Staying up to Date
There is always a lot happening at school and it can sometimes feel like information isn't making it home. Regal's administration sends home both a weekly email as well as a monthly printed newsletter. If you ever have questions about what is happening in the school, you can email us for advice. Each teacher has an email address and communicates with parents in a slightly different way. Some classes have a class parent to handle how information is shared, some teachers use apps, others use email and others still prefer to speak in person. School Council is always eager to get our news out so that we can get families excited about what we are up to. All of our events require extra help from Regal parents and caregivers and that help can come in many forms. If you have a skill that you think would be useful to School Council, please let us know!
Below are the announcements from both School Council and Regal Road about events, date changes, safety concerns and extra curricular activities. These announcements can be time sensitive or relevant for the entire school year. Please click on the headline to see the information.
Kids, Worried About Traffic By Regal Road?
For any child who has been impacted by the dangerous driving in our community, here's your chance to make your voice heard! Write a letter to Ana Bailão to let her know what you see on your way to school and by your home. We would like to give your letter to Councillor Bailão on January 13th at our School Council meeting. Write, draw, sticker, stamp, mounds of glitter, whatever you like. We would love to get a photo of you with your letter, if you're okay with that. There will be a mailbox in the main foyer for you to drop off the letter. Please include your name and class number!
Make Your Voice Heard - Traffic Safety
Make your voice heard! School Council's January meeting will feature an important visit from Deputy Mayor/City Councillor Ana Bailão and School Trustee Stephanie Donaldson. We will be discussing the traffic safety issues in our community, both on Dufferin Street and on Regal Road. Let's not wait until someone gets hurt, we need to ask for change now.
The meeting is January 13th at 6:30 in Room 5. Childcare will be provided. Please attend and let Councillor Bailão and Trustee Donaldson know what your concerns are.
Councillor Bailão to attend Regal Road School Council Meeting on January 13 2020
We are excited to announce that Ana Bailão, Toronto's Deputy Mayor and Ward 9's Councillor, will be attending our next School Council meeting on Monday January 13th at 6:30pm. Also attending the meeting will be our School Trustee, Stephanie Donaldson.
We will dedicate the first portion of our meeting to a discussion about the traffic safety issues our school is facing, both on side streets and on Dufferin Street. For anyone impacted by the dangerous driving in our school zone, please consider attending. We know this is a hot topic right now for many of us at the Regal Road community.
At the meeting, we plan to present Councillor Bailão with our petition to have an Automated Speed Enforcement Camera installed on Dufferin between Davenport and Rosemount. 50 of these cameras have recently been approved to be placed on Toronto's streets, and not one of them is on Dufferin. Please consider signing the petition: http://chng.it/Q4cCSrrY This petition has only received 118 signatures at the time of this posting.
We're also starting another exciting campaign where we're encouraging students to write a personal letter to Councillor Bailão describing their experiences with traffic safety near Regal Road. Please have your student sign with their name and include what grade they are in. We would love to make a photo collage of students with their letters, for families who are interested. These letters will also be presented to Councillor Bailão. We will have a mailbox in the main foyer to receive these letters in the new year.
Delay no more!!! The long awaited yearbooks will be arriving at the school on Monday, December 9, 2019 and will be ready for pick-up after school on Wednesday December 11th – Friday December 13th . We will have a table set up in the foyer after school and will hand them out then so we are not disrupting classes or the office. If you are unable to make it here for those dates, we will arrange additional time the following weeks in hopes that you can receive them before the winter break.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Michael Morris, Principal
Quest Alternative Senior School Information Night
Summary of Extra-Curricular Activities Available
One of our terrific parents put together a great summary of all the programs available this year (some fee based and some free), check it out! Some are lunch time and others are before/after school.
Activities that are free
1. Junior Librarians (grades 4-6)
2. Primary Eco- Club, Tuesday lunch weekly in the upper east yard
3. Junior Eco-Club, Wednesdays weekly at 12:05 after being dismissed from lunch
4. Parent’s Eco-Club, https://sites.google.com/view/regalparentsecoclub
Sports, also free
1. Term 1 Cross-Country (Grades 2-6, plus Gr 1 kids with parent accompaniment)
2. Term 1 Girls Borden Ball (Grades 4-6)
3. Term 1 Girls Soccer (Grades 4-6)
4. Term 1 Boys Soccer (Grades 4-6)
5. Term 2 Track & Field (Grades 2-6)
6. Term 2 Girls Volleyball (tentative, requires a teacher volunteer)
7. Term 2 Boys Volleyball (tentative, requires a teacher volunteer)
8. Term 2 Girls Basketball (tentative, requires teacher volunteer)
9. Term 2 Boys Basketball (tentative, requires teacher volunteer)
Some activities that happened last year that may happen again this year, depending on teachers’ initiative and on whether Work to Rule happens:
1. Meatless Monday Club at lunch weekly
2. A Musical
3. Guitar Club at lunch weekly
4. Finger-knitting Club at lunch weekly
5. Art Club at lunch weekly
Activities that require payment
1. Chess on Tuesdays after school
2. Arts Express programs weekly after school
- Cartooning, Oct 16 - Dec 4
- Glee Time, Oct 21 – Dec 9
3. Language lessons on Mondays after school through the TDSB
4. Makom Hebrew and Jewish program, Mondays & Wednesdays after school
5. Ascot before and aftercare program, Mon-Fri
6. St. Alban’s aftercare program, Mon-Fri
Final Note: Activities may change as the year progresses.
Help the Regal Community make sustainability a top priority
Thanks to Mr. Murtaugh for putting spearheading this initiative and putting together this Regal Parents Eco Club website to help parents get involved. Sign up for updates, give feedback and learn how you can become more involved by visiting the site.
Date change for Terry Fox run
Due to Rosh Hashanah the Terry Fox run will not take place on Oct 1st, but is now scheduled for Oct 8th!
Terry Fox Run
Message from the School
On Tuesday, October 1st, 2019 students at Regal Road will be taking part in the annual Terry Fox School Run. Families are welcome to join us or cheer us on! Please be sure to fill out your child’s online community walking excursion form before Friday.
Junior Students will do their run in the morning after a short assembly and Primary students will run after lunch after a short assembly as well.
Our school is proud to play an important role in keeping the legacy of Terry Fox going. Students will have the opportunity to discuss and reflect on the heroic efforts of Terry over the next few weeks as well as raise much-needed funds for cancer research. Through our participation in the Terry Fox School Run, we hope to encourage leadership in our students and create positive agents of change in our wonderful school community.
Any amount of donation is greatly appreciated and donations of $20.00 or more listed on a Terry Fox pledge sheet (with full donor name and address) are automatically receipted . Cheques and cash are both accepted. Cheques can be made payable to The Terry Fox Foundation. Please return any pledge forms and all monies by October 9th. All monies raised will be forwarded to The Terry Fox Foundation and 82 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to cancer research!
Another way to support The Terry Fox Foundation is by donating online. It’s fast, easy and donors get a receipt immediately by email. Go to terryfox.org and follow the instructions below:
go to www.terryfox.org
click “Terry Fox School Run”
click “Donate to a Student/School”
Enter the name of your school and follow the prompts to donate. Your child may also choose to also set up their own fundraising page by clicking the “Donate to a Student” button. Their page will connect automatically to our school’s fundraising page and they’ll receive a link to email friends and family to help them reach their fundraising goal.
We are very excited to be a part of this year’s Terry Fox Run. This is our opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those suffering from cancer. We hope you will join us as our school community bands together in the fight against cancer. Thank you in advance for your support!
Syringe Found on School Property
Message from the School:
This morning, it was reported to us that a syringe with a needle was discovered shortly before the start of the school day on school property near the bike racks. No students were harmed. We have informed our caretaking staff as they conduct daily and evening perimeter checks of the building. We have also contacted the Toronto Police Service and Toronto Public Health.
There are protocols in place in every school to ensure safe reporting and removal of hazardous objects including discarded needles. These protocols have been shared with
Staff to educate our students to safely report any seen hazardous objects. If a student finds a needle or syringe on school property, he/she should not touch it. The student should tell a staff member or report it to the office immediately. Please be assured that our staff will continue to take any necessary steps to ensure the safety of our students and staff.
We all take a very active interest in situations that involve safety everywhere in our community, so we also want to emphasize to students and parents the importance of
awareness and the need for extra care, even in the most routine circumstances. We want to continue to ensure our school is a safe place, so should you ever see suspicious activity
around our building after hours, please contact the TDSB 24-hour Emergency Call Centre at 416-395-4620 or the Toronto Police Service at 416-808-2222. Working together, we
can help make our school and our community as safe as possible.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the school.
Sports Teams and Practice information
Great news - Regal Road will have several sports teams running this fall!
Cross Country Running Team Coached by Mr. Murtaugh
Practices will be held every Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
Meet Date: October 2nd @ Ashbridges Bay
Girls Bordenball: Coached by Mr. Richmond and Mr. Ogden
Tryouts begin next week: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at lunch.
Bring soccer cleats if you have them!
Boys Soccer: Coached by Mr. Meziane
Open practice starts next week on Monday and Friday at lunch.
Girls Soccer: Coached by Ms. Ryan and Ms. Vasic
Practices will be on Monday and Wednesday mornings at 8 a.m., beginning September 23.
Cross County practices start tomorrow
Open to students in Grade 2 and above (Grade 1's are welcome to join if parents are present).
Practices start Thursday September 12th. After that practices will be every Tuesday and Thursday until October 2nd.
Where: meet on the Soccer Field @8am
Bring: Running shoes (Mandatory), shorts with track pants on top, t-shirt with sweatshirt on top. Water Bottle.
Cross Country meet will take place on October 2nd. There will be a school bus for transportation to the event. Any student who comes in the top 20 can qualify for the South conference finals on October 17th.
Contact Mr. Murtaugh (Patrick.Murtaugh@tdsb.on.ca) for more information.
There is a permission form that must be completed and returned for students to participate.
Pizza Lunch Forms have gone home
Check your child's bag to see if you have pizza lunch forms today!
Hope everyone had a great summer. We are looking forward to a great 2019-2020 school year! Our first School Council meeting is Oct 3rd at 6:30pm, hope to see you there!
Rose Reisman's Kids Lunch Program
Hot Lunch program is coming to Regal Road! Starting on September 23rd, Rose Reisman's Kid's Lunch Program will be available every Monday.
Register your child at www.kidslunch.ca using Regal's school password RRPS108 and choose from Rose Reisman's healthy and delicious menu! All orders are made and paid online using the Kids Lunch Program website.
Kindergarteners will have their meals brought to their classrooms and grades 1-6 will have their meals brought to their lunchrooms at their appointed time slot.
Any questions? Please ask!
School Council's Meeting Minutes
At each of our meetings, School Council's secretary takes notes of what has been discussed. If you've missed a meeting, you can read the minutes to find out what was covered. There are announcements made by Regal's principal, vice principal, teachers, vendors, as well as by School Council themselves.
2019-2020 School Year
School Council Meeting Minutes for January 13 2020
School Council minutes – Abridged/Condensed
Opening remarks from Council co-chair Adam Miller:
Good evening everyone, and thank you for attending our first School Council meeting of 2020. We have a lot to discuss tonight and some special guests to introduce, but before we do that I’d like to invite our Secretary to recite the Land Acknowledgement.
[Recitation of Land Acknowledgement]
I’m Adam Miller, and this is Nicole Dole. We’re the co-chairs of the Regal Road School Council. We are truly honoured and grateful to welcome two very special guests to our meeting tonight. Please join me in welcoming our Deputy Mayor and Councillor for Ward 9, Ana Bailão. Also joining us tonight is our TDSB School Trustee for Ward 9, Stephanie Donaldson. Thank you both for being here.
Also joining us, as always, are our Principal Michael Morris and our Vice Principal Cathy Chumfong. Thanks to both of you as well.
Tonight, we’d like to discuss road and pedestrian safety around our school and in our community. Dufferin Street is notorious for speeding and cars running red lights. Parking enforcement has been an issue around the school, and it seems like almost every month we are hearing terrifying stories about children being hit by vehicles on nearby streets. Just this past December, there were two pedestrian accidents involving children in a single day. Obviously, road safety is everyone’s concern and everyone’s responsibility - and city improvements alone won’t solve every problem. But we’re happy to have Councillor Bailão and Trustee Donaldson here today so we can get a better understanding of what’s being planned, what can be done, and what we can do to help keep our kids and our community safe.
I’ll be this evening’s moderator and help keep us on topic. I’ll ask that everyone please try to keep your questions and comments focused on road safety. If there are other topics you’d like to explore with Councillor Bailão or Trustee Donaldson, perhaps we can invite them back at a later date.
I’d also like to thank everyone for coming tonight. We have been posting extensively on social media about the meeting, and it’s wonderful to see such a response.
Councillor Bailão, we understand there was a traffic study commissioned for the area. Can you update us as to the status of the study?
(Please note that Councillor Bailão and Trustee Donaldson’s remarks are abridged and condensed.)
Councillor Bailão (CB):
- Currently forming a Traffic Management Committee (TMC) for the area
- Holistic approach to addressing traffic complaints and concerns
- TMC’s look at remedies that benefit larger areas.
- Often, addressing a traffic issue on one street will simply push the problem to a nearby street.
- A TMC can make sure solutions don’t simply cause problems somewhere else.
- TMCs are made up of community members, and city representatives working together to find solutions.
- No one knows the traffic issue in a community better than the people who live there, so they can help us propose and investigate solutions.
- TMCs usually begin with an initial meeting to choose the co-chairs and identify the problems.
- A list of concerns that have previously been brought forward is presented.
- The current proposed TMC covers the area from Winona to Dufferin, and Davenport to Regal Heights.
- There are a number of traffic concerns on these streets, from cycling and pedestrian safety to traffic volume.
- Multiple potential solutions will be examined, whether it be better cycling infrastructure or new traffic lights, etc…
- Once there are concrete proposals and solutions, they are reported to community council, and then get these initiatives approved by the city.
- They tend to go in phases, which helps simpler or easier projects get approved first.
- More involved initiatives can be worked on over a longer period. For example, bump pads to reduce speeding involve road construction.
- There was a TMC for the Wallace area, and it resulted in staggered parking on the streets, which effectively slows down traffic in the area.
- Some traffic initiatives in the area have already been completed. For example, we recently reduced speed to 40 km/h on Dufferin.
- Regal Road PS has been identified as a community safety zone from Regal Road to Brandon, which means increased fines for any traffic infractions in the area.
- Being identified as safety zones may help to get enforcement cameras in the area.
- There are two speed enforcement cameras been allocated in the ward already – those locations have been set – but for future camera locations, they will be looking at community safety zones.
- The first meeting for the TMC will be Monday, the 20th, in this room. We’re looking for volunteers. These committees are the most successful when we have residents engaged.
Council co-chair Nicole Dole (ND): Has a full traffic study been done on the area?
- A full study has not been done.
- Smaller studies have been completely, such as on Dufferin Street, and in the Rosemount Oakwood area—this has resulted in the new traffic lights.
- The new TMC will be able to look at the whole neighbourhood, without going piecemeal, street by street.
Council co-chair Adam Miller (AM): Are there any other improvements coming to the area?
- We have asked for a radar speedometer to be placed around Regal Road. There are four that rotate through the ward. Dufferin Street near Regal Road has been added to the list.
ND: When those speedometers are added, is the road painted with the speed limit?
- No. These particular speedometers are temporary, and rotate around the ward.
- Regal Road is also on the list for a permanent radar speedometer, however.
Q: Does the Traffic Management Committee take into account drop-off and pick-up times at the school when considering traffic patterns?
- That’s why it’s so important to have parent and community volunteers as part of the TMC, so they can bring that up.
Q: One of the bigger problems we have is during pick-up and drop-offs, when parents are pulling up on sidewalks. What can be done about something like that?
- Possible solutions include: altering parking patterns, reducing speed, or a designated and supervised pick-up and drop-off area.
Q: At the start of the year, parents lose their minds dropping their kids off. They park everywhere, they don’t know what to do. Would it be possible to increase parking enforcement at the beginning of the year, to set the standard for the rest of the year? It would require regular attention to maintain safe driving around the school, but having parking/traffic enforcement more present at the beginning of the year would certainly help.
- We have asked parking enforcement to maintain a presence, but that doesn’t always seem to be effective.
- Parents can be aggressive toward parking enforcement, and often behaviours don’t change.
- Parents engaging with other parents can be more successful, such as flyering.
Q: I’ve tried engaging directly with parents. Usually, it’s the same five people who are the issue. Speaking with them doesn’t seem to work.
- Ticketing can also be ineffective.
- Parents get a ticket, they just do it again the next day.
Q: Is there a plan to lower the speed limit on the side streets near the school? Many of them are still marked at 40 km/h, and they feed off of main streets, while the side-streets around other nearby schools are 30 km/h.
- The speed limits have already been reduced to 30 km/h on all side streets near the schools. It’s been approved by council.
- Signage will be up shortly, though I’m not sure of the timeline at the moment.
ND: I’d like to draw your attention to one of the signs for the new speed limit on Dufferin—the sign is almost completely blocked by a utility pole. (Presents Councillor Bailão with photo of the blocked sign)
- Unfortunately, this is not the first time something like this has happened.
- City staff will ensure this is fixed, and does not happen again.
Q: While it’s great that the speed limit on Dufferin has been reduced to 40 km/h, many drivers who have used this street for years used to the 50 km/h limit—they may not be aware that the limit has changed, and they’re not accustomed to checking the signs. Is there any chance of getting new signage with brighter colours, special signs indicating that the limit has changed, etc… We need these types of signs every block. If you’ve been up and down the street your whole life, you’re not going to notice it otherwise. It’s the only way to change behaviour.
- We will be coordinating with police to enforce strategically at certain points so people are aware of the change, and aware that the change will be enforced.
- Ideally, there will be a few speed cameras at several points along Dufferin.
- In the interim, we’ll be working with police to improve enforcement—especially in community safety areas where the fines are bigger.
- There is a timeline for this but not on-hand
AM: We recently learned of a pilot program involving automated speed enforcement cameras. We believe with the amount of speeding going on at Dufferin & Davenport that this would be highly beneficial to our area. We’d like to invite Andrew Wiefer up to present this petition.
Andrew Wiefer: I just wanted to start off by saying that I’ve dealt with Councillor Bailão in other situations, and she’s always been great. So, I thought it would be helpful to give her this petition asking for speed enforcement cameras in our area. We’ve got 391 signatures, mostly from Toronto. I’ll give you the hard copy. There’s an online version that’s more accessible. I will send you the link.
- Thank you. The decision makers that place the cameras say all their choices are data-driven, and not affected by petitions.
- It still may help at some point to get us considered for these cameras.
- The placement of the first two cameras for our ward has already been determined, but this may help for future cameras.
ND: The placement of the new speed limit signs on Dufferin is concerning. Every time a main street turns on to another main streets, there should be a speed limit sign that’s clearly visible. Before the newest sign—the one that’s blocked by the utility pole—there were only two signs between Dupont and St. Clair—and nothing at the actual intersections themselves. Signage is not effective—it’s not even in a place where people who think to look for speed limit signs. They seem randomly placed, and people turning on to major streets can’t see the signs. There’s also a disparity in the number of signs. There are twice as many speed limit signs going north as they are going south.
- We will look into that.
- May be a hold-over from when the speed limit was 50 km/h.
Q: I’m glad that enforcement is being brought up. I’ve been a school bus driver for several years, and I can tell you, enforcement makes a big difference. People ignore signs, they break the law… enforcement is critical. I’d say, at every red light, there’s an average of two cars that run through. How do we get the level of enforcement up? Can we get more red light cameras, for instance? Can we go ward by ward and just saturate the intersections?
- There has been a recent drop in ticketing/traffic enforcement by the Toronto Police Services (TPS), acknowledged by the Chief of Police.
- However, recently Toronto Police Services have asked for more money for traffic enforcement, so the situation will likely improve.
- We are adding police staff to traffic enforcement.
