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Archive for the ‘Notice to Parents’ Category

School Closure Update (from TDSB)

13 Mar

March 13, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Further to the brief update sent yesterday afternoon, I want to provide a more detailed update on the provincial government’s unprecedented decision to close all publicly-funded schools in Ontario, including those at the Toronto District School Board, from March 14 to April 5, 2020 amid the growing concerns over the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Through this Ministerial Order from the Minister of Education, the Ontario government is ordering school boards to close schools to minimize contact between people, especially children, in order to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). For this reason, all childcare centres located inside TDSB schools will also be closed and all TDSB Extended Day Programs will be cancelled from March 14 through to April 5, 2020. We recognize that these closures and cancellations will be challenging for many families, especially those with limited childcare options and/or work flexibility. However, this approach is to ensure the health and wellbeing of all families and is consistent with the Ministerial Order to close schools and the decisions of many other school boards.

As 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

We know that families will, understandably, have a number of additional questions. For more information, including a complete list of impacted programs and services, please visit the TDSB website, which we will be keeping updated with the latest information. Please note that the Ministry of Education has indicated that it will be providing resources that will be available online to support student learning during the closure. Once these are provided, we will post a link on our website.

As you can appreciate, the situation is changing on a daily basis, however we remain committed to updating parents/guardians when additional information becomes available.

Thank you for your understanding during these challenging times.

Sincerely,

John Malloy
Director of Education

 
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Novel Coronavirus Update from Tor. Public Health

05 Mar

March 4, 2020

Dear School Community:

Re: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Travel from Iran

I am writing to provide you with an update about the novel coronavirus: COVID-19. Toronto Public Health (TPH) continues to actively monitor and respond to the situation in collaboration with our City, and provincial and federal health partners.

What has changed?
There has been an increase in cases of COVID-19 in Iran, and a small number of individuals in our community with recent travel history in this country have contracted COVID-19. As a result, there is now new direction for people who have travelled in Iran. If you, or your child, have travelled recently in Iran, you are asked to self-isolate for a period of 14 days after your last day in Iran. This is similar to the advice for returning travellers from Hubei Province, China. These returning travellers are also asked to call TPH at 416-338-7600 within 24 hours of arriving in Canada, and we will provide you with further instructions.

For Individuals who have travelled in other affected areas:
If you have travelled in mainland China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Singapore, please monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after leaving the affected area. If you are making travel plans in the near future, including over the March break, please consult the Government of Canada website for current travel advice and advisories related to COVID-19. Some countries have entry and exit restrictions.

If I have symptoms of COVID-19, what should I do?
If you, or your child, develop symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. fever, cough, difficulty breathing), please call your family doctor or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. For individuals who have travelled in an affected area, before you visit any health care provider, please call ahead to let them know about your travel history and symptoms. This will allow them to make special arrangements to see you quickly, provide testing, and ensure the use proper infection control measures.

What more can I do to prepare in case the local situation changes?
The best way to prepare is to consider the supplies you may need at home if you became unwell with any illness, not just COVID-19. For families, this may mean considering your household needs, and how you may address them if someone in your household becomes unwell. You may also consider having supplies on-hand so you do not need to leave home if you or a family member becomes ill, or plan ahead for childcare needs. If the situation changes, you may also consider changing your daily routine to reduce exposure to crowded places.

How can I stay informed?
One of the most important things you can do to prepare is to stay informed. Toronto Public Health continues to carefully monitor this evolving situation, and we regularly update our website with the latest, factual information at www.Toronto.ca/coronavirus. You can also call TPH at 416-338-7600, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and on weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Translation is available in many languages.

Sincerely,

Dr. Eileen de Villa
Medical Officer of Health

 
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Novel Coronavirus Update from Tor. Public Health

02 Mar

February 28, 2020

Dear School Community:

Re: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

I am writing to provide you with an update about the novel coronavirus: COVID-19. Toronto Public Health (TPH) continues to respond to the situation working with City of Toronto and health care partners.

What is the risk in Toronto?
The risk of getting COVID-19 in Toronto remains low because the virus is not spreading in the general community. Toronto Public Health has investigated a number of individuals who have contracted COVID-19 after travel in an affected area, or having close contact with an individual who had COVID-19. Globally, most people have gotten this virus through travel in affected areas or through close, household contact with someone who had the virus. Overall, most infections have resulted in mild illness.

