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TDSB continues with new initiatives for Active, Safe and Sustainable Transportation

In the fall of 2013, I spearheaded the TDSB approval of a Charter for Active, Safe and Sustainable Transportation. The pdf below is a summary of some of the Active Transportation projects and initiatives the TDSB has started since then. For more information, please contact the Ecoschools department of the TDSB.

Update on Active Transportation in TDSB

Update on Norseman JMS


Ward 3 Council Meeting Schedule 2015-2016

Tuesday Jan. 12, 7 pm: Second Street JMS: One size doesn't fit all: special education in Ward 3

Tuesday Feb. 23, 7 pm: Norseman: Focus on TDSB Budget 2016-2017

Tuesday Mar. 29, 7 pm: Lanor: STEM (Science, Technology and Math) education in TDSB

Tuesday May 10, 7 pm:: Karen Kain School of the Arts: Spring into action: the Ecoschools movement 



Trustee Pamela Gough’s Update: June 13, 2016

We're now on the sprint to the finish line in the school year with just a few weeks to go. Bike to School week was actively celebrated in many schools across the GTA, and Bike Month continues. Toronto City Council has just approved a plan to double the cycling budget to $16M over 10 years to put in place a new cycling grid that could see 525 km of bike routes across the city. Next Monday, City Council debates a major new road safety plan that includes measures to increase pedestrian road safety in the vicinity of schools. Here in Etobicoke-Lakeshore, our many discussions about active transportation to school have positioned our school communities to develop our students into street-savvy early adopters as Toronto transitions to the healthier multi-transportation-mode city envisioned by city leaders.
 
My last Ward Council meeting in May saw a lively audience discussion of ways in which school communities could work to make streets safer for children as well as make schools more environmentally sustainable. Again we are leading the way into the future in light of the Climate Change Action Plan announced by the Premier recently.
   
At TDSB's latest Health and Mental Well-Being Committee, Dr. Linda Rothman of the Hospital for Sick Children presented her five years of research into the elements of street design and driver behaviour that present risks to children walking to school (more below). This research is so compelling that I'm bringing it to City of Toronto councillors and staff at a joint committee later in June.   
 
Twenty-first century learning skills need to go beyond the classroom into the community just as our students do. We are preparing them for life in a very different world than the one that we have known in the past. Everyone will need to be a global citizen and active living/sustainability will be the watchwords as we take measures to mitigate climate change, decrease obesity, support our local economies and reduce our carbon footprints. I'm proud to say the TDSB is an emerging leader in this.
 
In this issue:
 
Local Education News and Updates
  • James S. Bell Sports/Wellness Academy to receive City funds for outdoor track
  • Norseman addition: construction update
  • Etienne Brule Grade 5 boys win regional soccer championship
  • TDSB summer school e-learning now open
  • Karen Kain School of the Arts offering arts-based summer courses
 
News and Updates from TDSB's Education Centre
  • Programs Committee: schools to acknowledge Indigenous traditional lands daily
  • Trustees unanimously sign petition asking province to Indigenize curriculum
  • Update on TDSB Learning Centres
  • Long Term Program and Accommodation Strategy
  • Update on Lyme Disease
  • School active travel and road safety research
  • Upcoming child and youth mental health conference
  • French as a Second Language update and FSLAC newsletter
  • Parent survey from SEAC
 
News and Updates from Queen's Park
  • New Minister of Education announced: Mitzie Hunter
 

In our Community

 

  • Party in the Park June 14 2016
  • SEYA leadership camp in July, August

Read the full newsletter


Trustee Pamela Gough’s Update: May 27, 2016

My head is starting to spin. That always happens in late May! Things don't really settle down until the end of June. This time of the school year sets off a whirlwind of activities in our schools: field trips, active transportation to school events, EQAO testing, final project demonstrations, grad  trips, spring fairs, outdoor sports events, school plays, proms, and grads- it's a testament to the dynamic quality of our public education system and I'm grateful to the teaching staff and supportive parent volunteers who make it happen.  