- We’ve gotten authorization from the province for red light cameras. Two will be placed in our ward, and those locations have already been decided. But they’re looking for more to roll out. We’re going to be leading on technology.
- We are trying to approach policing differently.
- For example, perhaps police aren’t required for things like crossing guards, noise complaints, administrative tasks.
- Other, well-trained professionals can handle these things while police focus on other areas.
- Perhaps there are elements of traffic and parking enforcement that can be shifted to dedicated, non-police professionals, or technological solutions, such as red light cameras.
Q: Have you thought of contracting out traffic enforcement?
- We have asked the province for authorization for traffic wardens, who are specially trained for traffic and parking issues.
- But this takes time. For example, these red light cameras were approved by the previous government, and we just got them now.
Q: 2 years ago, I contacted the trustee at the time, looking for a guardrail along the northeast side of Dufferin from Davenport. That stretch of sidewalk gets a lot of foot traffic, and becomes very congested with strollers, bikes, and pedestrians. Several schools also reached out. An accessibility study was done, and a guard rail there would not meet accessibility guidelines. We looked at some alternative options, such as widening the sidewalk, but these are all big projects.
There was also a meeting with the principal of Regal Road at the time, about opening up the switchback that leads to the school from Davenport, to reduce foot traffic on Dufferin. However, the principal expressed safety concerns, so that idea was abandoned. Would it be possible to re-open the discussion?
- How long as the switchback been closed?
Principal Michael Morris (MM): Quite some time. It’s in a bad state of disrepair. However, recently, in some of the work that we’re looking at doing at the Regal Road playground, we’ve had some people come by and take a look at it. It’s fenced off at the moment, so no one gets hurt. We’ve had a conversation about fixing the switchback. Once the retaining wall is fixed—and that’s a different story—we may discuss it further. I have concerns about opening up another way for people to access the school yard, particularly through the back. But that’s a discussion we can have. We can look at how it worked when it was open, and we can consider opening it up in the future, once the pathway is a little safer than it is now.
Q: Is there a timeline for this?
MM: I just had a conversation today with the facilities team leader. He’s going to check and see whether or not it’s going to be done. It’s a huge cost to the Board, so they will deal with it when and if they can.
Q: The retaining wall on Davenport is done, yes?
MM: Yes, but it needs to continue going up the switchback.
Treasurer Tallulah Hershorn (TH): For the retaining wall on Dufferin Street, there was planned maintenance that was supposed to be completed at end of August/early September, but it was put on hold due to parent concerns. Would it be possible to widen the sidewalk at the same time as the retaining wall is repaired? That would allow the guardrail to meet accessibility requirements.
MM: The situation also gets worse in the winter, when it’s difficult to clear the streets with the system and equipment that we have. Part of the problem is that the sidewalk isn’t wide enough, and the cleaner can’t make it past the turn.
TH: Since the wall is scheduled to be repaired, is widening the sidewalk something we can look into?
Q: To build on that, my child just started JK at Regal Road. This is my first meeting. To me, the highest priority for designing safety is that guard rail. The other proposals—red light cameras, speed cameras, that’s all great—but someone doing the speed limit and going through an intersection legally can still kill someone if a kid falls off the sidewalk.
If a guardrail isn’t compliant with accessibility regulations, then the sidewalk itself can’t be compliant. So obviously, that will have to be changed. Accessibility regulations, they’re incredibly important. But is there a temporary safety exemption we could use to get a guard rail in there. Is there a short term solution? To me, this is the highest priority piece.
- We will explore to see if there’s anything that can be done.
- The sidewalk is likely the right width to meet accessibility requirements—that’s why adding a guardrail would make it non-compliant.
- Dufferin is being looked at as a dedicated bus route, so here are going to be a lot of conversations about that stretch of the street.
- There may be a possibility for a pilot project that uses a guardrail that doesn’t cut into the sidewalk—but cuts into the street instead.
- This would not reduce the width of the sidewalk so it could stay compliant.
Q: I’ll add for flavour when we’re talking about Dufferin. When there’s an ice storm, the buses can’t go up the hill. We know it’s the worst—and it’s not going to get better, with all the development near the Galleria. I live south of the school, and I’m hoping that this TMC we’re talking about will consider the population boom that’s coming, not only how that affects traffic, but public transit, cycling, pedestrians. I hope that’s all being considered.
- Developers are always required to do their own traffic management appraisals as part of the approval process.
- This is why they had to make new streets for the Galleria development, and why the TTC’s making a loop and building bus bays. So, there are a number of different ways, because that was part of the approval process.
- When the developers were applying for approval for the construction at Bloor and Dufferin, they had to take into account the new traffic management plan at Galleria.
Q: Has anyone talked to Toronto Hydro? The sidewalks are already narrow, and all those unused utility poles are making it worse. As well as hiding speed limit signs, of course. On Davenport, it’s unbelievable that these poles are in the middle of the sidewalk. Can we bury those?
Q: Is it Hydro’s responsibility to remove old poles? There are old poles that have been there as long as I’ve lived here. The one that’s blocking the speed limit sign on Dufferin, for example, that has nothing on it. No actual utility equipment.
- The issue, according to Hydro, is that other utilities may be using these poles.
- Hydro may be waiting for Rogers to take their cables out and bury them, for example.
TH: The main issue is that with this block of Dufferin, and our school on the hill, there’s really no way to get to the school from the south without walking up that part of Dufferin. The rest of the layout makes it very difficult to get north to the school.
- Thank you for bringing that up. That’s a great point.
- There was a similar situation with a school on Gladstone. We were able to get a traffic management study there.
- With all the foot traffic, the traffic management study should take into account all the pedestrian patterns and consider all the people crossing at the various crosswalks.
- One of the new community safety areas is from Regal to Brandon, which encompasses a lot of area used by the whole community—not just Regal.
- Hopefully, the TMC will get input from all the schools in the area.
Q: Can we get the link to the petition for the speed cameras sent out? I think it will make a difference. The more voices we have, the better. For many years they’ve done traffic counts and surveys on Oakwood, and every study said there’s no need for a traffic light, and now we have one.
- The link is in the newsletter
- The traffic report did say that there was a traffic light needed. But the community stopped it. There were complaints from residents.
MM: There was a lot of pushback against the light.
Q: See? People do have a voice!
Q: Let’s think of the parallel of speed bumps. There were certain tests or requirements put in place by community councils, but the city could overrule them. So when it comes to enforcement cameras or guard rails, whenever those tests aren’t passed or standards aren’t met—standards that are set by the bureaucracy—can they be overruled by you, Councillor Bailão, or the city?
- The decision about camera placement was data driven. It did not go before council.
- We will have to work to get additional cameras where we want them. We’ll have to work with city staff to try and create a business case.
- Sooner or later, someone on city council is going to try and get around the data procedure and set a new precedent.
- Changing the parameters to move away from data will be tough, because we’re always saying we need to do more data-driven decisions.
Q: So… if we’re trying to get the data to suggest that we need traffic cameras… do you need us all to drive faster?
Q: Do police calls drive data? If we call in more frequently to complain about speeding or parking?
- Absolutely. Complaining to the police helps. That’s part of what drives the data.
Q: This can all be done online, as well.
Q: Do those speed cameras with the flashing lights collect data?
- No, unfortunately.
Q: I’ve noticed that lights are being put in at Dovercourt, but there are still no lights at Geary.
- The previous councillor left no files behind.
- A request to look at the street has been put it.
Q: Geary, where it crosses Dufferin, isn’t straight. Is there going to be any work done to realign it?
- We are not aware of any work planned to realign the street. But there will be an investigation.
Q: when will the Rosemount lights be turned on?
- Any moment now.
- Coordination is required between Hydro and police, which may have caused delays.
Q: Thank you for putting that in. We’ve been told for that they never would because they were close to other traffic lights. And you’ve done it. Could the light at Auburn be moved a block South? Would it be safer?
- A conversation on the west of Dufferin will have to happen.
- We might need to create another working group on that area. I need to get scheduling and public information on that side.
Q: So this new TMC is only on the east side of Dufferin?
- Yes. What’s done on this side of Dufferin affects the West side less.
- If w put a light on Rosemont, it won’t have an impact on the other side of Dufferin.
- There is a great deal of work that needs to be done north of Dupont. Nothing has been done there for years.
Q: Two things. If you want to get a light at Geary and Dufferin, bring the Mayor and stand on that corner, at any given time, at 4:30 in the morning, 6 pm, there madness, people turn down Dufferin, speeding… the only way we got the lights at Dovercourt and Geary was bringing Mayor Tory to that corner and have him watch the daily accidents. The problem is that for some of these accidents, the police did not bother showing up, because it wasn’t worth a report to them, and a lot of them involved cyclists, pedestrians.
- There will likely be enough evidence when the study is done. The report will likely come back recommending the light.
- If it comes back negative, we’ll do a petition.
- If we spend $150 000, then it needs to be justified to council, but it will be done.
Trustee Donaldson (TD):
- Thank you for inviting me.
- What’s in the scope of the traffic management committee?
- Would the guardrail pilot be a part of it? I want to be involved in that.
- If it helps being part of the TMC, we’ll do it.0
- If we have to do it outside of the TMC, we’ll explore with city staff the most effective way to get it done.
- If that doesn’t work, we’ll approach an architectural firm in the area that is very innovative. They will likely be able to propose a solution.
Q: Are we going to have a crossing guard at Rosemount and Dufferin?
- We have not asked for that.
- It needs to come from the school, with support from the Councillor and the community. We will circulate a link to put in a request from the guard, which requires support from the school.
- Once that is completed and accepted, a crossing guard will be there for September.
Q: What effect with the dedicated bus lane on Dufferin have?
- That has yet to be determined.
- From the five routes they have explained, Dufferin will be the toughest one, because it has a large amount of residential buildings facing Dufferin. It will have to be an interesting design.
- They’re currently considering whether it will be dedicated all the time, 24/7, or broken up throughout the day. Those conversations need to start. They would like to see the effects of the opening of the Eglinton LRT, because that will affect traveling patterns quite a bit.
Q: Has the bus route been approved?
- It was just approved to continue looking at five routes—and Dufferin is one of them. We’ve been doing quite a number of things, for example there are more automated signals coming to Dufferin, but we need to start more planning.
- With all the new residential unite coming all up and down Dufferin, we need to start looking at some drastic initiatives to alleviate traffic and deal with the strain on public transit.
ND: Could we put markings on the road in front of Regal? Zebra markings at the crosswalks, for example, at Westmount going onto Regal. Just to make it clear that you can’t park there. Also, if there’s a way to paint on the curb and on the road in the bus parking area, so people know they can’t park there. Nice and bright. I like colours.
That should be easy to do.
TH: On the Dufferin bus point, can we increase the service on Davenport and Dupont to alleviate congestion. I live on Davenport, and the bus comes every 20 minutes during rush hour. It’s unreliable. Both routes.
- I’m not sure if they’re looking at that.
- There are three routes that I am hearing about: Lansdowne, Dupont and Davenport, which require more reliable services.
- These are priorities.
- We have a little bit more money because we’ve increased the city building fund.
- I think it will come, because there’s a ton of development coming along Dupont, some on it on our side so I think that will increase the service.
- Will not happen in the next year or two, but it is likely coming.
TH: What are the best ways to get heard and dive that data, so we can get that increased service quickly?
- On Dufferin, when they told me the express route was going to be done in 2019 or 2020, I pushed, I canvassed, I went door to door, and got it done faster.
- Rest assured I’ll do the same here. I’ll find the right time to push, and rally the community.
AM: Trustee Donaldson, as our school trustee, are there any things we should look to do, like petitions, or connecting to other schools in the ward…
- I think this is a great plan. Thanks to Ana.
- Nothing else we could be doing.
- I will say that I am happy to be a champion of everything that is being done here, and work with Ana.
MM: Every day I look out my window and I dread that morning traffic, drop off and parking routine. The steps that we’re going to be taking, that Councilor Bailão will be taking, they’re great. I love the idea of that management committee, we’re happy to house that here whenever you want. Thanks for coming here, as I know you have busy schedules. I want a push to the community saying, folks, you’re the ones driving on the street, spread the word drive safe, take care, and mind what’s going on in the community.
- I look forward to continuing to work with everybody.
- This isn’t going to be easy or quick. It’s not going to happen in a couple of months. We have a meeting, then it goes to community council, this is a year-long process.
- It can be challenging, can get heated, but it usually works out for the best, after these things are implemented, we’ll see improvements.
- We just have to listen to the people who live here. They go through this every day, and they know the patterns better than anyone.
AM presents letter, and delivers closing remarks:
What an excellent discussion. Thank you everyone for participating. Councilor Bailão and Trustee Donaldson, we appreciate you being here tonight and would like to conclude with some specific asks we feel would make the neighbourhood safer.
We would like to see the completion of the traffic study for our area. We hope the petition for the speed enforcement camera results in Dufferin and Davenport being selected - but if not, we think the intersection would still benefit from speed radar and red light cameras. Perhaps we could also explore other enhancements, like no right turns on red and left hand turn advance lights coming from all directions.
We would also like the construction on the retaining wall on Davenport to include widening the sidewalk and adding a guard rail.
On Regal Road specifically we would like to see stricter parking enforcement during drop-off and pick-up times, particularly cars that illegally park on the northbound side of Regal Road. It would also be helpful to see clearer markings on roads.
We’ve summarized all these requests in a letter we will be giving both Councilor Bailão and Trustee Donaldson. If it’s okay with you, we will follow up in six weeks for an update.
Thank you again. At this time we’d like to continue with our council meeting with an update from our principal, Mr. Michael Morris.
MM: Happy New Year. We came back, started back right where we left off. School is doing quite well. There was some construction over the holidays, working on the plates in the walls, and they look good. We will eventually be putting in our new windows in some of the areas that do need to be replaced.
The construction took some time. The washrooms were closed off for three and four days, but they’re back to normal. Next construction will be in front of the building. The downspout of the doorway, east of the door is draining water into the building. We have to fix that, and repair the damage that’s been done. What I’ve been told is that the water is going into the boiler room. Students don’t go in there already, but they’ll make sure it’s closed off. They’ll be doing their work below level as much as they can. Anything they do around the door will be after 6:30 at night, so no kids around. We don’t have to worry. They will adhere to guidelines for noise. It should be completed over the next few weeks. It was going to be a summer thing, but they can do it cheaper now, with no summer hours. That will be done in a few weeks. There will be an update in the newsletter.
As of today, teachers have started phase three of work to rule campaign. Does anyone have any questions about the new phase? There will be no assemblies except to supervise students. For example, the kick-off assembly for the Dance-a-Thon, we can do that, still. No extracurriculars outside of school. Lunchtime is good, as is recess, but there will be nothing held after or before school. Teachers will not participate in any field trips, and anything that had been planned has been cancelled. They will also not be at work more than 30 minutes before school, or 15 minutes after. So it might be tough to meet teachers.
I have also been told that as of Friday, if there are no further negotiations, they will begin rotating strikes. I have no idea when that will happen. They don’t slip me a note. When we find out, you’ll find out. Other than that, when you walk around the building, it’s business as usual, students are in class, learning, and then at recess.
Q: will the new windows allow ventilation?
MM: I hope so.
Q: after school sports affected by the work to rule?
MM: There will be no after school sports.
TH: Will Ascot be open for the strike?
A: If janitorial services are still occurring, yes, but only before and after care. There will be no care during regular school hours.
Q: Will janitorial staff still be here?
MM: Yes. As will admin. Office administration, ECEs, they’ll all be in the building, because they’re not on strike so they need to be here.
Q: School open houses have all been cancelled. We have deadlines for alternative schools, etc…. have there been any discussions with the superintendent about moving these deadlines?
MM: There’s talk of rescheduling the deadlines. Check the websites.
Q: One of the questions the students had was about dropping off the applications. They were going to drop them off at the open houses, but now they have to go do it themselves.
MM: Yes, that may be the case.
AM: As we close, we’d like to plug the January 23 eco swamp and shop, Value Village-style romp in this room, where will be selling lightly used clothing, toys and games. Come with cash and credit cards. It’s pay what you can.
Q: Where do leftovers go to?
AM: Local charities. We’ll publicize that when we have them chosen.
TH: For example, Tiny Toy Co—while not a charity—is an organization that repurposes smaller toys. We don’t want to do a one big value village thing, so we’re looking at how to put this to the best use.
AM: January 31 is the last pizza lunch that people have paid for. It’s tough to circulate these forms with work to rule, so we’re pushing school cash online. Pay it forward is being introduced, so everyone can get pizza if they want it.
The Dance-a-Thon is in February. We’re looking to make the event more eco-friendly, so we’re sending less tchotchkes to landfills.
Q: Does school council have money to pay for stuff? The Mosaic, off to the side of the office needs to be fixed. It has duct tape and Plexiglas holding it together. Parents paid for the mosaic with a cookie sale, though school council did chip in a little bit for the additional mosaic
AM: We can look at it. Thank you for coming, everyone. Please check out our website for the maps and handouts we prepared for our traffic meeting.
School Council Meeting Minutes for November 12 2019
Welcome and thank you for attending. It’s cold and nobody has snow tires, so we much appreciate everyone making it out tonight.
School Council Budget
The School Council budget for 2019/2020 has been submitted. There was some back and forth about how to accommodate certain projects that are new this year. TDSB school budgets are leaner than before, and the council will try to help when possible, but we do have to focus on our core mandate, including focusing on equitable access to school programs for all people in the community.
One of the major changes to our budget this year is the removal of the QSP magazine fundraiser. Instead, we hope to implement a direct drive fundraising initiative, though details—including what project the direct drive will be targeted towards—have yet to be determined. It may potentially be tied to the spring fair, but nothing has been decided yet. Council would like the direct drive to be tied to a very specific fundraising goal, so that parents can see the results.
Council is also exploring the possibility of a multi-year playground improvement project, one that refurbishes and rebuilds the current facilities while balancing safety and aesthetics—there have been several injuries on the “big kids” playground in recent years. Several other schools have undertaken similar projects, many on quite a large scale. Council has spoken with Alexis Dawson (School Council co-chair at Rawlinson) about partnering with local developers and businesses in our catchment as potential sponsors, including the developers of the Galleria project.
Though the Galleria is not in our catchment, one of the buildings that will be part of the future development is on the north side of Dupont, and therefore in our area.
Principal Morris is planning a meeting with Richard Christie, a facilities expert with the TDSB who specializes in playgrounds, with an eye towards green initiatives/eco schools. His approval is required for any upgrades on Board property. He will provide an assessment form, and will help guide us through the process. Christie has an immense wealth of knowledge not only on the facilities themselves—he is known for his innovative and unconventional playground and facilities designs and approaches—but where to find funding. He will be by to examine the field and the playground as soon as the snow melts.
This year will be focused on exploration of options. Work would, theoretically, begin next school year.
Parent comment: We need to find out the life-cycle of our current playground. When are they required to be replaced?
Q: do we have a record of how many children have been injured on the playground?
A: The TDSB would have that information. Principal Morris states that he is aware of five children who have broken limbs on the playground since his arrival at the school two years ago.
Q: Will the playground be accessible to the community outside of school hours?
A: Yes. The playground is not locked. However, use of the sports field requires a permit.
Council has also changed the way council funding is allocated to teachers. In the past, council provided money per class, but now that has been opened up to allow teachers who don’t have classrooms—such as phys ed, or special ed—can access those funds.
The council plans to continue with the events held in previous years, while adding a few new ones. We are adding a toy and clothing swap in January, so people can purge unneeded items. Those who bring in clothes or toys will receive vouchers to swap, and people will also have the option to buy items.
An adult dance fundraising event is also being added. It will be held at Regal Road. Currently, it is scheduled for March 26th , but Mr. Morris suggests moving it to Friday, because the staff required for the event do not live in the catchment and would otherwise have to come to work early the next morning.
A used book fair is also being added on April 23rd —International Book Day, with a similar structure to the toy and clothing swap. Parts of the fair may be held outside, weather permitting.
