Below are highlights from my October, 2017 community update.
The complete update can be found here: October 2017 Trustee Davis community update
Ground Breaking of New Bishop Macdonell Catholic School
On September 13, the TCDSB, TDSB and City of Toronto broke ground on a joint use facility at City Place which will bring a new TCDSB, TDSB and community centre to one of the City’s newest and fastest growing waterfront neighbourhoods.
Bishop MacDonell will serve 550 students in a state of the art facility with access to on-site childcare. The new school will help allow families to put down roots in the downtown core and limit travel time for students currently being bussed to other schools. We are targeting September 2019 for its opening.
The TCDSB and Ontario’s Ministry of Education offer a wide range of opportunities for online learning. TCDSB students have access to more tools than ever to help them expand their minds and meet new challenges.
Through the online portal, www.edu.gov.on.ca/elearning, students can enhance their knowledge and comfort with online tools, recover course credits and practice new skills or prepare for tests and exams. Parents can support their children’s learning by accessing the tools and resources available in the Ontario Education Resource Bank.
For more information check out the website or contact your child’s teacher, guidance counselor or school principal.
Latest EQAO Results – Reading & Writing Results Strong / Continued Decline in Mathematics
The latest TCDSB reading and writing results are strong in Grades 3 and 6, with close to or over 80% of students being at or above the Provincial Standard. However, Grade 3 and 6 mathematics results remain low with only 62% of Grade 3 and 50% of Grade 6 students meeting or exceeding the Provincial Standard. At the secondary level, Grade 9 applied mathematics scores are improving, but continue to be low. In Grade 9 academic mathematics and OSSLT testing, the board maintains strong results with 80% or more meeting Provincial Standards.
Secondary Admissions Policy Review Update
As you may be aware, the TCDSB is in the process of reviewing our secondary school admissions policy. Last spring we received an overwhelming amount of feedback and concerns from parents and students across the system – much of those same concerns expressed by Trustees around the Board table. The central concern being the lack of choice given to families.
Over the last several months, Board staff has been examining a wide variety of possibilities in order to balance enrollment across the system and provide students and families with a level playing field of programming choices. An updated report and recommendation for additional consultations is expected at the 9 November Corporate Affairs meeting.
Trustees approved my motion for staff to come back with EQAO results by math subject area, as well as recommendations regarding proposed changes to both teaching methods and curriculum scope, to better publicly inform our discussion regarding strategies to respond to these downwards trends in student understanding of learning expectations.
Net Zero Energy Update
In April, the Board of Trustees received an update on the plan coming out of my approved motion for the TCDSB to be Ontario’s first Net Zero Energy school board. The TCDSB has retained an outside consultant to examine ways the system can reach its energy reduction targets. A workshop with parents, staff and stakeholders is planned this fall to provide more information on the Net Zero initiative.
The full staff update report can be found here: https://tcdsbpublishing.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=8119
Mental Wellness – Gratitude & Giving Thanks
Jesuit reading, “Seeds of Gratitude, Fruits of Joy”: www.franciscanmedia.org/seeds-of-gratitude-fruits-of-joy/
Gratitude Activities for the Classroom: greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/gratitude_activities_for_the_classroom
Benefits of a Gratitude Journal: www.huffingtonpost.com/lauren-jessen/gratitude-journal_b_7745854.html
Gratitude Ideas for parents: www.parenttoolkit.com/index.cfm?objectid=84F67EA0-7032-11E4-98050050569A5318