September 5, 2017
Dear John English SAC,
Welcome back to a new school year! I hope you had a safe and restful summer. The public schools in Etobicoke-Lakeshore have all had a deep clean so the halls are shining brightly for our students. Staff are ready to welcome your child and work with you to ensure the academic year that lies ahead will be a safe, exciting and successful one.
As your elected public school board trustee for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, my job is to advocate for you and represent the needs of students and parents/guardians at the TDSB board table. I am very accessible and attend local school council meetings on a regular basis. In addition, I host local ward council meetings on education topics of broad interest. I encourage you to check out my pamela.gough. I regularly tweet out breaking news in education so follow me at @pamelagough!
Equity is a top priority in the TDSB. This means ensuring all students, especially those who have been underserved or marginalized, have access to programs, opportunities and supports they need to reach their full potential. I’ll be writing more about this.
To help you with the first weeks of September, here’s a new webpage with key information and resources including homework tips and the school year calendar.
In this issue:
Local education news and updates
- Castlebar Junior School opens as Norseman JMS satellite
- Newly renovated field at James S. Bell JMS Sports/Wellness Academy
- New daycare school programs at Lanor JMS, Twentieth St. JS
- New gifted program class at Lanor JMS
- New kindergarten intervention program at Lanor JMS
News and updates from TDSB’s Education Centre
- Vision Zero school traffic safety program
- Bus transportation update
- TDSB welcomes new Associate Director Carlene Jackson
Local Education News and Updates
Castlebar Junior School opens as Norseman JMS satellite
Norseman JMS is undergoing construction of its new addition this year so the TDSB is re-opening Castlebar Jr. School to hold approximately 150 Grade 4 and 5 students who would otherwise be housed in portables. Castlebar is a ten minute walk south of Norseman and so is well positioned to be a satellite. TDSB Facilities staff worked hard all summer to completely refurbish Castlebar and it looks stunning! Many thanks to Principal Carolyn Wright and TDSB Facilities staff for all their hard work this summer.
Castlebar Satellite Classroom
Newly refurbished classroom at Castlebar Jr.School
Newly renovated field at James S. Bell JMS Sports/Wellness Academy
The newly upgraded sports field at James S. Bell Jr. Middle Sports and Wellness Academy in Long Branch is now completed. The school field has been re-graded and a new paved running track has been installed along with shot-put, long jump and soccer facilities. Many thanks to Councillor Grimes and the City of Toronto for contributing $100,000 in Section 37 funds to the cost of the track. The field is available to the community during the summer and on weekends.
James S Bell Track
James S. Bell Sports and Wellness Academy’s upgraded sports field
New daycare school programs at Lanor JMS, Twentieth St. JS
Good news for working parents. New before and after school daycare programs are starting up at Lanor Jr. Middle School and Twentieth Street Jr. School. These programs will be run by the experienced and well-known organization PLASP, a non-profit daycare provider that has several other programs running in Ward 3. For more information, contact the schools.
New gifted program class at Lanor JMS
The TDSB has been responsive to the need for local delivery of the elementary gifted program for Lakeshore students in the junior grades, who traditionally have had to travel long distances to Broadacres in the central-west part of Etobicoke. Starting this fall, a new Grade 4 gifted program has begun at Lanor Jr. Middle School in the Evans/Brown’s Line area. As numbers permit, the program will grow grade-by-grade in this new location.
New kindergarten intervention program at Lanor JMS
Lanor JMS is starting a new kindergarten intervention program this September, to provide supports for kindergarten students who are in need of additional help in order to meet with success.
News and Updates from TDSB’s Education Centre
Vision Zero school traffic safety program
The TDSB and the City of Toronto are working together to make it safer for students to walk, wheel or cycle to school. Active transportation is the healthiest way to travel to school and back and is supported by a wealth of research evidence. The City of Toronto recently endorsed its Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, with a focus on road safety for school children and other vulnerable road users. See more here. If you feel the roads need to be safer for your children to travel actively to school and back, contact your city councillor and ask for the changes you feel are needed. You can also work with your local school council to have them advocate on behalf of all children in the school. Here’s a guide to how to work with City Hall for safer streets near schools.
Bus transportation update
TDSB parents/guardians with children who are transported by school bus can now access their children’s transportation information online and receive email notifications if there are any school bus cancellations or delays, thanks to the launch of a new online transportation portal. For more information and to register for the new services, please click here and select “Parents” from the top right hand corner. This portal is one of several improvements being made to transportation services to ensure a good start to the new school year. Learn more here.
The Toronto Student Transportation Group has assured TDSB that all bus routes are covered with trained drivers and are ready for a smooth start to the school year.
TDSB welcomes new Associate Director Carlene Jackson
Former Associate Director Carla Kisko has retired after many years of exemplary service. A new Associate Director, Carlene Jackson, was hired over the summer. Ms. Jackson’s full title is Associate Director, Operations and Service Excellence. A chartered accountant and MBA, Ms. Jackson’s position has been newly created. She will oversee Facility Services, Sustainability and Planning, Legal Services, and several other large files. Read the full press release here. Welcome Ms. Jackson!