John English SAC – Meeting Minutes Thursday, September 12, 2019, 7 – 8:30 pm

Welcome & Introductions                                                                        7:00 – 7:07

  • Introductions completed around the group; big group of people.
  • Attendance sheet completed, including emails.
  • Sign up list for next week’s Meet the Teacher Night on September 12.  There will be a bake table and SAC will be selling pizza.  Volunteers and baked goods needed.
  • Additional agenda items – transitioning into new cell phone policy.              

Principal Report                                                                                          7:07 – 8:10

Mr. Howe (Principal)

  • Welcome to first meeting. It’s nice to see so many people.
  • First week of school went well.
  • Caretakers kept school in great shape over summer.
  • Class Sizes:
    • One class quite large but adjusted before school started.
    • This is the reason behind not giving notice of teacher in June as there are some changes.
    • Granted 3 primary cap exemptions (20 students for Grades 1,2,3) and cap exemption is up to 23 students.
    • Good to have friends moved around. Kids are resilient but if your child is having difficulty please speak to your teacher.
  • TDSB Focus:
    • All Grade 1 students reading by end of Grade 1. Last year we were at 95%.  This is a good result and will continue.
    • Well-being and mental health – there will be professional development for teachers. A safe place to be able to talk about it.
    • Equity and inclusion – in the past there would be special classes for those students that might have greater needs. Now the goal will be to include more students in the regular classroom.  Trying to engage students for success in and outside the classroom.
    • Math skills – always looking for areas to improve.
  • Online forms from TDSB captured through email this year. The school is still waiting on some families to answer.
  • Building Improvements:
    • Finished Gym 1 floor at end of last year including school logo.
    • Gym 2 has a new floor.
    • Room enhancements include new blinds and last bit of painting done.
    • Auditorium has been repainted.
    • Field still outstanding except for some grass seed. There is apparently no budget for it.
    • Playground process slowed. The school is starting a playground committee and looking for members on ways to improve it.  If interested let Mr. Howe know.  Kids have been given opportunity to provide their input from Ms. Rajmooli’s class.
    • Budget has impacted caretaking staff. The school went from 6 people to 5.5.  This results in a reduction in the number of classrooms that need to be closed.  They want 7 classrooms closed and we presently closed 3.  The school is in the process of identifying 4 more, possibilities include music class, French class or art classes.  No decision has been made yet.
  • Instrumental Music – due to budget cuts the hours have been reduced based on number of students across the board. We had 18 hours last year and now have 6 hours for Grades 6-8.  Last year all Grade 6 students could take instrumental but not this year.  It will basically be once a week at 45 minutes.
  • Meet the Teacher Night is September 19. Classrooms are open from 6:30-8:00.  Some teachers do presentations, others just have kids show the classroom.
  • The new code now in place. Basically, dress is not being policed at school but rather at home.
  • Terry Fox/climate change walkout will be September 27.
  • CCAT testing for Grade 3 will take place October 1-4.
  • First cross-country meet at Centennial Park is October 2.
  • Photo day is October 3.
  • There is a new Cell Phone Policy coming out in November. It will be very similar to what JE does now.  Teachers decide how phones are used in class.  There is an issue with kids outside in the yard taking photos of others unaware.  This too is really a parent policing thing again.  There have been assemblies for cell phone safety in the past.  Discussions have taken place with other schools as to what they do.  There is no universal solution.

