John English SAC Meeting Minutes October 21, 2021


  • Chairs introduced
  • Links to budget and agenda shared in chat

Items to Add to Agenda

  • None at this time.

Principal Report

  • Very busy start to the year, but we are all settling into the school community now
  • We had the final class realignment to deal with
    • Lost one class due to low enrollment
    • Our school received allocation for new grade 8 class, moved teacher from English to French
    • We also welcome Ms. Boyle who has transferred from Hawthorne Bilingual Alternative School who is teaching grade 6
    • Please see the final breakdown of class structure in Appendix 1, available at the end of the minutes
  • There is a focus group comprised of 3 coaches who are working as a team to support our school population: 
    • Jennifer Wilson, Early Reading coach
    • Mayoka McIntosh, K-12 Learning Coach
    • Charles Gordon, Middle Years Student Success Counsellor
  • Lovenia Gorman provides details: 
    • Spent time with Charles Gordon who met with a class. The goal is to be a critical friend and help teachers think outside of the box as we continue to think and learn in the areas of anti-oppression and anti-racism
    • Will be working primarily with grade 6-8 teachers to create teacher led class activities to help students establish a better understanding of their academic identity 
    • Will be working at our school 2 days each week throughout the school year
  • Safety report: 
    • At lunch our grade 7 & 8 students are allowed off school property, which has presented some issues:
      • Memorial park is being left with lunchtime litter
      • Students are venturing far on TTC (example: to Starbucks)
      • Parents, please remind students to stay closer to school and to be good citizens
  • Starting a new committee and we are looking for parent involvement. It is called the Caring, Safe and Accepting Schools Team and will be made up of parents, teachers, support staff and community members
    • Goals of this committee: 
      • To promote a positive school environment
      • Review school code of conduct
      • Review safety protocols including bussing, Kiss and Ride, school entry/exit, health and safety, emergency prep (fire and lockdown)
    • If you are interested, please email M. Gélinas or the SAC (
  • Looking for Kiss and Ride volunteers
    • Kiss and Ride is available in the morning and afternoon at Exit 16 and we are looking for volunteers who have morning availability, even if you can only offer one day a week, we would love to hear from you!
  • Parent-Teacher Interviews are coming up in November
    • The date is scheduled for November 19th
    • Some teachers open up opportunities for families to connect during that week, but that is up to teachers and their personal schedules.
    • We will be using the online booking tool again 
      • Most of our school community uses this system very well
      • If you have identified that you will not be able to book online, we will reach out to parents directly.
    • All interviews will be held virtually or by phone
    • Booking will open on November 8th
  • Playground update: 
    • There was a delay because of some concern about trees in the area
      • An area had to be redesigned for some of the new features
      • Work was paused until the new plans were approved 
      • Work has resumed, and the timeline seems to be still on target but has to be confirmed
      • The schedule was to receive the structure/equipment by the end of October
  • Nutrition programs: 
    • The Kindergarten snack program has begun
      • Need a volunteer helper to be cleared to assist
      • A lunchroom supervisor is taking the spot
      • Program began this week and students are getting their snacks
    • Health Bites lunchtime program
      • Met with the two staff members who run the program
      • There is some equipment that needs to be repaired and food planning/ordering needs to be in place
      • Must create a plan to deliver food to students as lineups are not permitted
      • Launch date is in the new year
  • Technology in the school: 
    • At our last meeting, we discussed the number of devices in the school, however there was a miscount. 
    • The ratio was reported as 1:1, however some of those devices are faulty and/or no longer working
    • Current inventory:
      • 70 iPad, 280 Chromebook
      • Total of 350 working devices
    • Mme Vella was instrumental in this inventory
    • Once we have the final budget for the school we will be able to see how much more can be invested in technology
  • Photos
    • Initial student photos were taken on October 6th
    • Grade photos and retake day will be held on November 23rd 

Vice Principal’s Report:

  • If there are any grade 8s or grade 8 families on the call, there is some information coming from the board for them
    • TDSB is hosting a ‘Transition to Secondary School’ webinar at the beginning of November
    •  Important dates will be shared in an email that will be sent out this weekend
  • Parent question: Apologies if this has been asked before, but what is the status of the ukulele program for grade 3 students?
  • This program involves external parties who are not part of the general Covid-related rules and are not permitted to be in the school at this time. This will be revisited next year.
  • Parent question: It would have been helpful if photo retake day was communicated when the first round was done. Is there a reason why this was not shared before now?
  • It had not been scheduled yet. If there are any concerns, the photographer is flexible and would be happy to address them. 
  • Parent question: In regards to technology, how are you ensuring that it is equitable for all classrooms? (example: Smart boards for primary classes)
  • We have made sure that all classrooms have a similar ratio of devices to students
  • Had the computers for the grade 5s with the new TDSB program
  • As for technology such as interactive whiteboards, we have to look at the budget and plan accordingly when we receive it. 
  • Whiteboards are extremely expensive technology, and we need to be sure that it will be used by the particular teacher who has one. 
  • An additional interactive whiteboard in a storage space, and it will be moved into a classroom.
  • Technology Committee will review how additional funding will be used
  • Parent question: Does each teacher at least have a projector?
  • Yes, and more have been ordered. 
  • If a teacher is indicating that they still need one, there is a request form they need to fill out. 
  • Have they received their projectors? Yes.

Teacher’s Report

  • Library is open again! Christie Vella is providing the opportunity to do research/learning in the library, which is now called the Learning Commons
    • Mme Vella has enjoyed the change to touch base with so many students
    • All teachers and grade levels have the opportunity to work in the Learning Commons
      • Scheduling is flexible to accommodate class needs 
    • Wants everyone to feel comfortable in the Learning Commons
    • The focus is on students developing ‘big picture’ learning skills
      • Getting them into critical thinking, inquiry, problem based learning
    • Working collaboratively is another big development focus 
      • Smaller seating areas are set up to permit students to collaborate and encourage discussion
    • Classes are encouraged to bring their technology with them to use in the Learning Commons space
    • Forest of reading is running across all grades
      • Running through the library
      • Will be a hybrid of what was done last year and what was done in the past
      • Still working out how to build in the community aspects during void times without mixing cohorts. This may include some online aspects in order to accommodate this. 
      • Program will likely start in December or January, as books will not be received until late November/December
      • Question: when do books have to be read by?
        • Around April
        • The competitions will run with slightly different timelines (example: Blue Spruce picture books will be read during class time)
        • Some of the competitions with students reading longer books may start before Blue Spruce.
      • Question: Is it a competition to read the most books?
        • No, it is a competition within the level to determine the ‘favourite book’ in that level.
      • Question: Is it possible to have a virtual festival at the end? 
        • Would be wonderful, however details about that point have not been shared
        • Membership in Forest of Reading does include some virtual author events and we are hoping some teachers might be able to incorporate this into their class time.
      • Question: In regards to Indigenous connections, is it possible to connect with TDSB supports? (NOTE: Name was mentioned, but missed)
        • Will investigate and share.

Board Business  

  • Our Treasurer role has been filled by Katy Hung


  • No active programs at this time.  


  • Halloween Tuesday Trivia to be held virtually on Kahoot!
    • Registration is open now. There is no payment required, but as it is a fundraiser, if you are able to contribute, it would be appreciated.
    • We realize not everyone can contribute, and the most important thing is that everyone feels welcome to join! Please come!
    • There will be 2 game times
      • 6 pm for younger kids
      • 8 pm for older kids and parents

Treasurer’s Report

  • Budget shared as we expect to see the year run
    • With Covid this could change should we be able to do more later in the year
  • Move to accept the budget as presented:
    • Moved and accepted vote shown in Appendix 2

Community Questions:

  • What times does Kiss and Ride run, and from where?
    • In the morning from 9-9:15, in the afternoon from 3:30-40
    • Runs from Door 16, which is located in the school parking lot
  • Have there been any Squid Game copycat issues?
    • None at this point.
  • Has there been any discussion about rapid tests?
    • We do not have access to rapid tests, but we were one of an initial 600 schools selected for saliva testing kits.
    • When students have symptoms, they are sent home with a kit. The test is done off site and kits are returned to the school where they are collected each day. 
    • Why are they done off site? If the person is positive, there is less chance of transmission if the test is done at home.
    • Are tests only available to students who develop symptoms at school? 
      • Yes
    • It is understood that the turnaround time for results is slow, so people are opting to book their own tests. How long does it typically take?
      • Not certain. In the instructions given to parents, it indicates that if it is positive they will communicate immediately. If negative, there is a waiting period, and it is unclear as to why there is that difference.

Meeting Ends

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

APPENDIX 1: Class structure changes