Thursday, February 24, 2022, 7 – 8:30 pm
Land Acknowledgement shared via video
Links to agenda and budget documents shared in zoom meeting chat
Introductions of our SAC Co-Chairs 7:04-706
- Lighter agenda at most meetings this year, but continuing as we can and including additional programs as TDSB allows.
Any additional agenda items to add from the attendees of the meeting?
- None at this time
Principal’s Report 7:05-730
- It has been a busy time since the last meeting with snow, a flood, report cards and more but every day our staff and students are working hard and amazing things happen in our building
- We welcome back Ms Da Silva and Ms Wey, and are thankful to have Ms Smith’s daughter is with us in a LTO role right now.
- Still looking for some other updates but there is a provincial shortage of teachers that continues but we are lucky to be able to fill many of the daily needs of our school each day.
- In-house items that were constructed by TDSB are complete.
- Once ground thaws, the team will do the ground covering for safety so that we will at least be able to use those pieces.
- Right now the yard is an ice-rink/sheet of glass so we are having to manage safety issues and hopefully the weather will shift soon and the kids will be able to be outside again!
COVID protocols and changes in the building:
- Fieldtrips are permitted following board-wide Covid guidelines and we have a few teachers who are planning outdoor events for their classes.
- Music has allowed for singing to be reinstated in schools with masks and the wind instrument program will start again.
Any questions so far?
- Parent question: Regarding the playground update—I know that is difficult and there are very real safety concerns, but is there anything that can be done to mitigate this issue so that kids can still be outside? Maybe opportunities to go for a walk/take them outside as a class? Or maybe communications to parents to tell them to bring a game or something to entertain themselves?
- It is not practice for the caretakers to clear the entire asphalt part of the yard—they are required to clear pathways into the school.
- School admin did encourage all teachers to do neighbourhood walks/walks around the school. This will be communicated to classroom teachers again.
Vice Principal’s Report: Equity
- As part of our staff equity training this year, the Kindergarten and Primary teachers had the chance to attend a webinar about black equity and an African centered approach to play-based environments and staff continue to work to ensure an equitable and inclusive classroom space.
- We have also had an equity coach come to speak with some of our equity committee members and he will continue to work with us to develop our school Equity Goals
- One of our goals is to integrate equity as an area that is connected to existing learning goals and overall well-being of our students, not as a separate outcome in our classrooms.
- We are looking at ways to create a more inclusive environment so all students feel represented and safe at our school.
- Our coach has offered to co-plan and co-teach with some of the staff and will help guide us through this process.
- Our superintendent came and reminded us that we have to add an indigenous education goal in our school goals.
- We will be bringing in an Elder to come in and teach about the land acknowledgement and then weave those learnings into the classrooms for all grade levels.
- We have a bigger goal which is to create an indigenous garden on our school property.
- Parent comment: as that learning happens at the school, it would be great to have it offered to parents or sent home in some way. That way our overall community can benefit from these teachings!
- Parent question regarding the playground update: How long will it take after the ground thaw to completion and use by students?
- The in-house stuff will be ready very quickly, and then they will do the construction and assemble the purchased items after. Because it was already delayed due to supply chain issues, etc, we are not sure at this point of a specific timeline.
- Parent question regarding the imminent lifting of mask mandates: Is there a strategy that has been brought forward to dealing with the conflict that may arise as masks come off? Or even other Covid protocols as they are lifted and some still follow them?
- Hard to answer because not much has been shared just yet from the board level. We anticipate that mask mandate will continue in schools for a while.
- No operational guidelines have been updated at the board level.
- We have to follow the overall direction of the learning network that we are in.
- Parent question about masking: Can individual schools make mask decisions?
- It is TDSB under the guidance of TPH that makes the decision about masking and many other covid protocols in our schools and we must follow the directives that are set at that level.
- Parent question about lunchtimes: Currently the school is allowing kids to go home for lunch. If all these restrictions are lifted, will these kids still be allowed to go home for lunch?
- If students are nearby and want to go home for lunch, the option has always been ‘allowed’ as long as the school knows so teachers are aware.