Themes for pizza/spirit days have been decided. For example, November’s spirit day will be “retro” themed, and May will be “green” themed. Forms for the 2020 pizza lunches have not gone home yet.
Council is also beginning to solicit volunteers to join the committees for various events. Sign-up sheets are present at the meeting, and will be posted at the school. Some of these committees have already started—such as spring fair and the silent auction—as these need extended prep time.
One of the committees will be focused on road safety.
Every committee will be headed by a School Council member, to ensure accountability. But the committees are open to parents, friends, family, and community members. Anyone willing to join is encouraged to sign up, or get in touch with council.
Council co-chairs attended a ward 9 equity meeting hosted by Stephanie Donaldson, which included fellow council chairs from throughout ward 9, as well as other parent representatives. Adam and Nicole noted how interesting it was to see how perspectives of equity and inclusion can differ from school to school. But everyone agreed on the importance of inclusion, safe spaces, reducing financial, language, and disability barriers. This will be the first of many meetings to discuss pooling resources, sharing research, learning resources and best practices, inviting guest speakers, etc… The biggest topic of discussion was cuts to education which, while it impacts everyone, impacts some groups more than others. It was great to hear the school trustee prioritize these issues. As Adam and Nicole continue to learn more at these meetings, they will share at future council gatherings.
Updates from Principal Morris.
The school is still standing. This is good news.
Construction updates: Two or possibly three lifts will be brought onto school property to bring workers to the top of the building, where there will be evaluating the state of the stonework. They are being proactive in looking for issues; if any are found, a plan will be set for repairs. The lifts will arrive over the next few weeks. All appropriate safety precautions will be taken. Work will be completed while students are in class, and workers will take breaks during recess and lunch periods. The lifts will be fenced off, but parents are encouraged to remind their children to stay away from the equipment. This information will be included in the weekly newsletter.
Currently, a group of grade six students are at the Island School for the week. Principal Morris will be visiting the Island School tomorrow, along with a few students who are not attending the trip. The Island School excursion ends Thursday. Mr. Morris has been to several outdoor education facilities, including Albion Kills and Kearney, and they are fantastic programs. The students love them, they learn a great deal, they experience the outdoors and an extended bonding experience with their fellow classmates. For many students, it’s their first time away from home, which is interesting for both students and parents. However, due to budget cuts, these programs are suffering, and the cost per student is going up. This year, it was $150 per students, when in previous years it has been around $75.
Q: The students who didn’t attend, was it due to financial constraints? Or did the parents not want them to go?
A: Some parents didn’t want their children to attend, some students didn’t want to attend, and some were not able to attend due to financial reasons, though the school did help pay for some students to go. School Council is adding a line item in the budget to be able to contribute to field trips in these types of situations, along with the school.
Q: Is there a way parents can contribute financially to field trips, to help all students attend?
A: Council is exploring a way for parents who are able to “pay it forward” and pay a little bit extra for field trips, pizza lunches, etc…, with the surplus going into a pool that teachers in any class can draw from. School Cash Online currently has a donate button, but those funds go directly to the school.
Regal Road Budget
There is a shortfall this year, due to cuts. Last year, Regal Road’s budgets was $105 000; this year, it is $96 000. This is a significant difference, especially considering that there are several “Thou Shalt” line items dictated by the board. For example, there is approximately $5000 allocated for technology (which can be added to—Mr. Morris has increased that item by $3000), which has to go toward technology. Certain costs are fixed, such as office supplies.
School Council received a small amount ($729, which goes toward insurance, child care during meetings, and tables for the spring fair, traditionally). Furniture and equipment needs to be replaced frequently.
Mr. Morris has added a principal’s discretionary fund, which will be used for classroom supplies or field trips that fall outside of the classroom budget.
Money is put aside for professional development, textbooks and learning materials, math manipulatives, French Immersion support and initiatives, instructional supplies (papers and pencils in the classroom, for example). The instructional supply budget will now be allocated per student, rather than per teacher, to account for different class sizes.
Other line items in the school budget include library, maintenance, phys ed, referee fees, special education, music/instruments.
The budget for music has been increased, as this year more students will have access to steel pans, strings, and band, with full classes being taught these instruments, rather than withdrawing selected students from regular classes. An eco-school initiative line item has also been added this year.
Any parent with questions or concerns about the budget is welcome to speak with Mr. Morris.
School testing results
Vice Principal Chumfong: The scores for the Canadian Cognitive Abilities (CCAT 7) test have come back. This is the test to determine if grade three students may be eligible for the TDSB gifted program. If a student reaches the appropriate benchmark on the test (98th percentile), they can move forward for further evaluation on the Gifted Rating Scale. Their teachers will fill out a 100 question evaluation of the student. Depending on that score, there will be a school support team meeting to determine if the student should move forward, and finally a one-on-one meeting between the student and a psychologist (psychiatrist?) for a psychological assessment. If all parties agree that the student is a good fit for the program, then the child can move into the gifted stream. This year, four students achieved the required score on the CCAT 7 test to move to the next stage. Also, if parents feel that something may have been missed on the CCAT 7 test, they can bring their child forward at any time for further evaluation on the Gifted Rating Scale.
Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) test results have been sent out for grade three and six students who wrote the test last year. They were mailed out three weeks ago. If they haven’t arrived, please let us know. It takes about six weeks to resend the results. Scores were similar to last year. Our students did fairly well in reading, writing and math. Grade threes are doing well. Grade sixes had slightly lower than last year. We are looking at the results, and examining what can be done to improve math scores, including professional development for the school.
Principal Morris is putting a group together including Vice Principal Chumfong and several teachers (as well as a Position of Responsibility teacher) to formulate a plan to improve scores. Some of the teachers already have some excellent suggestions. That said, with the upcoming possibility of strike or work-to-rule action after November 25th, roll-out of this plan may be affected.
Q: What would withdrawal of services/work to rule entail?
A: It could mean a variety of things. Teachers will still be in the school to teach, but there would be no teacher-run extracurriculars, such as sports or clubs. Teachers may not, for example, being able to hand out newsletters, or administer the EQAO testing. Report cards may look different, perhaps including grades but not comments.
Mr. Morris reiterates the administration’s full support of the teachers and the teacher’s union during this difficult period.
Q: Is the CCAT 7 test used to determine learning disabilities as well?
A: It can reveal learning disabilities, but it is generally focused on finding students who may be a good fit for the gifted program. Usually, we rely on parents and teachers bringing concerns about learning disabilities forward.
Q: How is gifted defined?
A: For the TDSB, it is defined as having a score in the 98th percentile on the Gifted Ratings Scale. Other school boards may set the threshold at the 96th or 97th percentile.
Q: Is there any update on the accessibility washroom?
A: There is no update. Plans have gone out to tender, but no contract has been awarded.
Road safety is a primary concern for parents and the school. There are frequent issues, in particular, at the intersection of Dufferin and Davenport. Council has been in contact with Councillor Ana Bailao to get a traffic survey in the area. There is no update on this as of yet, but we are continuing to look for ways to assess and improve the area. As an example, there are new traffic lights that are being put in place at Rosemount and Dufferin. We are considering inviting Councillor Bailao or a representative from her office to attend a School Council meeting to discuss road safety.
A parent notes that there is another parent, Andrew (not present at the meeting), who was instrumental in having both speedbumps and the new lights at Rosemount put in place. It is suggested that Andrew be invited to the next meeting to share his thoughts on how best to advance these initiatives.
Parent comment: We shouldn’t underestimate the impact of the wards doubling in size. This is definitely affecting response times, and the ability of councillors to address these types of issues.
Parent comment: We need to figure out what the most effective way is to improve safety around the school. Is it working with children and parents to change driving/pedestrian habits around the school, or is it advancing infrastructure projects? Likely, the answer is both.
Council comment: We had a road safety assembly last year at the school.
Principal Morris notes that parents frequently make comments to him about traffic and parking around the school, but he is limited with what he can do. He notes that he contacted parking enforcement, but it took hours for them to respond. There is only so much that the administration is able to do.
Parent comment: Some schools have implemented some innovative solutions. There is a school in the Keele area that closed the entire street around the school. Some other schools around the world have used gates or retractable concrete posts to reduce traffic during school hours. These are extreme solutions, but perhaps they can be considered.
Parent comment: Speed ripples, clear parking signage and road paint, and fencing to protect children can all be very effective ways to improve safety.
Parent comment: Kiss-and-ride areas can also help, though this would require significant road work outside the school.
Parent comment: There are two key components to the road safety issue: traffic on the Dufferin corridor (including the Dufferin and Davenport intersection), and the drop-off area in front of the school. Which do we want to be squeakiest about? A traffic study of the entire area would provide information about both.
Q: When will Councillor Bailao get back to us?
A: We’re not sure. We have sent several emails.
Council suggestion: Call her every day. That’s how we got the crossing guard replaced last year.
Q: Last year, there were some issues with the crossing guards, but this year the situation seems to have improved. Is there a reason for this?
A: Crossing guards used to be administered by the police, but now responsibility has shifted to the city. There have been some issues during the transition, but it seems to have stabilized. Any concerns can be brought directly to Councillor Bailao.
Q: How did last year’s Spring Fair compared to previous years, in terms of financials?
A: It was about the same. It usually nets between five and six thousand dollars, but it costs quite a bit to put on, so any profit is positive. The meeting concludes with a reminder that spots are still available for Family Photo night, and encouragement for parents and community members to sign up for committees to help run events and initiatives.
School Council Meeting Minutes for October 03 2019
The October 3, 2019 meeting opens with a warm welcome to all parent and community members in attendance, and all new members.
The current School Council Executive is introduced:
Natalie Stickle – Outgoing co-chair
Stephanie Ayers – Outgoing co-chair
Jess Eylon – Outgoing treasurer
Nicole Dole – Outgoing secretary
Stephanie, Natalie, and Jess will remain members of the School Council, and will be advising the new executive during the transition.
School administration and Council are deeply gratefully to Stephanie and Natalie for their hard work, dedication, drive and determination over the years. They will be deeply missed as co-chairs.
An open invitation is extend to other parents and community members who would like to join School Council.
The new executive is proposed:
Nicole Dole – Incoming co-chair
Adam Miller – Incoming co-chair
Tallulah Hershorn – Treasurer
Al Kratina – Secretary
With no objections, the new executive is acclaimed.
School Council financials
Main issue for the upcoming school year is that there is less money in the School Council account than normal. There was a large capital expenditure on technology last year, which has significantly reduced this year’s cushion.
Several spending categories may require review.
Standard categories include:
Teacher resources – Generally $200 per class, normally spent on activities, books, additional Scientist in the School sessions.
School Council usually pays for one Scientist in the School activity per class.
School Council also normally subsidizes field trips at $15 per student.
If the spending is the same as last year, we will be in very difficult position at the start of the following year, likely with no cushion in the budget. Either spending will have to be reduced, or revenue will have to be significantly raised.
The School Council budget will have to be in by October 31st, when it will be sent to Principal Morris. Stephanie and Natalie have offered to help the incoming executive with setting the budget.
Introduction of Principal Michael Morris and Vice-Principal Cathy Chumfong.
Welcome to all attendees. It’s great to see so many people here, and hopefully this will continue throughout the year.
Principal Morris thanks Stephanie and Natalie for their work as co-chairs over the years, and for their commitment to help the new School Council executive during the transition process. Principal Morris also expresses his gratitude to parent volunteers for their help so far this year with pizza lunch and the Curriculum Night BBQ.
Updates on accessibility
Regal Road will be renovated to improve accessibility. The project will be in two phases. The first phase will included an accessible washroom on the first floor, ramps at the front doors (or a set of doors yet to be determined), and automatic doors at the front entrance, as well as several other doors within the building. The second phase will include an elevator. Blueprints have been provided for the washroom, which Principal Morris is approving. Anyone with any thoughts about the blueprints is welcome to provide feedback.
A weekly newsletter is sent by email every Friday, and a printed newsletter is sent home every month. Vice-Principal Chumfong handles the weekly newsletter, while Principal Morris handles the monthly newsletter. The Student Council is welcome to submit material for inclusion in either newsletter.
Q: Are the accessibility renovations led by the TDSB?
A: No. It is through a federal program to make certain buildings more accessible. Both the federal and provincial governments have programs to enhance accessibility.
Q: What is the timeline for the washroom construction? How will disruption be mitigated? As the washroom will be constructed on the first floor, near the kindergarten rooms, what measures are taken to ensure safety? Will workers be required to pass a police check?
A: There is no timeline yet for construction, but it will be shared when available. When work like this is tendered, bidders are required to adhere to health and safety guidelines. Workers in TDSB buildings are required by contract to complete a police check. The construction area will
be hoarded off for safety purposes. If possible, work will be done after hours or, if financially feasible, during the summer to minimize disruption. It shouldn’t affect any of the classes.
Q: Will parents still be able to enter during the front doors during ramp construction?
A: Parents may be asked to enter through the side doors, in which case buzzers and security measures will be installed on the alternate entrance.
Q: Will the playground be made accessible?
A: Technically the playground is accessible. There is a gate from the parking lot, and one going out on the street from the playfield, though these gates are kept locked for safety purposes.
Another new construction project was approved last week. Windows will be replaced throughout the building (half were replaced a few years ago). Due to the age of the building, the structure of the school will have to be examined before the new windows can be installed. Workers will check inside the walls and determine if the steel beams and their plates need to be replaced. The work is currently scheduled for November, but Principal Morris has requested that the date be moved to the December break, when there are less people in the school. This will be a four or five day process, with the area hoarded off for safety reasons, and to protect the rest of the school from the dust created during the work (Principal Morris notes that this is not an asbestos issue).
Areas affected will be the boys’ and girls’ washrooms in the basement, and the kindergarten class in the basement. It has yet to be determined where the class will be moved. This will also affect the Ascot daycare held in the basement. When more details are available, they will be shared.
CUPE strike action: RR admin does not know what will happen. If there is a strike, the TDSB will be shutting down. Teachers and admin will still be working in the building, but students will not. 18 000 TDSB workers would be on strike.
Closing down TDSB schools was not a decision that was made lightly. But these CUPE employees are incredibly important to the school. It is a health and safety issue. Negotiations between CUPE and the government will restart Friday at 4:30; a decision whether to strike is expected to be made by Sunday.
CUPE has asked parents not to volunteer or cross picket lines.
Principal Morris stresses that CUPE workers are essential, and they are valued members of Regal Road (and the TDSB in general).
Q: Will Ascot daycare be open at Regal Road during the strike?
A (from parent who sits on Ascot board): No, unfortunately. With no one to clean the school or operate its boilers, Ascot would could not run their program in compliance of their health and safety requirements, and therefore cannot stay open during the strike. Ascot management will send a memo by email tomorrow (Friday, October 4).
Q: Is there a cut-off time for closing the school? If there is no word on a potential strike, when will the TDSB decide whether or not to close schools on Monday?
A: Unknown. Usually, it would be midnight on Sunday. Principal Morris will check with his superintendent.
Q: My daughter is in grade one. She came home yesterday, concerned about the lunch room situation. She says it’s dirty and noisy, and she hasn’t been eating her lunch. What can be done to improve this?
A: This is an ongoing issue. It takes time for grade ones to get used to the lunch room situation. Stephanie will be staring a monthly program where she helps acclimate RR students to upcoming changes. For example, she will be taking kindergarten classes for lunches in the lunch room to help them get used to it, or taking grade six students to Wynona High School to show them around.
Recent changes have been made to try and improve the lunch room situation, including staggering lunch times, so half the students eat lunch in the lunch rooms while the other half plays outside, and then switches halfway through the period.
It can help to provide plenty of easily snackable items that you know your child will enjoy to help encourage them to eat during lunch time. Encourage them to eat some of their food outside during their play period, as well (Principal Morris stresses that no food with wrappers should be taken outside, to help prevent litter, but food in reusable containers like Tupperware is fine).
A number of clubs also run at lunchtime, which can provide an opportunity for students to find a quieter environment to eat.
Principal Morris adds that lunchroom expectations will be posted in all lunch rooms to remind students. As well, a chart showing progress toward the “Golden Lunchbox” award—given to the class who demonstrates best behaviour in the lunchroom over the course of the year—will be posted in lunchrooms, adding extra positive reinforcement for good behaviour (also they win like a pizza lunch or something, which should help).
Also, extra supervision has been added. For the first 10 minutes of lunch, an additional teacher will monitor the two lunch rooms, as well as the last 10 minutes.
Parents can help by ensuring students understand lunchroom rules and expectations.
Q: How long do the kids get to eat during lunch?
A: Approximately 25 minutes in the lunchroom.
Eco schools update
We are continuing to get to the next level with our eco schools program. For example, we are continuning to push “boomerang lunches”, where students bring home all the waste wrapping, etc, from their lunches, to help draw attention to unnecessary packaging and waste.
Also, Mr. Murtaugh is asking for parent volunteers to help with the Eco Club.
Q: Is there a list of current clubs at RR?
A: No. Because the clubs are all teacher-run, and vary from year to year.
Principal Morris notes that should teachers go to work-to-rule, clubs may be cancelled.
Q: Can parent volunteers run clubs?
A: Not during the school day. Clubs during the school day require teacher supervision, and replacing teachers with a parent volunteer would be a violation of work-to-rule. After school hours, it is possible for parents to run clubs, but this may require permitting.
Jess recommends the upcoming People for Education conference on Nov 2. People for Education is a public think thank that researches public education in Ontario. The conference is an excellent opportunity for educators and parents to demystify the education system, and talk about important issues such as diversity and mental health. It can be essential in helping parents learn how to navigate the system when there is an issue.
For parents interested in learning more about school councils, the TDSB has excellent resources, including presentations with videos and slides. They also have tools and information on school policies, how to talk to teachers, what principals and superintendents can help with, etc…
The meeting concludes.
Thank you, Natalie and Stephanie for your time, care, and concern as co-chairs of the Regal Road School Council. You have set the highest possible standard.
2018-2019 School Year
School Council Meeting Minutes for June 11 2019
Codezilla presentation from Sheri Allain.
Codezilla is an educational program that teaches kids about coding and how computers work with use of Scratch program and tech toys. Sheri is the founder and the mom of two school aged children. Classes are offered within the school in class, over lunch period and off-site weekend workshops and summer camp. Learning to code helps children become involved with computers rather than being passive users. Classes can be used from JK to grade 6.
Full update for the spring fair not available yet. Cash deposited but not all collected from Silent Auction. So far $10,000+, $760 in Square transactions, half from Silent Auction. School Cash not added in yet. Silent Auction - $1700 so far. Still more items to be sold once the winner is moved down the line for items not picked up. Projected earning was at $15000, seems to be on track. $1700 from School Cash wristbands. Expenditures for Spring Fair $7620.79
Over budget for field trips so no more for this year. Field trips for next year, can no longer fund from the start of the year as there are less carry over funds from previous years. Some teachers don’t spend, some teachers spend too much, spending needs more monitoring. Start next year with Scientist in the school? Voted on by the population of the school. Vote at first meeting next year. Continue to the second meeting. Let teachers know that there are less funds for next year? End of year meeting on the 28th and can be told then. $400 from the school is consumables, cannot be used for field trip or Scientist in the School. Should School Council consider Direct Drive starting next year to raise funds?
Regal has a small budget to help with field trips. Regal also has to address overspending from teachers. In the budget to buy some coding items for next year. Next year, extracurricular can’t be guaranteed. Don’t know for next year if teachers will be on strike, work to rule, etc. School will definitely start before teachers are in a legal position to strike.
For Direct Drive, can there be levels for donation? Certain prizes for larger donations?
Work to rule was 4 years ago, fundraising was done in work to rule years but nothing was used. Allowed School Council to carry a larger amount of funds.
Good atmosphere to do Direct Drive because parents are aware of the TDSB cuts. Will Direct Drive affect other fundraising? No, because pizza lunch and Dance-a-thon are still appealing.
Over summer, think of what it is that we want to direct money towards. Mention that we’re going to be losing something without the funds.
At the last ward forum, at Rawlinson, money was put towards playground. Planning for playground, how to advertise to get interest from parents. Get a catch phrase, promote it.