The May board meeting this week was preceded by a student social justice fair, with over 25 schools sending students who set up booths to explain their school's Tikkum Olan ("make the world better") social justice projects, done in honour of the late Trustee Howard Kaplan, a passionate social justice advocate. I was excited to see Lanor Jr Middle School students there with their REDress project in support of missing and murdered Indigenous women, as well as some articulate Twentieth Street JS students with their environmental action display. 

Yesterday I attended Karen Kain School of the Arts' Earth Day celebrations. where the students held a bake sale to support buying new trees for schools in Fort McMurray. Students used Skype to connect with Fort McMurray area students and send their good wishes. Later in the day, I visited Etobicoke School of the Arts to view their Art Sale event and chat with visual arts department head Matthew Varey and other visual arts teachers, who through ESA's Portfolio Day have helped students win over $17M in scholarships. Over the course of these last few days, the level of engagement of our students, the skilled devotion of their teachers, and the demonstrable quality of their learning have given me renewed inspiration. 

Bike to School Week is starting next Monday May 30! This celebration of active commuting to school is enjoyed by thousands of students each year. Research shows that biking to school improves children's physical and mental health and academic performance, while reducing traffic congestion and air pollution. Read more here about how you and your child can take part. 

Street safety is key to students walking or cycling to school. The active school travel planning team at Second Street JMS, working with city traffic officials and the councillor's office, have put forward suggestions that resulted in changes to the bylaws to increase the safety of students in front of the school. Many thanks to Councillor Mark Grimes, Principal Stephen McLean, school travel planner Armi DeFrancia of Green Communities Canada, Second Street parents and TDSB EcoSchools and Transportation staff for their support with this. 

In this issue:

Local Education News and Updates

  • Bike to School Week May 30- June 3 2016
  • Castlebar school to re-open: Norseman meeting June 9 2016
  • TDSB summer school e-learning now open
  • Karen Kain School of the Arts offering arts-based summer courses

News and Updates from TDSB's Education Centre


  • TDSB passes balanced operating budget
  • Improving school playing fields
  • TDSBcares raising money for Fort McMurray
  • SmartSAVER campaign: use the Canada Learning Bond for RESPs
  • By-elections called for Wards 1, 5, and 14
  • 5K fun run/walk June 4 2016

In our Community


  • Park Lawn Palooza Friday May 27
  • ESA Community Yard Sale May 28 2016
  • Bellapalooza May 28 2016
  • Wedgewood Jr. School Funfest May 28 2016
  • Sunnylea Fun Fair May 28 2016
  • Fix Our Schools community campfire June 9 2016
SEYA leadership camp in July, August


Trustee Pamela Gough’s Update: May 6, 2016

This week is significant for two reasons: it's Education Week and Children's Mental Health Awareness Week. Activities are taking place across Etobicoke-Lakeshore on a theme of "Achieving Excellence: Promoting Well-Being". I've been sharing special events at our local public schools on Twitter so follow me at @pamelagough for news and pictures of some of the amazing open houses and performances at our public schools. 

Children's Mental Health Awareness Week increases awareness of mental health and well-being, to reduces stigma as well as promote understanding. This year, the TDSB is focusing attention on the theme of "Belonging" which is so important for children and youth as one of their major developmental tasks is identity formation. Many schools are showcasing the ways students help others to belong. 

With spring here, our local Safe Routes to School committee is ramping up activities related to school traffic and student pedestrian/cycling safety. Your school can apply for free bicycle helmets through the Trial Lawyers of Ontario Helmets on Kids Community Partnership campaign. Helmet use is key to brain injury prevention. Wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of a brain injury by 88%. Find out more about how your school can get free helmets here. Don't forget Bike to School Week starts May 30!

Did you know that the installation of speed bumps near schools is associated with a 40% decrease in collision rates in children? Strategies for school traffic safety and our local active transportation pilot projects will be the topic of an interactive panel discussion at my ward council meeting next Tuesday at Karen Kain School of the Arts, 7pm (see below). All welcome. Hope to see you there!
 
