Toronto District School Board
|Toronto District School Board|
|Board office location||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Number of schools||451 elementary schools
102 secondary schools
5 adult education schools
|2007-2008 budget (CAD $ millions)||$2,543.8 |
|Number of students||188,304 elementary students
87,273 high school students
14,000 adult students
|Chair of the Board||Chris Bolton|
|Director of Education||Donna Quan (Acting)|
Toronto District School Board, also known by its initials TDSB, is the English-language public school board for Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The minority public francophone (Conseil scolaire Viamonde), English Catholic (Toronto Catholic District School Board), and French Catholic (Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud) communities of Toronto also have their own publicly funded school boards and schools that operate in the same area, but which are independent of the TDSB. Its headquarters are in North York. The TDSB is the largest school board in Canada, and the fourth largest school board in North America.
The TDSB board was created in 1998 following the merger of the school boards of York, East York, North York, Scarborough, Etobicoke, as well as the Toronto and Metropolitan Toronto Public School Boards.
The head office moved from the old Toronto Public Board of Education office at 155 College Street to the 5050 Yonge Street location, adjacent to Mel Lastman Square. Prior to the 1998 amalgamation of Metropolitan Toronto, the building was occupied by the North York Board of Education.
The school board's organizational mission is "to enable all students to reach high levels of achievement and to acquire the knowledge, skills, and values they need to become responsible members of a democratic society."
There are more than 250,000 students  in nearly 600 schools within the TDSB. Of these schools, 451 offer elementary education, 102 offer secondary level education, and there are five adult day schools. The TDSB has 16 alternative elementary schools as well as 20 alternative secondary schools. TDSB has approximately 31,000 permanent and 8,000 temporary staff, which includes 10,000 elementary school teachers and 5,800 at the secondary level.
Parent and Community involvement occurs at all levels of the school board system, from parental involvement at local schools, the involvement of local organizations at the school level and formal advisory committees at the Board level.
There has also been an effort to include more student involvement in the Toronto District School Board. The "Super Council" is an organization which acts as a student council for the entire board. There has also been an attempt to place student input in the TDSB's Equity Department through the second, and last, board-wide student group: Students Working Against Great Injustice. Both groups have put together various events and have had much success in giving input towards the decisions of the Board.
- Chris Spence 2009-2013 - resigned due to a plagiarism scandal
- Gerry Connelly 2005-2009
- David Reid 2001-2005 - now with Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
- Marguerite Jackson 1998-2001 - now CEO of the Education Quality and Accountability Office
|Ward 1||John Hastings||Etobicoke North|
|Ward 2||Chris Glover||Etobicoke Centre|
|Ward 3||Pamela Gough||Etobicoke—Lakeshore|
|Ward 4||Stephnie Payne||York West|
|Ward 5||Howard Kaplan||York Centre|
|Ward 6||Chris Tonks||York South—Weston|
|Ward 7||Irene Atkinson||Parkdale—High Park|
|Ward 8||Howard Goodman||Eglinton—Lawrence|
|Ward 9||Maria Rodrigues||Davenport|
|Ward 10||Chris Bolton||Trinity—Spadina|
|Ward 11||Shelley Laskin||St. Paul's|
|Ward 12||Mari Rutka||Willowdale|
|Ward 13||Gerri Gershon||Don Valley West|
|Ward 14||Sheila Ward||Toronto Centre|
|Ward 15||Cathy Dandy||Toronto—Danforth|
|Ward 16||Sheila Cary-Meagher||Beaches—East York|
|Ward 17||Harout Manougian||Don Valley East|
|Ward 18||Elizabeth Moyer||Scarborough Southwest|
|Ward 19||David Smith||Scarborough Centre|
|Ward 20||Sam Sotiropoulos||Scarborough—Agincourt|
|Ward 21||Shaun Chen||Scarborough—Rouge River|
|Ward 22||Jerry Chadwick||Scarborough East|
|Student Trustee||Hirad Zafari|
|Student Trustee||Kourosh Houshmand|
The TDSB's Parent and Community Involvement Policy describes ways in which "parents, the community, students, staff and the Board" are working together. One option is the Parent Involvement Advisory Committee.
