Important Update: Letter from Interim Director & Chair

Download the Letter PDF

Dear Parents/Guardians and Families,

We would like to begin by simply saying thank you. Thank you to each and every one of you for your continued patience as we work through all of the planning and Ministry of Education approvals required for a safe return to school and work for staff and students. It has not been an easy or straightforward process. We know you are anxious to learn more about what to expect as we open TDSB schools and welcome students back. We sincerely appreciate your continued understanding and trust as we move forward. We are doing everything we can to plan effectively for a safe return to school and we are focussed on doing everything possible to keep staff, students and families safe and healthy.

As you may know, Trustees made a number of important decisions yesterday including the approval of more than $30 million in funding to hire an additional 366 teachers to lower elementary class sizes to help improve student and staff safety in schools. Staff have now finalized our secondary and elementary school learning models and we are moving forward with the important planning and preparations necessary to reopen schools.

Delayed Start: Tuesday, September 15
Given the time required to prepare for the return to school, the TDSB has to move the first day of school (for elementary, secondary and virtual school) to Tuesday, September 15. The entry of all grades will then be staggered over three days. This extra time will help us open schools in a safe and orderly manner. More information and specific details will be shared with parents/families directly from your child’s school prior to the first day of school.

Mask/Face Covering Guidelines
To improve health and safety in schools, all students and staff will be required wear masks/face coverings in TDSB buildings and on school buses. This decision is in line with the overall City of Toronto requirement that anyone over the age of two wear a mask/face covering in indoor public spaces — with exemptions for medical reasons. While schools will have masks available for students if required, the expectation is that students will provide and wear their own masks/face coverings. Particularly for younger students, we will ensure there are outdoor breaks, so students are not wearing masks for multiple hours at a time. More details on mask/face coverings will be coming shortly.

Learning Models

Elementary (Kindergarten to Grade 8)
Students (including those in Special Education and French Immersion & Extended French programs) will attend school 5 days per week, with one cohort/group for the full day, including recess and lunch. Enhanced health and safety protocols will be in place, including smaller class sizes to help maximize physical distancing. Elementary schools located in Toronto communities where Toronto Public Health data shows higher risk of contracting COVID-19 will have lower class sizes than all other elementary schools. Visit the website for more information, including important details on elementary class sizes.

Secondary (Grades 9 to 12)
Students (including those in Special Education and French Immersion & Extended French programs) will have in-class learning on alternate days and synchronous (live, online learning) as well as asynchronous (independent work) learning daily with enhanced health measures in place including smaller class sizes to help maximize physical distancing. For more information, please visit the website.

Virtual School (Kindergarten to Grade 12)

Parents who want their child to learn from home can choose the remote learning option. For more information, please visit the website. Elementary and Secondary.

Registration for In-School or Virtual Learning
As you know, we began a pre-registration process earlier this month to learn which students planned to attend school in September and which students planned to take part in fully remote (home) learning. Since that time, there have been significant changes to the learning models and more information is available to help inform parents in making this decision. Therefore, on Wednesday of next week, the TDSB will ask parents/guardians via email to make a final decision and register their children to attend school or choose remote learning through the Virtual School. The email will contain a unique link to an online registration form for each student. Parents/guardians with more than one child will receive one email per child and will be required to complete a separate registration for each child. The online registration will be available in twenty different languages.

It is very important for all parents/guardians to complete this online registration, even those who have already responded to the pre-registration phone call last week. Only parents/guardians who do not have an email address on file or do not complete the registration online will receive a registration phone call asking them to make their selection. For more information and to learn about the different registration options, we encourage all parents/guardians to visit the TDSB website.

Wednesday, August 26: Email sent to all parents/guardians and registration opens
Saturday, August 29: Registration closes

Next Steps
We will continue to keep families informed and updated in the days ahead. We are preparing schools to receive staff and students. As a first step, Program and Operational Guidelines are currently being finalized and will be shared with Principals/Vice Principals and school staff next week. In order for staff and students to return to school safely, there are many considerations and adjustments to be made to school facilities and school staff require time to learn about these requirements and begin to implement before students return to school. Learn more about our health and safety guidelines for schools on the website.