In this issue:
 
Local Education News and Updates

  • Ward Council: Ecoschools and Active Transportation! May 10 2016
  • Association for Bright Children conference May 7 2016
  • School travel planning webinar May 12 2016
  • Canada Walks infographic on school traffic safety in Toronto
  • Parent conference on STEM education May 14 2016
  • Parents Reaching Out grant applications deadline May 29 2016
  • Bike to School Week May 30- June 3 2016
  • TDSB summer school e-learning now open
  • TDSB summer music camps
  •  Karen Kain School of the Arts offering arts-based summer courses

News and Updates from TDSB's Education Centre

  • Learning Centres: TDSB reorganization update
  • Special Education Advisory Committee news: workshops on special education
  • School year calendar
  • 5K fun run/walk June 4 2016

In our Community

  • Lambton Kingsway JMS SpringFest May 7 2016
  • ESA Community Yard Sale May 28 2016
  • Bellapalooza May 28 2016

Read the full newsletter

Trustee Pamela Gough’s Update: April 18, 2016

Well, we've been waiting for spring for a couple of weeks, but it's finally warming up! At last it's time to start getting out and active with the kids!


There's been a lot in the news lately about the record high numbers of students being driven to school, but there are also many hopeful signs of change. The highly congested and dangerous drop-off and pick-up times at schools have spurred school councils to discuss how they can change their communities to be safer for active children, and city council is starting to listen. City Hall staff are preparing a report which will clarify the criteria and policies for school crossing guards, to "address the increased number of requests made to City Councillors for the implementation of crossing guards within their wards." Locally, a study of community support for speed bumps on the road in front of Park Lawn Jr. Middle School is going ahead thanks to a request from the community and a supportive group of local councillors who overruled a "no report" from city staff recommending that speed bumps not be installed.


Have you thought of inviting your councillor to your local school council meeting to impress him/her with your school's interest in more traffic calming around the school? According to insiders, the key is to ask for a report from staff on the feasibility of, say, speed bumps or lower speed limits, and also ask to be informed when the report is coming to Etobicoke York Community Council. Make sure you have some parents delegating to Community Council on the day of the report, stating the need and asking the councillor to listen to the community request even if there is the routine "no report" from staff. It's very hard for a councillor to look parents in the eye and not support their requests for safer streets for children. 


Toronto is a famously safe city, and children are safer on foot than in cars. There is nothing more important than child safety, and research is showing the most dangerous time for elementary students is at the start of the school day, largely due to poor parental driving habits. This needs to change. 
More discussion of these strategies and other big ideas will take place at my ward council meeting on May 10th at Karen Kain School of the Arts, 7pm (see below). Hope to see you there!

 

In this issue:
 
Local Education News and Updates
  • Clean Toronto together April 22 2016
  • Association for Bright Children conference May 7 2016
  • Ward Council: Spring into Action: Ecoschools! May 10 2016
  • Parent conference on STEM education May 14 2016
  • Parents Reaching Out grant applications deadline May 29 2016
  • Bike to School Week May 30- June 3 2016
  • Summer school e-learning now open
  • TDSB summer music camps
  • Karen Kain School of the Arts offering arts-based summer courses
  • TDSB Ecoschools Newsletter
  • Canada Walks website
 
News and Updates from TDSB's Education Centre
  • Gifted program screening: new process
  • Aboriginal Education update
  • Black Student Achievement Advisory Committee
  • Remembering Trustee Howard Kaplan
  • Graduation rates increase to 85%
  • TDSB re-organizes to increase supports to schools
 
News and Updates from Ministry of Education
  • Ministry releases new Kindergarten report card forms and assessment templates
  • Minister announces students to get one hour of math daily
 
In our Community
  • Mimico Waterfront Clean-Up Day April 23

Read the full newsletter

Trustee Pamela Gough’s Update: March 26, 2016

Spring is here! Although you wouldn't know it today, the weather will shortly be warming up and everyone will enjoy becoming more active outdoors as the summer approaches. I'm reading a great book: Born to Walk: The Transformative Power of the Pedestrian Act, by Dan Rubinstein. It's full of information about the importance of the simple act of routinely walking from spot to spot for brain health as well as long term physical health and wellbeing. In one study, 2,500 British school children were monitored as they started to walk to school for the first time. Eighty per cent reported they felt calmer and were better able to do their lessons. 

