in response to the federal government’s plan to legalize cannabis by July 2018, the Province of Ontario recently announced it is committed to providing a “safe and sensible framework to govern the lawful use and retail of recreational cannabis as a carefully controlled substance within the province; and

Whereas, the Province of Ontario is currently in discussions with the City of Toronto on locations from where medicinal marijuana will be sold and used; and

Whereas, the Toronto District School Board is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for its students;

Therefore be it resolved:

(a) That the Chair write a letter to the Mayor of Toronto and Premier of Ontario requesting that Toronto District School Board staff or trustees be consulted in all discussions regarding the regulation and locations of retail or other dispensaries of medicinal marijuana dispensaries;

(b) That the Director:

(i) work to keep marijuana dispensaries as far away from schools as possible;

(ii) present a report to the Health and Mental Well-being Committee on the impact of the legalization of marijuana and its regulation on the Toronto District School Board;

(iii) develop recommendations to address the impacts at (b) (ii) above.

Staff Changes
The Board approved staff changes (on file in the Director’s Office).

Selections, Transfers and Placements of Principals and Vice-principals
The Board approved Selections, Transfers and Placements of Principals and Vice-principals (on file in the Director’s Office).