Dear Parents/Guardians/Caregivers and Students:
Welcome to TDSB Connects, an update on news and events from across the Toronto District School Board (TDSB).
Celebrating Good News - Read about some of the recent events, initiatives and great things happening across the Toronto District School Board, including:
Addressing School Safety - The safety and well-being of all students is of the utmost importance to the TDSB. All students and staff have a right to feel safe at school and work. We continue to take important steps to address school safety, including creating an Expert Reference Panel on School Safety and Student Well-Being and a Safe Schools Audit Team, as well as immediate actions such as piloting new security video technology and running mandatory emergency preparedness training sessions for school-based staff.
As we move forward with these and other actions and introduce new initiatives related to school and student safety, we will continue to share details with the TDSB community. Please check the Addressing School Safety web page for ongoing updates.
Multi-Year Strategic Plan (MYSP) Renewal: Online Survey – The TDSB is renewing its Multi-Year Strategic Plan and we invite you to get involved and Have Your Say! Please consider completing the MYSP online survey and visit www.tdsb.on.ca/MYSPrenewal to learn about a variety of opportunities to contribute.
Reimbursement of Pandemic Costs - During the pandemic, all available resources were put toward keeping students, staff and the community safe. The TDSB spent more than $70M on measures like smaller class sizes that were not funded by the Ministry of Education. As the TDSB faces an operating deficit of more than $60M for next year, it is clear that pandemic-related costs should be fully reimbursed by the province so that cuts impacting students are not required. Read more in the joint letter to the Minister of Education issued by the TDSB Chair and Director last month.
Elementary Summer School 2023: Registration Now Open - The focus of the 2023 Elementary Literacy and Numeracy Summer School Program is to continue student engagement through July. Programs, embedded in Literacy and Numeracy, are developed by the summer school principal to reflect the local school focus. Programs are offered in-person to students in K to Grade 8, from July 4 to July 28, 2023. This year, one remote program will also be available. For more information, including a list of schools and online registration forms, visit our summer school program page.
Excellence Awards Nominations Closing Soon – The TDSB Excellence Awards help shine a light on the stories of extraordinary staff commitment. We want to know about the TDSB staff you know who are working to reduce disproportionate outcomes in student achievement, as well as fostering joy, engagement and belonging in our schools, workplaces and communities. We welcome nominations from anyone – staff, students, parents/caregivers or community members – please submit nominations by April 6, 2023.
Student Census - The TDSB Student Census is a confidential and voluntary survey that asks students important questions about their school experiences and identities, including participation in school activities, safety, well-being, mental health, outdoor learning, etc. It is an opportunity for students to share their voice and provide valuable information to help improve our schools and system. Detailed information about the Student Census and consent process was shared directly with parents/guardians via email during the week of March 27. If you have not yet received an email, please check your junk folder. For more information, please visit www.tdsb.on.ca/census and read the Student Census Questions and Answers.
Speak Up: Show Us How You Combat Hate and Racism - The Student Equity Collective is now accepting submissions for the Speak Up: Show Us How You Combat Hate and Racism initiative. This initiative is focussed on students from Grade 7 to 12, but a group or class in any grade may submit a two minute video that addresses what you’ve accomplished to make your school more inclusive for everyone. For more information, check out the Student Equity Collective web page.
Virtual Youth Climate Conference: Make Change Happen - The TDSB Sustainability Office EcoSchools team is excited to invite students and their teachers in grades 7-12 to our annual youth conference, "Make Change Happen," focused on climate action. This event will provide a platform for students to come together, discuss, and learn about climate change and the actions they can take to mitigate its effects. We will have guest speakers and interactive workshops that will inspire and equip students to take action in their communities. We encourage you to join us in this critical discussion on climate change.
Hispanic Heritage Month - Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about the outstanding achievements and contributions of Hispanic people in the province. Hispanic Heritage Month is recognized in the month of April.
Latin-America History Month - This year the theme to mark Latin-America History Month is (Decolonizing) Latin-America History Month & Beyond: Honouring & Uplifting the Real Hxstories and Multiplicities of Our Identities. During the month of April, several activities are planned for students, staff, and community members. We invite everyone to join us to kick-off Latin-America History Month with a virtual launch.
Sikh Heritage Month - This year the Sikh Heritage Month theme is Kes. Kes is one of the five Kahaars, indicators that Sikh individuals must acknowledge as part of their faith. The five Kakaars are five sacred articles of faith prescribed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. We are inviting all TDSB community, students, and staff to join our virtual Sikh Heritage Month launch to recognize the contributions of Sikh Canadians.
Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement - Join the Urban Indigenous Education Centre, the Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement, and the Equity, Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression team for a virtual screening of Scarborough on April 17 at 6 p.m. The screening will be followed by a conversation with the author and screenwriter of the novel and adapted film Catherine Hernandez! To learn more, visit our website and follow @tdsb_cebsa on Twitter and Instagram.