Fundraise to fix the field, put in a track? Other schools can’t complete here for track and field due to the state of the grass.
This summer, drainage expert to redo drainage and reseed. Artificial turf by goal areas? Corner of yard will get proper jump pit. Turfed in soccer areas in other schools, fundraise to do that here?
Do another lunch to help fundraise? Add Subway to list of fundraising lunches? Pita Pit is an option, located at Stockyards. Subway is easier than pizza because everything comes labeled rather than all pizza arriving at the same time and having to be portioned out. For pizza, children who can’t afford pizza still are given pizza but the same can’t be extended to other lunches like Subway and Pita Pit. Check the logistics to see if it’s as easy as it sounds. Bring one in to be every other week, pizza and subway. 6” or 12” as well as a few options (veggie, tuna, turkey etc)
Next year fundraising suggestion: Nickel Wars. Each class gets a jar of nickels, then classes can sabotage one another by putting in different coins. Fundraiser raised $1000 for a school of 400 students.
Eco schools. Certified as silver this year, try to get gold or platinum next year. Working on getting 3 or 4 water bottle filling stations. Currently in a waiting/holding pattern due to station not being tall enough for certain water bottles. Basin wasn’t large enough to catch all the water.
Hot Lunch proposed for starting in September next year. Three options from the TDSB approved vendors: Kid’s Kitchen, Rose Reisman and Lunch Lady. Kid’s Kitchen has the smallest menu, questionable recycling and requires volunteers so is dismissed from consideration. Between Lunch Lady and Rose Reisman, Rose Reisman has healthier food and uses compostable containers as well as recyclable. Rose Reisman will also collect and return all of the recyclable material. Rose Reisman gives back the most amount of money to School Council for fundraising. Only concern is that Rose Reisman requires at least 40 orders per week as opposed to Lunch Lady having no minimum order.
Voted on Rose Reisman starting in September, voted yes by School Council
Have Hot Lunch on Monday, is Tuesday an option for holidays?
What about people who don’t have online access? Are there forms to have in the office.
Ask question about weekly fluctuation, what happens if certain weeks are low?
Daily milk fundraiser? What about soy milk packages? Milk as snack program? Not done due to logistics.
From Mr. Morris:
Next year, 32 teachers instead of 34. Larger numbers in junior grades. 32 teachers does not mean 32 classes.
Music 1 full, one half music/media/integrated arts.
Letter goes home on the 28th with list of teachers and new classes.
Won’t know about potential for reorganization next year. Only 4 days notice given to Mr. Morris in case of reorganization. Next year, if numbers seem off, can announce earlier if there seems to be a risk. Less likely for junior grades to deal with reorganization. For list on 28th, still not sure about teachers affected by central funding. If teachers choose to leave for another school, then surplus teachers have the potential to be called back. Regal has a half vacancy.
August 31st is when TDSB teachers’ contract is up. Have to give 6 weeks of notice for strike, so if strike/work to rule happens, it will be mid October. It seems like parents will be more supportive of the situation as it’s well known what is happening to the TDSB due to the cuts.
PRO Grant is happening next Tuesday. Flyer going home.
Suggestion: Information for first meeting next year, 10 things to expect about work to rule.
School Council Meeting Minutes for April 23 2019
Staffing Update from Mr. Morris
Allotment was 31.5 teaching staff which is down 2.5 from last year. Last year assumption for number of students was 604, this year the projection is 583. Because of the budget, Regal has only received part of allotment from phase 1. Phase 2 should have been in today, which covers an allotment for special education, ESL (English as a Second Language), and vice principals. Phase 1 was just teachers. Not sure what the allotment for VP is yet. All central staff are back on the available teaching list, not sure what’s happening with central principals. Phase 2 now due to arrive by 29th of April. It will then be known if there is any more ESL, any more spec ed. Not yet with EAs (educational assistants) or SAs. Due to late timing of the budget. Tentative assignments have been handed out at Regal but everything might have to be redone. Finalized after reorganization at the end of September. Currently there is a surplus of 4 teachers.
Central people in central roles, 2 people from Regal are currently in that position. Last year there were 34 teachers, this year 31.5 teachers. Any vacancies in the board, teachers can then apply. First part of June, class placements are done after better idea of numbers.
Working on online potluck sign up to simplify bringing dishes.
Baskets this year, different themes. Requests for class baskets and food on 2nd week of May. Square readers for using credit cards and debit might be borrowed from another school. This year there are 200 donated sunglasses for prizes. Group coordinator has all information for face painting and tattoos. Volunteers needed for games, a teacher has offered her two daughters to help. Tips for volunteers from Jess. Grades 5/6 can work for 30 minutes, teenagers can work longer but might disappear. Adults should always be backup.
Next Spring Fair meeting for Wednesday May 1st at Treasurer’s house.
Silent auction website, School Council has voted to pay $100usd for no ads on website.
Bouncy castle for little kids, there will be a height restriction on who can jump.
3 ticket sales booths, all fixed location, no roaming sales.
Earth Rangers and James Funny Hat. Still checking on their availability. Projected schedule, 5-6pm James Funny Hat, 6-7pm dance party.
Popcorn to be purchased from Kernals, picked up by Co Chair.
Treasurer will take care of ordering donuts.
Themed posters leading up to Spring Fair need to be organized. Colouring sheets to be made for Junior Kindergarten and Senior Kindergarten classes.
Semi annual report, Co Chair has fixed all of the budget so that future reports are automatically filled in online.
QSP - no longer happening
Dance a thon - less money earned
Welcome BBQ - surprise success
Halloween movie night - more earned than expected
All money will be spent by the end of the year, no surplus carried forward.
Next year, look into fundraising that doesn’t require a lot of money upfront.
For next year, look into someone other than Proffesor Jamz to cut down on costs.
Stephanie K - tapping presentation - rescheduled
Concerns about added cost to parents, pressure on parents who can’t afford. Kids who don’t get lunches, if meals are mixed up, cause big issues in the office. 10 years of experience from Mr Morris. Don’t do lunch program due to inequity issues? Talk to Carlton about their program. Different budgets for different schools. At Carlton, are the students subsidized? Start with one day a week. “Make your Mondays Easier”, “Messless Mondays”. Do a survey to gauge interest? For the chosen vendor, Is any perentage donated back to the school? Don’t choose vendor Real Food for Real Kids - not for fussy kids, you don’t get to pick the food. At Pauline, it only worked for one term for Real Food for Real Kids.
Lunch Lady is expensive but does give back to the school. The parent is dealing directly with the company so it’s on the parents to make sure that everything is properly ordered.
Math and Science Night. Funded by PRO Grant.
$160 for one night for 25 kids. Fun workshops. 4-7 age group or 4-12 age group. Parents allowed to attend. Do a session after school and a session in the evening. Snacks provided.
Catch me if you can - mystery, finger prints, forensic science. Ages 7-12
Colour me curious - colour and gravity defying effects. Ages 4-12
Make people register? Have first come first serve?
Grant has given $1000 to spend. Can run multiple sessions.
Do it early in May, use it to promote spring fair.
Everything is free.
School Council Meeting Minutes for March 19 2019
School Council meeting for March 19 2019 is to focus on the Spring Fair
Date for the Spring Fair: May 30 2019, 5pm-8pm. Rain date is June 6.
Game: Musical Cakes - there are 10 numbers on the ground, people move around until music stops, then have to stand on a number. The person running the game then draws a number from 1-10 to see who the winner is. The winner gets a whole cake.. $2 to play, 10 players per game. Game can be played for as many rounds as there are cakes. Request will go out to families for contribution of cake or pies. Ways to keep cakes cool? Last year the cakes melted a bit from being in the heat. For numbers on ground, there needs to be a way to keep them down. Last year they were paper and blew away. Consider using plywood, then they can be reused next year. Aiming for 10-15 cakes to be donated, a sign up for donations can be made beforehand.
Mini donuts to be done again this year. 4 donuts for $1, served in popcorn bag.
Cotton candy. Order less this year or a better way to transport it. Last year it was difficult to bring all of the cotton candy from the warehouse to the school.
Caramel corn and popcorn to be sold again.
Candy bags to be sold again.
Games - There will be less games this year. The school owns its plinko game. Higher stakes game, more expensive than other games - 10 for $5. Last year had free toys and prizes that were donated. Also gave away water bottles and lanyards. Win a prize depending on where the plinko disc lands.
Other games will be rented. Ideally one or two people will be running a game for the entire fair. This year it would be preferable for parents or high school students to run the games. Grade 5 and 6s can’t work for long and get bored too quickly.
Other games: Shock Wave - difficult game, exciting for older kids. Also the game Crazy Cans.
Prizes will be candy. What needs to be ordered this year? Water bottles etc. Stuffed animals are more exciting. To be ordered: beack balls, slinkys, sunglasses, stars, mood pencils. Can also consider buying through Amazon who sells bulk emoji keychains.
Bake Sale - last year it was raising funds for Me to We rather than for Regal Road. Some of the local businesses that donated to the school were not happy that funds were then being raised for organizations other than Regal Road. In the future, fundraising bake sale will be done at a different/separate event. This year there will be no bake sale at the Spring Fair, instead all baked goods go to Musical Cakes.
Ice cream truck coming this year. Do we get a portion of the funds? There should be a cut of the money given to the school. Gelato maybe this year? La Paloma has been donating for previous years. Maybe they can come in instead of an ice cream truck? Also Futura Granita or Bar Ape?
Chili contest - issues with heating chili, not enough people bringing a way to heat the chili. Need to put a reminder that slow cookers are necessary to keep hot. How to get enough electricity out to that table.
Classes made crafts for sale but no one bought them. That will be cancelled for this year.
BBQ - Burgers and hotdogs. Buns from Scarborough again? They were a big success at Orientation Night. Buns were donated previous years. Some veggie dogs will be there. Boiled ahead of time to speed up? Grilled first and put in a chafing dish. Boil all hotdogs beforehand to save time, done last year successfully. Rent a burner this year to speed up process.
International food table. Each class is given an ingredient. Last year Bharti made Indian food. Again this year? What portions of her earnings went to Regal? System of tickets so that everything is purchased the same way. More than one colour of tickets? Different colour this year? People are saving tickets from previous years. Tickets are branded to say Regal Road. Tickets are $1000 to purchase. New distributor for less money?
Green table - table of plants for sale. Not to be done again this year due to lack of interest.
Silent auction - Problems from last year, bidding online vs in person. Online bids need to be updated onto the charts in person. No proxy bids this year to avoid complication but still keep online option. For volunteers, we need a games coordinator. For volunteers, have a more specific list of which volunteers are needed. For day of silent auction, two people who stay from start to finish. A catalogue should be made beforehand so that people running the silent auction know exactly what there is.
For next year when the mom running local business donations isn’t here, a new person/people are needed to find donations. A letter from Regal is given to businesses that donate. Did Big Slice donate last year? They might host the graduation lunch this year. Mr Morris will take this task on. Spreadsheet needs to be made of all the businesses that have previously donated. Some businesses have an online system for donations (M&M, Roots, MLSC, AGO, Wonderland).
Last year, some baskets were never picked up. Try to collect from who bought them last year? If money can’t be collected, reuse the baskets.
Table for sparkle tattoos and face painting again this year. Henna was skipped due to concerns of some kids having a bad reaction to the henna dye.
Water truck - City of Toronto water truck used to come for people to fill their water bottles. They’ve now changed the rules, the event has to be at least 4 hours. Just stick with selling water bottles.
List of jobs
- Face painting (supplies are provided)
- People to run BBQ
- Person to run International Food table
- Person to run games
- Person to raise donations
Lead person for face painting to be the coordinator for the different people working, for both sparkle tattoos and face painting.
Jobs should all go in weekly school report, this has been approved by Mr. Morris.
Bouncy castles - A castle this year just for the little kids? Castles need to be set up earlier as they weren’t ready on time last year. Bouncer for the older kids? Do age requirements for certain bouncy castles? Adventure Mania provides the bouncy castles.
Animal show inside? Downstairs in the basement hallway. Only here for an hour. Show done by Animal Ambassadors.
Edge imaging did a photo booth, to be done again this year.
James Funny Hat - play in the outdoor classroom? There needs to be a way to provide electricity
A Square for payments. A small device that attaches to a phone or tablet that allows payment from debit or credit card. Used by downloading a free app on the phone/tablet. Free for one Square, the company then takes 2.65% of the proceeds. If you buy one of the tap devices, only 10 cents for debit purchases. $60 for the hardware. Can more than one Square be linked to a single account? Takes 50 cents per $20.
How many ticket stations? 3 or 4 last year. The school school acquire 1 free Square and 2 taps. Reduce down to 2 ticket stations. Test the TDSB wifi to make sure it works outside. Mobile hotspot as backup? Can text receipt from purchase right away. Can sign for credit card purchases. Find out what the purchase name will show up as on credit card statement.
Why is the Spring Fair held on a Thursday? More people show up on Thursday than Friday.
Check with Wallace Espresso about having a coffee station.
Next meeting April 2 @ 7:30 at DeSoto’s to discuss Spring Fair.
School Council Meeting Minutes for February 20 2019
Dance-a-thon is on February 27 2019
For fundraising, money can be sent online through School Cash Online through donation, annotated to Dance-a-thon. Funds can also be sent online through Professor Jamz’s website. Cost for Professor Jamz is $890 so donations go towards his fees and extra funds beyond his cost are given to school. If funds raised are over $8000, Professor Jamz gets a higher fee. Funds raised during the Dance-a-thon from glow sticks are independent or Professor Jamz.
School Yearbook for 2018/2019 - The parent who previously put together the yearbook is stepping down. A new person is needed to help put together this year’s book. A new vendor is being considered for production. Previous years were done by Bright Pics but this year Edge Imaging is a new option. Edge imaging is less expensive, but the book won’t be as high quality. Last year School Council covered the $1000 financial loss on yearbooks. Every grade 6 gets a yearbook regardless their ability to buy. Bright Pics is still being considered. Their price has increased so losses are greater. More advertisers are needed for the yearbook. The help needed involves taking photographs on spirit days, Spring Fair, Dance-a-thon and other school events. A parent has stepped forward to take photographs of the various school teams and clubs. Edge Imaging has recently donated two banners to the school. Samples will be provided for Edge Imaging’s different options for the yearbook. This year’s aim is to have larger photos which also means less photos. Grade 6s can enter a competition for the cover art. Competition takes place near the end of the year, likely in May. Runners up get their art displayed as inside and back cover. All entries are featured in a collage.
Pizza Lunch for April 26 is being rescheduled due to falling on Passover. New date for Pizza will now be May 3rd. Mr Morris will include a notification in the monthly newsletter. Teachers will remind students closer to the date. School Council will have some pizzas ordered on April 26 in case any students show up without a lunch.
Update from Principal Mr Morris -
Administration are starting to look at staffing, which gears up after march break. Seniority list is made before march break, staffing numbers are done after march break which leads to the staffing model being set up. After teachers receive their new assignments they can decide if they want to stay at the school or leave for a new school. This lasts until May 24th, give or take a few days. More information can be made available once there are staffing models. The school will have an idea of what classes will be like but not which teachers are attached to the classes, that will not be updated until the end of the year. Projected number of students for 2019/2020 is 581 which is just over the current student population. Status quo stays the same but the model might change in how it breaks down per grade. The hope is to have the same amount of teachers. Last year the projected number of students was 604 which allowed for an extra teacher to be hired but then the actual number was lower so the teacher had to be let go. At the start of the school year, the school lost and gained a teacher last year.
As the board moves more towards inclusion, the TDSB will start phasing out the Home School Program (HSP) for grades 5 and 6 so that students with special education needs can stay in their classroom rather than spending 50% of the day in a HSP room. Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC) determines what support is needed for the student. HSP will no longer be offered for grades 1-4. It’s been a few years since there was an HSP for those grades. There will be withdrawal support up to 49% of the day from special education resource, but not from dedicated HSP. Basically it means more inclusion for the students. They will still be getting support. May change numbers for support.
Some work being done on the school. The fields will receive work over the summer, so no permits will be given for evening use. The last permit is for the Spring Fair. The school can use the fields during the day but no evening activities. For the field - the hope is to move goalposts by 1.5 metres with artificial turf placed in penalty box area on both ends. Also looking to redo drainage, possibly including a sprinkler system. Resodding will be done for whole field. There will be a follow up question to make sure that the field isn’t off limits for a year after the sod is placed. For the front entrance, looking on the left hand side, there’s a pipe coming down for water than is causing concrete damage due to a leak. It may be repaired over the summer.
Question - The front doors are said to be too heavy. Could a request be put in for it to be done at the same time? Answer - Probably not.
Question - Will the school be made accessible? Answer - No. Only the basement is accessible. There will never be an elevator in the school. In previous schools, classrooms would have to be moved to make accommodation to add in an elevator. There isn’t the funding to update Regal.
Question - At the ward council meeting, there was talk about the school improvement plan. Answer - This work is just maintenance. Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) determines what can be improved academically. The school improvement plan addresses well being, achievement and equity. Update to follow on what we are doing next session. EQAO has gone from being run by a volunteer being paid $4000 to a permanent position being paid $140 000 yearly salary.
Crossing guard update, after meeting with Joe there is now a crossing guard at each corner nearby the school and there extras to step in if a crossing guard calls in sick. There is a new guard at Dufferin St. and Davenport Rd. School Council co-chairs met with Ana Bailao with other residents about dangerous crossing areas. New traffic calming signage has been added to the area. Dufferin St south of bloor to have a speed reduction to 40 kph. Because our school doesn’t front onto Dufferin, our signage requirements are not the same. Ana Bailao is going to bring in traffic calming measures on Dufferin St. to stretch from St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School south of Davenport Rd up to a school near Rogers Rd. Signs with flashing lights, monitors that display driving speed. There were questions about guardrails being installed, another meeting to come. For the crossing guard, Co-chairs had to call every day to Ana to finally get a guard placed at Dufferin St. and Davenport Rd. This area will be changing from 40 kph to 30 kph in residential areas now that Ana Bailao has taken over the ward. New traffic light being installed at Rosemount Rd on St. Clair.
Question - For the guard rails, what about clearing snow? Plow can barely fit on the sidewalk now. The school might need new snow removal abilities.
Question - Could the sidewalk on Dufferin St on the east side be widened? Since the area is not accessible, could that issue be withdrawn for guardrail installation?
Question - Requesting a traffic study, could new paint lines be made on Regal Rd. out front of the school? Could the school install a Kiss and Ride area?
Other updates - Kindergarten registration for new junior kindergarten students now open. Regal’s new Office Administrator (OA) has been injured in a bicycle accident, will be away until March break. More of kindergarten registration is now online, the only thing missing is proof of residency, birth certificate and immunization schedule. Those documents need to be brought into the school. Letters have been sent from TDSB to request immunization updates for some students. If information is not provided about students’ receiving immunizations, the student will be suspended.
School Council budget - the current numbers don’t include the cost of the new computers. Some money should be added in to the chart from pizza lunch funds.
Question - For the Scientist in the School, are funds for each teacher? Yes, the funds can only be used for science related activities. Classes that don’t do Scientist in the School have done other activities such as going to the Science Centre.
The OA is going through all of the budget and updating everything to be more accurate. QSP fundraiser - $2500 raised so far. PRO grant has been awarded to Regal - needs to be spent on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Scientist in the school is a great program, loved by the kids. Last year Arts Express did a great job working with the school, could be used again. They are local to the area. Not a lot of time to plan as grants were late to come in. Topics? Go on Arts Express website to check suggestions based on grade levels. Some are less involved than others. School Council will call to check for availability and dates. Also on STEM, Dot and Dash coding will be brought into a kindergarten class.
Spring fair - For game entertainment, there will be a reduction in games. A game that was a great success last year had students win a whole cake. That game can be done again this year. Some games are to be rented. There is also a Plinko board, and there will once again be a silent auction. Issue with last year’s silent auction, lots of items weren’t picked up.