Proposing and starting a school
Parents can design and propose a new school in the TDSB. There is a 2-year process for review, approval and opening the school.
In 2002, the Government of Ontario stripped all power and authority from the school board trustees because they failed to balance the board's budget. Paul Christie was appointed by the province to serve as supervisor of the Toronto District School Board, with authority for all financial and administrative functions of the Board. This allowed Christie to supersede the authority of elected school trustees. The provincial government argued that the appointment was necessary, as the TDSB had not submitted a budget to the Ontario Minister of Education as legally required. Representatives of the TDSB claimed that they could not find the necessary operating expenses for the year, given provincial regulations which prohibited deficit spending. Christie balanced the TDSB's budget through a dramatic spending reduction of $90 million. Under his watch, the TDSB eliminated many secretarial positions, phased out school-community advisors, child and youth counsellors, and attendance counsellors and reduced the number of vice-principals, cut outdoor education and adult education, and re-evaluated the position of social workers in the system. Christie's staff reports were not made public, and some critics argued that there were no adequate checks or balances on his authority.
Blackstone Partners carried out a review in 2006. They submitted a 113-page report in January 2007. Blackstone Partners were "asked to determine if the facilities division had "effective governance."" The report showed "high costs of repairs, lots of workers and spotty results, and managerial “silos” that made it hard for principals to figure out whom to approach to get a job done." Blackstone Partners gave 43 recommendations in the report. The school board claims a few have been carried out and others are in the works. When surveyed about a wide range of topics, the worst result was the school board’s maintenance and construction division. Eighty percent of principals didn't believe the maintenance and construction division delivered good value for the money TDSB director Chris Spence "To use a football analogy, we are trying to move the yardstick. There is no quick fix." The Toronto Star reported that in recent investigation showed little has changed since that review. A high school principal "raised questions about the $143 cost of installing a pencil sharpener and the $19,000 cost of installing a sign on the school’s front lawn."
|To attach a pencil sharpener with four screws||$143|||
|sign on a school’s front lawn||$19,000|||
|Electrical outlet on the wall in a school library||$3,000|||
|"Breakfast club" kitchen||$250,000|||
In 2007, again due to alleged mismanagement by the trustees, the board will try to submit a budget with a deficit of $84 million.
The school board wants $3.6 million from the Toronto Star before it releases a database. The database shows "work orders showing what taxpayers have been charged for maintenance and construction projects at local schools." In June 2012, the Toronto Star asked for "an electronic copy showing three years of work at the TDSB." The Toronto Star stated that "the request was made under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act."
The Ontario Ministry of Education Froze funding for the school board's buildings project. The ministry cited the possibility of a $10 million to $11 million cost overrun for the retrofit of Nelson Mandela Park Public School. The project was originally priced at $21.7 million. Some of the school board's trustees are "outraged". Laurel Broten, Ontario's Minster of Education, stated, "We are not happy they don’t know why" when talking about the overrun. She also stated that a supervisor may be sent in.
The Maintenance and Construction Skilled Trades Council gets 0.5% on all outside contracts even though it does not perform the work. Several contractors have stated that "contractors sometimes inflate their price for school board work to pay Hazel’s group." Maintenance and Construction Skilled Trades Council are unable to do all the maintenance and construction work. TDSB spokesperson Shari Schwartz-Maltz said "the dues are considered a "temporary union membership." The TDSB does not charge the trades council rent for its offices on school board property. The school board's trustees want to stop paying the fee.
Employees of the school board visited bars, bought groceries and filled the gas tanks of their cars using "public money" and while on the job.
Contract with Trade Council
A top official from the Toronto District School Board stated that he has concerns about a "controversial contract" between the Trades Council and the Ontario Government and claims that the contract with the trades council is "politically motivated." Chris Bolton, the Chairman of the school board, stated that the Trade Council is a "major contributors to the Liberals" and even campaigned for the Liberals. A government spokesperson stated that Education Minister Laurel Broten decision to retain the Trade Council's services "nothing to do with politics."
Terms of the contract includes:
- "The TDSB will not be allowed to hire outside workers for some jobs." The school board won't be allowed to hire outside workers even if it would cost taxpayers less.
