I hope everyone had a smooth transition into the new school year and has enjoyed a great couple of first weeks back. There are a couple items of interest I’d like to share with you this week:
The Provincial Advocate for Children & Youth launched their new website recently. The “I Have Something to Say!” website aims to engage young people with special needs in the discussion about how to improve services and support systems so they can reach their full potential. You can find out more by visiting the website http://www.provincialadvocate.on.ca/main/en/ihsts/ and checking out the press release here.
The Learning Disabilities Association of Toronto District has released their Fall programming schedule, and there are some great workshops on offer for students and parents alike. You can find out more about these as well as other helpful resources over at their website, http://www.ldatd.on.ca/programs/children-teens/.
Michelle Munroe, the Central Coordinator of Parent & Community Engagement (PCEO) has shared the message below, as well as the attached files. Regardless of whether you take part in your school’s parent council, take a moment to read Michelle’s introduction to the PCEO and her useful links.
Ward 15’s first Parent Council meeting of the 2014-15 year will be held this coming Monday, September 22nd at 7pm at Blake Street Jr Public School(21 Boultbee Ave). Childcare will be provided. In addition to regular council business, someone from the Board will be in attendance to answer questions and speak to the impact that the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will have on school councils. We welcome both new and returning parents, and look forward to seeing you there.
As always, if you have any questions, concerns or ideas to share, don’t hesitate to contact me (at firstname.lastname@example.org or (416) 397-3083), or my Superintendent Mike Gallagher (at email@example.com or (416) 394-2048). I look forward to a great fall working with you all.
Trustee, Ward 15 Toronto-Danforth
Toronto District School Board
“Life is much less a competitive struggle for survival than a triumph of cooperation and creativity. Indeed, since the creation of the first nucleated cells, evolution has proceeded through ever more intricate arrangements of cooperation and co-evolution. Partnership – the tendency to associate, establish links, live inside one another, and cooperate – is one of the hallmarks of life.”
Fritjof Capra, The Web of Life
From the Desktop of Michelle Munroe, Central Coordinator, Parent and Community Engagement (PCEO), Toronto District School Board (TDSB)
Welcome back to the most wonderful time of the year! I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new kindergarten and returning parents and families. For those returning, I hope that the transition was a smooth one. For our new families, there is no doubt that the first few days and weeks can you leave you feeling a little anxious and possibly overwhelmed. Be assured that the feeling is a natural one and will eventually subside.
TDSB believes that education is a shared responsibility among parents, the community, students, staff, and the Board. The PCEO was established to provide support to parents/families, community and the system on parent and community engagement strategies. By working together, we all contribute to the improvement of our schools and to the success of our students. Your engagement in the education of your child is essential. Research tells us that“there is a positive and convincing relationship between family engagement and benefits for students, including improved academic achievement. This relationship holds across families of all economic, racial/ethnic, and educational backgrounds and for students at all ages” (Henderson & Mapp, 2002). We also know that family engagement in education must begin at home; with families creating “an educationally oriented ambiance” that engages the child in conversation about school/education and sets a sense of support and standards in the child’s mind about the importance of education. So, for the year, commit to talking to your children … elementary and secondary about school and their day, provide play/learning activities, keep reading and offer opportunities for learning (books around the house, cooking, grocery shopping, listening to music, play and homework areas, etc.).
Over the year my office will provide parents, families and school councils with parent engagement information, events, and activities of the Board. It is our hope to use updates as a way to offer an array of tools to assist you on your parent engagement journey and keep you connected and informed of activities of the Board. Please feel free to share and circulate the information broadly. To begin your year please see the attached documents that highlights opportunities for engagement and upcoming events.
We look forward to connecting with you. Have a wonderful year!