Has anything changed?
The list of designated affected areas has been expanded beyond mainland China to include Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Iran and Italy.

What do these changes mean for school communities?
You may have travel plans in the near future, including over the March break. If you are planning to travel, please consult the Government of Canada website for travel advice and advisories related to COVID-19. You should be aware that some countries have entry and exit restrictions. Incoming travellers to Toronto continue to receive information about COVID-19 at airports, including to:

  • monitor themselves for respiratory symptoms, including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing;
  • seek medical care immediately if these respiratory symptoms develop within 14 days after returning to Canada; and
  • inform their healthcare provider or local public health department about symptoms and travel history before they seek medical care.

People who are travelling in the affected areas are advised that for 14 days after their last day in this region they should monitor their health for fever, cough or difficulty breathing, and avoid places where they cannot easily separate themselves from others if they become ill.

Individuals who have signs and symptoms of fever, cough or difficulty breathing within 14 days of travelling in these areas will be asked to self-isolate and call their local public health department, which for Toronto is TPH.

How can I protect myself and my family from this virus?
We continue to advise members of the public to take the usual prevention measures to reduce the risk of transmission of the flu and respiratory illness, including:

  • wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze;
    if you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm;
  • get an annual flu vaccination, available from clinics and pharmacies; and
  • stay home if you are ill.

These measures may seem simple, but they are powerful ways to protect yourself and others from getting sick.

How can I stay informed?
Toronto Public Health continues to carefully monitor this evolving situation, and regularly update our website with the latest, factual information at www.Toronto.ca/coronavirus. We encourage you to stay informed through regular review of credible information sources such as our website. If you have any questions, you can can call TPH at 416-338-7600, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and on weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Translation is available in many languages.

Sincerely,

Dr. Eileen de Villa
Medical Officer of Health

 
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ETFO Phase 6 Work to Rule (Letter from the TDSB)

28 Feb

February 28, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Recently, teachers and education workers with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) began Phase 6 of their ongoing strike action.

As of Wednesday, February 26, elementary teachers are only doing their scheduled teaching and supervision assignments during their regular instructional time and are not covering the classes of absent teachers. When elementary occasional teachers accept a job at a school they too will only cover the class of the absent teacher.

Most students will likely not see any impact in their classroom. However, should a teacher be absent and someone not be available to cover that class, it may become necessary to combine classes in locations such as the library or gym to ensure proper supervision and student safety.

ETFO has also indicated that their members will start participating in 20-minute pickets outside their schools for at least one day a week, however these pickets are not expected to impact classes. With regards to future one-day strikes, ETFO has said that it will not hold rotating one-day strikes next week but is prepared to further escalate its job action on Monday, March 9 should no tentative agreement be reached.

We appreciate your continued patience during these ongoing strike actions. Please note that principals and vice principals may not be able to respond to questions or concerns as quickly as usual as they are assuming additional roles and duties at this time.

Should there be any significant updates, we will communicate directly with parents/guardians as quickly as possible. As always, for ongoing labour updates, please visit the TDSB website and follow @tdsb on Twitter.

Robin Pilkey,
Chair

John Malloy,
Director

 
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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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20 Feb

February 20, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As a reminder, both the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) will be taking part in a full strike tomorrow (Friday, February 21, 2020).

As with previous strike days, the TDSB would have no other option but to close all elementary (JK-8) and secondary (9-12) schools to students tomorrow as there would not be sufficient supervision to ensure their safety. Parents/guardians are required make alternate arrangements for their children if necessary.

Child care centres located in elementary schools will be permitted to stay open. TDSB Extended Day Programs will also be open to currently enrolled students for a full day of programs. EarlyON Child and Family Centres will operate during their regular hours.
Should the full strike continue as planned, all International Languages Elementary and African Heritage classes would be cancelled on Friday. However, all adult non-credit programs, such as Adult ESL and Learn4Life, will continue to run.

In addition to all TDSB secondary schools, Adult High Schools and Night Schools offering secondary credits will also be closed to students. Secondary e-Learning classes and any out-of-school activities (e.g. field trips, sports, etc.) will be cancelled.

Should there be any significant updates, we will communicate directly with parents/guardians as quickly as possible. As always, for ongoing labour updates, please visit the TDSB website and follow @tdsb on Twitter.

Robin Pilkey (Chair)
John Malloy (Director)

 
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