You may have seen the flyer that came home with your kids about our latest fundraising initiative.
We are asking for donations from Howard families to build doors for our classrooms. Almost half of Howard classrooms do not have doors. Enclosed classrooms with doors are quieter and better learning environments.
Even if your child is in a classroom with doors this year, they will likely be in a class without doors at some point during their time at Howard. This campaign will benefit our kids and future generations of Howard students. It is truly an investment in the quality of their education!
Noise in the Howard Houses or areas is a big problem for students and teachers. Ask your own child. Children on average spend 45- 60% of time at school listening and comprehending, it is important that classrooms enable children to hear their teacher and not be distracted by irrelevant noise from the surrounding area.
Today Friends of Howard Trust, working with Howard Home and School Association are asking families to donate money during Door Days so we can once and for all add doors to all of our Howard classrooms. Our aim is to build the remaining doors (or walls) during the summer. Watch the Door Days page to see our donations grow over the next few weeks.
Door Days is our fundraising campaign to raise $15,000 to complete this project and ensure each classroom is quiet and safe.
- Consider that “Lock Downs” are not efficient in a classroom without a door.
- It’s easy to give – no fundraising activities or time required
- Donate online and receive a tax receipt – Friends of Howard has charitable status and any online donation over $10 will receive an automatic tax receipt.
- A donation is not mandatory. We understand some Howard families will not be able to afford a donation and we are confident other families will be able to contribute more. Please consider adding to your donation for a family who cannot.
- For those families with kids in Grade 6 consider a donation as a thank you to Howard for the great start to your child’s academic career.
Click here to donate now via Canada Helps. Donate to help us build doors over Summer 2016. Invest in your children, your school and a little bit of quiet!
Parents and Your Partners at Friends of Howard Trust
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-400-3994
Frequently Asked Questions
Why don’t some of the Howard Classrooms have doors?
Howard was built as an “open-concept” school, an idea popular in the 70’s. Today the open-concept has been proven to be detrimental to learning and most schools built in this fashion have been retrofitted with walls and doors. Over the last few decades our school has slowly added, walls, doors and even windows. The enhancements have been funded by various sources – the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), the school administration budget and parents through our Home and School Association. Today Friends of Howard Trust, working with Howard Home and School Association are asking families to donate money during Door Days so we can once and for all add doors to all of our Howard classrooms
Why can’t the TDSB build these doors? Is it not the Board’s responsibility?
We believe the TDSB will not be able to provide the money required to build these doors in the foreseeable future and therefore we are taking on the project within our community. Howard has requested the Board do so many times over the last twenty years. The TDSB simply does not have the money to provide for non-critical repairs.
- TDSB’s Capital Improvements and Renewal Needs Backlog is presently $3.3 billion. The $3.3 billion backlog is not due to lack of attention by TDSB but rather lack of appropriate Provincial funding.
- The Ministry of Education estimated that it needs $1.4 billion a year to maintain schools in a state of good repair, based on industry averages. However, actual annual maintenance funding from the Province for 2015 / 2016 was only $156 million.” (Auditor General of Ontario December, 2015)
- 60% of TDSB schools are in poor or critical condition, and only 6.8 % are in good condition. The TDSB has 51 schools that are older than 95 years, including 7 that were built before 1900.
- Capital improvement spending by the Board is based on priority or critical issues including roofs and heating systems.
Fix Our Schools is a parent run organization advocating for changes in the Provincial funding to ensure safe and well-maintained schools. We encourage all Howard parents to review their informative website and lend your voice in support.
We are working with the TDSB Facility Services Department who will complete the actual building of the doors and walls once the money has been raised.
Will the doors cost more because they will be built by the TDSB?
The construction must be completed by TDSB to ensure all safety standards are met. Yes, this means the work will likely cost more, but as parents we are simply not allowed to hire an independent contractor to complete this job. On a positive note the TDSB Facilities team has confirmed the scope / details, the estimate, will coordinate the project and guarantee the work meets all technical and safety standards.
My child’s classroom has two door openings but no doors, what is the plan?
Several classrooms do indeed have two openings. To best reduce noise, all classes with two openings will receive one door and the other opening will be closed off with drywall. This will create a quieter room and provide new wall space for teachers to use.
Can I donate with cash or a cheque instead of online?
We prefer online donations as they required no additional resources to process. However, we would be happy to receive any donation. Please ensure cheques are made payable to Friends of Howard Trust. We will not be able to process a tax receipt for cash or cheques. Cash or Cheques can be given to your child’s teacher or the office.
What is Friends of Howard Trust?
The Trust was set up several years ago as a registered charity to facilitate fundraising for the Howard School playground. Today a group of dedicated parents have reinvigorated the Trust as an additional way to help fundraise to enhance the learning environment at Howard. The Committee includes: Denise Gray, Leslie Nicholson, Sheila Gibb, Gail Cecil, Elise Beauvais, Erin Mccaughan, Sara Tweedie and Aileen MacDonald. Please feel free to ask any of us any questions on the Trust, our goals or this Door Days project. Or let us know if you would like to join us.