Naturally, it's important to have safe streets for children to walk safely in their communities, and many parents have told me they feel the streets need to have more sidewalks, safer road crossings and better traffic calming measures to make them safer for children. The international movement, Safe Routes to School, is very active here locally in advocating for safer streets. For those in the Lakeshore, Councillor Mark Grimes is hosting two upcoming meetings where city staff and 22 Division police will be on hand to present measures to promote traffic safety in the Lakeshore area and to listen to feedback. I encourage all who are interested in this issue to attend. For Alderwood, the meeting will be 6:30 pm on Tuesday March 29th in the Alderwood Pool Community Room, 2 Orianna Drive. For the Mimico area, the meeting will be Monday April 4th, 6:30 pm at Mimico Centennial Library, 47 Station Road.

In this issue:
 
Local Education News and Updates
  • Learn and see STEM: Ward Council March 29 2016
  • TDSB summer music camps 
  • Focus on Youth summer job applications
  • Bike to School Week
  • Parent Reaching Out grant applications
  • TDSB Parents as Partners Spring Conference April 16 2016
  •  Parent's guide to new health and physical education curriculum
News and Updates from TDSB's Education Centre

  • Provincial education funding amounts announced
  • Schools to receive more coaches, focus on early literacy
  • TDSB reaches local agreements with several labour groups
In our Community

  • Grandkids Walk for Alzheimer's April 9 & 10 2016

Read the full newsletter

Trustee Pamela Gough’s Update: March 3, 2016

One of the most appreciated holidays of the school year- March Break- will be upon us in less than two weeks. It runs from Saturday March 12- Sunday March 20. There are so many incredibly fun things to do with kids in the city during March Break. With some advance planning, you can get a Toronto Public Library Culture Pass to get your family in free to many museums and the Ontario Science Centre. Here are some of my picks for great "stealth learning" experiences: 
  • Kortright Centre for Conservation Maple Syrup Festival. Great for a nature fix, just up Islington 

  • Jean Augustine Centre Girls Decoded (free art, cooking, technology classes) in Mimico

  • Art Gallery of Ontario Drop In Family Fun Cultivate young artists with hands-on creativity

  • TDSB's Museum and Fine Art Collection's "Debwewin" Exhibit of Indigenous Art. Free, open to the public for the first time ever on Tuesday March 15 (10 am-7 pm) and Thursday March 17 (10 am-5 pm). More information below


In this issue:
Local Education News and Updates
  • Online TDSB budget forum March 3

  • Focus on Youth job applications open March 7 2016

  • New TDSB information portal for parents

  • Ward council on STEM education: March 29 2016

  • New EcoSchools newsletter: apply for bike racks, cycling education

  • Evergreen Learning Grounds grants for schoolyard greening due March 28

  • Minister's Youth Advisory Council applications open

  • Parent Reaching Out grant applications now open

  • TDSB Parents as Partners Spring Conference April 16 2016 

News and Updates from TDSB's Education Centre
  • Upcoming school year calendar
  • R. H. King Academy to pilot a fall Wellness Week
  • TDSB Museum and Fine Art Collection opens to public  
In Our Community
  • Grandkids Walk for Alzheimer's April 9 & 10 2016

Read the full newsletter

"How can I find out more about education funding in Ontario?"

Please see below for a link to a Ministry of Education Funding Technical Paper that offers an excellent glimpse into the many factors involved in funding schools boards in Ontario.

http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/funding/1415/Technical14_15.pdf.



 

Here are some useful links to get you started:

 


trustee image
Trustee Pamela Gough

Ward 3, Etobicoke-Lakeshore
5050 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON
M2N 5N8

Tel: 416-395-8787
pamela.gough@tdsb.on.ca


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