Ms. Jenkins (Vice-Principal)

  • Busses are arriving on time. The drivers are the as last year so hoping for a smooth year for bussing.
  • Roots of Empathy:
    • Hosted here for 3 years now.
    • Mr. Murray is host class this year.
    • Mom and baby visit with facilitator.
    • Children use empathy following the development of vulnerable baby.
    • Call went out for mom and baby and a number of people have volunteered.
    • Facilitator on board.
  • Library:
    • All classes have gone through orientation.
    • No book loans yet but will start next week.
    • Each class has 1 period per cycle to come and borrow.
    • Library at Lunch starting next week.  Staff supervise as Grade 4-8 can come to study and/or do quiet reading.  Teachers can give out up to 5 passes each day.
    • Last year primary teachers also provided a quiet reading time.  Hopefully this will happen this year.
    • November 8 – 15 will be the Scholastic Book Fair.  Leah Kirkpatrick is the parent volunteer who coordinates all volunteers.  She will ask at beginning of October for volunteers.  The sale normally makes several thousand dollars to spend on books for library.
  • PALS – Grade 4 and 5 students are trained to play games with younger grades. It will be up and running at beginning of October.  It will be available Monday-Thursday, run by Mr. Dunn.
  • ECO-Schools – we want to maintain Platinum status so more initiatives to happen this year. November 4 -15 will be Bag to School campaign.  Last year we had over 1 ton of clothing donated which was a record.
  • Youth in Action – Grade 8 students are going to WE Day on September 17th.  The group is responsible for some social initiatives in the school.

Ms. Overland (Vice-Principal)

  • Lunch-time programs for fall include looking at Arts in Action and Chess for Mondays. Also, Arts Express on Fridays with Yoga and Stretching and/or Sketching.  These programs will be offered for Grades 1-6.  There are other opportunities for older students.  The programs will start at beginning of October.  Arts in Action also offer a holiday course as they end early (email will come out later).
  • In school offerings might not happen in first term due to contract negotiations.
  • EQAO – Grade 3 will take a CCAT (in October) which addresses verbal, non-verbal and quantitative learning and proved assessment (CCAT is in English). EQAO (in Spring) is Reading, Writing and Math for English stream students and only Math for those students in French Immersion.
  • Caring and Safe schools does different things for the school like pink day and orange day.

Mme. Smith (Teacher)

  • Teachers excited to be back, both from seeing students and each other.
  • Teachers are encouraging students to stay on task with learning goals and success criteria.
  • Lots of stuff happening already such as Robotics Club, Cross-Country and School Council Elections for Grades 6-8.
  • Announcements always posted in cafeteria.
  • December 12 is the Holiday Concert for Grades K-5.
  • A parent rep is needed for Caring and Safe Schools committee. Contact Ms. Overland.

SAC Board Business                                                                                   8: 10 – 8:35


  • Ukulele program offered to all Grade 3 students. It’s 30 weeks of instruction (every Tuesday) and includes a ukulele for the year.  Funding has been fully covered by SAC but based on this year’s budget (at a loss this year) we feel we should ask for a financial contribution this year.  A motion is tabled to ask for $10-20.  The motion is approved.  Children will not be excluded if they do not pay.  A letter will come out next week.
  • Grade 4 and up can continue ukulele at lunch for $305 (price includes a ukulele).


  • SAC Budget 2018-19 (see attached).
  • Fundraising initiatives for this school year are Pizza Lunches, Curriculum Night Sales, fresh From the Farm, Fundraising Contribution, Toronto Marlies Game, Spring Flower sale, Movie Night, Dance-a-thon, Indigo FlipGive.
    • Prizes for Fresh From the Farm decision.  Ipod and apple pie party.  Motion tabled to do a Timbit party for top selling class.  Motion approved.
    • Motion tabled to have individual prize of $50 for Book Fair.  Motion approved.
    • Financial contribution can get a receipt.
    • Add a second movie night discussion was had.
    • Mabel’s Labels is also available for fundraising.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Full report at October meeting.

Open Positions (all with support provided)

  • Fundraising Chair(s), Dance-a-thon, Book Fair Co-Chair, Healthy Bites Committee Member, Toronto Marlies Game, Movie Night.

Meeting Ends                                                                                                          8:35

Next Meetings – October 17, November 21, January 9, February 6, April 2, May 7

Ward 3 School Trustee: Patrick Nunziata can be reached at or 416 996 5572, sign up for e-newsletter at or follow him on Twitter @NunziataPatrick