Welcome to my FAQ page.
The Trustee Role (from the TDSB website):
A trustee’s role is to maintain a focus on student achievement and well-being and to participate in making decisions that benefit the entire board district while representing the interests of his or her constituents. Trustees must also communicate the views and decisions of the board back to their constituents.
1. Trustees are responsible for establishing policy direction
2. Trustees, as members of the board, are accountable to the province
3. Trustees are accountable to their electorate
There has not been a reduction in the TDSB School Trustee count; it remains at 22. I'm not sure how Councillors will handle the change, but I'm looking forward to the alignment of the ward with the federal and provincial boundaries. Hopefully this will offer more opportunities for collaboration between the different levels of government. Going forward our identity will be Don Valley East and we'll speak with one voice.
My strongest concern is youth success. Our curriculum has to reflect the needs of the future. Children cannot graduate from high school ill prepared for the world that is out there. Our schools can and should prepare our children to be successful and engaged citizens.
I strongly support an adaptable, flexible education system that meets the needs of our rapidly changing society and leads to career success.
I believe in open and transparent communication between the TDSB and the community so that everyone feels heard and their concerns are addressed.
Community Use of School Facilities:
Our schools are valuable community assets. Schools can and should be community hubs. The TDSB’s concerns need to be examined and access needs to be opened up. The realignment of the wards with the provincial and federal boundaries will I hope lead to better communication and collaboration between the different levels of government. Our changing demographics present an urgent need to bring people together and our schools are one of the places where this can happen.
I support the: "Oregon National Organization for Women" (NOW) Model Dress Code to help schools improve their dress code policies and enforcement processes. The Model Dress Code emphasizes equitable educational access and dress codes which are free from gender stereotypes, promoting dress codes that do not reinforce or marginalize or oppress any group based on race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, household income, gender identity or cultural observance. The Model Dress Code includes basic principles, such as: certain body parts must be covered for all students; clothing pieces that students must wear; clothing pieces that students may wear; and clothing pieces that students cannot wear.
I have a daughter and two sons who attended a TDSB High School. Only my daughter was confronted by dress code issues and it did seem to be an arbitrary and unnecessary source of stress. So we need a clear and consistent dress code, which the above seems to be. Dress is a huge form of self-expression in our culture, so I feel this matter must be addressed and resolved so that all students can focus on the job of learning.
The issue of declining Math scores has been brought forward by the EQAO testing. I believe in data driven decision making. As a society we need unbiased metrics to measure and confirm our understanding of the issues facing education. EQAO is one such metric.
I encouraged all three of my children to take French in school. Two of my children attended the Explore program in University and are practically bilingual. (https://www.myexplore.ca/en/). My husband learned French up to Grade 13. I unfortunately didn’t learn French because I came to Canada at age 10 and was focused on learning English. We should be encouraged to learn French because it brings us closer together as a country. Learning another language has the added benefit of growing our mental capabilities!
Grade Inflation occurs when the grade decline from High-school grades to University grades is above the projected 16.3% average. In Don Valley East two out of three of our High-schools were on the list of monitored schools. George S Henry for Grade Inflation and Don Mills C. I. for Grade Deflation. High school Grade Inflation/Deflation is a problem that leads to unfair outcomes for all students. This issue needs to be addressed at the TDSB.
On Kids walking biking to School:
I 100% want our children walking and riding to school. It's good for the environment, health and community. My children walked and biked to school. I would love to see safe bike lanes to the high-schools. Today's millennials are not car centric and we should encourage them to use alternative transportation. We in Don Valley East are very lucky to have such great bike paths in the neighbourhood.
Declining Match scores present a real issue that is being examined and addressed at the TDSB.
Music and Arts:
Music and Arts enrich our lives and are a form of expression that enable us to appreciate the beauty in nature and in society. The joy of creation ignites the imagination which is the foundation of innovation and personal growth.
Parent Communication and Consultation:
I believe there is a gap in the consultation process, as some parents don't feel heard or consulted. I believe that the lines of communication between the Trustee and the Public need to be opened up to help bridge that gap. My IT and real estate background has trained me to use all forms of communication to connect effectively with people.
I do not consider the Anonymous Phone Line a snitch line, due to the fact that I feel the public does not feel heard. Let's find out what kind of concerns are being expressed and how often it is used. I believe in data driven decision making. We shouldn't be afraid of information. However, we should evaluate this information with considerable caution since the source is anonymous.
Police in Schools (School Resource Officer):
I believe that some of the at-risk communities have had success with the SRO (police in the schools) program. It can bridge the gap between the police and the community, benefiting both. The communities that it served were not in favour of the program so the TDSB decided to cancel it last year. I support the wishes of the community.
School Infrastructure and Repairs:
The backlog in repairs is outrageous. Schools need to collaborate with the private and public sector to bring in funds to repair the aging infrastructure. Playgrounds are in disrepair, pools are being closed and tennis courts have cracking asphalt. We need more energy behind this issue, as well as "out of the box” solutions in order to get this issue resolved. Our students and our community deserve better!
I support the 2015 curriculum. I believe students need to be empowered and informed. I think that the revised 1998 curriculum is vague enough for teachers to teach the 2015 curriculum if they choose. I support teachers having prepared, consistent and researched answers to questions that students are asking. Since 1998, when the last curriculum was written, the world that our children face has changed and we need to prepare them for it.
I recognize that in regards to Special Ed there are funding constraints and it's a balancing act and not all programs can, or will be funded. I will work with individuals and groups to bring their concerns to the TDSB to help find solutions that will work for all parties.
STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics):
Technological change is happening at a tremendous pace, and our students need to succeed in this new economy. STEM skills have been identified as the skills required for the future. We need to have a dynamic and evolving skill set that is keeping up with the changes in the real world.