- "The trades council is still allowed to choose all new workers for the publicly funded school board." The Toronto District School Board, who pays the workers, doesn't have a say on who is hired.
- A structured shift system will be preserved where the morning and afternoon shifts overlaps. This requires the school board to maintain extra trucks and vehicles. The school board has estimated "it could have sold off up to 300 trucks and other vehicles that would not be needed if the afternoon shift started when the morning shift ended."
Immigration Act charges
In 2001, Toronto School Board Trustee Sam Basra was convicted of Immigration Act charges and was forced under the Education Act to resign his seat. He pleaded guilty in August 2001 to selling fake offers of employment to potential immigrants for US$1,500.00 each. This came to light after being tipped by a former employee, police raided Basra's paralegal firm and found 250 false letters of employment. In March 2001 Arjan Singh launched a $15 million lawsuit against Basra alleging that while doing paralegal work, Basra forged documents to make him think his rights case was active more than a year after it was closed. After much infighting among the trustees and inaction from then Chair of the Board Donna Cansfield to make an appointment to fill the vacant trustee seat left by Basra, a by-election was called for April 2002 costing the board $160,000.00. Stan Nemiroff defeated former Mayor of Etobicoke Bruce Sinclair in the by-election to become the new Ward 1 trustee representing Etobicoke North.
In December 2001, a $70 million class-action lawsuit was filed against the Toronto District School Board on behalf of the parents of special needs students who were sent home during the boards support workers strike in April 2001. The suit claimed that 27,000 special needs students were discriminated against on the basis of their disabilities because they were sent home during the month long strike while the schools stayed open for their able-bodied counterparts. The claims were based on the fact that they weren’t permitted to go to school and missed a month of school while everyone else was able to go. The suit also claimed that the Toronto District School Board should stop treating special needs students as lesser students. The four-week strike, led by 13,000 support workers ended in early May 2001.
On November 14, 2005, the Ontario Human Rights Commission reached a settlement with the Toronto District School Board following a Commission-initiated complaint against the Board in July 2005. On July 7, 2005 the On Human Rights Commission initiated a complaint against the Toronto District School Board in the public interest and on behalf of racialized students and students with disabilities alleging that the application of the Safe Schools Act and the Toronto District School Board’s policies on discipline are having a disproportionate impact on racial minority students and students with disabilities. The complaint alleges that the TDSB had failed to meet its duty to accommodate racialized students and students with disabilities in the application of discipline, including providing adequate alternative education services for racial minority students and students with disabilities who are suspended or expelled and that the above amounts to a failure on the part of the TDSB to provide equal access to education services and that this constitutes discrimination and contravenes sections 1, 11 and 9 of the Ontario Human Rights Code. The TDSB accepts and acknowledges a widespread perception that the application of Ontario’s school disciplinary legislation, regulations and policies can have a discriminatory effect on students from racialized communities and students with disabilities and further exacerbate their already disadvantaged position in society.
In 2005, controversy erupted when the TDSB's Board Chair Sheila Ward and Executive Officer of Student and Community Equity, Lloyd McKell, spoke in favour of “Black-focused schools”. The proposal brought about a media backlash, as many interpreted this as a "Black-only" school. After long and sometimes raucous debate, the proposal for an Afrocentric school was adopted and registration began. Similar controversy had taken place in the North York Board of Education in the 1980s when the board attempted to turn Georges Vanier Secondary School into a black-only school.
School Building Architecture
Many of the TDSB stock of school buildings outside of the old City of Toronto were built after World War II and during the 1950s. These are typically Mid-Century modern in style with two to three storey brick facade and large double hung windows.
