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 tdsb.on.ca/coronavirus and tdsb.on.ca/remote-learning.

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 www.tdsb.on.ca/labour.

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 http://www.safekidscanada.ca 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

May

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.