As the saying goes it takes a village. This year began by testing our resiliency, unity, and strength as a community. We came together to mourn the loss of loved ones, resist racism and discrimination, celebrate diversity, fight for daycare funding, and now pool funding. And the movement is just getting started.
One word sums everything up, one you hear me use very often in these updates and in conversations, EQUITY!
We need to continue to rise up and stand united to demand better. School disrepair, affordable daycare, funding pools and the programs within, and our overall education funding formula are all issues of equity. Margaret Atwood once wrote "poor kids sink, rich kids swim" and that resonates now greater than ever before.
We know that hatred and intolerance creates pain and anguish. It is borne of ignorance and thrives on fear. In order to fight the plague of racism and xenophobia that is being fostered we need to listen and learn. It is too easy to focus on ourselves and our own experiences, to ignore the experience of others. There is enough pain in this world without creating more. Instead of retreating into a cocoon of wounded narcissism that believes in protectionist policies and jingoistic nationalist ideas, we need to embrace empathy and foster diversity. We need to welcome strangers and not fear them. The old adage, when you have more than you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence, is what we need to embrace.
I hope you will join me and other parents and community members tomorrow at our Ward Forum on Bullying & Racism. It will be held at Rose Avenue Public School (675 Ontario St) from 6:00pm-8:00pm
Receive School-based Alerts
We all know our email inbox can get cluttered with emails or that important information can sometimes get buried in email updates like this one. Therefore, based on feedback I've received from parents my office is launching a new communication service called "Alerts". Alerts will be targeted and school-specific. When our office is made aware of school bus delays/cancellations, weather-related school closures, lockdowns, school council meetings, or other critical information, we will send updates to only those parents/guardians of that school.
How many texts/email alerts will you receive per month?
An average of 1 or 2 per month.
What types of text/email alerts will I receive?
You will receive alerts specific to your school. For example, if your child attends an elementary school you will not receive alerts for secondary school PA days or if your child attends Rosedale Heights you won't receive alerts specific to Jarvis CI.
What is the difference between an alert and your email updates?
Email/text message alerts are school-specific. Email updates are about general board issues, events, and Trustee updates.
What if I have children at two different schools?
You can subscribe to multiple alerts.
How do I subscribe or unsubscribe?
To subscribe simply text your school name (all one word without PS or CI) to (647) 496-0956
To unsubscribe at anytime simply text STOP.
February is African Heritage Month
February is African Heritage Month at the Toronto District School Board. African Heritage Month is an opportunity for the experiences, contributions and achievements of African Canadians to be affirmed. Throughout February, a number of activities are taking place system-wide.
An opening celebration was held on Wednesday, February 1 with the Honorable Mitzie Hunter, Ontario Minister of Education, as keynote speaker. This year’s theme is “Celebrating 150 years of African Heritage.” The month will focus on the contributions peoples of African descent have made to the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and the Rites of Passage Process.
February is Chinese Heritage Month
The Toronto District School Board is proud to recognize February as Chinese Heritage Month for the first time. During this month, we celebrate the energetic culture and traditions of the Chinese community with students, staff and community members.
The Chinese community is integral to the growth and success of the City of Toronto and Canada. Members of the Chinese community represent approximately 10 percent of the total GTA population and forms its second largest visible minority group. As we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary this year, Canadians remember and appreciate the Chinese workers who helped build the Canadian Pacific Railway that united our country.
Celebrations will occur throughout the month of February.
February is Kindergarten Registration Month
Kindergarten is the first step in a lifelong journey that will see your child learn, grow, and succeed at the Toronto District School Board. At the TDSB, we know early learners learn best through doing; so our four and five-year-olds are introduced to math and science through play as part of Kindergarten - Grade 12 STEM programming. To inspire a love for learning, Kindergarten classrooms are bustling with inquiry and exploration through science activities, math games, art projects and more. Visit your local school during February to register.
To attend Junior Kindergarten in September, children must turn four years old by December 31. To register for Senior Kindergarten, children must be five-years-old by December 31.
All of our schools now offer Full-Day Kindergarten where students will attend Kindergarten for the entire school day. This includes a morning and afternoon schedule and a lunch break. Visit the Kindergarten website to learn more about this program and learn how to prepare your child for school.
Upcoming Ward Forum's
Tuesday, February 21 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm at Rose Avenue (Topic: Racism & Bullying)
Tuesday, March 21 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm at Jesse Ketchum (Topic: Facilities & Fix Our Schools)
Tuesday, April 11 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm at Winchester (Topic: French Immersion & Extended French)
Tuesday, May 9 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm at Sprucecourt (Topic: School Councils 101)
Tuesday, June 6 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm at Jarvis CI (School Council Appreciation Dinner)