Question - Last year there was an error with two different people winning the same item. Answer - Bids are done in class and online, there needs to be a dedicated person to run it. Bids were entered on both sites, confusing who won what.
Fundraising - New idea: Wine Survivor. It’s a no cost fundraiser - buy a bottle of wine to enter and also $20. Name picked each week, that person is kicked out, like the TV show Survivor. Winner and two of the runners up get percentages of the wine. All of funds go to the school.
Question - Need a liquor license? Answer - No, as no wine is served and bottles aren’t open.
Question - What schools have done it? Answer - Humewood Public School.
Question - Done with something other than wine? What about a Krispy Kreme fundraiser? Or samosas?
Question - For spring fair, can the school get a square for taking credit cards on phones or tablets? Answer - Yes. Maybe multiples? 2 or 3.
Lunch for teachers event was held on November 23, School Council made and served chili to the teachers. Now doing breakfast for teachers on March 5th. It will be a pancake breakfast. Need extra griddles, so that there can be different griddles for different dietary needs.
Meeting draws to a close.
School Council Meeting Minutes for November 20 2018
Meeting opens with Treasurer covering recent fundraising:
Movie night - funds broke even.
QSP - pending results of fundraiser.
Spirit wear - online store reopens November 22.
Mabel’s labels - new fundraising option, open all year.
Family photo - first time at Regal, all funds go to the school.
Pizza lunches - half of funds raised for the school year.
Halloween costume fundraiser - $358 raised for the school.
Curriculum night BBQ - $1000 raised, plans to do it again next year.
$17,500 on tablets & chromebooks for FreshGrade.
Money spent on learning resources will be receiving a detailed breakdown.
Mr Morris speaks - Progress reports out & interviews finished.
Remind people to keep eye on Regal Road weekly email and newsletters, collect more emails if not receiving letters. Section for School Council to be added to weekly email, opening line of communication.
Note about staffing, Clarisse, the former Office Administrator (OA) has left Regal. Replacement OA to be hired soon.
Parent question - does Senior Kindergarten have parent interviews? Answer - Classroom observation is offered rather than an interview.
Parent question - Should report cards be signed and returned? Answer - Yes. This way it is documented that a parent has received the report card. A second copy should come home after original is returned.
Vice Principal Chumfong comments on EQAO ( Education Quality and Accountability Office) test results - Grade 6 level. Reading and writing scores are slightly down but above board average and provincial average. Math results are struggling but above provincial. There’s work to be done to improve.
Parent question - Does data properly reflect for grade 6s that have never done testing before due to work to rule 3 years ago? Answer - Yes, could have impact.
Parent question - Do French Immersion students participate in EQAO? Answer - French Immersion students only participate in Math results in grade 3. French Immersion students participate in English section in Grade 6 as they take an English class then.
Parent question - Are there 71 students in grade 3 who participate in the testing? Answer - yes, there were 71 grade 3 students who were part of the test.
Grade 3s are struggling with reading and writing. Regal Road school was much smaller in 2013-2014 (the year with highest EQAO scores). School was then in the last wave of the move towards full day kindergarten. That year the School Board began a major push for improving reading and writing which might have benefitted the 62 students that year. Years previous to 2013-2014 had similar scores to years 2015+.
Reasoning for why Grade 3 results are lower. Support for struggling students starts in grade 3 and can affect testing. The government had wants more up to date methods for teaching, hence why they do the testing since they can’t control individual teachers.
EQAO has talked about changing the process of testing but that might be cancelled after the new Premier of Ontario was elected.
Acronyms connected with EQAO testing:
CCAT - Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test. Screening for grade 3s. Identify at-risk and gifted students.
IPRC - Identification, Placement, and Review Committee. Decides if child is exceptional and decides on placement, whether in a special class, or requires modifications for a learning disability.
IEP - Individual Education Plan
SST - School Support Team
Parent question - For CCAT testing, only a certain number of booklets in the class, not enough to go around to all students. Answer - School asked for more booklets but they weren’t provided. Next year should be better. Testing had to be rotated due to booklet shortage. Shortage shouldn’t have affected students as testing was timed.
Winter social - Formerly Festival of Lights. Music performance and potluck get together, eat beforehand as it’s more of a snack than a meal. This year there will be no changes to the format but there is the option for change next year. For next year, considering making it all desserts rather than dishes. For this year, hallway layout can be changed. Needs to be kept as zero cost so that no family feels they can’t attend. It’s a time to be together rather than raise funds. Entertainment will stay in Ms AC’s music room on the main floor. There isn’t enough food for everyone so this year food will not be available until 7pm. Watch your kids to make sure they don’t take too much, everyone should only approach food tables once.
Parent question - Can food be eaten in the gym? Doesn’t have to be in the gym but there should be a place to sit. Possibility of using tickets to prevent people from taking too many servings of feed? Answer - There will be no seating in the gym as there was too much of a mess left behind from movie night. There needs to be more pressure to clean before leaving.
Parent question - Can the food tables be kept in the two hallway wings? Answer - Possibly. Next year, give more indication in letter home for what families should expect. Don’t say anything about dinner, instead light refreshments. State that seating is minimal. Upstairs can be locked so that kids don’t mill around. Change wording to say finger foods. Food can be upstairs, file to the basement, tables in basement hallway. Cordon off as best as possible.
Parent question - There’s never enough space to see the music performance. How can there be more space? Can steel pans be moved? Half on the stage? Moved the the gym? How many performances can there be? Formerly empty the room? Answer - This subject will be put on agenda for spring meeting to redo next year.
Mr Morris - Technology purchases, council voted to spend $17,500 on tablets and chromebooks plus tech tubs for safe device storage. New technology will be teaching tools and for pilot project FreshGrade to use for digital portfolios and communication with parents. Spread across all grades but in 6 classes for pilot project. Every classroom now has more technology due to surplus funds from last year.
Teacher speaks - Frustrated that money is being put into technology rather than buying new sports equipment, fixing drinking fountains and fixing washrooms. Money should be put towards the children getting more exercise rather than technology.
Parent question - How many hours a week will students use the technology? Answer - That’s up to the teachers. There is a rolling cart with chromebooks that would be brought to classrooms when requested, for research purposes, that aren’t part of the FreshGrade pilot project. Can be used every few days. There is also a computer lab in library. We’re behind in technology compared to other schools. Other schools are already teaching coding. There is also Project Giveback about social justice. A way of using technology and create an app.
Parent question - Do the same projects have to be done over multiple years? Projects should be per grade, not to be repeated each year. The impact of the project is reduced once kids have done it the first time. Answer - That is difficult to control due to split classes. Can adapt and create new challenges for kids who’ve had to do it more than once.
Parent question - Is money best spent on technology? Kids are doing worse each year on testing. Last year money was spent on chromebooks but kids did worse rather than better. People are relying more on tutors.
Eco Schools - Regal is trying to fund a water bottle fountain. $3000 for new fountain. Water bottles are not allowed to be filled at school as they can only be filled in the washroom and it isn’t sanitary.
Parent question - Can there be a lunchroom reevaluation for basement? The possibility of renovating the basement to make it more usable? Answer - Not possible in our school. The school is too old and there isn’t enough money for such an extensive renovation.
Parent question - Is there sponsorship from vendors for water bottle filling stations? Answer - Yes, one can be added, hopefully another added years later. We can’t as a school try to purchase without going through an approved vendor.
Approach gym teachers to see what is wanted/needed for the gym. The Spirit Wear money is for gym teachers and they can use it as they please.
Teacher for room 17 has requested School Council funds for new canvases. The class will paint a new mural to replace an older torn mural. Murals are no longer painted directly on walls in case art needs to be taken down. School council votes in favour of supplying funds for canvases.
Parent question - Should art be redone more often rather than worry about canvases vs walls? Answer - Murals have to be removable.
Parent question - School Council meetings are under attended. Could there be a pub night fundraiser to gain new people to attend? Get people more interested in coming to meetings? Answer - Yes, this will be considered.
School Council Meeting Minutes for October 16 2018
School Council co-chair Stephanie Ayers begins the meeting by introducing herself, other School Council members follow suit.
Ms London Smith, teacher for room 13, presents Growth Mindset.
It is an approach that helps children use positive language to embrace growth and development rather than having a fixed mindset that discourages them from trying. Being smart is something you achieve through learning, not something you start with. Students are encouraged to use the idea of “..yet”. They might not have the skills they want in the moment, but it’s achievable through work and time. Students are guided to speak to themselves in positive terms and speak to their peers in the same way. Whiteboards are being added to classroom doors so that teachers can write encouraging messages to their students.
Principal Morris introduces FreshGrade, a new pilot program.
An app to help teachers and students document their work and projects through digital media. Parents are able to download the app so that they can view their child’s portfolio. Similar to platforms Seesaw and Google Classroom. FreshGrade is being brought in through the TDSB and is intended to make it easier for teachers to add in student information and work. The data is private and belongs to the TDSB. It offers more transparency to what happens in the classroom. 13 other schools in the region are also taking part in the FreshGrade pilot program. With the use of funds provided by School Council, the school will purchase Microsoft Galaxy tablets and Chromebooks so that the technology is available to students and teachers in the class. Six teachers at Regal Road have volunteered to be part of the pilot program, stretching from kindergarten to grade 6.
Parents are invited to ask questions.
Parent question: how is data stored? Mr Morris: Information is stored in the Cloud. Data is kept in each student’s portfolio, starting with JK until grade 12.
Parent question: where is digital work kept while in the process of being done? Is it in FreshGrade? Mr Morris: Work can be done on a number of platforms, such as Google Classroom, but final project is uploaded to FreshGrade.
Parent question: how can teachers afford the time to use the app on top of all their other work? Mr Morris: Teachers can choose how often they want to interact via the app. Whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly.
Parent question: how does this relate to social media? Mr Morris: FreshGrade is not related to social media, it’s through Trillium Web Elementary Achievement. The information is stored by Trillium.
Parent question: it feels like this is an invasion of privacy into the student’s life, taking away their choice to share or withhold information from their parents. The app offers too much control of parents over their children. Parents can use the platform to spy on their children, especially as it spans from JK to grade 12. A child should not learn to feel that it’s normal to have their lives viewed without consent. Mr Morris: Portfolio is not updated and accessed every day.
Parent question: how will teachers approach consent with use of photographs, both of students and group work. Mr Morris: FreshGrade is not used for monitoring and not used for discipline. It is used to assess students’ progress.
Parent question: how has TDSB paid for FreshGrade. Mr Morris: TDSB has paid for licensing.
Parent question: can parents opt out? Mr Morris: Yes, but the future is technology. Constructive use of the platform teaches how to use technology.
Parent question: will it be communicated to the parents and students before the pilot project begins? Can parents speak to the teacher before it begins? Mr Morris: Yes, the project could start next week but can’t commence until technology has been purchased. There’s not enough technology to grow at this point.
Parent question: what technology is required? Mr Morris: Chromebooks and Microsoft Galaxy tablets.
Parent question: before new technology is purchased for the students, it should be ensured that all teachers have working computers in their classrooms. Mr Morris: There was a surplus of $10,000 last year that is being put towards teachers classrooms.
This ends the questions related to FreshGrade.
Mr Morris addresses parents: watch for weekly blasts and emails. There are lots of extracurricular activities for the students, such a girls basketball, meatless mondays, finger knitting. October 24th is outdoor play, information will follow from Mr Murtaugh. The school is looking for donations of outdoor equipment so that students have more to play with at recess.
Vice Principal Chumfong addresses parents: are parents receiving weekly emails from her email address? Parent question: why do emails require downloading a file rather than being able to view the email? Ms Chumfong: TDSB is using a new platform. She will check if there is a way to change how emails are viewable.
Stephanie Ayers opens conversation about QSP fundraising drive. It is being done again this year because the drive brings in $5000 to the school and requires little effort from School Council to run.
Parent question: can it be replaced by other fundraising? QSP has the students focusing too much on prizes. Reply: School Council can seek new fundraising methods next year.
Parent question: Can School Council start doing a direct drive? Reply: if parents are asked to donate funds to a direct drive, then it makes it difficult for the school to do other fundraising activities as it asks too much of parents. With a direct drive, the school might have to give up the Spring Fair and Dance-a-thon. Regal Road is a 50/50 school where half the families are not in a place to donate money to the school. There are families who can’t afford to participate.
Stephanie Ayers: the school’s approach to QSP is to make it more about literacy and less about prizes. Students can contribute tongue twisters with a chance to read them over morning announcements. Students found reading are given badges. Everyone at the school receives a prize regardless of taking place in the fundraiser.
This ends the questions related to QSP.
Other announcements: Family photo night takes place on Tuesday November 20th. For $10, families can register online to come in to have a portrait taken. The next School Council meeting also happens on November 20th.
Winter Social celebration is scheduled for December 6th.
Parent question: is there anything that can be done about the crossing guard situation? The crossing guards are there one day then absent for days in a row, the person working as crossing guard keeps changing and seem nervous to be working in that position. Parents are worried for their children’s safety. Mr Morris: Toronto Police liaison Const. Skelhorne will be coming into the school, subject will be brought up with them.
Parent discussion: after upcoming election, Ana Bailao should be approached about Regal Road’s road safety. Previous discussion with Marit Stiles suggested that a traffic study could be helpful.
Parent question: EQAO results have come in. Reply: to be discussed next meeting.
The meeting draws to a close.
School Council Meeting Minutes for September 17 2018
Executive and Administrative Attendees: Natalie Stickle, Stephanie Ayers, Jessica Eylon, and Principal Michael Morris.
-Current council members introduced themselves
2. Update from the Administration – Michael Morris
-Special thanks to all school staff, especially caretakers
-Updates on summer construction: roof is almost finished; air conditioning is installed in gym, so library and gym are now cooling centres for school; just finished painting over the weekend; still waiting for field work and maybe some trees; updated hydro done because of new boiler system and because of AC
-Room B3 was redone and now we have a new classroom there, this is as a result of the PART process where we saw our growing numbers and saw we needed a new classroom; just waiting for a few cabinets that should be there mid-October; any remaining work will be done while there are no students in the school
-Just spoke to council co-chairs about a bit of reorganization – we were projected at 604 students and we have 579, so we are down a classroom and have to look at it and see what we have to do in terms of reorganizing staff and students to accommodate actual numbers
-A parent asked what reorganization means: Mr. Morris hasn’t given the full information to his staff yet but will update the chairs as they proceed (update: an email went out to all parents with details on Thursday, September 20)
2. School Council Positions
-Ideally we have a chair and or co-chairs, a secretary and a treasurer, plus general members, we can have up to 15 members total, as per by-laws
-Natalie asked if anyone had questions about positions
-Council received some nomination forms, mostly for general members, it appears some nomination forms were not received so Secretary Jessica Eylon and additional parent also self-nominated
-One parent self-nominated for co-chair, but there is a recommendation in the by-laws that a chair or co-chair must have sat on Council for at least one year previous to becoming chair/co-chair, so the parent is not eligible this year as she is new
-A parent asked how often the meetings are held: the monthly meetings are just the main meetings, sometimes the Council would get together before these Regal Road Parent Council – September 17, 2018
meetings and discuss and Spring fair has a few more meetings, maybe 3 additional in March-May
-We only need an election if there is more than one person running for an elected spot and since no one nominated themselves for Secretary or Treasurer, there is no election (update: Jessica Eylon will stay on as Secretary)
Co-Chairs: Stephanie Ayers and Natalie Stickle
Secretary: Jessica Eylon
General Members: Al Kratina, Nicole Dole, Niki Fotinos, Xiunelly Aguilar, Nathalia Marques, Adam Miller, Tallulah Hershorn
-This meeting is held by the previous year’s Council and the next meeting is the new Council, so the Chairs will chat with the new Council members and set the agenda for the next meeting
-Co-chairs explained what Council does as per attached agenda: Council will set up committees, we learned from last year that although people signed up for the arts committee, there wasn’t a lot of parental input, so one of the Council members will oversee the arts committee this year
-For Eco-schools Club, Stephanie has an idea for a teacher to participate and so does Mr. Morris – they will talk about it together
-Council noted that if you want to volunteer in the school and sit on the Council, you need a volunteer vulnerable sectors police check and the Council will cover the $20 cost if needed, anyone supervising students needs to have a check on file in the school office (ie. Chaperoning trips or volunteering in class or at sport events)
-If you already have had one done, you need to update it each school year with a declaration form, so all parents are invited to come into the Office and speak to Jennifer, Abi, Clarisse or Mr. Morris and do an offense declaration through the admin computers; if you are a TDSB employee, you probably already have a police check and can bring it to the office
-field trip in a week’s time, do all volunteers need police cheques, so teachers should ask for people that do and then we would ask another teacher to come if needed Regal Road Parent Council – September 17, 2018
-A parent mentioned that they have never seen it on a form for volunteering, but Mr. Morris said it’s on the materials going out this year (and other parents agreed they had seen it on forms last year)
-This requirement has always been policy but wasn’t strictly enforced previously, until last year when it was widely communicated to be necessary – the plan is to continue to enforce it this year
-Note that is the VSS for volunteers, not employees, and Council provided forms at the meeting and all parents were strongly encouraged to come to the Office to get the appropriate form rather than trying to request the check online (note is NOT the same as a criminal record check or background check)
-If you have had it done at a different school, the principal can have it transferred to here
-A parent explained that the police like to do one check for each specific need, rather than everyone just getting a blanket check that they can apply to any situation or institution and another parent explained that you need the form from the specific place that needs the record check – all to emphasize that parents should come to Office for form rather than applying online
-In addition to committees, there are events we need help with as listed in the attached agenda
-Spring Fair, largest event every May
-Pizza Lunch – Co-chair Stephanie will continue to be the key pizza person until 2020-21; needs someone to come in and run it after that – requires 1.5 hours day-of and 1 hour week before; this year with Mr. Morris’ permission she will get grade 6 to help run it as well
-Secretary noted that any parent that comes to volunteer can likely fit it in on a lunch break if you work full time – if you can take 1 hour 20 min lunch – you don't have to do anything to prep before hand – and you don't need a police check because you are not supervising the students – pizza day is the last Friday of every month
-Lunch Committee – hot lunch program has been in discussion for some years, reviewing it again this year
-Fundraising committee – organize fundraising efforts during the year and for following year
-Art committee, as discussed above
-Equity committee – brought forward by parent, will also be teacher involvement, new to Council, no mandate yet Regal Road Parent Council – September 17, 2018
-Family Photo Night is a new event this year: families will pay $10 and Edge imaging will take professional photos of your family and the Council will get all the money and families have a week to order prints on line (at additional cost, those proceeds going to Edge itself)
-Festival of Lights – discussion from parents who ask that the event be renamed because Diwali and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are all called festival of lights – discussion between Winter Solstice and Winter Social and vote taken, and event will now be called the Winter Social
-Parent asked if there ever been a suggestion to separate the performances from the eating event – specifically can we separate because it’s had to eat and watch performances – Can performances be in the gym? Maybe instruments cannot be moved - Does the AC work in winter? No, thermostat is centrally controlled but we could open door – further planning by committee will take these recommendations into consideration
-Halloween Costume Sale: first fundraising event this year, Allison Norman suggested it last year – doesn’t raise a bunch of money but it’s fun and it’s about recycling – sale is set and there will be bins in the foyer for costumes in the coming weeks and we need volunteers to help sort and price, also need volunteers to be there the day of the sale to help handle sales and money – the event will be 3:30pm t 6:00pm because it’s easier at pick up time because people have time and money
-New event is teacher appreciation pancake breakfast – set for March 6
-Fall BBQ with Curriculum Night is planned – Thursday, September 27 – from 5-6pm and then teacher presentations will be at 6pm and 6:30pm
-There may be order forms for the BBQ or it will be pay as your order day-of – there will be veggie dogs
-The Council and Mr. Morris offered a description of curriculum night: there will be another note that comes home about it, but Mr. Morris said there will be two presentations in each class – 6pm and 6:30pm and teachers will do spiel about what they are doing in terms of curriculum - they recognize that some parents have to do (at least) two rooms so they will do the same presentation twice - it’s all about what they are going to do this year, and Mr. Morris asked that parents please try and refrain from asking how your individual child is doing – kids are welcome to attend
-There will be an opportunity to talk about how your child is doing during parent teacher conferences in November
-A discussion took place about another possible even this year, a skate exchange – one parent volunteered to help do it – some parents thought November would be best or but one parent said January – possible winter jacket exchange as well, whatever is left over we could donate to a group that provides Regal Road Parent Council – September 17, 2018
skates to under-privileged kids – maybe November 20 for family photo night and sporting equipment exchange
-Also possible bike exchange – recommendation that a swap committee form – some parents interested
-This is in addition to the clothing bag exchange that is done by teachers but we can donate the leftover exchange stuff to that initiative as well
-Halloween Movie Night will be Thursday, October 18 – this is a break-even event – a parent asked that there be more quiet so movie can actually be seen (very challenging given number of people and acoustics in gym)
