FIRST Parent Council meeting of the year

FIRST Parent Council meeting of the year

Please join us Wednesday 23 September 2020 at 7:00 pm for the first Parent Council meeting of the 2020/2021 school year. 

Topics on the Agenda include: 

  • outdoor learning, 
  • keeping our kids safe and 
  • how you can help. 
  • Election of this year’s Council Chair (or co-chairs), secretary & treasurer.  

Full agenda to follow. Please help us and the Administration better understand your concerns by adding your thoughts here. See below for some background on the Council and explore the blog for examples of past activities.

Join Zoom Meeting (Meeting ID: 810 2354 5944)

Thank you for all your effort as we prepared for this most unique start to school. There is much work still to be done and many ways we can continue to come together as a community. 

We hope you are staying well during these strange and distant times, and hope you can join us on Wednesday!


The 2019/2020 Council Exec 

(Erin, David, Laura, Cindy, Taralyn, Alice, Michelle and Samantha)

BACKGROUND on the Howard Home & School Parent Council

The Basics

  • The Council is made up of a small Executive Committee, a number of initiative-specific committees and other Howard parents 
  • All Howard parents are welcome to attend meetings where they have a vote on any motion being put forward
  • The Council meets once a month from September to May (excluding December and March) and shares minutes via our blog
  • It’s a forum where parents, members of the school community, the school administration, and a teacher representative discuss school issues and ways to improve the school. 
  • We discuss issues such as how to help our children succeed at school, what our children are learning, the school budget, the school’s safety, renovations, extracurriculars and more. 
  • Meetings typically last from 7-8:30 pm with the October meeting sometimes going longer as it is our budget meeting. 
  • At the start of each meeting, the Principal or Vice-Principal reports on the state of the school and answers questions. 

Who are Council Members?

  • Each September, the parents who attend the first School Council Meeting elect the Council Executive: a chair or co-chairs, as well as a secretary and treasurer. Other Executive positions are optional. 
  • Any parent can run for Executive positions. For more information on these roles, please ask at the meeting. 
  • The Council oversees several committees, established by parent volunteers according to the needs of the year. Past committees include: Arts, STEM, Tech, Mental Health and Well-being, Environment, Equity, School Yard Revitalization and Sports. This year, we already have an Outdoor Education Committee!
  • Any parent can propose a new committee or resurrect an old one!  

Where does the $ come from and how is it spent?

  • In the past, Council has been funded through events such as the Fall Fete, a dance-a-thon, a Spring Social for parents, Pizza Fridays and others. Parents and local businesses have been very generous, creating a wealth of opportunities for our school 
  • This year will be different. We cannot rely on events to generate funds for our students. We will have to be creative!
  • Fundraising provides Council with a budget to fund field trips, science initiatives, arts programming, new technology, new sports equipment and other projects. 
  • The needs this year are different. We are already looking to buy tents and clipboards to support outdoor learning…

Stay in The Know!

  • Parent volunteers run a School council website where school announcements appear on the blog (which goes out in email form, and parents can sign up for on the homepage), extra-curricular announcements and other reminders are placed.
  • We encourage all parents to sign up for the blog to help stay informed. 
Volunteer to Support Outdoor Ed Spaces at Howard

Volunteer to Support Outdoor Ed Spaces at Howard

Hi Howard Families,

The newly formed OUTDOOR EDUCATION COMMITTEE (operating under Home and School Council and with the approval of the Principals) urgently needs parent volunteers to support the outdoor education spaces we are creating at Howard in the weeks ahead. If you have items that would be useful for outdoor education (esp. shade tents of the kind used at farmer’s markets) to loan or donate, please get in touch.

Additionally, we are recruiting 30-40 parent VOLUNTEERS, divided across 4 teams, to support outdoor learning. The main roles these volunteers will fill is daily setting up and (possibly) taking down of shade/shelter tents as these are being sourced but cannot be left up overnight. Teams would be “on” 1 out of every 4 weeks, then have 3 weeks off. The hope is to have teams large enough (8-10 parents) that the work can be divided across the week, i.e., no parent should have to wrangle tents 5 days straight. There will also likely be a few volunteers needed one afternoon soon to help set up some incoming stump seating.

In other words, the more you and your crew sign up, the less everyone will have to do.

Please go to our page to join a volunteer squad. Supporting outdoor class space is a very concrete and meaningful way to help to make our school safer for our kids and teachers and we really want to have the necessary volunteers in place to start the very first day the infrastructure items are available which may be as soon as next week. There are 6 of us right now and always room for more so please get in touch if you have questions or want to help at the planning level — you can find us in conversations on the Howard Parents Facebook Page or include comments in your entries.

Thank you!

Kat, Kate, Theresa, Molly, Rachel, Rebecca

Register for the Joint Ward 7+9 Trustee Forum (Tuesday evening)

Hi Howard Families,
Please find below the link to register for the Joint Ward 7+9 Forum to be held this Tuesday evening with trustees Pilkey and Donaldson:

The registration form includes an opportunity to emphasize questions you may have about school re-opening plans.

Thanks!ward forum flyer


Council Meeting Postponed Due to Conflict with Ward Forum

ward forum flyer

Hi Howard Community,

We are postponing the Parent Council meeting that was scheduled for this Tuesday evening because of this Joint Ward Forum that has been scheduled for the same day and time.
We will let you know as soon as we are able to book a new parent council meeting. We encourage all parents to continue to submit any questions about school reopening on the following link:
This will be incredibly helpful to us to pursue as many answers as possible at this time.
Thank you for your patience: things are changing so quickly and we all need to be flexible so that we stay informed.
– Howard Home and School Council

Parent Council Meeting, Tuesday August 25th 7pm

Hi Howard Families,

We hope everyone is hanging in there during this strange summer.

We all have questions about school reopening. Principal McKenzie will be available to answer questions at an advanced meeting of Parent Council via Zoom, next Tuesday at 7pm. In the meantime we would like to gather questions so that the meeting can be as useful as possible to parents, many of whom are struggling to make very tough decisions.

Please use this Google Form so that we can organize and gather the info ahead of the meeting:

Parent Council Zoom Meeting Details
Time: Aug 25, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 815 8608 3796
Passcode: 568888

Additionally, please note that there has been a Facebook group created by Howard parents to share information. (This group is NOT administrated or facilitated by Council.)

And finally, parents may be interested in some TDSB webinars scheduled for next week as part of the TDSB Summer Conversation Series:

As we approach the return to school, PIAC and the Parent and Community Engagement Office have partnered to continue the Conversation Series with a number of online sessions for parents and caregivers:

  • Healing from Racialized Trauma, August 24, 6:30-8 p.m.
  • Supporting Mental Health and Well-Being during the Transition Back to Learning, August 27, 6:30-8 p.m.

Visit to learn more about each session. Web links for access will be added closer to the date of each session.
Also, please find below link to the August 13th open conversation on School Reopening for those who missed it, with many questions being asked that you as a community have posed as well.

Thanks everyone and take care,

The Howard Home and School Council