We hope you are all staying well. The Outside Learning Committee has been chipping away at supporting our teachers and students by creating a few functional outdoor class spaces. Hopefully you’ve seen some of the initiatives or heard from your children about classes outside. We’ve been so grateful for the community’s support in the form of both donated hours and materials such as milk crates.
The current public health reality only makes it clearer that we will want to support outside learning as much as possible in the coming weeks, including when the weather turns a little chillier. To this end and with the principals’ support, we’d like to do a community drive for hats and gloves for those days when children come underprepared or forget their own at home. We will be working out the final details of collection and starting it up shortly. In the meanwhile, please start setting aside new or gently used hats and gloves (mitts would not be as functional for holding pencils etc.) If we wind up with more than we can use, we will find a community school that could share them with their own students.
This past Tuesday the Howard Public School Council hosted the monthly meeting and this year’s annual budget discussion. Watch a recording of the meeting if you missed it.
“Wow, what a month it has been” has become an understatement. We hope that you, your family and neighbours are getting through as best as possible. With that in mind, this month’s newsletter offers some tips and suggestions.
Shop Local to save the Roncesvalles Main Street and businesses owned by Howard families
What would you do if you woke up one morning and your child’s teacher wasn’t there any more? No message from the school principal, the school board or other warning; the teacher your child had spent two months bonding with simply wasn’t there. This is what happened to many parents this morning when their child logged in to the TDSB’s virtual school.
Over the weekend, the TDSB began implementing what they hoped would be a solution to the shortage of French language teachers: they reassigned a slew of teachers to team teaching arrangements. This meant that many students had no school today. Tomorrow they will be introduced to two new teachers, one for English and another for French. For some students in Grade 3 French Immersion, this means they are being dropped to only 50% French instruction while their in-person peers are receiving 100% French instruction. Some 800 students are having their education discounted. The bonds they built with teachers during a global pandemic are being upended.
This is not a viable solution.
We are lobbying to have this decision reversed and a better solution found. Concerned parents are already contacting the TDSB, government and other decision makers.
Please take a minute to read a summary of the issue and consider voicing your opinion on Facebook, Twitter (@tdsb), or in an email to your School Trustee and MPP. Please use the following hashtags: #educationmatters #Virtual #education #covid19 #tdsb #onpoli #wellness #equality.
Please share this message with your extended family, friends, neighbours, employers and others with an interest in charitable donations to advance children’s learning. All donations receive a tax receipt. Visit howardschoolyard.ca for details about this major revitalization of a key community asset.
Thank you to those who have already supported The School Yard! Your generosity is greatly appreciated.