SAC Meeting Minutes – Sept 16, 2015

John English Junior Middle School
SAC Meeting
Wednesday, September 16

Marie Cook, council Chair, welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked everyone to introduce themselves.

Principal’s Report

The following staff changes have taken place this year:

  • Ms Lung teaching grade 2
  • Ms Brady working in support positions
  • Mme DeMarco teaching grade 7
  • Mme D’sa teaching kindergarten
  • Ms Samuels is a new Child youth worker
  • Mme Gito teaching drama, music, and phys ed
  • Ms Broughton who is currently on leave is being replaced by Ms. Koteff

Some construction has taken place over the summer:

  • new access ladders for the roof
  • anti-climbing fences
  • Building is now completely wireless and there are approx. 100 laptop computers around the school
  • The heating controls have been worked on over the summer in the classrooms and the boys gym

School population

In the spring it was projected the September population would be 887 students. There are actually 905 students. There may need to be some reorganization of classes required to meet the TDSB legislated class caps. Caps are 20 students in primary classes, with the intermediate cap being 28 to 30 students. Parents will be contacted if their children need to be moved. The timing for these moves (if they need to happen) will be very soon.

  • Howe has been sending out tweets through the John English Twitter feed find the account on @JohnEnglishJM
  • Check the school website:
  • School safety is a priority; parents are not able to enter the school freely. Please sign in and get a volunteer badge at the office if you are entering the school.
  • Teacher job action is currently underway. Curriculum Night is planned for the 24th however may not be held due to this dispute. There will be a decision made on Monday, September 21st whether or not this evening will proceed on that date based on the job action status. Mr. Howe will advise the school members via the website email blast.
  • Bussing: Ms. Jenkins has been working on the bus routes with the Transportation department. There has been some difficulty due to one route being overcrowding and another route being delayed due to construction. Some new routes have been put in place this week that divide the students differently and to address overcrowding.
  • There are some outside companies who wish to run programs at the school that the parents could pay for. Mr. Howe likes to poll parents to ensure they are of interest so he asked for some feedback. Normally they start the end of September. All companies have been vetted through the TDSB (partnership office). All companies must have a provision for families who may not be financially able to participate.
    • Chess and Math Association – parents agreed this should continue
    • Kids Fun Factory Lego – mixed reviews
    • Yoga – this is a new group, Craig will review
    • Arts Express – visual arts, drama – parents agreed this should continue
  • Howe is looking for volunteers to work on the Kiss and Ride (student drop off and pick up) in the morning and afternoons. The timing is 8:30 a.m. – 8:50 a.m. and afternoon 3:10 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Please contact the office if you are interested.
  • Regarding drop off: George Street and Central drops are discouraged due to safety concerns. One parent has asked for a large sign to be posted at the end of Central.
  • Book Fair (English and French) will be run by Madame Salama with the help of a parent on November 9 – 13.
  • Check the website for TDSB calendar
    • November 12 is the first term interview
    • Feb 11 is second term
    • June 29 – last day of school
    • June 28 Grade 8 graduation
  • A parent asked whether the “meet the teacher” night in November will take place if the job action is still underway. Mr. Howe has said that teacher parent contact should still take place regardless of any action if any student is struggling.

Teachers Report

No teacher present due to current job action.


There are many ways that parents can help at the school. Any help given is appreciated and helps to create a healthy, happy and productive school environment and culture. Please consider joining other parents in volunteering. Marie sent a sheet around looking for volunteers for various tasks around the school. Marie is also looking parent reps for some English classes. Feel free to reach out if you have some time or talent to give.

Healthy Bites

This is an in-house lunch meal program that takes place at JE. 215 children is the capacity of the program. It is hot lunch 3 days per week and a bag lunch 1 day per week. We are looking for volunteers to work at the program as below:

9 – 12 pm or 11 – 1 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

Currently, there are 195 children registered; and there are a few more spots. We seek any community volunteers for the program (parents, grandparents, etc). Subsidies are available for families who need them. Healthy Bites is open to students in Grade 1 – 8 (due to timing and logistics it is not available to Kindergarten children).

Ukulele Program

All grade 3 students are enrolled in the program as part of their curriculum which is subsidized by the SAC. After students complete Grade 3, there is a continuing pay as you go program at lunch (once per week). The teacher running the program is a Music Specialist for the TDSB. We are looking for volunteers on Tuesdays every week to join the class (and you can learn to play!) The paid program is $225 for 30 group lessons. This is a not for profit organization. If you would like to learn more about the program or the methodology, go to

Grade 3 students will start first Tuesday of the month.

Grade 4 and up who want to join, please contact Jane Chapman at That lunch program will start shortly after the end of the month.


The following programs are currently being released:

  • Fundraising contribution: This is a donation drive for those who want to contribute a dollar amount (instead of attending/participating in other fundraisers). These donations receive a tax receipt for anything over $25. There is a suggested amount per family, but families are welcome to give more or less. Sheets have been distributed.
  • QSP Magazine sales will take place this year. In response to feedback from parents, there will be experienced based prizes as a change this year (as opposed to chotzchas. The Winner this year will win a night at Great Wolf Lodge, The winning class will win a Monster Mash party. There will also be random draws for Ripley’s and Cineplex admission tickets. There will be no assembly this year, but instead there will just be an announcement.
  • Pizza lunch fundraiser projects to make $3000 in sales. Forms are out now and the first lunch is next Friday.
  • We will be recipients in the “Adopt a School” program by Indigo. This promotes reading in schools. Last year we did Flipgive (which raised about $450 which has been given to Madame Salama already to purchase some books). This program gave us visibility that led to the school being adopted by a local store (Coles at Cloverdale). Parents can log in and adopt the school (John English). Percentages of sales will go to John English. All shoppers will be asked if they would like to donate to John English. Program runs from Sept 20 to Oct 10. Register today!
  • Fresh from the Farm – vegetable program 50% of sales go to the farmers and 40% go to the school. This is a onetime purchase of a bundle of vegetables/fruits that come from Ontario farms. More information coming soon.
  • We will go further into depth on the fundraising plan at the October meeting.

Treasurers Report

Terry Durette, our treasurer, outlined the current budget. There are some items needing to be paid, of which will be voted on at the October meeting. Once finalized, the budget will be posted on the SAC website.

Parent Network

Parents will be trying to put together their class email lists for the network. Usually these lists are assembled on curriculum night, but reps may need to reach out to the teachers to get names of children and start building their lists.

Upcoming meetings:

  • October 14
  • November 11
  • January 13
  • February 10
  • April 13
  • May 11