-One parent asked about parentlink (the old Council communication system): it was a old fan out system where a rep passed the email messages from the teachers and Council to parents in individual classes, it didn’t work because people didn’t sign up to be the class reps and there was very uneven distribution of information – two years ago, Council decided to use Mailchimp because when you’re emailing you can just email to a list, but some people had an issue using Mailchimp, so we will now ONLY be using School Connects which uses the school parent contact list – note that Council emails with come from Clarisse/school office
-Some parents asked about classroom communication technology for teachers and parents to communicate like Google Classroom – Council explained this is separate from their communication and Mr. Morris said there was a form for parents in certain classes regarding teachers using other classroom-setting media because there had to be specific permissions about who owns the rights at the end, also looking at a Fresh Grade in a pilot project with six classrooms
5. Meeting Dates
-Meeting dates are posted on the calendar on the Council website: http://www.regalroadschoolcouncil.org/home/school-calendar
6. Financial Report
-Proposed budget based off of previous years’ finances
-Note that the past few years, we have been in the negative so we need to either raise more funds or tone down our spending this year (the former is preferred)
-Last year, the Council took the magazine drive away, there had been some (not more than five) parent complaints, but we have decided we would rather have Regal Road Parent Council – September 17, 2018
the additional $5,000 in our budget, even though some parents have not been supportive of the fundraising method – one of the issues was that QSP was not TDSB approved, but now it is – other issues were with the prize incentives, so there will be changes this year, such as no advertising for the prize incentives this year – the kids will know about the prizes but it will only be the top prizes and everyone, regardless of sales, will get a small prize based on literacy – going to be an overall literacy focus on the prizes as well, rather than toys
-One parent explained that without prizes there might not be a lot of sales this year so we may not actually raise the $5,000 – we will see how it goes
-One parent asked if we could be specific about where the money is going to go in the school – Co-chairs are working on a flyer with Mr. Morris
-Also, each teacher gets funding for something they need for their class – a parent asked if there could be a report on what the teachers asked for and what they spend the money on – Council explained that the funds go through the office and they are reimbursed by the office – Mr. Morris said they could report on it
-Funding also goes to Scientists in the Classroom for every class
-A parent asked about artists in the classroom – Mrs. AC handles bookings but this year Council will provide more oversight - Stephanie said there wasn’t a lot of consultation last year and then the teachers signed up for what they want to do, so as stated above, we want the arts committee to have more oversight and this year we want to know about it before it’s all decided
-A parent asked if anyone reaches out to faculties of local universities, but it was explained there are lots of rules about what kind of performances are run – all have to be verified by the TDSB – usually universities who have outreach programs are already known
-TDSB has a partnerships and is always looking for new partnerships – have to make sure they have proper insurance and they have police checks
-Inner City Angels was proposed by teacher – might not cost anything – teacher recommended them and they did a great job
-Mr. Murtaugh announced the September Sept 28 Terry Fox Event – more community involvement – contact Stephanie to get involved
7. Other Business
-Secretary made a distinction between the official Council Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/regalroadschoolcouncil/) and the Regal Road Public School Parent Network, which is an informal private group unrelated to the Council, of which some Council members may participate in, but is not an official Council page Regal Road Parent Council – September 17, 2018
-One parent was concerned about details of events being posted on social media, especially class events as a teacher asked that details not be posted, this parent was also asking about school rules related to social media –Council will be aware of this and careful of official Facebook page, but we can’t necessarily control what is posted to the parent network page – overall, teachers wishes on the matter should be respected
Council Contact Information
2017-2018 School Year
School Council Meeting Minutes for June 21 2018
Attendees: Natalie Sickle, Stephanie Ayers, Jessica Eylon, Principal Michael Morris and Vice-Principal Cathy Chumfong
1. Spring Fair Update
-This year’s revenues were approx. $15,075.35 from Fair (not including the silent auction)
-The budget is missing the yearbook expenses, but they will be added soon
-Last year’s fair brought in about $24,000 in total and after expenses there was a net revenue of about $12,300; This year the Fair and silent auction brought in about $19,000 and there were $8,000 in expenses, for a net revenue of $11,000
2. Next Year’s Fundraising
-We had a discussion about direct drive – aim is to start it in September and if it doesn’t work out then we will do something else for fundraising later in the year
-Idea for direct donation is to choose a target item or items – Jessica brought up monkey bars, but they are not a safe choice – another idea is cart for activities for recess – we can ask Mr. Khalsa and try to provide support for one of his ideas, perhaps something to get the girls more involved in sport at recess
-Also discussion about having some house leagues in addition to the advanced competitive teams – this is a conversation that Mr. Morris is having with Mr. Khalsa and Mr. Murtaugh
-Agreement that it would be good to have buy-in from other teachers to help with house league and other lunch activities
-A parent asked Cathy to list the available activities in the newsletter
-Next year, Stephanie is going coordinate a spirit day every month, ie. Funny hat day
-Other possible items for fundraising goal:
reading program (two teachers have ideas about this)
book club idea
laptop cart, 30 laptops
Fresh Grade – like SeeSaw, a database for teachers that gets all their students and parents online and it acts like a portfolio for each student and the class and teachers can go online and take pictures and they can communicate with home, can also be used for assessments and evaluation – some of this already in place for some classes but next piece is we need the hardware to use for it, Mr. Morris reported we currently have 6 teachers involved and we will need to get iPads for the younger sets and class sets for the groups that are using it
laptops for our teachers – discussion about how many classes do not have projector, how many don’t have laptops – lay out a plan for the school for the year that includes technology but also a focus on reading
(Note: we don’t want to take away from our class trips and other annual funded items)
3. Admin Update
-Almost done staffing, still full day kindergarten to staff as of the meeting date and one LTO for a 1/2 FI class because we have a teacher coming back in January
-There will be construction over the summer – hydro upgrade over entire school (one week), our roof is being redone (2 weeks, weather dependent) – note that it is not liquid asphalt but a different method – work either starting July 3 or July 9; AC unit above gym starting July 3 – will turn gym into cooling centre; new trees planted beside the blue climbers and some work on field to build in some drainage; basement room B3 will be a classroom – deadline for all work is August 17 – if there is a delay, Mr. Morris will be communicating to parents
-On June 20, the PART for Regal Road was approved so it will be going forward
-Mr. Morris reported that the climbers were checked out and they are fine for next year
-The annual volunteer tea was well attended the other day
-Discussion about acknowledging a “caregiver day” in place of Mothers or Fathers day
-Grade 6 graduation is June 27
-Admin offered a big thank you to the council for their work this year
4. Parent Reaching Out Grant
-Council has submitted an application for funding for a math and science evening for parents and kids together – something like Scientists in the School or the UofT Engineering program
5. First Meeting in September
-Council needs a succession plan
-Need to set curriculum night
-Need to have officers elected 30 days into the year
School Council Meeting Minutes for April 18 2018
Executive in Attendance: Jessica Eylon, Natalie Stickle, Sharm Patel and Stephanie Ayers
1. Administrative Report – Principal Michael Morris
-Announced musical for primary grades – Rats – no dates yet
-Lots of sports teams are practicing and competing this time of year
-New meatless Monday cooking group has started
-Field trips going on through to the end of the year
-Scientists in the School happened this week and a resident artist has been here
-There are lots of community meetings this week – PART on Monday, French Immersion Pathway on Tuesday, Council tonight and Ward Forum tomorrow night (with Shelley Laskin and Marit Stiles)
-Mr. Morris then presented slides (not public) regarding allocation to give an understanding of what admin goes through with regards of staffing for next year, starts with Board giving projected enrolment numbers for next year, ie. 76 JKs, 79 SKs (inc. 57 FI), 67 GR1s, etc.
-Staffing allocation then based on those projections for next year, so next year the Board gave us 34 full-time-equivalents (FTE) for hiring teachers, given to us with clear guidelines in terms of what our staffing model needs to look like
-The model currently includes: 4 English Full Day Kindergartens (FDK), 2 FI SK, 6 classes for grade 1-3 English and FI, noting that grades 1-3 have to be capped at 20 students, plus there are two grade 3-4 combined classes with 23 students in each, and finally 3 classes each for FI and English grades 4-6
-There staff allocated for additional support for grades 4-8 in the Board’s allocation and this can be a support or resource teacher; brief explanation about how schools are numbered starting at 1 based on socioeconomic need with 1 the lowest end and in most need, and since we are 334, we get no additional funding for any extra staff
-Allocation includes 4.95 FTE for resource teachers, ie. SP 0.5, HSP and SPECED 1.5, 0.5 ESL, 0.5 Library, etc. (no specifics given in terms of who will be hired)
-After Board allocated staff, the admin and staff team got together and put together models to see what they want it to look like next year, then the Principal allocates the teachers to classrooms, depending on vacancies, and there are three rounds when teachers are allowed to look for other jobs if they want go outside the school Jessica Eylon – Secretary Regal Road Parent Council – April, 2018
-In the model Mr. Morris showed for next year, it was noted that one FDK English class may have only 15 students because there is not enough ECEs allocated to even out the students across all the classes (only 3 ECEs allotted and we have 4 classes)
-All teachers are now aware of their posting for next year and Mr. Morris thinks about 90% got one of their first three choices that they requested, but he will not share the teachers’ assignments with parents at this point
-Next piece is to assign kids to classes and in terms of class placements, the process is to sit with staff and discuss placements based on different reasons, like balancing gender, balancing achievement, considerations of childrens’ relationships with each other (positive or negative), etc. Special note: If there is any realignment it takes place at the end of September and that will only be because of numbers (rarely happens).
-EQAO tests will take place the last week of May and first week of June – Mr. Morris reminded parents that it’s a valuable piece of data but it is only ONE piece of data – when we look at the student overall as a whole child, test score is only one piece; the scorsd can be used to help guide teaching next year (the data is unpacked here by staff in October), but it’s a snapshot of a couple of days of testing, in other words, if you are judging your school on the EQAO scores, you might not want to do that since it’s just one piece of data
-Council Chair noted that our grade 6s have never taken an EQAO test because teachers were on work-to-rule when they were in grade 3
-Parent asked 2.0 staff allocated to special education – what are the two types of special education teachers? Mr. Morris said they are not really different, but the 0.5 HSP serves junior students only; same parent also asked about split classes – is there an effort to place students so they are not always in the lower or higher grade? Mr. Morris said it depends on discussions with staff when placing students and that the combined grades allow them to separate students that need separating
-Parent asked if there is a change to music or gym staffing? Mr. Morris noted that the Co-chairs can share further details about the resource teachers at another time – it is separate from the staffing model
-Parent asked about the FI 3-4 split class in terms of introducing English for the grade 4s in that class - Chair said that the teacher teaches grade 4s while grade 3s do something different
-Parent asked how it was decided to have two straight grade 3 classes? Mr. Morris explained that it’s based on numbers and how they have to split up classes to make the cap of 20; he noted they could have had all combined classes, but this was the model chosen – it also depends on what staff are looking for and they all choose the model that everyone would like Jessica Eylon – Secretary Regal Road Parent Council – April, 2018
2. Lunch Room Issues
-Following up regarding Toronto Star article, Chair gave background on ongoing lunch issues: last year the Council formed a lunch committee because all 400 students in grades 1-6 ate at the same time; Chair visited another school and saw how they piggybacked lunches and that’s the system we put in place this year - two lunches with half students in each – worked hard on that change last year and this year the noise seems to be the issue
-Chair read all the Facebook posts before the meeting and therefore proposed a new committee be formed to recommend proposed changes going forward
-Chairs provided some key information: We cannot have students supervising and also, since the teachers are unionized and so are lunch room supervisors, and the teachers are firmly behind collective agreements, parent supervisors would not be allowed in this unionized environment because of the appearance that they take unionized jobs
-One parent was upset in general about teachers at the school - doesn’t think they are putting in full effort and commented that it would be better if less were staying (in reference to Mr. Morris’ comment that 90% were given their preferred placement)
-Parent commented that point of article was not to make changes at local level but to push at a higher level for change – we can discuss things that might work, but we should look at the bigger picture – what can happen, who can make changes
-Chair returned to list of things that cannot be changed and what actually can be done: Cannot change union issues, but can put committee together to do something; teachers have gotten together to put a plan in place – they have guidelines and they are going over with them with the kids in their classes, we have to go to the kids to help them solve the problem, and let the teachers join in; recently, on Friday, everyone was eating inside and it was calmer than usual even with all 400 students eating together for indoor lunch, so there has already been some improvement
-Chair reported she has talked to kids and that we have to give the admin and school a chance to make a difference first before we can go higher anyway – also the Chair noted that there is an issue with garbage, as well as an issue with disrespect to supervisors, advises that parents come to the meeting tomorrow night to talk to ward leaders
-One parent commented that we do need more money
-Parent highlighted funding issue for public schools – that we are putting in 25% more funding, but what are the kids getting in return? Where is the money being allocated? Jessica Eylon – Secretary Regal Road Parent Council – April, 2018
-Parent noted that we have an archaic funding formula and the number of supervisors for 100 kids is not working, but also noted we can’t put the weight on the Council to come up with solutions
-Chair agreed that we can’t change funding but we can come up with solution for our school
-Parent indicated that local changes hadn’t had an effect in the past 30 years
-Other parent indicated that is has also been an issue across the province for 30 years
-One parent asked what teachers think: Chair reported that last year the teachers were angry because the lunch change was change they didn’t want to deal with it – but the Chair persisted and got the teachers on board by being loud enough
-Mr. Morris added that the teachers have been out getting petitions signed to change the funding formula as well, they are also on board with admin to look at things that we can change like walking our students down to the lunch room and possibly flipping the primary and junior for next year and giving more recess time at beginning and end of lunch; he also noted that he and VP are downstairs at lunch when they are in the building; looking at positive awards for students; see that majority of noise coming from primaries, so looking at an award for table of the month, etc; he noted that in 11 years as an administrator, this is the best lunch room he’s seen
-A parent asked for process for lunch clarified: teachers go out at beginning of lunch then supervisors take over for lunch room, then more teachers outside after each lunch
-A parent asked about noise reduction or sound protection? Is this possible?
-Chair explained that if we did it ourselves, it would be about $1000, but any changes have to be done through TDSB, so process would take more than a year and a plan would have to be submitted to the Board and it would be a lot more money than $1000 – Mr. Morris commented it could come from school budget but Council clarified that doing so would take away funding from other things
-Parent asked for fundraising rules: we could fundraise for this because it is an addition not an improvement – Mr. Morris said if we are having other work done anyway, perhaps we could add this on; he said through the PART process, part of the issue is that we are running out of space but we have one class downstairs, B5, and it was retrofitted 2 years ago; classrooms have to be about 750 sq ft and we have lunch room 3 that is not used as our lunchroom and he has asked that part of the boundary change process include the renovation of this room to bring it up to speed as a classroom (ie a music room); so if we are doing that work can we throw in part of that as noise cancelling tiles – no guarantees that this would be possible, but he would try Jessica Eylon – Secretary Regal Road Parent Council – April, 2018
-A parent asked about supervision issues – We can’t we use Council funds to hire additional people but can’t we have parent volunteers? In essence, you would be doing the job of a lunch room supervisor – Executive explained difference between scheduled work and intermittent volunteers (ie. For class trips)
-We currently have 4 supervisors – 2 with primary and 2 with junior – our numbers are at limits in terms of ratio - up to 120 students per supervisor – based on archaic formula when kids went home for lunch
-A parent asked the question: why can’t we hire more supervisors? Board funding based is on ratios; Fix Our Schools (non-profit group) had idea from other school, suggested kids eating outside – not sure of logistics of supervision, in this example, they found kids could eat with their friends, take their time, etc.
-Mr. Morris noted that the only con is the job to clean the field unless we had students ready for boomerang lunches – part of the lunch room issue, including from input from students, is regarding the mess and is for students to take responsibility for themselves – can they be responsible enough to clean up after themselves and not go where they are not supposed to be – Mr. Morris believes it's a discussion that parents and teachers may have with students at the beginning of year but everyone should take time to do it throughout the year – SK teachers could help students transition
-One parent though transition was a good idea, have grade 1s in the first week go over the lunch room and what they do and where they sit, etc., reminders on the wall, etc.; boomerang or litterless lunches – try to connect to Ecoschools program
-Chair reported that we were a platinum school for Ecoschools and we used to not have garbage cans in the lunch rooms to encourage boomerang lunches
-Chair also reported that kids have gone outside at pizza day and they do well
-A parent commented that Ms AC had bins for recycling, etc, and green bins, but for some reason we don’t have them anymore – Council can work on that this year with kids from the eco club because they used to sort garbage as well
-A parent talked about kids taking about what they can do – involving kids around leadership – is there a way to pull in the older grades to help the younger ones to help model lunch room behavior?
-Also discussed the use of the gym as a lunchroom – it’s not a bad option and it’s been considered for pizza lunches, but then we are taking away our lunch time sports in the gym
-Mr. Morris is in discussion with gym teachers and looking forward to next year, seeing if we can change focus to house leagues to offer opportunities to our younger students to allow then to have time in the gym at lunch Jessica Eylon – Secretary Regal Road Parent Council – April, 2018
-A parent asked how does that would impact lunch and it was explained that the students would eat in lunch and then do activity thus removing some kids from the lunch rooms
-Mr. Morris reported that we also have a number of things at lunch – about 30-40 go to library and read at lunch time, other kids go to music rooms, kindergarten teachers eat with kids, and these all take kids out of the lunch room – all on teachers’ volunteer time – kids start lunch programs themselves
-So, plan is to start a committee to see what we can do here locally, while at the same time lobbying for change to the people who can affect change (ie. ward meeting)
-A parent pitched Fix Our Schools and encouraged parents to sign up for their mailing list so they can distribute information
3. Danceathon Update
-Chair explained that kids dance during their period, some of the teachers found it a distraction for little kids – going to work on it for next year to improve it for next year for little ones
-Made $5,900 (or $4000 – revenue under review); DJ already booked elsewhere for date of Spring Fair so looking into other options
-Numbers will change slightly if there is difference in revenue for Dance-a-thon
-We will make less money this year than usual, but we knew that because we did not do QSP
-We are not doing raffle this year: why? We have to license it and it is so much extra work and time and we have to pay for things specifically out of the raffle account and the reporting is very tricky and we have to use the money for only what we allocated it for, so our money isn’t locked to one thing – Council decided we would rather be down $3000 and find another fundraising avenue, we also had to spend $1000 to sell the amount of tickets than we did – we made more money on silent auction last year and was easier and so all donations will go to the silent auction
-Discussion about fund allocation
-Next year we will also have a direct drive fundraising initiative
5. Spring Fair – May 31 and rain date is June 6
-We had some meetings and some things we are doing differently: no cotton candy made but we are selling it (prepackaged cotton candy) and have it as part of a carnival food cart, no prize table (prizes based on game), class baskets for Jessica Eylon – Secretary Regal Road Parent Council – April, 2018
silent auction, international food table is something we hope to build up this year – each class with be asked for specific items and given standard pan sizes, kids crafts (ie. Kindergarten kids are making crafts to sell at fair such as painted pots or kids can pay to paint a pot at the Fair), chili competition, recipe sharing was another idea, but it would be too work intensive
-Council open to any ideas to inspire people to bring food, cake game is another idea (NB: following the time, a parent shared information about the historical term “cake-walk” and due to this negative historical connotation, we have changed name of event to musical cake game)
-One parent worried that parents won’t have time to prepare food – Council explained that we previously scrapped the idea of an international food table and we were going to have food trucks but we would not make any money and it was challenging logistically
-A teacher asked if there was a committee for the Fair – there is
-Council explained that we are primarily using Mailchimp and NOT parent-link to communicate
-Parent suggested we could bring in local businesses to participate and have tables at the fair – Council encourages parents to let us know if you can coordinate this type of participation with local businesses
-Meeting is Tues April 24 at DeSotos 7pm
-One parent – Catherine - does the yearbook – she needs help – and there is a list of people needed to help
-Need a photographer to come in and take pictures – if you know a photographer that could take pictures of our clubs, that would be great
-Spread word to parents that are not here and an email will go out to parents – there are posters as well
-If you have photos, you can share them via email
7. Accommodation Reviews
-Co-chairs Natalie and Stephanie are the Council reps on PART, public meeting on Monday
-All of the information is online and if you are in the school now, it doesn’t affect you, unless you have a baby that is coming in after your older child leaves
-Not a huge change but will alleviate some of the population pressure in the school in the future Jessica Eylon – Secretary Regal Road Parent Council – April, 2018
-Students will go with their cohort from here to Winona
-Slides on TDSB website, the meeting was positive on Monday
-You can email feedback before meeting next Tuesday when we have to say that it’s time to move on with the plan
-A parent commented that looking at Regal Road, it looks like we are still in deficit, so how is that being addressed?
