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SHPS Changes in Bell times beginning Sept. 2020

26 Feb

Dear Parents/Guardians at Summit Heights PS,

Last June, Toronto District School Board Trustees approved an operating budget plan for the 2019-20 school year that required $67.8 million in staff reductions and changes to programs/services to address provincial government funding reductions and the TDSB’s annual structural deficit.

One of the changes approved last year was to stagger school start and end times at a number of elementary schools starting September 2020. Staggering school start and end times allows us to plan bus routes more efficiently, which is projected to save the TDSB approximately $2.5 million dollars. This is important as the TDSB currently spends more on student transportation than we receive from the government. We anticipate that these changes will also result in improvements to our transportation services. 

As of September 2020, the start and end times of your school will change to:

  • Start time (morning bell): 9:10 a.m.
  • End time (afternoon bell): 3:40 p.m.

Please note that supervision will continue to be provided 15 minutes before the morning bell and 15 minutes after the afternoon bell.

We understand that this may be a change to your family’s routine. However, if we did not reduce transportation costs by staggering school start and end times, we would have to reduce other services and supports to students that would have more direct and negative impact on classroom teaching.

Beyond the cost savings of adjusting bell times to find efficiencies in student transportation, other benefits include:

  • Improving service to remaining routes, as fewer bus drivers will be needed, which will help address the ongoing bus driver shortage;
  • Ensuring that we maintain transportation services for all students currently being bussed (no service reductions) and maintain other important supports and services for all students; and,
  • Removing approximately 55 busses from transportation routes, thereby reducing the board’s carbon footprint by approximately 2,750 metric tonnes per year.

Public Meetings and Webinars

We will be holding in-person and online information meetings to answer questions and provide any additional information parents/guardians may need in order to assist with this transition.

In-person Information Meetings:

  • Thursday, March 5 at 7 p.m. at Richview CI (1738 Islington Ave., Etobicoke)
  • Thursday, March 12 at 7 p.m. at David and Mary Thomson CI (125 Brockley Dr., Scarborough)

Child-minding and interpretation services will be available upon request for the in-person meetings. Please email belltimes@tdsb.on.ca to request these services.

Virtual Information Meetings – Online Webchat:

  • Thursday, March 26 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Thursday, March 26 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Please visit www.tdsb.on.ca at the dates and times listed above to connect to the Virtual Information Meeting (online webchat).

While we understand that these changes may impact some families more than others, we are hopeful that everyone will understand that changing school start and end times will help prevent further cuts to programs and supports for students.

Please visit www.tdsb.on.ca/belltimes for more information about the changes. If you have any questions, please email belltimes@tdsb.on.ca or speak with your school Principal.

 

Sincerely,

Craig Snider,
Executive Officer, Finance

 
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