Garages and offices
- 5050 Yonge Street TDSB Education Centre (Former North York Board of Education Office)
- 140 Borough Drive TDSB Education Centre (Former Scarborough Board of Education Office)
- 1 Civic Centre TDSB Education Centre (Former Etobicoke Board of Education Office)
- 555 Mortimer Avenue (R.H. McGregor P.S.) TDSB Education Centre (Former East York Board of Education Office)
- 2 Trethewey Drive (York Memorial C.I.) TDSB Education Office (Former York Board of Education Office)
- Shorting Road (Scarborough) TDSB East Maintenance, Garage, and Storage Centre
- McCulloch Avenue (Etobicoke) TDSB West Maintenance, Garage, and Storage Centre
- Tippett Road (North York) TDSB West Warehouse
- Eastern Avenue (Toronto) TDSB East Warehouse
- Oakburn Crescent (North York) TDSB Oakburn Centre and Garage
Former Toronto Board of Education offices at 155 College Street was sold to the University of Toronto and now as Health Sciences Building.
- Toronto Catholic District School Board, the English-language Catholic school board that also operates in Toronto
- Conseil scolaire Viamonde, the French-language school board that also operates in Toronto
- Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud, the French-language Catholic school board in Toronto
- Middle schools in Toronto (also includes Toronto-area schools that are not part of the TDSB)
- Elementary schools in Toronto (also includes Toronto-area schools that are not part of the TDSB)
- Schools in the TDSB
- List of school districts in Ontario
- List of high schools in Ontario
- "Facts and Figures". Toronto District School Board. Retrieved 2006-06-08.
- Connelly, Gerry (2006). "The 2004-05 Financial Results" (PDF). Director's Annual Report,2004-05. Retrieved 2006-06-08.
- "5050_2.gif." (Archive) Toronto District School Board. Retrieved on March 12, 2011.
- Our Mission Statement
- Connelly, Gerry (2006). "A Message from the Director" (PDF). Director's Annual Report,2004-05. Retrieved 2006-06-08.
- "About Us." Toronto District School Board. Retrieved on June 8, 2012.
- Working Together for our Students' Success
- TDSB Student SuperCouncil
- "Trustees". Toronto District School Board. Retrieved 2006-06-08.
- Parent and Community Involvement Policy
- Parent Involvement Advisory Committee
- Winsa, Patti (16 Nov, 2012). "Skateboard academy, dude? Alternative schools gathering considers four new concepts". Toronto Star. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- Trish Worron, "Education democracy an illusion", Toronto Star, 12 July 2003, F6.
- Kevin Donovan; Moira Welsh (July 4, 2012). "TDSB was warned in 2006 about spending problems". Toronto Star. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
- Donovan, Kevin (June 22, 2012). "Popular TDSB principal backed by his association". Toronto Star. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
- Moira Welsh; Kevin Donovan (June 21, 2012). "Toronto schools pay high prices for small jobs". Toronto Star. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
- Kevin Donovan; Moira Welsh (July 25, 2012). "Toronto school board will hand over work order data — for $3.6 million". Toronto Star. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
- Rob Ferguson; Louise Brown (October 4, 2012). "Toronto school board cost overruns: Province warns supervisor may be sent in to run board". Toronto Star. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
- Kevin Donovan; Moira Welsh (June 25, 2012). "TDSB trades council gets a cut of outside contractors’ work". Toronto Star. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
- Moira Welsh; Kevin Donovan (July 11, 2012). "TDSB trustees want to end 0.5 per cent surcharge to union". Toronto Star. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
- Hammr, Kate (December 20, 2012). "TDSB workers used public funds for personal business, manager says". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
- Donovan, Kevin (January 4, 2013). "TDSB says politics behind Liberal decision to back Jimmy Hazel’s trades council". Toronto Star. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
- "Trustee Sam Basra Temporarily Withdraws from Board Duties". Toronto District School Board (Toronto, ON). December 14, 2001. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
- McLeod, Judi (April 2000). "Local Schoolboard: From Corruption to Communism". Canada Free Press. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
- Nicholas Keung and Kristin Rushowy, "Toronto School Board sued for bias", Toronto Star, 8 December 2001, E3.
- James, Royson (November 18, 2007). "Black schools in focus". The Star (Toronto). Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- Solomon, Galit (November 7, 2008). "Africentric school starts to gear up". CTV. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
- "Public board to merge Bendale and Thomson high schools" The Scarborough Mirror. Scarborough, Ont.: Feb 5, 2009. pg. 1
- "Timothy Eaton school closure angers parents." The Scarborough Mirror. Scarborough, Ont.: Apr 21, 2009. pg. 1
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