We ask for your continued patience as this important work continues. Please remember that teachers and school staff have also been eagerly awaiting information and details that will allow them to plan for September. It will take some time to prepare and finalize school and class-specific plans. Please know that Principals will begin to share school-specific information directly with families as soon as possible. We know that you have many questions and concerns and staff will continue to do their best to provide the necessary information and keep you informed.

We are in this together and we all share a common goal of ensuring the health and safety of staff, students and families. We would like the return to school to be as smooth as possible for everyone and we need to continue working together to make this happen.


Carlene Jackson                               
Interim Director of Education 

Alexander Brown


Trustee Update: Preliminary Re-entry plans

Final plans will be submitted to the Ministry on August 4

Preliminary plans for reopening TDSB schools were shared with Trustees for discussion on July 15 at a Special Committee of the Whole. The presentation and plans have been informed by the expertise of the Integrated Return to School and Work Steering Committee, union and federation partners, students, staff, parents/guardians, Toronto Public Health and the Ministry of Education.

Final details to reopen schools are required to be submitted to the Ministry of Education on August 4. More information will be shared as it is finalized in the coming weeks.

Virtual WebEx Ward Forum

Chris Moise invites the Hawthorne community to join the Ward Forum tonight, Thursday June 11, 2020, 6:00-7:30 pm, for a virtual Ward 10 Forum and Q&A. Before the meeting we invite you to view the agenda and watch a how to video about WebEx here. We hope to see you there!

Thursday June 11, 2020, 6:00–7:30 pm

Ward 10, University-Rosedale and Toronto Centre principals, vice-principals, school council chairs, and parents are invited to join Trustee Chris Moise and our Ward 10 superintendents for a virtual ward meeting as we share information and resources during this time of remote learning.

The meeting will be taking place using WebEx as our video conference platform.

*Meeting details are in the event PDF.

We hope to have a live Q&A and discussion but if you know some of your questions in advance, feel free to send them to ahead of time so we can be better prepared.

I hope you can join us!

Download PDF (136 KB)

Parent Council Meeting #4, COVID edition

All Hawthorne parents are welcome to join the meeting! Pull up a chair and get comfy. 
Thursday, May 28, 20207:30–8:30 p.m.

The meeting will be hosted on Zoom. Please check your email from your class reps for joining details! 

A Zoom account is not required for those who wish to join by audio by using the call in number, meeting ID and password below.

Topics to discuss:

  1. Finances – where do we stand with all the cancellations
  2. Maintaining community – how much do we want and how can we do it? 
  3. Contributing to our community
  4. Next year – what can we prepare for? What are our goals?
  5. Hear details about next year’s plans (whatever is known now) from Mr. Quon and Ms. Culp

See you there!

Parent Council 

Learn About TDSB Digital Tools – Sessions for Families

We are pleased to announce upcoming sessions for families on some of the digital tools available to students throughout the TDSB. Discovery Education and Knowledgehook will share tips on using these tools to enhance the remote learning experience.  

On Tuesday, June 2, at 6:30pm Discovery Education will host an information session to explore  Discovery Experience, STEM Connects and Math Techbook (Grades K-12). Please register for the Discovery Education session here.

On Wednesday June 3, at 11:00 am and Thursday, June 4 at 4:00 pm Knowledgehook will be hosting a session with tips on how to use key features within the digital resource (Grades 3 – 9).  Please register for the Knowledgehook sessions here.

Please check our TDSB Mathematics for Families website for upcoming sessions.

If you have any questions please contact Centrally Assigned Principal, Wendy Terro.