-The Chairs noted that it was going to initially not grandparent siblings and it would have made a bigger impact, but through their predictions, looking at 2027, there would be 700+ students here and that cannot happen – could also mean program changes, ie not having music in classroom, etc are needed in the future – one parent did not have issue with losing large music room
-Other change is the pathway change for FI, come 2020, instead of going from Regal Road from Winona to Harbord, they will go from Winona to Oakwood
-The other change is a board-wide French review process, starting May 1, with May 1 and May 3 meetings, review of all French learning in TDSB – http://www.tdsb.on.ca/Community/Public-Consultations/French-Review
-Secretary asked if the number projections take into account people who will leave in anticipation of the boundary changes – these are unknown
8. Memorial Hockey Stick Donation
-Following tragic accident, we are going to collect hockey sticks line them up in front of school and the donate them to a foundation that helps kids in need – parents asked how was the accident discussed with the younger grades – Mr. Morris said we did a jersey day and some teachers spoke about it and he knows in one of the classes they got into an in depth discussion led by the students – Chair encouraged parents to ask child’s teacher
-Donate sticks to where the clothing drive was
9. PRO Grant – April 30 6-8pm
-Arts Express will come to do a workshop for parents to tackle anxiety and stress through arts and mindfulness
School Council Meeting Minutes for February 8 2018
Executive: Jessica Eylon, Natalie Stickle, Sharm Patel (regrets from Stephanie Ayers)
1. Michael Morris – Introduction and Welcome
-gave a bit of background and welcomed all parents to reach out to meet him and to create a partnership
2. Visit from Marit Stiles
-Marit welcomed Mr. Morris
-She explained this was an unplanned visit today but she wanted to touch upon planning, space planning for the future and the increase in school population
-Overview: board is aware of the population pressure on the school and it’s an issue that comes up with all her meetings with superintendent and board, it’s still premature to say that we are heading into a process yet, but we are close to starting something preliminary – the solution for this type of situation is boundary changes (the only other option is program changing and that would not be preferred); so there are preliminary meetings with other schools that might be affected with shifts, then a look at overall landscape, then the board would come forward with a recommendation and there would be a meeting where school councils have representatives from each of the schools that are affected, there is one public meeting and then after there is a vote from the board and principals --- -Marit wants us to know that she is aware that the pressure is being felt right now but there doesn’t seem to be any other solutions here (ie. finding more space within the school), so if the process seems like it’s taking too long, we could get someone to come and speak to the parents about how it all works
-Mr. Morris announced he would communicate whenever he has information or updates and he will work to get the word out
-Marit commented that for current students it is very unusual to move kids from their current school to a new school when boundaries change, so it would be unlikely and she will push hard so that all the students here and (hopefully) siblings will be grandfathered, but the longer the space issue goes on, the worse it will become and the risk of having to move current students will increase
-She knows it will be difficult because there are community expectations about attending specific schools
-There wouldn’t be a new school, but there are schools that have room, but they have to project into the future too and the TDSB planners work with the city planners Jessica Eylon – Secretary Regal Road Parent Council – March 21, 2018
-For example, there may be schools like Carleton Village and General Mercer with space now, but even a school like Carleton Village now has French Immersion and so their room will become limited in the future
-Parent asked if there will be parental committee? Marit said parent council reps sit on the committee, so approx. one person from each school will be involved
-Parent asked if the boundaries are related to the city adding councils? Marit said no, this is about changing the school’s boundaries, but trustee boundaries have been redrawn as well, but that’s separate
-Parent asked about immediate space crunch, is there the option to move grade 6 out of the school? It depends on how fast the process can get going – 90% capacity is not the worst status in city, some are at 145% capacity, but we can’t go that big because we can’t have portables; right now we are 587 students (down 9 from beginning of year), but JK registration starts next week; it was noted that because we will grandfather certain groups, the change in population won’t be immediate, but it could mean smaller incoming JK classes
-Marit said 90% capacity is about where the province wants a school population and there is usually not pressure to change boundaries until we are at a higher capacity, but issue here is that when there is a blip increase in popoulation there is no means of putting them in a portable as a temporary solution
-Parent commented that the fear is that the population will grow and there will then be no where to grow, so ideally it would be best to be a slightly smaller population to accommodate our students better
-Mr Morris said that SK French Immersion once again has a wait list because of the number of applicants
-Parent asked how full the Catholic school is across the street is, and Marit said that what we are seeing is that Catholic schools are losing students while TDSB schools are growing with demographic changes
-Parent was concerned that for grade 5 classes with 35 kids, this seems too full and was also concerned there is a classroom in the basement; Marit clarified that what the province sees as a good % of capacity is not the same as what we experience; another parent thought there was a cap on number of students, but Mr. Morris explained what the cap numbers are and that they are board wide so they are averages across schools
2. Ukulele Class
-Ukelele Kids did a presentation on their programming
-it is a non for profit organization for kids that provides a lunch program in schools that uses a gym, lunch room, etc. Jessica Eylon – Secretary Regal Road Parent Council – March 21, 2018
-It’s been around since 2010 and offered across Canada
-Starts in SK so that kids can start and even little kids can hold ukuleles and play them
-Successful with kids, especially up to grade 3, but can go up to grade 8
-Lunch program and sometimes after school,
-Fully permitted by the Ministry of Education
-Everybody who works there has a the VSS police checks
-All teachers are musicians and also teachers, they offer a range of skill levels
-Kids can practice and present for talent shows or concerts, courses are 8,9,10 weeks
-Parent asked about class sizes? Not less than 10, average is 40-80 kids per school
-To pitch the program, they usually ask for 15 minutes to present to the kids, flyer goes home with kids with dates and cost, and then they gauge how successful the program will be – ideal class size is 15-20, after that they add another class (either sharing the space, using two rooms, or two different dates of the week), class is one day per week for one hour
-First day the kids get the instrument and they eat lunch together with the class, so classes would be 55 minutes here to match school lunch hour
-Kids can bring their own instrument and they help them tune them and they put dot stickers on to help them learn, they sell ukuleles for $40, they are not lent out though, so either bring one or buy one
3. Vulnerable Sector Check
-Mr. Morris updated us about the policy for vulnerable sector checks and explained that he was talking to staff recently about his own liability and how from his perspective, it's a simple solution and process to get police checks
-He emphasized that we need volunteers and the policy states that if you are going to supervise students you need a police check, and if you are in the school on a regular basis, you need a police check
-He realized recently that some (or many) volunteers do not have their police checks
-He explained that the form is simple, you fill it out, send in the money, it’s $20 and if you can’t pay, the school or school council will pay for you; the money goes to police services and the police serves runs a check and then the check Jessica Eylon – Secretary Regal Road Parent Council – March 21, 2018
comes back to the parent and then it has to go to the central office and you are registered as a volunteer
-Once your police check is on file from then on you have to annually check off an offence declaration, ie. whether there has been an offence since the police check; staff already do this yearly
-He explained that for field trips, there are ratios: kindergarten is 1 to 10, and everyone else is 1 to 15, so a class with 35 students, 3 volunteers have to be able to supervise, over and above that people can volunteer (ie without a check) but they cannot supervise
-It was clarified that the vulnerable sector polic chek is not the same as the basic police check you can do online; one parent asked for information to be sent out with proper information on which check is required and also asked if you can use one you may have for work at the school
-The Board needs to see original document, so you would have to bring them that
-Council asked if we can expedite them internally? Mr. Morris will sign them quickly, but we cannot change the processing time
-Until this practice is applied widespread, Mr. Morris said we will do our best to use people who already have police checks and he is willing to spend money to send another teacher on a trip so that we follow the policy for supervisors
-Parents asked if parents who don’t have a check will still be able to attend trips? Mr. Morris stated that he values the experience of trips and he’s not going to take them away at this point
-Mr. Morris also addressed educational partnerships, for example Ukulele Kids is not an educational partnership yet, so he’s not going to give out spaces at lunch for programs that kids have to pay for when there’s free programs that could be using the space and giving access to everyone
-He will be examining the list of current programs to make sure they are approved appropriately and that they do have police checks and $5,000,000 liability – he will be examining all of this
-So, if you are volunteering, fill out the form right away
-The Council noted that the Spring fair does not fall under this policy, it’s after school and not TDSB
-In the short term, pizza lunch volunteers can continue but will need them in the future Jessica Eylon – Secretary Regal Road Parent Council – March 21, 2018
-A parent was concerned that we want volunteers but sees this is massive cash grab for the police and feels forced, and asked why don’t we ask for the money from the province
-Other parents expressed that they want to make sure that their kids are with someone safe
-Mr. Morris repeated that if you cannot or don't want to pay for it, the school or council will pay for it
-New parents will be informed at registration and the form will be in package of materials
-Admin will look into how current work checks can be applied to TDSB
4. School Cash Online
-Council chair announced that School Cash Online is ready to accept payments online so it’s a new option to pay for things, for example, the Danceathon will be online and a donation of more than $25 will get a tax receipt but you will still get papers and the envelope home – note that you don’t have to use the dance company’s online system, you can use School Cash Online
-To pay for Danceathon, select school council then danceathon
-We will also use online payments for the spring far
-Once you sign up for cash online, you will also get email notifications if there are new online options
-Pizza lunch will be online for the second half of the year
-Co-chair noted that some expenditures have not been added yet to the budget report
-Council also noted that the raffle is not on the Spring Fair revenue since we are not doing it this year, but we can replace it with another item to sell, ie. flowers and bulbs, but still to be debated and may not be the same $3500 in revenue that the raffle drew in
-Co-chair also noted that because we did not do QSP and the raffle, we are down in terms of revenues
-As explanation, the amount of work for the raffle and the cost for printing were outweighing the $$ made, ie the silent auction was a bigger earner last year and less work
-Next year we will do direct drive donation in fall to replace the raffle and target it at a specific project – ie. Computers are a big ask right now – Mr. Morris Jessica Eylon – Secretary Regal Road Parent Council – March 21, 2018
explained that the Board is offering refurbished laptops right now at a comparable price as chromebooks
-Parent asked about library computers and maybe they could be upgraded
-One parent thought a direct drive for the spring fair would be fine – could be to honour the end of the year, to reward the teachers, the graduating classes, or a specific class or teacher
-Another suggestion was to divert some funds to a social justice cause
-Mr. Morris sad some kids wanted to run a bakesale and he asked if the spring far could have a bake sale table for Me-to-We
-Another suggestion was to bring a canned food donation for a free ticket a the spring fair
-Parent asked how computers would be used and by which grades – a teacher requested them for the older grades so their students could use them to do research and write reports
-Question about how would older kids get access- they are on carts and classes share them
-Mr. Morris notes that technology is an area where the school needs to spend money and they have just put in a request for eight more wireless hubs an we are spending money on that and we want to buy more technology; his other goal is to get each teacher a laptop and data projector, it’s a long process because technology is expensive, ie. a cart with 30 laptops is $10,000
-The admin is doing their best to get more teachers to be comfortable using technology and their goal is to get teachers using the technology – but the admin cannot force them to use it
-Ms. Chumfong emphasized that they are both very comfortable with technology so we will see changes in the school
-The event is Feb 27 and the kick off was on Wednesday – some papers will be coming home his week
-We will also get word out through the parent listserve (MailChimp)
7. Spring Fair
-Other than raffle, we will not be changing much
-The issues last year were: international food table and bake sale did not have enough items, prior to last year, the international food table was successful but last year there was not enough food, it’s a good alternative to pizza and BBQ Jessica Eylon – Secretary Regal Road Parent Council – March 21, 2018
-We didn’t have an organizer last year or the year before, so we would like a volunteer for this year and another idea was to get classes to take ownership of the food table as well so that each class is responsible for some dishes for the food table – we will also be using a standard size foil pan that parents can pick up to use to bring their donated dish
-Parent asked how many classes there are - 26 classes
-Suggestions to break up baskets and food table items between the classes
-Another idea was a cookbook or recipe book – could be online – could be a contest, or we could also change our approach to festival of lights – like make it a themed event
-Council also volunteered to provide funds to buy food to cook for spring fair
-Question is how can we get more volunteers? Maybe harness the Facebook group membership
-Mr. Morris volunteered for a dunk tank
-Date of Fair is May 31
-Parent said asking for specific help would make it easier – maybe on the signup list have a room number so we can say at least one person from each class – ask for at least three from each class
-We are not doing cotton candy because it takes all day, premade cotton candy may work, or snow cones, candy apples, etc. (some parent were still interested in making cotton candy but there are logistics issues)
-Request to post better schedules all over the fair an to sell wristbands ahead of time
8. Admin Updates
-Staffing process has started already for next year
-Data verifications have been received from staff and next it goes to Board and then there is a seniority list prepared and that determines who will be back and then they are bound by that to staff accordingly
-Mr. Morris will try to keep us up-to-date, whether through email or newsletters or parent council, the process of how we come up with teachers and where they are and what they do in the building occurs between March and May, but nothing is confirmed until the rounds of teacher transfers go through
-He thanked us all for the welcome he’s received Jessica Eylon – Secretary Regal Road Parent Council – March 21, 2018
-Parent asked if council rep is on staffing committee, and Mr. Morris said that in other roles he’s had a separate meeting with Council but they did not attend the actual panning meetings
-Parents noted that lights were out in the front and side when they picked up kids at night time (it seems they are set on a timer for when it gets dark later in the evening, e. 8pm); parent also reported that toilet paper is often missing in upper washrooms and the Principal will mention it to the after hours caretakers
-There is a meeting next week about fire system and heating systems to go over deficiencies – goal now is to bring rest of the building to code with the new systems, like old windows, but new windows means planning a construction schedule and finding the right time and budget (ie. summer construction is more expensive)
-A parent asked for clear, consistent, communication from admin and more engagement from teachers
-One parent noted a positive change already
-Current staffing issues were briefly discussed and Mr. Morris explained how certain long-term leave situations may be dealt with, it is a great concern of his because he who wants to staff the school with the best possible teachers he can find
School Council Meeting Minutes for November 15 2017
Executive: Sharm Patel, Jessica Eylon, Stephanie Ayers, Natalie Stickle
1. Michael Eisen from the Youth Wellness Network did a parent-focussed presentation about his book, his coaching, and mindfulness, including a meditative exercise for the parents
2. Budget Update
There was nothing changed to report in the budget.
Member of the fundraising committee were to meet immediately following the Council meeting.
3. Dates – meetings and other activities
The dates for the Council meeting are available in the Google Calendar in the Council website. http://www.regalroadschoolcouncil.org/home/school-calendar
The Festival of Lights will be Thursday December 7.
All the dates for remainder of the Council meetings are set: Feb 8, Apr 18, June 13.
There may be other committee meetings before the next Council meeting.
4. Administrator Update
Principal Brenner gave the following update:
-Director’s vision: there are three vision components for whole TDBSB: Wellness, Equity and Student Achievement
-School Improvement Plan: Principals and VPs are going to meetings and retreats, ongoing PD related to the three components
-Wellness: Jesse and Michael working with students and teachers
-There is a committee of teachers to come up with wellness initiatives throughout the year, asking what can we do to ensure wellness for everyone in the school?
-Achievement: a learning coach is working with teachers looking at the data from the EQAO and seeing we need to improve our math skills; the learning coach is working on the math skills to work on strategies they would like to see in the class and collaborative inquiry is the main component throughout all the skills
-Collaborative inquiry is understanding questions stemming from the students – any subject that is being delivered to the students would be through problem solving and they should inquire – so the questions should come from the 2
students and then are what is interesting to the students – learning coach is training teachers to engage with students regardless of the subject
-Equity: is the third component and there was recently an article in the Star about equity; umbrella going top down to engage the students and asking what does equity look like in the classroom? Instead of excluding the students who are not engaged we start with the students who are not engaged – if we are only teaching to the privileged kids, then that is inequitable – wellness and equity go hand in hand – that’s the philosophy and question is how to incorporate it in the classroom to reduce the mental health issues like anxiety
-The vision will take time to materialize, not one day or even six months
-In coming year, grade 1 will not have HSP – home school program for kids with special needs – resource teacher supports the HSP kids and normally the kids will go from their classroom to the HSP classroom – this type of program is being phased out because the HSP program is not successful in reintegrating students – each year they are going to phase in one grade, next year is grade 1 and most likely they will bring extra support into the classrooms
-Thanks were offered to the Council for the wellness program – Council funds are supporting it – it will extrapolate from the teachers and parents to the students – we only have two coaches because of financial constraints
-One of the Council Chairs asked about plan in place to incorporate HSP students into classrooms due to issues of disruptive students that are taking time away from students who want to be there and are not being disruptive
-Principal agreed and there is a process to bring students that are disruptive from classrooms to support - SST school support - teachers report to school support team and social worker will provide support or resources to teacher and the specialist can help determine diagnosis and then get resources to support the students – but it’s a process and from the time of the issue to the time of support is very long; Principal had to suspend three students so far because they were causing havoc with other students
-The Chair asked about turmoil that seems to be in the school at this time – parents asked what we can do to help the admin with shortening the timeline for support
-Principal explained how they cannot start with one day suspension, there has to be progressive discipline, and suspension is not always the solution – there is a central coordinator in special education and as soon as we suspect something, we can request to have it assessed
-Parents and the Council asked how can we help support the teachers and our students outside of that process? Can we volunteer as parents to come into the class and volunteer to help and be second set of hands? 3
-The Principal gave an example that if there is a student with ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) and they have no inhibition, the Principal will go to resources in the Board, from the SST, then there is a coordinator that is serving a group of schools; Princiapl indicated we got a 0.5 FTW Special Needs Assistant recently and the Council and parent can help by continuing to advocate
-A Council Chair asked what the plan in our school is to deal with this while the process carries out – it was decided the issue would be discussed with the Principal at another time
-These issues are for all ages, not just older kids, and a parent asked why a child who didn’t do anything was in the office – Principal will connect with parents individually over specific incidents
-Council Secretary suggested gaining a better understanding of all the sides, and trying to find an external resource to help us all understand the end of HSP and to train teachers and staff on how to deal with the new setting
-A parent spoke from perspective of having a child who needs extra support, and indicated that there’s not enough supervision and in the lunch room, and that we need more opportunities to engage with the school staff to look at these issues from a different perspective, and suggested that the wellness program engage with HSP first – start with a small group of kids
-It was agreed that it would be beneficial to all to have someone answer questions about HSP integration and how it is going to work and allow parents to ask questions – communications that go to HSP parents should have gone to all parents
-One option discussed was to invite someone centrally, like the top social worker – one parent said there is research that goes behind the idea of reintegration
-It was preferred to get someone here by the next meeting in February as there is an issue in violence and bullying that seems to have gotten worse over last several years
-Council Chair emphasized that a plan is needed now to help staff and students deal with this – Principal reported that the issue is system wide and there are kindergarten students being suspended – Principal agreed that we need more resources here
-Council Chair would like a meeting or plan in place to deal with this issue and noted it will only get worse
-It was discussed that PALS should be running programs at recess and that only Mr. Khalsa seems to be engaging with these issues at recess
-Parents asked about a survey to gauge observations on the issue of violence and bullying 4
-There are low resource ways to incorporate equity and supervision and if we had access to the resources, we could implement something here – ie. Zones of regulation – which started with one teacher
-The Zones of Regulation is a program that came from middle schools and the Principal thought it should be used in every classroom and asked executive superintendent about it – for example social workers can only help 4 students, but a classroom teacher can reach the whole class and it started with Ms. Panos doing a lunch and learn for other teachers and then other teachers caught on and the Admin purchased them books and they implemented it individually; last year 10 teachers implemented it and this year 10 more started using it; Principal suggested parents check out book
-Principal gave brief overview of Zones of Regulation
-One parent asked about equity of only some teachers are using the zones and also asks if math coaching is for all teachers or only those who are interested
-EQAO results are declining – so why isn’t it being coached throughout? Discussed as obviously a systematic issue – Admin says we are working with kindergarten to grade 2 inclusive to work on results in grade 3
-Principal noted we have raised the bar in lots of aspects because a child is not only made of literacy and math
-The fact that it could be an issue of community at the school was discussed and the turmoil (ie. Violence and bullying) could be a result of lack of community; perhaps we could work on rebuilding the community and that would likely to address the turmoil
-All discussed that we need a plan in place to rebuild the school and not teach to a test; Council executives indicated that we are trying to better ourselves as a Council to get better resources to benefit the kids as a whole; the Principal wishes she could come to each of us to discuss her ideas to help the students, for example at her previous school what was most effective was having psychology students (30-35 of them) attached to a student in the school and the benefits were extraordinary– but that opportunity came about because of proximity to a university
-However, we have George Brown and UofT close by and we could look into something
-Principal also addressed room 8 ECE staffing issue – regarding Ms Santos there is uncertainty and parents hoped she would remain after holidays and apparently the ECE in room 8 has already been replaced – there will be a notification about room 8; the Principal noted that if an ECE is a temporary employee, another permanent ECE would have more priority; issue with teacher on leave was discussed 5
5. Other Business
End of meeting.