- Confirmed by Mme Smith that kids in grade 6 on, they just need a letter saying they are home every lunch hour, it is just a question of knowing where the kids are in the case of emergency.
Teacher’s Report 7:30 – 7:40
- Staff understand that keeping kids indoors all day is not ideal, and is so hard for them. Walks in the neighbourhood have been treacherous as well as the sidewalks are ice-covered and slick.
- Today was Global Play Day for many classes, though some played earlier in the month. It was so great to see many kids engaged and playing together without screens or technology.
- I know kids have really had a tough month, and it has been tough for the teachers too, but it just feels like there is more optimism this week. Coming out of the connections made with families through interviews with parents, and a long weekend to recuperate and with spring around the corner, it feels exciting.
- Maybe parents can volunteer to help with walks outside during this tough time.
- We are excited that tomorrow the 6-7-8s have the chance to listen to Britta B (a spoken word artist) who is based in Kingston, and is a wonderful presenter.
- The comment about needing to have a plan in place for when mask mandates are lifted is so true. The conversation needs to be had now so that staff are prepared for when it happens.
- Parent comment about Global Play Day: It was very successful—kids were really lifted up by it. I know this is a Global day, but maybe it could come more than once a year, because it was so great for them as a community and as a boost during this long month.
- Parent question: Do we know if Art in Action can come back in?
- We are just waiting for the green light to go from the TDSB.
- Parent question: Has there been any rumblings of an extended March Break?
- There are no rumblings and often the public finds out at the same time as schools.
- Parent question: Can play day 2.0 be scheduled for the spring when the weather is warm?
- Will bring it back to the committee.
Board Business 7:40 – 7:52
- No active SAC programs at this time.
- As information becomes available, we will change plans and see what happens through the end of the year.
- Music ‘N Movies – Trivia Night March 8, 2022 @ 6pm & 8pm
- This will be a virtual fundraiser using Kahoot as the platform. Registration offered via https://tdsb.schoolcashonline.com
- Registration is open now through SchoolCashOnline and will stay open until the Friday AFTER the trivia night so people can join in right up until the last minute.
- Non JEJMS families can also join and there is also no obligation to pay.
- Thank you to the Fudge family for running these incredible fundraisers over the last couple of years!
- Active fundraisers include:
- Direct Donation to John English via Cash Online
- Indigo FlipGive & Mabel’s Labels https://johnenglish.ca/fundraising/shopping-while-fundraising/
- Our treasurer is unable to attend but she did prepare the budget.
- Biggest spend is classroom support. Some additional spend on Scientists in the Classroom.
- The donations made through SchoolCashOnline have come in and are 100% support to the SAC, and these help us be able to support our school.
- There are no active spend requests at this time. Updated budget is available in the chat that was shared at the beginning of the meeting.
School Council By-Laws
- We need to review the board’s By-Laws’ template to solicit feedback and input.
- This review will enable parents/caregivers and School Council members to identify what is best for the School Council, while developing an understanding of all areas of the By-Laws’ template.
- If you would like to participate in this process, please email email@example.com soon to be certain we submit the document on time.
Healthy Bites and Snack Programs
- Our much loved lunch program has resumed with great success! The cut off for March lunches has passed, but if you are interested for future month, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Running very well and students are having some great meals!
- Snack program is also running well through Kindergarten classes and is slowly expanding to Grade 1.
Parent question: Have we learned what EQAO dates are?
- EQAO dates were published with the regular schedule of end of May or into early June. As a staff, exact dates have not yet been discussed but will be communicated with impacted classes as they are confirmed.
Parent question: Would dance-a-thon be possible?
- Will bring that forward for future communications.
Next Meetings for 2022: April 21 & June 2 (please note revised dates)
Meeting Ends 7:52
Ward 3 School Trustee: Patrick Nunziata can be reached at Patrick.Nunziata@tdsb.on.ca or 416 996 5572, sign up for e-newsletter at www.tdsb.on.ca/ward3/Ward3.aspx or follow him on Twitter @NunziataPatrick