Parent Council Meeting #4, COVID edition

We hope you are all safe and well.
We have one last Parent Council Meeting for this school year and we hope you’ll be able to join us online. Details to join the meeting will be provided by your class reps by email closer to the date.
Parent Council Meeting #4, COVID edition
All Hawthorne parents are welcome to join the meeting!
Thursday, May 28, 2020
7:30–8:30 p.m.
Online meeting joining details to come
Topics to discuss:
  1. Finances – where do we stand with all the cancellations
  2. Maintaining community – how much do we want and how can we do it? 
  3. Contributing to our community
  4. Next year – what can we prepare for? What are our goals?
  5. Hear details about next year’s plans (whatever is known now) from Mr. Quon and Ms. Culp
Hope to see you there!
Parent Council

Director’s Updates to Parents/Guardians: COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

The Toronto District School Board is committed to keeping all parents/guardians updated on the impact of COVID-19 on schools and any developments with regard to remote learning. Below are the recent updates from Director of Education John Malloy:

For on-going updates, more information and resources, please visit and

Community Supports and Resources

The Toronto District School Board is committed to the safety and well-being of our students and families, while continuing to support students learning at home in a variety of ways. To ensure access to information on essential services and supports, we have developed a list of external community-based resources that we hope can offer assistance during this period.

For the most updated list, please visit the webpage for Community Supports and Resources.

PA Days and Examination Days

Minister of Education Stephen Lecce has directed school boards that all remaining professional activity days and examination days for the current school year (2019-2020) are to be used for instruction. This is to maximize instructional time for students during this unprecedented time. As a result, amendments have been made to RRO 1990, Regulation 304 (School Year Calendar, Professional Activity Days) under the Education Act.

2020-21 School Year Calendar

The Ministry of Education also advised that 2020-2021 school year calendar submissions are not being considered for approval at this time. The TDSB’s draft 2020-2021 school year calendar was approved by Trustees at the March board meeting and submitted to the Ministry for approval. The Ministry has committed to providing school boards with additional information once decisions on the 2020-2021 school year have been made.

Update on Labour Negotiations

The Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) and the government of Ontario have reached a tentative agreement with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) at both the teacher/occasional teacher and education worker central bargaining tables. OSSTF has indicated that the new contract will be put to a ratification vote in May.

An agreement between the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), OPSBA and the government of Ontario has also been reached. This agreement was ratified on April 28.

For more information, please visit

Bicycle Safety

With warmer weather approaching, children may be participating in more outdoor activities like bike riding. To help keep children safe while playing outdoors this summer please follow social distancing and all other guidelines provided by Toronto Public Health.

When children are riding their bicycles, parents and caregivers can take steps to protect them.

Here’s how:

  • An adult should always supervise children 10 years of age or younger when they are using a bicycle or other wheeled sports equipment. Even older children may need on-going supervision when riding near the road.
  • Make sure children wear the correct helmet properly when they ride. Ontario’s bike helmet law requires all children and youth under age 18 to wear an approved bike helmet when riding a bicycle.
  • Keep children away from traffic when they use wheeled sports equipment. Make sure they ride in a safe place.
  • Teach children how to:
    a. steer, brake and ride in a straight line
    b. wear the right safety gear, and
    c. do a safety check every time they ride a bicycle, scooter, skateboard, use in-line skates or wear shoes with wheels.
  • Be within arm’s reach when your children are learning to ride any wheeled equipment.
  • Always walk a bicycle, scooter or skateboard across a street intersection, instead of riding across.
  • Tell children that you are happy when you see them riding safely.
  • Remind children of the safety rules when they forget.
  • Be a good role model – wear a helmet and safety gear yourself. Children copy what adults do.

Pedestrian Safety – Safety Tips for Parents

Children under nine should be accompanied by adults or older children when crossing the street. At this age, their judgment and perceptual skills are still immature, yet they often eagerly try to cross streets on their own in order to demonstrate some independence.

Teach your children the rules of the road – start when they’re young. Think of it as gradually training your children about safety until all the connections are in place. By the time your child reaches age nine, and can act independently, the road safety rules will be second nature.

Teach children how to cross the street safely. Teach them to stop (before stepping onto the road), look left, right and left again, and listen for traffic before stepping out into the street. Teach children to wait until the street is clear and to keep looking until they have crossed the street. They should also look the driver in the eye before crossing.

