November 2015 SAC Meeting Minutes

John English JMS SAC Meeting
Wednesday, November 11

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

Mimico Refugee Committee (Jim and Jennifer Sanderson, Heather Henning)

Canada has committed to resettle 25, 000 Syrians by September 2016. This group of local community members (affiliated with Mimico Baptist Church) addressed the SAC about their desire to sponsor a Syrian refugee family and bring them into the Mimico community. This committee would like to mobilize resources to assist with all areas of resettlement; housing, furnishings, clothing, food, schooling, language skills and learning the Canadian way of life.

For more information on Canada’s response, click here.

There was discussion with the SAC about what might be done to raise funds, and reach out to community members. Those present were very supportive and there were some immediate volunteers that joined the cause. The SAC will be considering some fundraising options (either to direct funds from upcoming existing fundraisers or by creating new ones). If you are interested in becoming involved, (by joining a subcommittee, or help with upcoming settlement issues, fundraising etc), please email the SAC. There will be a Facebook page launched very soon with more information.

Principal’s Report

  • Today there were Remembrance Day ceremonies at the school and the assembly went extremely well. Thank you to the students for participating and the teachers for organizing.
  • Choices for 9 information night took place on Tuesday, November 10. Parents had the opportunity to meet representatives from local specialized schools such as Richview, Runnymede, Lakeshore (Cyberarts), etc. Ms. Briar went through all the points for consideration with parents.
  • The next information night will be held on November 19 in the Auditorium for French Immersion. Deadline for applications is December 3rd. This is a firm deadline; parents are encouraged to fill out their applications as soon as possible.
  • Fundraising has gone extremely well over the past couple of months at the school and Mr. Howe commended the process.
  • Labour update: an agreement has been made and the teachers have ratified. There will be further bargaining taking place at the local level (between unions and the board) now. That will continue over the next few months. Secondary schools have made an agreement but at local level, there is negotiation still underway which is causing the current job action in that sector.
  • Progress reports are delayed due to the action, but will be completed by December 11. There will be no report cards for Senior Kindergarten classes. As the date for previously scheduled interviews passed during the job action, parent teacher interviews will now only take place if there are areas of concern. Teachers will reach out to parents if they feel a conversation needs to happen. Parents are welcome to also reach out to the school to set up a telephone or in-person interview if they wish. Field trips and extracurricular activities have resumed.
  • School Maintenance Update: The front entrance and the stairwells are getting a fresh coat of paint. Priorities are handrails, classroom doors, and foyers/entranceways.

Teachers Report – Madame Heather Smith

  • Laruccia is once again organizing baskets for seniors at Storefront Humber, which is a community program on the Lakeshore that helps and supports disabled and elderly community members. She is looking for items to put inside the baskets: soaps, lotions, packaged foods, socks, festive items, anything suitable for seniors (male and female). A JE class will go and present the baskets to the seniors.
  • There will be a presentation on November 19 at John English by John Park entitled “The Power of Persistence” for Gr. 1 – 5 students.
  • Pizza lunch is a big hit; the students really enjoy it and it raises money for the school.
  • Volleyball, hockey, basketball, Lego club are all currently underway.
  • There are many opportunities for children to hone their leadership skills at John English. For example PALS, and reading buddies, Boys to Men, Young Women on the Move. These kinds of things are happening in the school on an ongoing basis.
  • The John English Christmas Concert will take place on December 10
  • The teachers send a “Thank you” to the SAC for the classroom supplies.
  • Lion King Junior Musical will be this year’s school play made up of Grade 4 to Grade 8 students. There are two casts. Some local schools will be invited to watch the performances as well. The performances will take place May. 4th and 5th
  • ECO Club update: John English is a certified Platinum ECO School! We believe in creating environmentally responsible citizens through ecological literacy. John English participates in many programs through our ECO club and has an active green bin program (for Healthy Bites, snack preparation and all classrooms). Recently the school installed a water refill station at the cafeteria exit.
  • There are programs for newcomers: this provides leadership opportunities for the students for students who have been in the community for less than 5 years. 14 grade 4 students will participate in this initiative who will be assisted and supported by eight Grade 8 ambassadors.
  • There was a “Right to Play” presentation on November 2nd on Grade 3 – 8. There were engaging presentations by a RTP speaker as well as an athlete ambassador, named Zahra Mahmoodi, (24), who spoke about her experiences growing up as a girl in Afghanistan and becoming the Captain of the first Afghan Women’s National Soccer Team.
  • The Forest of Reading initiative is underway (by the Library Federation). Primary teachers would like to engage in the initiative again and will start before the Christmas break.

