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October Ward Council Meeting

Trustee Pamela Gough's Update: October 14th, 2016

October is here, bringing with it warm-but-not-too-warm days and longer nights. October is International Walk to School Month and in keeping with this theme, my ward council meeting on October 27 will bring you some excellent speakers and networking opportunities on the theme of Street Safety Around Our Schools. If you are concerned about traffic patterns around your school or want to learn more about how to make streets safer, plan to attend. More details below. Congratulations to David Hornell Junior School which has started a Walk on Wednesday program this September!

Local Government Week, which raises awareness about the role of local government, will take place October 16-22, 2016. Did you know that school board trustees are the oldest form of local government in Ontario, starting out in 1807? I'm always happy to come to speak about the role of the trustee to classes or groups- just reach out and ask and I'll fit your request into my schedule. Have a look at this fact sheet on public school trustees and their role in local governments.

In this issue:  

Local Education News and Updates

  • Ward Council October 27, 2016: Street Safety Around Our Schools
  • TDSB Ward 3 EcoSchools Award
  • EQAO scores show strengths in literacy but decline in math 
  • ESA: Information Night November 3, Portfolio Day October 28, 2016


News and Updates from TDSB's Education Centre

  • TDSB wins 2016 Living City Award for environmental leadership
  • TDSB schools acknowledge Indigenous traditional territories daily
  • Board sets new equity focus, holds community consultations
  • Renewal backlog growing for TDSB schools
  • Ombudsman to look at Toronto school boards' start-up bus problems
  • Registration now open for Parents Make a Difference conference November 19, 2016


In our Community

  • ESA craft show and sale November 19, 2016
  • Inuk children's author Michael Kusugak speaks at Eastern Commerce November 16, 2016

Read the full newsletter.

Split Grades Can Work Well, Research Says

Many classes at the TDSB, and across Ontario, operate as split grades, in order to conform to the Ministry of Education's guidelines regarding class sizes. The article linked below is timely in light of the class changes that may have taken place in some schools in early October. 

The article is part of a research-into-practice series produced as a joint venture between The Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat and the Ontario Association of Deans of Education.

Read it here.

EcoSchools Bulletin - September 2016

I invite you all to check out the September 2016 EcoSchools Bulletin.

For more past updates, you can visit my EcoSchools tab to the left or check out the EcoSchools website directly!

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

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 helmetshere. 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

"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.


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

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