Teach children to recognize pedestrian crossing signals but not rely on them. Before crossing, children should also be sure the traffic has stopped. Remind them to continue across if the light changes to “Don’t Walk” while they are in the crosswalk.

Teach children to be extra alert when crossing at a corner with no traffic lights.

Teach your children to stop at driveways, alleys and areas without curbs and to never run out onto the street.

Teach children about the dangers of crossing the street between parked cars or when not at a corner. Children should cross only at corners and pedestrian crosswalks, not diagonally or between parked cars.

Teach children to respect the role of the crossing guard and to understand his/her signals.

Teach children that wherever possible they should walk on the sidewalk. In areas without sidewalks, teach children to walk as far away from the road as possible, facing approaching traffic (when there is no choice but to walk on the road).

Teach children that playing games at railway crossings or around trains can be deadly. Teach children that the only way to cross railway tracks is to use designated railway crossings.

Follow the same rules that you want your child to follow. You may want to cut across the street in the middle of the block, but you want your child to learn to cross at the intersection. Be a good role model.

Reprinted with the permission of Safe Kids Canada. Visit for more safety tips on keeping children safe.

TDSB Recognizes Children’s Mental Health Week

This week, we recognize Children’s Mental Health Week in the TDSB. 

During these challenging times while our schools are closed, the mental health and well-being of our students is a priority in the TDSB. Caring for others and being cared for is one of the most powerful protective factors for everyone’s mental health and well-being. Research shows that providing a caring, inclusive and welcoming climate improves resilience and the ability to achieve.

We want everyone to focus on noticing, encouraging and acknowledging caring and kind interactions. We need to help ensure that every student feels that they are valued and that they matter. Caring matters now more than ever!

Take a look at our COVID-19 specific resources as well as resources that support students’ ongoing mental health and well-being needs. Follow #TDSBwellness online too, and on our website, and learn practical tips and strategies for well-being.

Join the conversation, online too, at #TDSBcaringmatters! 

Celebrate Education Week

Education Week in Ontario kicks off on Monday and runs May 4 to 8, 2020. This week is an opportunity to highlight the work and initiatives underway in the TDSB in support of equity, and students’ well-being and achievement. 

This year, school closures and remote learning have had a significant impact on our lives and have dramatically changed how we connect, collaborate, learn and support each other. With that in mind, the focus of this year’s Education Week in the TDSB will celebrate how, in this new environment, we are coming together as an education community and are:

  • Supporting and prioritizing the health and well-being of students and staff
  • Focusing on continuation of learning in a variety of ways
  • Maintaining relationships and connection to one another
  • Engaging all students 
  • Supporting all partners in this work, including parents and families

Each day, the TDSB will highlight a different aspect of this work to help inspire, celebrate and connect with our students, staff and TDSB community.

Follow along on social media at #TDSBEdWeek and tag and share stories of success in your ward.

Heritage and History Months


TDSB Update

Sign-up for TDSB Update and stay informed about recent Board decisions and district-wide news.

Follow the TDSB

Join the conversations happening on TDSB’s social media communities. You’ll find the most up-to-date information about us on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. 

Letter from John Malloy Director of Education about Important School Closure Update

Important School Closure Update

NOTE: All TDSB schools and sites will be closed, the following programs and services will also be closed/cancelled from March 14 to April 5, 2020: 

• All Continuing Education and Night School Courses 
• All permits 
• All Authorized Recreation Programs 
• All EarlyON Child and Family Centres 
• All TDSB eLearning courses 
• All field trips, athletic events, and arts performances 
• All school-based meetings and other public meetings and consultations 

For more information, including a complete list of impacted programs and services, please visit the TDSB website.

Letter from Toronto Public Health: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update and Travel Over March Break

Letter from Toronto Public Health

Please read the letter from Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health

This letter discusses:
• Advice for Travel Over March Break 
• How can I help my family deal with their concerns about COVID-19? 
• How can I protect myself and my family from this virus? 
• Do people who have come into contact with someone who does not have COVID-19, but who was exposed to someone with COVID-19 need to take any precautions? 
• What are other things that I can do for this situation? 

For the latest factual information go to