Enrichment Team

A group of parents would like to help build activities for students outside of the daily curriculum specifically activities that can be done on a one-off basis. They would like to suggest reallocating funds from SAC to items that enrich the experience for the students in the classroom. The group has been encouraged to form a committee. One parent is going to try to create a resource of field trips and activities for the parents to better understand what is being offered. We look forward to future updates on progress. If you would like to be involved, contact Tania Tomicic

SAC Survey

Jackie (parent) tabled the idea of doing a survey of the parents at John English regarding the performance of our parent council. Some of the suggested questions for the survey would be:

  • What is the SAC doing well?
  • How could the SAC serve the community better?
  • Are you receiving updates from the SAC (i.e. website, Facebook)
  • Is there another way we can communicate with you better?
  • Are there any JEJMS programs that you would like the SAC to explore or support?
  • Any ideas for school enrichments/enhancements?
  • In your opinion, which fundraiser do you like the best and why?
  • Any other comments on the fundraising efforts?

Jackie will create the survey draft and bring it back to the committee for comments. If you have suggestions or questions, please contact

Trustee Pamela Gough

  • There is an initiative being considered for the revitalization of the Mimico Adult Centre. There is no money in the TDSB budget, but there may be provincial money available. There is a tentative date set for a meeting in December with some trustees, Catholic school board representation, councilor Mark Grimes. Watch for updates.


  • Move of extended French (see announcement letter here)
    The School Board has announced that the Extended French program will be phased OUT of John English and phased in to Second Street School. JEJMS has been oversubscribed for a number of years. When looking at the projections for John English, it appears there is going to be a serious space issue very soon. Portables are not an option. The board have looked at various options: limiting enrolment through lottery, change of boundaries (for English or for French immersion); none of which were considered viable options. The decision has been made to move one of the two French programs out of JE to Second Street. Second Street has available space as many of the homeschool students leave to go to programs at other magnet schools. (French, etc). The students who are enrolled at JEJMS now will stay at the school until they graduate Grade 8. This program would start up with new enrolment. Busing will be available to those who are eligible through the board policy regulations (1.6 kilometers from the school). There is a December 3rd meeting scheduled at Second Street School at 7:00 p.m. for more information.

    • One parent present raised a concern about siblings who are reliant on an older brother or sister to walk them home each day. If the children are split (JK, SK younger sibling and French extended older sibling) between schools, and there is no bussing available to parents (who are too close to the school), there is a safety issue. The SAC suggested that Pamela Gough work with Mark Grimes on a crosswalk for Royal York and to work on a bussing strategy that allows siblings to come back to John English and meet their siblings.
  • There is a “Program and School Services” meeting, which is a TDSB subcommittee on which Trustee Gough sits. The committee will share a report about French as a second language statistics. The reports show that students are doing extremely well academically. Some points from the report:
    • A relatively higher percentage of students who primarily spoke English at home and were born in Canada were enrolled in the French Immersion program compared to students in the Extended French program and TDSB in general.
    • A lower proportion of recent arrivals (arrived in Canada in the last 1 – 3 years) enrolled in FSL programs
    • A higher percentage of female students compared to male students were enrolled in both the French Immersion and Extended French programs
    • 98 – 99% of secondary school students in FSL were in the Academic Program of Study for both 2006-07 and 2011-12.
  • Volunteers for Extra Curricular Activities – look at the possibility of this being possible in the TDSB (sporting etc). There has been some criteria (eligibility requirements, cleared by the principal, clear police checks etc). However this motion has been passed; it still needs to go through a committee and through the Board.

Treasurers Report – Terry Durette will present at next meeting


  • Thank you to Wendy Kitson for running the Fresh from the Farm; thank you to those who worked on the QSP. We appreciate your efforts!
  • Fresh from the Farm – communication will go out to parents electronically as well by telephone call.
  • QSP raised about $4000
  • Contribution program – $4000
  • Poinsettia program will start soon and will be delivered December 9th
  • Sameco has started already
  • Indigo Flip Give started

Parent Involvement Advisory Committee (PIAC)

Upcoming meetings 2016:

  • January 13
  • February 10
  • April 13
  • May 11