School Council Meeting Minutes for October 18 2017
Meeting opened with announcement of acclaimed positions: Natalie Stickle and Stephanie Ayers (absent for this meeting) continue as co-Chairs; Jessica Eylon is secretary and acting Treasurer. The executive invited interested parents to come forward to fill post of Treasurer.
1. Health and Safety Meeting Update
-The executive gave a brief update of the meeting and reported that the notes are posted on website (http://www.regalroadschoolcouncil.org/home/school-council-meeting-minutes)
-Parents with questions were invited to submit them at the beginning of the meeting so executive could group duplicate questions
-Chair reported that task force came in to clean and they will come again and parents invited to bring areas that may need particular attention to the admin or the Council, who will follow up with TDSB and task force
-All parties aware that communication was an issue throughout construction process
-TDSB group reported they hadn’t done a project of this scope for a while and didn’t realize they had to communicate so closely
-Marit Styles wrote a letter to the TDSB Director with her thoughts on what the project taught everyone – this has been posted on Facebook and copies circulated at the meeting
-All work is pretty much done, except for crane, testing and finishing
-Chair clarified that the incorrect number crossed out in the budget should be $7,242
-The budget is not finalized yet because of a few reasons, but mainly because we put together a funding request form for teachers that they can use to request funding for special projects, so we will collect these by the end of this term and do a direct drive fundraising for those specific projects in January
-It was noted that we have to be careful as we cannot purchase curriculum items but there may be other things we can purchase
Depending on how many requests we get, we might choose to target certain grades each year, but we are hoping we get a range of proposals and/or we can plan strategically
-Teachers will continue to receive funds from us for general items
-Executive think that if the funding goals are specific, direct donation will work best
-Chair also reported that we are seriously considering not having a raffle at the Spring Fair this year since the paperwork and the expenses were a lot this past year – comments and ideas welcome
-If there is no raffle, items donated will go on to the silent auction, which was really successful online last year and it raised more money than usual Jessica Eylon – November 6, 2017
-An event or ideas like the Danceathon may be an idea to strengthen fundraising at the Spring Fair, too
-Another option is a 50/50 draw, for which we will still need a permit but it may be less work (but won’t be worth it if it’s too much time and money to get the permit)
-A parent asked if can we buy air conditioners with our fundraising dollars? Admin said if it’s from the Council, we could – one for floors 2/3 and one for gym (Council will have to look at room in budget for this type of purchase)
-Executive noted construction meeting included discussion of temperature in schools and it was reported that there won’t be cooling centres board-wide for 7-8 years and so it’s a long way out before we may get a cooling centre at Regal Road
3. Future Meeting Dates
-Meetings will be regularly held Wednesday nights
-Proposed dates still need to be approved by Admin
4. School Statement of Need
-The Co-Chairs are preparing a School Statement of Need that will be necessary should the school need a new administrator next year
-Council has to submit it to the superintendent and if parents want to see the draft and discuss details, they can email the Council
5. Matt Forrest – French Immersion
-Parent Matt Forrest reported that information nights will be at key locations throughout the Board and that info packets went home with JK kids
-Looking at the TDSB French Immersion website – we see there won’t be an information session at Regal Road, so if parents go to one they are asked to bring feedback to Matt
-Matt noted the TDSB doesn’t have the central staff to do a session at every school
-the Board is starting a review of all French programs, so if you have any questions, keep your eye out as they will be asking for consultation from parents
-TDSB had equity consultations last year and there is a draft report that is out and they are looking for feedback – Matt recommends checking it out on the site and providing feedback
-some parents may not have received forms, so they should reach out to teacher or Vice-Principal Cathy Chumfong
6. Committee Updates
-Council has emailed all those who volunteered, some committees haven’t started up so some people may not have heard follow up yet
-Walking School Bus (WSB) – a parent updated the Council that she was familiar with the program from McMurrich, so we can model our program after them
-Idea is people who walk to school can be set up in groups Jessica Eylon – November 6, 2017
-Parent reported that there’s a group in Quebec who have hundreds of school doing this and they want to spread to Ontario and they have offered to share (non-financial) resources
-Schools may be able to get ECO points for the program
-There was discussion about possible funding for options for increasing safety at the intersection of Dufferin and Davenport – the walking school bus project could be leverage for requesting change for intersection safety
-Other parents are invited to participate on the WSB committee if they are interested
-One parent had also requested a committee for eco-schools and so we would like to work with Admin to see if there is interest from teachers and Admin reports there is interest
-Halloween movie night will be Thursday, October 26 but next year we might do it a week earlier so we can do it on a Friday and not have it on the same day as pizza day
-Movie will be Book of Life
-Everyone invited to bring items for bake-sale on night of event
-Costumes not sold today will be on sale that night
-Chair reported on PRO grant – last year we had a speaker and we applied again this year and we got the money and we have to decide on what we have to spend it on – ideas were Ann Douglas (http://www.anndouglas.ca/) or Ron Morrish (http://www.realdiscipline.com/) – parenting experts who help parents and children deal with change – if parents have other ideas, they can let Council know, otherwise we will book it based on proposal
-One parent suggested anxiety as an issue to deal with
-A teacher indicated Ron Morrish is about better behaviour and he is a bit old school in terms of having kids “follow”
-Admin said public health has a lot of organized evenings with stations and if we coordinate it in advance, different stations could be appealing under the theme of wellness – successful at minimal cost
-One parent suggested a night of math skills for parents and kids together – Trevor Browne (http://schoolweb.tdsb.on.ca/Portals/westway/docs/Math%20Night%202012-01-25.pdf) – Chair indicated this is not totally in line with the proposal but may be possible, we would have to check how closely we have to follow proposal
9. Principal’s Update
-Right now, Admin focus is on the vision of the Director and how it will look in our school – there are three components: Wellness (May is wellness month); Equity; and Student Achievement
-For Wellness, Michael and Jesse with the Youth Wellness Network will be working with the school this year – there will be a wellness session for the parents, for staff and for students
-For Equity – there is a learning coach assigned to our school (shared with other schools) Jessica Eylon – November 6, 2017
-SNAP – the program Stop Now and Plan (https://childdevelop.ca/snap/home), from a community development institution, will be implemented here and will target selected students to help them move forward considering equity issues, for example if students are not included or they are falling behind, they are provided with strategies – the plan is effective in the community institute
-V-P Cathy explained there are two programs – two full primary classes and one small group of grades 5 and 6, but Admin have recognized that there are grade 4 students who will do well in the program so they will go with 5 and 6 group
-Program will focus on emotions and help students work through feelings so they can be more successful, SNAP has been a community program for a while and V-P sees it as a good thing they are coming into schools
-For Student Achievement – learning coach came to school and unpacked EQAO with teachers; the grade 3 students got results and the grade 6 results were sent to the schools where those students are now
-Unpacking EQAO with the teachers means taking all the skills that were required (specifically math) and the learning coach went through the skills and it was an effective discussion – purpose is to move the school forward esp. in math since it is a priority province-wide
-Admin hired seven new teachers this year
-Admin explained they do not have control over when they may be faced with a staff member’s medical leave and have to move the matter to HR, they do their best to get a replacement and sometimes get a random supply teacher, they can then request to continue with that teacher and after 10 days can apply for LTO teacher but there is a shortage in French so the process is harder and sometimes they need to know someone to fill a spot
-Principal and V-P will check out those who are new to see if it is appropriate to keep the supply teaching and the Admin requests feedback from parents, for example, the Principal received specific feedback today that will likely result in a teacher not coming back – Admin asked for patience for French immersion classes that need an LTOs
-A parent asked about a specific class but Principal said they will speak privately about individual cases
-A parent asked for the new teachers names but the Principal asked to share the names at the end of the meeting (many noted that the names of the new teachers were also in the Sept 5 newsletter)
-Screening for grade 3 gifted students was completed and a second process will be available for specific students who pass the first round, approximately top 2%
-Project Give Back (http://www.projectgiveback.com/learn-more/) – two classes are selected from junior classes (5/6, one French and one English) who will work together to give back to a community or agency with a writer (?)
-At a recent lice screening, there were no cases found, Admin offered thanks to parent volunteers
-Principal announced she will do her best to improve her communication with emails and said she is better with face to face and will improve her timely responses (NB – V-P announced following the meeting that she will be starting a weekly newsletter, Twitter account and possibly a website for the school) Jessica Eylon – November 6, 2017
-A parent asked about room 31 that has 37 (V-P seemed to correct to 34, but number never totally clarified) students in the classroom, this parent had previously asked for follow up over the phone and was told there was a reorganization date and the Board decided that there would not be a reorganization at the school
-Admin reported the school is at 94% capacity and the Board didn’t give us instruction to reorganize
-Admin advised that parents have more power to make a difference with the Board or trustee than the Admin will have – Chair clarified that since the reorg date has passed, the only option is left for parents to challenge to the Board directly
-Another parent asked why there is not a fully grade 6 FI class and Admin explained that the model that was approved had only one fully grade 4 class and all other classes combined/split
-A parent asked about rationale for this arrangement and Admin said it’s monetary because they have fewer teachers to allocate to classes
-Allocation of students discussed and it was reported that classes are divided by teacher allocation and by class/student behaviour
-Parents agreed that pressure on government is what is needed
-Chair said we can share a petition with the school body if someone would like to put one forward
-Council discussed action that could be taken as the Council – for example, is it possible to get Marit Styles (trustee) and Sandra Tondat (superintendent) here to discuss class size and overall school population?
-Admin said this is the time to advocate for next year – you can advocate for number of teachers and also lunch room supervisors
-One parent asked why grade 1 students have free time – Admin reiterated they will connect with parent to discuss particular class
-Secretary recommended learning more about the issue in order to put forward a specific solution
-One parent recommended a specific meeting be set to address the specific issue of the 35+ student classes – with teachers, admin, board members and discussing the issue and making an action plan
-All agreed this is a good idea
-Discussion ensued about a petition possibly being drafted first as a good move and that would bring weight when we have a meeting
-One parent thought it was good support to have the Principal behind us
-Principal responded that she can campaigns HR for more staff the entire time when she is putting the model together and she is constantly told to wait for the reorganization date
-Principal went into details about how students are counted and reallocated, for example Home School Program students are not counted in total number, and that decisions are made by planning department of the Board
-One parent asked for an immediate petition to be drafted and signed by the meeting participants and there was some disagreement about its effectiveness Jessica Eylon – November 6, 2017
-A parent suggested inviting other neighbouring schools to a meeting to discuss class size
School Council Meeting Minutes for September 19 2017
Council Members Present: Stephanie, Natalie and Jessica
School Admin Present: Shosh Brenner and Cathy Chumfong
-Brief intro from executive committee
-there’s a large turnout
2. New activity
-presenter from Baldini, new activity proposed for coming year
-following complaints from previous years, the smaller kids were not eating lunch and so we looked to piggy backing the lunches
-new lunch structure is the little kids go out first and then have lunch and the older kids vice versa
-still loud and chaotic in the lunch rooms but it’s separate shifts and it is going ok still but expect it to be chaotic on pizza day and rain days
-because of construction, the older kids will have to eat in the gym, hopefully not on the floor but we are still trying to work out the logistics
-last year someone asked about turf on the soccer field because it turns into a giant mud puddle in the spring and fall
-today we met with facilities, Brenner and trustee to discuss the feasibility of having turf
-we might not need turf after listening to what they had to say but they have started an assessment over this year that started in June
-the person in charge of fields assessed it in June and did some additional work than they normally do the new guy has lots of experience with fields and he develops plans for specific fields and this fall it has looked green and less rugged and we are now on their list of fields that need work and he will continue his work this year and if his best effort doesn’t work then they will do turf but it will take a long time and it would close the field for a long time and so we are hopeful to keep the grass
-we are a priority for the board because our gym is only half size
c. Soccer gate
-currently have to walk all the way around the school for pick and we are going to get the soccer field gate open while the construction goes on from 3:20 to 3:45pm
-we need a volunteer to stand at the gate at pick up time, parents can sign up, there’s 15 days that need coverage
-concerns about fire drills and playground evacuation – will leave this discussion until admin update
4. School council elections
-notices went home for elections according to tdsb bylaws and ministry
-if there is only one person for a spot, then that person takes the spot without a ballot vote
-if lots of people sign in, we need an election
-asked to describe different roles: chairs (2) run meetings and set agendas and delegate and manage tasks, treasurer is responsible for keeping track of spending and coordinating with office for reimbursement and some reports, secretary takes notes at meeting
-there are sign up sheets for different committees that manage different events over the year, Stephanie gave an overview of some of the events, Halloween movie night, festival of lights, pizza lunch (need someone to take over this year, last Friday of every month), ward council meetings (Matt will do it when he’s available),Parent Involvement AC meeting, Regal Road Facebook group – Walking School Bus idea is a new idea from mom on facebook page, Arts Committee, Alison is also ready on board for fundraising (we are not doing QSP this year and so we need to make up for $5,000 revenue), Crayola marker recycling, Spring Fair planning committee
-Marit Stiles and committee are going to have a traffic study done
-someone asked if the sign up can be online
6. 2017-2018 meeting dates
- will be set by new council
7. Financial Report
-we lost our treasurer
-Natalie reviewed the financials, our totals are in line with what we usually have at the beginning of the year
-if you see things that you would like changed in the budget, you can bring things forward
-we will develop a form for teachers to request funding for particular items
8. Update from Admin
-introduced Cathy Chumfong as new VP
-Shosh thanked all for coming and welcomed Cathy
-hired 6 teachers over the summer and today we hired a French immersion teacher for grade 5/6 after being unable to secure someone over the summer
-reviewing staggered lunch program, striving for perfection but not there yet
-will be using gym when there’s inclement weather and we can use benches in the gym for junior kids and primary will go to rooms 1-2, gym capacity is 450
-caretaker can also bring tables to the gym, we have three spare tables (caretaker couldn’t find the extra tables today but they will keep looking), we will buy more cafeteria tables if we need to, we have some banquet tables and we could use auditorium chairs with those, she asks for patience
-parent asks how will it work if there is an activity in the gym during lunch? Mr Khlasa says we will miss the practice
-parent wants solution to be found asap, and Shosh says they are working on it with consideration of what work the caretaker will do
-parent asks why the kids can’t stay in classroom? Because the teacher’s are already at max duty time, 75 of 80 minutes per week
-we cannot hire any more supervisors 1 to 100 ratio
-parent council is not allowed to supplement staff salaries
-parent asks if tables can be stored in the gym and we have 8 and we use them so kids don’t put their lunch bags on the floor
-we will get ikea bags for the lunch bags but Stephanie did not want the grade 6 kids to carry the lunch bags, but shosh said the teachers had consensus to use older students
-parents would prefer to have each student take their lunch bag upstairs, little kids take their bags downstairs and leave the on the tables and then bring them upstairs at the end of the lunch
-executive asks that there be a plan in place for inclement weather lunch
-Shosh reports construction completion date is October 15, they have to install the fire alarms by September 30 and all other work will be finished by September 30 and as long as nothing changes, there will be no further updates from the administration, communications will come via school connect or hard-copy letter
-Matt asked if there will be heating in the school before the construction is finished? The set date for heating is October 15 school board wide
-the board is pushing them to finish early
-parent asks if the construction company destroyed some of the council items, won’t the construction company replace them?
-Shosh said also things are missing and said we need evidence
-executive said there may be liability insurance, we need to know what there is to claim
-parent asked if things were thrown out because of the asbestos? Shosh said no.
-parent asked for air report and Shosh said she can show the reports but cannot hand out copies
-Stephanie explained what construction took place this summer, new boilers and the asbestos was abated
-Shosh reviewed timeline of construction project
-parent reports that a washroom ceiling in the basement is removed and she overheard there is asbestos in the washroom ceiling
-parents ask that hole in ceiling be assessed and then the information on what will happen be communicated to the parents
-can we get warning stickers where necessary in the building?
-executive and parents ask for better communication around asbestos
-parents requested that a meeting be held with health and safety and Shosh said she already asked them to come tonight, the health and safety rep for this project and the person who oversees everything, parents want the meeting ASAP and not in a school council meeting
-parents want to find out if there is asbestos in the washroom ceiling and then want to know what will happen if there is
-Niki asked that safety information be included in the monthly newsletter
-new 5/6 teacher starts tomorrow
-fire drill happened today and the marshall was satisfied, the alternate exits had been
reviewed previously with the marshall, the drill took longer because of a technical error with the bells, and for the first time they lined all the kids up on the field
-wellness assembly this Friday
-Catherine wanted to know if evacuation was reviewed? Shosh said no
-lockdown drill will be end of November because last year it was close to September and the JK kids were panicking, we have to do it twice per year
-parents asks that the kids are clearly told it is a drill and that parents be told after the drill on that day so they can prepare their kids
-information about the lock down was extensive
-parents have concerns about large 5/6 classes and behavior issues in the class and Shosh said we reported to the board that we went over 30 in classes and the board said we should get a portable, so then Shosh suggested a professional teacher to help with the student and the board said no but we could have a portable, which we are not allowed to have them on the grounds, so there is no plan now
-Shosh recommended the parents go to Marit Stiles about the issue
-parents ask about staffing committee and whether it will be in place this year, also health and safety and space and planning committee – what happened to those committees? We can create them.
-one parent concerned about clutter in classroom